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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering getting myself a trout spey rod. I typically fish small to mid sized rivers that have many different sizes and species most of which are between 2-5 lbs. That being said there are steelhead, salmon that are larger and would test the limits of a 6/7wt single hander. I currently have an 8wt switch when targeting those but want something double handed for the other species but don't want to be undergunned. I would typically be throwing up to size 6 or 8 flies on this rod. Probably skagit with light sink tips or polyleaders. PAnything larger I would be using my switch rod. Does anyone have a Redington Hydrogen 3wt that can comment on if it is a true 3wt or if I should go with something else in a 4 or 5wt instead to make sure I've got my bases covered. I have an opportunity to pick up a Hydrogen 3wt but I'm afraid it would not be enough. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My 2 cents, a rod that casts between 270 and 350 grains - a 4wt, varies by manufacturer.

A very good point. I wish I could afford a Sage but unfortunately its not in the cards right now. The reason I ask about the Redington Hydrogen is because I have a chance to pick up a used 3wt for a reasonable price (around $300 CAD).I believe the Hydrogen grain window is on the lower end of that (Skagit 250-300/Scandi 240-270). So do you suggest staying within that 270-350 grain window?
 

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I find a 4 weight to be the most versatile. A 3 is perfectly suited for use on your 2-5lb fish on size 6-8 flies. A 4 allows you to cast weighted flies and tips if you want, and should be good for fish to 8 lbs. The 5 will still be too small for real salmon/steelhead work, and too much rod for some of your targets.
 

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I'm considering getting myself a trout spey rod. I typically fish small to mid sized rivers that have many different sizes and species most of which are between 2-5 lbs. That being said there are steelhead, salmon that are larger and would test the limits of a 6/7wt single hander. I currently have an 8wt switch when targeting those but want something double handed for the other species but don't want to be undergunned. I would typically be throwing up to size 6 or 8 flies on this rod. Probably skagit with light sink tips or polyleaders. PAnything larger I would be using my switch rod. Does anyone have a Redington Hydrogen 3wt that can comment on if it is a true 3wt or if I should go with something else in a 4 or 5wt instead to make sure I've got my bases covered. I have an opportunity to pick up a Hydrogen 3wt but I'm afraid it would not be enough. TIA.
I've had a hydrogen 3 wt. for a few years now and have found it to be my least favorite of the three 3 wt. trout spey rods I have. It's very soft in the tip. for casting cone head sculpins in the 15 grain weight range you'd be better off with the Loomis imx pro 3 wt, or better yet, have Bob Meiser build one for you. The Loomis is priced in the mid range and the Meiser is a bit more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've had a hydrogen 3 wt. for a few years now and have found it to be my least favorite of the three 3 wt. trout spey rods I have. It's very soft in the tip. for casting cone head sculpins in the 15 grain weight range you'd be better off with the Loomis imx pro 3 wt, or better yet, have Bob Meiser build one for you. The Loomis is priced in the mid range and the Meiser is a bit more expensive.
Thanks for the info from experience. I figured this was the case given the grain windows and from what I have read online. I think if I was going to get a Hydrogen I would have to go up to at least a 4wt. I wish I could afford a Loomis or a Meiser but they are outside my price range right now.
 

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I’ve been using a Dually 2 in 3wt and 5wt for the past couple years. A little light in the top like a hydrogen but work well. I recently went with an OPST 4wt and that seems to be the ticket. I’ve also got a 7wt OPST so my quiver will pretty much be these moving forward.

For the $ the redington rods are great, if you can get a deal on a little higher end rod I would go for it
 

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4wt (324 grain) is the most versatile, for me. I have 3,4, 5s.

And yes, with good technique (use the river), you can land an unplanned steelhead on it
 

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I've used a Hydrogen 3 wt. on smaller rivers for trout up to 20" without a problem. It is a bit softer and is now being replaced with a Greys 10' 3 wt. I had converted to a beautiful little spey rod mostly for dry flies on the far banks. I have a Dually 4 wt. I'm also no longer using though I think the 4 is a better choice than the 3 as an all-around trout spey; will sell it to you for a very very reasonable price. PM incoming
 

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Hi folks,
I have a Hydrogen 3 wt, along with an original Dually 4 wt, and a Beulah Plat 5 wt switch. I got them all for trout spey fishing. When I was trying to make an initial decision about what rod to buy (maybe 5 years ago now) I had the chance to use a a Sage One 3 wt for a day on the Missouri River. The Sage rod was sweet, but at the time the cost pushed me into a lower price point rod, so I purchased the Hydrogen. I paired a Rio Max Short 275 (20ft) head with it, and now am trying a SA Adapt 280 (22 ft integrated head). The distance was just somewhat better with the Rio, mostly I think bc the Amnesia mono running line shot much smoother. Reason I went with an integrated line was the head and mono junction go hung up on the single foot guides of the Hydrogen (the only thing I don't really like about the rod, but the SA line fixes that nicely). With high water, I've recently been throwing a 10 ft MOW tip (7.5 ft T8) and a two streamer rig (size 4-6 sparse streamer flies) with the Adapt. It works, but the rod would prefer 5ft T8 instead.

Weight wise - my Hydrogen 3 weighs in at 3.9 ounces.

I've landed all flavors and sizes of trout on the Hydrogen, including up to a 28 inch bull trout. It's fun with a 11 inch trout and exciting with a monster (I had no doubts about the rod's ability to handle that large bull). The 2-5 lb fish in your river will be very fun on that rod.

That was a cool video of the Sage HD technology. In the video, Marcus was hucking some nice casts and tight loops. My loops not so much. But, in my case I suspect it's more the caster's fault and not the rod's, lol! A question to ask yourself - is max distance with a trout spey all that important? IMHO, not as much as presentation is - and it's easier to manage the presentation with a shorter cast. The Hydrogen will cast fare enough.

The Hydrogen 3 wt will certainly get you well into the game for short money. And if you don't like it or wish to trade up, the Hydrogen 3 wt seems to have a bit of a cult following, so you could find a buyer fairly easily.
 

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Interesting to see the comments from others, I think the hydrogen 11’ 3wt is stiff compared to other 3wt trout speys that I own/fished.

I would encourage you to not think in terms of “weights” or fish size with trout spey, but rather fishing style and fly preference. From a grain perspective these rods all accommodate more grains than 6-8wt+ single hand lines and more than capable of catching any trout in the lower 48.

Grain window is best determined by the fly you would like to throw. Big conehead bunny flies are getting into the upper limit of most 3wts but with a short very compact skagit like the old Rio trout max or Opst it’s doable. I prefer to fish midsized streamers and soft hackles on a scandi line with an intermediate tip and thus almost always fish a 3wt trout spey regardless of river type or fish size.

I think the 3 wt hydrogen is a great rod for the price.

Big brown and bunny fly + T8 on the hydrogen 3wt
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi folks,
I have a Hydrogen 3 wt, along with an original Dually 4 wt, and a Beulah Plat 5 wt switch. I got them all for trout spey fishing. When I was trying to make an initial decision about what rod to buy (maybe 5 years ago now) I had the chance to use a a Sage One 3 wt for a day on the Missouri River. The Sage rod was sweet, but at the time the cost pushed me into a lower price point rod, so I purchased the Hydrogen. I paired a Rio Max Short 275 (20ft) head with it, and now am trying a SA Adapt 280 (22 ft integrated head). The distance was just somewhat better with the Rio, mostly I think bc the Amnesia mono running line shot much smoother. Reason I went with an integrated line was the head and mono junction go hung up on the single foot guides of the Hydrogen (the only thing I don't really like about the rod, but the SA line fixes that nicely). With high water, I've recently been throwing a 10 ft MOW tip (7.5 ft T8) and a two streamer rig (size 4-6 sparse streamer flies) with the Adapt. It works, but the rod would prefer 5ft T8 instead.

Weight wise - my Hydrogen 3 weighs in at 3.9 ounces.

I've landed all flavors and sizes of trout on the Hydrogen, including up to a 28 inch bull trout. It's fun with a 11 inch trout and exciting with a monster (I had no doubts about the rod's ability to handle that large bull). The 2-5 lb fish in your river will be very fun on that rod.

That was a cool video of the Sage HD technology. In the video, Marcus was hucking some nice casts and tight loops. My loops not so much. But, in my case I suspect it's more the caster's fault and not the rod's, lol! A question to ask yourself - is max distance with a trout spey all that important? IMHO, not as much as presentation is - and it's easier to manage the presentation with a shorter cast. The Hydrogen will cast fare enough.

The Hydrogen 3 wt will certainly get you well into the game for short money. And if you don't like it or wish to trade up, the Hydrogen 3 wt seems to have a bit of a cult following, so you could find a buyer fairly easily.
How do you find the original Dually 4wt? I had someone on the forum offer me one for a very reasonable price. Or would you prefer the Hydrogen 3wt? That is a pretty sweet Brown Trout right there!(y)
 

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How do you find the original Dually 4wt? I had someone on the forum offer me one for a very reasonable price. Or would you prefer the Hydrogen 3wt? That is a pretty sweet Brown Trout right there!(y)
I honestly don't have much experience with the Dually 4 wt. It came to me after I got the Hydrogen, and frankly I always grab the Hydrogen. I'm planning on trying out.

And, that is indeed a very nice brown that thegreydrake posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting to see the comments from others, I think the hydrogen 11’ 3wt is stiff compared to other 3wt trout speys that I own/fished.

I would encourage you to not think in terms of “weights” or fish size with trout spey, but rather fishing style and fly preference. From a grain perspective these rods all accommodate more grains than 6-8wt+ single hand lines and more than capable of catching any trout in the lower 48.

Grain window is best determined by the fly you would like to throw. Big conehead bunny flies are getting into the upper limit of most 3wts but with a short very compact skagit like the old Rio trout max or Opst it’s doable. I prefer to fish midsized streamers and soft hackles on a scandi line with an intermediate tip and thus almost always fish a 3wt trout spey regardless of river type or fish size.

I think the 3 wt hydrogen is a great rod for the price.

Big brown and bunny fly + T8 on the hydrogen 3wt
View attachment 399612
Sweet Brown Right There(y)
 

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I have a Sage One 3110 and a TCX 5119. I'd like to enjoy the 3110 but I find myself fish the 5119 more.

Fish size is not the no.1 deciding factor for me, but more important, fly size, casting distance, and wind.

With the 3110 I could only cast to 70~80' at best, maybe my casting skill is poor, and a little head wind would kill the distance significantly.

5119, 90~100', pretty easy, and handle wind better.

You could land a pretty big fish if you fish a reel with proper drag with enough backing. Even a 3wt trout spey, it is equivalent to a 6wt single hand rod.

Best of both world, and if you plan to get only one rod. I'd suggest a 4wt trout spey. In the future you could get a 7wt for Steelhead and Salmon purpose.
 

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Interesting to see the comments from others, I think the hydrogen 11’ 3wt is stiff compared to other 3wt trout speys that I own/fished.
I think you may be right about the overall stiffness of the hydrogen.

In the picture below I've hung an identical forceps from the tips of the hydrogen 3wt. and the Meiser 3wt. 5 piece (both the same length) to demonstrate the difference in the tip stiffness. As you can see, the tip section of the closer rod (Hydrogen) is much softer than the other 3 wt rod (Meiser). I think the difference is that the hydrogen may be stiffer in the lower sections. Since the Meiser is a five piece, there is no objective way for me to remove the top section of both rods and repeat the test, however, in looking further down the two rods with the weighs attached, that appears to be the case.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think you may be right about the overall stiffness of the hydrogen.

In the picture below I've hung an identical forceps from the tips of the hydrogen 3wt. and the Meiser 3wt. 5 piece (both the same length) to demonstrate the difference in the tip stiffness. As you can see, the tip section of the closer rod (Hydrogen) is much softer than the other 3 wt rod (Meiser). I think the difference is that the hydrogen may be stiffer in the lower sections. Since the Meiser is a five piece, there is no objective way for me to remove the top section of both rods and repeat the test, however, in looking further down the two rods with the weighs attached, that appears to be the case.

View attachment 399639
That is interesting. I would imagine that the softer tip would lend itself better at casting lighter flies and using lighter scandi heads for better presentation? This would obviously present as a limiting factor when it comes to skagit heads as you will likely reach the upper limit sooner on those heads. Please correct me if i'm wrong. I read a rod review comparison as the Hydrogen was rating right in the middle when compared to other rods. The Sage trout spey took top marks in the comparison. The review did say that it performed pretty well with skagit heads but not so much with scandi, however that seemed to be the trend with all of the trout spey outfits.
 

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That is interesting. I would imagine that the softer tip would lend itself better at casting lighter flies and using lighter scandi heads for better presentation? This would obviously present as a limiting factor when it comes to skagit heads as you will likely reach the upper limit sooner on those heads. Please correct me if i'm wrong. I read a rod review comparison as the Hydrogen was rating right in the middle when compared to other rods. The Sage trout spey took top marks in the comparison. The review did say that it performed pretty well with skagit heads but not so much with scandi, however that seemed to be the trend with all of the trout spey outfits.
It would be interesting to get Bob Meiser in on this conversation. I think his rods typically have stiffer tips and softer lower shafts that flex into the cork. I find it easier to cast tight loops without much overhang on his rods than on the sage rods with the possible exception of the tcx's. My Burkheimer 7 wt. also uses the soft lower and stiffer tip approach--perhaps a little softer lower than I'd usually expect (makes them sweet scandi rods).

It's interesting that Sage had stiff tips on the TCX series and went maybe a little far on the One series to soften them up. I don't know what the subsequent Sage generations have done with regard to flex. While I didn't believe it at the time, I now think that the Sage one switch was a step backwards from the TCX switch if ease of casing tight loops matters. I think a lot of us were just getting into the spey world when the TCX came out and when the One came out a few years later, it forced us to learn to slow way down--a good thing that applies to most rods and would have taken the tcx to another level if I had applied that lesson. Instead, I put those rods in the closet for all these years and am now very glad that I didn't sell them.
 
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