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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going on a guided trip to Skeena in Sept for steelhead and coho. I'm getting prepared early because I'm fairly new to spey fishing and I need more practice. I only have a 11' 4wt TFO deer creek for trout and 11'9" 8wt Redington dually switch for salmon/steelhead. I assume I'll need at least one more full size spey rod for the trip. 13'6" 7wt maybe? Do you guys have any recommendations on what gear and how I should prepare for the trip? I don't really want to a high end setup because I probably won't use it much in my home water which is smaller rivers, unless I can find a really good deal. Thanks.
 

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have not fished the Skeena much but from what I remember a lot of those fish are really close to the bank so a switch may not be a bad choice. Would even consider bringing a single hander if you already have one.
 

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I'm sure that there will be many chime in with the opposite opinion but unless you were concentrating solely on the Bulkley/Morice, I would go armed with an 8 weight. I have fished and caught fish on the Copper with a 13' for 7 but for it and most other Skeena tribs, the backbone of an 8 is nice to have. This includes the Skeena itself that has big, fresh and strong fish in it headed for the Kispiox, Sustut and Babine.
 

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Go with a solid 8wt as you have a choice of what to purchase now. I've taken a 13'4" 7wt but I felt undergunned and we owe it to the fish to play them quickly and then release.

All Skeena tribs are capable of producing 20+lb fish (even the Morice, Copper, etc.).

Leave the 4wt at home. The switch is okay for smaller tribs but you'll likely want something 8 wt and 13'+ to reach further lies on the larger rivers.

Last few years even the mainstem Skeena had fish travelling up the middle of the river so short casts were not possible. In such situations we were actually chucking 10-15' of T-17 so 13-15' rods in 8wt or higher with Skagit heads was the ticket. If there's a high snowpack this winter and flows are stronger, yes, fish will be travelling close to shore.

Good luck and enjoy your time.
 

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Natepolean,

A 13' 7 wt Spey will play and land any steelhead on the planet, as safely and quickly as is humanly possible. And 8 wt would also be nice, and I have a couple. I don't use them much, partly because my 7 wts are lighter in action and feel, and because 95% of the steelhead I catch are not large. And even if they were, I'd probably stick with my CND 13' 4" 7 wt or the Sage 7136.

Steelhead are the most over-rated gamefish in the world, or at least on the internet. For all the reading about giant trophy steelhead, one might expect that they are all large and all perform like wahoo, giant trevally, or at least like tarpon. They aren't and they don't. Use a heavy enough leader tippet and you can land 20 pound steelhead on a single hand 5 wt. You're gonna' hook more fish under 10 pounds than over. For all those storied Kispiox steelhead of 20 and 30 pounds, something is driving the average weight of fish in the system down to 13 or 14.

Your 8 wt Redington Dually might be all the rod you need or want. I'm not sure how far that rod casts. Friends have the 6 and 7 wt Dually Spey rods (12' 6" & 13') and I find them too tippy. If you find yourself on the Buckley or Skeena, you'll probably be more comfortable with a rod and line that reaches out 70 or 80' with little effort.

Sg
 

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Natepolean,

A 13' 7 wt Spey will play and land any steelhead on the planet, as safely and quickly as is humanly possible. And 8 wt would also be nice, and I have a couple. I don't use them much, partly because my 7 wts are lighter in action and feel, and because 95% of the steelhead I catch are not large. And even if they were, I'd probably stick with my CND 13' 4" 7 wt or the Sage 7136.

Steelhead are the most over-rated gamefish in the world, or at least on the internet. For all the reading about giant trophy steelhead, one might expect that they are all large and all perform like wahoo, giant trevally, or at least like tarpon. They aren't and they don't. Use a heavy enough leader tippet and you can land 20 pound steelhead on a single hand 5 wt. You're gonna' hook more fish under 10 pounds than over. For all those storied Kispiox steelhead of 20 and 30 pounds, something is driving the average weight of fish in the system down to 13 or 14.

Your 8 wt Redington Dually might be all the rod you need or want. I'm not sure how far that rod casts. Friends have the 6 and 7 wt Dually Spey rods (12' 6" & 13') and I find them too tippy. If you find yourself on the Buckley or Skeena, you'll probably be more comfortable with a rod and line that reaches out 70 or 80' with little effort.

Sg
I agree with Sg, your 8wt Dually switch will be just fine. If you do want another rod, I would go with a good 7wt, like a Sage or Winston with a good backbone. You will use a 7wt more, therefore get more practice, and cast it better.

I recently casted a Dually 13'6" 8wt, I was helping a man that brought one down to the river last week and was having a hard time with it (new to spey casting). So while I was giving a few pointers, I was casting it. I gotta tell ya, after a half hour and 20-25 casts, I was ready to give it back to the man and said good luck. That piece of lumber, even if I used it on 1 trip, would sit and collect dust the rest of the year. It was a taxiing rod to use.

The only fish I would not target with a 7wt, would be a King. But other than that, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 7 on any river for Coho or Steelhead. Hell, my backup winter steelhead rod is a Winston Boron III 12'6" 6wt. There are a few guys that use it as there primary rod for winter steel. But it is a strong 6wt.

Sorry for rambling. :D

Good luck in your search!

Avio
 

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Guided Trip

I'm going on a guided trip to Skeena in Sept for steelhead and coho. I'm getting prepared early because I'm fairly new to spey fishing and I need more practice. I only have a 11' 4wt TFO deer creek for trout and 11'9" 8wt Redington dually switch for salmon/steelhead. I assume I'll need at least one more full size spey rod for the trip. 13'6" 7wt maybe? Do you guys have any recommendations on what gear and how I should prepare for the trip? I don't really want to a high end setup because I probably won't use it much in my home water which is smaller rivers, unless I can find a really good deal. Thanks.
Check with your guide they may have a good price on some of their preferred sticks. I would also consider that 14' 7/8 TFO DC combo in the classified section, great price hopefully he will ship it north of the border.

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=157865

Grant
 

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Consider that the length and wt of the rod you use may depend more on the line, sink tip, and size of fly you will be swinging rather than the size of the fish hooked. Very few fish on the Skeena (or any other river) can over power a 6/7 wt spey. But 5 or 6 hours casting 16 ft of t-14 and a brightly colored canary size fly on a 12' 6" 7wt will be much more challenging than rolling the same heavy stuff with a 14' 8wt. Talk to your guide, he will be best qualified to help you with rod selection.
 

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as I mentioned your 8 wt switch may be all you need. Likely the guide will have rods to use so if this is a one time thing it may not make sense to buy a new rod
 

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I agree that the DC 7/8 would be a good outfit

At the current price point, I think you'd have everything you'd ever need. As pointed out, the choice of line and tips may be the key to catching/handling fish on your current rod. The 4 wt would be of little value as a backup, but the Deer Creek 7/8 and the 8 wt switch would complement each other well.
 

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Natepolean,

A 13' 7 wt Spey will play and land any steelhead on the planet, as safely and quickly as is humanly possible. And 8 wt would also be nice, and I have a couple. I don't use them much, partly because my 7 wts are lighter in action and feel, and because 95% of the steelhead I catch are not large. And even if they were, I'd probably stick with my CND 13' 4" 7 wt or the Sage 7136.

Steelhead are the most over-rated gamefish in the world, or at least on the internet. For all the reading about giant trophy steelhead, one might expect that they are all large and all perform like wahoo, giant trevally, or at least like tarpon. They aren't and they don't. Use a heavy enough leader tippet and you can land 20 pound steelhead on a single hand 5 wt. You're gonna' hook more fish under 10 pounds than over. For all those storied Kispiox steelhead of 20 and 30 pounds, something is driving the average weight of fish in the system down to 13 or 14.

Your 8 wt Redington Dually might be all the rod you need or want. I'm not sure how far that rod casts. Friends have the 6 and 7 wt Dually Spey rods (12' 6" & 13') and I find them too tippy. If you find yourself on the Buckley or Skeena, you'll probably be more comfortable with a rod and line that reaches out 70 or 80' with little effort.

Sg
LOL......you use a heavy enough leader and tippet, you could land a 28lb Thomson sea bright bullet on a 3-weight. It will be dead by the time it hits the beach but whatever. You will have one hell of a hero story......:roll:

Better to be over-gunned than under. I fish that system with a 14' 9# but I like bigger heavier rods. I'm sure an 8# would do the trick. Speaking of, its my belief that 7# and 8# of today, are pretty much the 9# and 10# of yesteryear. The fast action higher end rods, built today, in my mind anyway, are bigger sticks than they used to be.

Just get a rod that will land the fish quickly and still alive to fight another day.....:)
 

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Steelheadfreak,

Perhaps you've never seen the video clip of Lee Wulff casting, hooking, playing, and landing an Atlantic salmon of about 12 pounds using the tip section of a 3-piece 9' bamboo fly rod. He did so in about the same amount of time you'd expect to do it using the entire 9' rod. It's the angler, not the rod.

I have absolutely no reason to think a 28# T steelhead would be dead by the time I landed it (should I be so lucky to hook it!) regardless of the rod used to play it on. I decide how hard to pull from my end. The rod mainly cushions the rapid and extreme pulling coming from the other end, so yes, the rod serves a valuable (especially when using barbless hooks), but not totally necessary, purpose.

I completely agree that it's better to be somewhat over-gunned than under. That is probably why I leave my 5 wt Spey south of the border.

Sg
 

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A 13' 7 wt Spey will play and land any steelhead on the planet, as safely and quickly as is humanly possible.

Did it work well for you on the lower Skeena with fresh out of salt Steelheads too ? , specially when water temps are not to high.
 

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Sazan,

Don't get me wrong. Steelheading is my favorite fishing. That said, steelhead are still the most over-rated gamefish on the internet and in the real world too. I've landed permit on a single hand 8 wt and tarpon on a single hand 10 wt. I predict that I would land fresh out of the salt Skeena steelhead and have landed fresh out of the salt Dean steelhead just as quickly on my 7 wt Spey and I would on either of my 8 wts or 10 wt Spey rods.

I admit, some people have said that I play fish hard. I think I just pull hard, and if the fish wants line, it has to pull harder than I do. Once, and this was long ago with a single hand fiberglass 8 wt, my fishing partner asked, what was I trying to do? Break their neck? I do love hooking hot steelhead, but come on, they ain't all that.

Sg
 

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Sazan,

Don't get me wrong. Steelheading is my favorite fishing. That said, steelhead are still the most over-rated gamefish on the internet and in the real world too. I've landed permit on a single hand 8 wt and tarpon on a single hand 10 wt. I predict that I would land fresh out of the salt Skeena steelhead and have landed fresh out of the salt Dean steelhead just as quickly on my 7 wt Spey and I would on either of my 8 wts or 10 wt Spey rods.

I admit, some people have said that I play fish hard. I think I just pull hard, and if the fish wants line, it has to pull harder than I do. Once, and this was long ago with a single hand fiberglass 8 wt, my fishing partner asked, what was I trying to do? Break their neck? I do love hooking hot steelhead, but come on, they ain't all that.

Sg
Sounds like you have more experience playing fish than most. Its amazing what you can do even with 2 pounds of drag tension. Most people never even comprehend what their tackle is capable of.
 

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That said, steelhead are still the most over-rated gamefish on the internet and in the real world too.
Sg
Amen.
My comparison is deer hunting of today and of old. A 30-30 Win used to be all you needed for deer hunting. Now on the hunting boards, and out in the woods, everyone proclaims they need to use a 338 ultra mag, because bigger is better, and it kills them faster. This is obviously a line of bull.

The same can be said about steelheading. A 7wt will break 10lbs maxima leader just as quick as an 8wt. The only reason for an 8wt in steelheading, it to throw bigger tips and flies. That said, I would rather throw smaller flies and tips and throw a 7wt(or practice throwing the bigger stuff), as most 8wts are just plain tiring to cast all day.

Just my 0.02:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the replies, seems like it's split down the middle between 7wt vs 8 wt. If the limiting factor is the tippet, then I'd prefer a lighter setup like 7wt. My question is then, if I get a 13'6" 7wt, does it allow me to cast heavier tip, flies and farther than what I have already 11'9" 8wt, because the line grain weight for the two rods might be very close? I'm already using 550 skagit on the 8wt switch because the Dually is a fully flex rod.
 

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Amen.
My comparison is deer hunting of today and of old. A 30-30 Win used to be all you needed for deer hunting. Now on the hunting boards, and out in the woods, everyone proclaims they need to use a 338 ultra mag, because bigger is better, and it kills them faster. This is obviously a line of bull.
Were in agreement on one thing ;)

Venerable 30-30 was more like all that was available or the misconstrued accepted norm. It's actually pretty poor Deer caliber for other than Swedish Roe.
 
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