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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need help choosing a rod for a young beginner. Don't want to go overboard on the price. Thinking about something in the 12-13' range. I know all about the St. Croix 1308 but I also saw a Temple Forks 12'6'' 8 wt advertised. It's a bit less in price but I'm not in a position to go see one. Has anyone? What's your thoughts on them? Thanks.
 

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I suggest that you contact Jay Horton (2handthesalt); I believe that he's in close aliance with TFO and should be able to answer several questions for you. These rods are supposed to be quite quick, nearly as fast as the T & T double-hander series. I, too, have no access to them in the immediate area. Keep us posted as to what you discover.
 

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I think you will like the TFO 12'6" 8/9-weight much better than the other rod. It is a light and powerful rod that will handle a variety of lines. For a beginner, I would recommend the Rio Windcutter 8/9/10 or maybe even the next size up.

TFO has a system in place where you can get any rod you would like to try-out shipped to your nearest dealer for evaluation. For help, contact Rick @ 800-638-9052, and tell him where you are and what you want to try. ( Tell him Jay told you to contact him.)

You don't mention what kind of fishing you want to do with the rod, but this one will do it all including overhead. I am not a great spey caster, but I know when I get it right it will lay out a nice cast. And the price is right.
 

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I suggest you avoid the TFO rods especially for a beginner. The rods are way too fast, load horribly, and are difficult for even a skilled caster. I think a new caster would get so discouraged with these rods that they'd probably quit spey casting forever.

If you want a far superior rod in close to the same price range consider the CND expert series. Otherwise get the St. Croix.
 

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Ouch, Gus, please tell us how you REALLY feel!

I have no doubt that those who prefer the slow-action rods will not like the faster TFO's, but are they really that hard to cast? I don't understand the statement, " They load horribly?"

Your statement, " They are difficult for even a skilled caster." is just plain wrong, as I know skilled casters who are really impressed by these rods. And less-skilled casters, ( Like me for instance,) are also able to cast them.

I know that fast two-handers are not everyone's cup 'o tea, but does that mean they are not for everyone????

As a bit of a reference, I don't think the 12'6" TFO is anywhere near as fast as my T & T DH 1208, and even the 1208 is not that awful difficult to cast????
 

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Gus,

Do you mean you don't feel the rod bend all the way to the cork for 50 to 60 ft casts? This is not an indication of a rod not loading properly. It simply indicates the difference between traditional slow, progressive 2-handers and faster 2-handers.

I suppose that the GLX and T&T are telephone poles that cannot be cast.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the jurys still out.

I once heard someone say if you line it right you could spey-cast a pool cue. Probably true but not very much fun.
I think a fast rod is a bit hard to grow into but hard to out grow. Thats why I'm build a T&T 1309 this winter. Overline them a bit to learn and line it right when the basics are learned. At least thats what I think.
It's a done deal and head my way via a friend in PA. Don't look for a report anytime soon, but I will let everyone know how my young friend and the rod make out.
Thanks for everyone's input.
 

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I am just in from a little Christmas Day spey casting here on sunny Cape Cod.

I brought with me, two rods and three reels:

Thomas & Thomas DH 1208-3
Temple Forks 12'6" 8/9-weight

Lines:

Rio Scandinavian head, floating 8/9
SciAngler's Salmon/Spey 8/9, ( Seventy-something foot head)
Rio WindCutter MT Spey, 9/10/11, ( 54' head)

I cast each line, first on one rod, then straight to the other.

My impressions:

Starting with the 44' Scandi head, the T & T definately feels a tad faster, but the line loads and casts just fine on both rods. The rods feel very similar in a side-by-side test, but again, the T & T feels a bit faster. The TFO will spey or overhead this head beautifully, and tight loops are common, ( Even for me.) The rod feels very crisp with this head, and I think rewards my rather short stroke.

The TFO gets more interesting with the SA spey line. You can feel it load more deeply and the delivery is more powerful. The whole head is cast quite easily as the rod feels to have tons of reserve in the butt. The extra length gives the TFO an unfair advantage over the shorter rod with this long head.

With the 9/10/11 WindCutter, you can really feel the rod load deep down between the grips. You can feel a bit of flex between the grips even with the Scandi head, but with this heavier head it is quite pronounced, but still does not feel overloaded. I would call the rod, " Moderate-fast," with this line, but not in any way, " Lumbering," like the St. Croix's I have cast. Very much easier to time the final delivery with this line. Still nice loops with good dampening. ( I didn't bother casting this line with the T & T because I already know that I like the WindCutter 8/9 on that rod.)

Honestly, for a true beginner on a budget, I would heartily recommend trying the TFO 12'6" with the Rio WindCutter 9/10/11 or 8/9/10. If you wanted to do Scandi style, the Rio Scandinavian heads in the 9/10 would probably be the way to go.

As always, your mileage may vary. Try it, you might like it.

Simon Gawesworth's Rio line recommendations for the TFO two-handers can be found here:

http://www.rioproducts.com/pages/speyrecs.asp
 
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