I had a call from a guy today who mentioned this rod. He has several other rods, and has bought another new and highly regarded rod this year. Back in 1990 it won the "Best in Test" title in a test in a Norwegian fishing magazine. The guy who called today said that he had never heard of this rod, had tried it by chance and fell in love. If there was a question as to whether he could buy a new DH1309 or his wife would leave him, he would help her pack her bags!
The 1309 is a great and powerful rod. I think one reason you don't see it mentioned more is it is somewhat of a "tweener" in that for a lot of steelhead applications, the combination of short length and higher line weight does not match up. In other words, the general preference tends towards nine weights in the longer 14-16' lengths. I think it would be a dandy rod though for winter fishing on legderock rivers like the N. Umpqua where long casts aren't the norm and heavy tips are often called for. Also, if you were to match it up for bigger fish like kings or big chum, it will also shine.
I bought this rod about a year ago. I had been fishing it with 8/9/10 WC and tips. I liked it but had a hard time getting a good load on it.
At the Sandy Clave I put a 9/10 Skagit head on it and WOW, 15' standard tips are barely noticeable. T-14 provides a great anchor and casts very easily.
I spent a day on the Clackamas and a day on the Sandy fishing it and found it to be great for covering the water. I did manage to do a steelie on the Sandy about 8 lbs and the rod was a little much for it. An 8 probably would have made for a livelier fight.
I have caught quite a few fish on this rod on the GL's. For steelhead in general it is a bit too powerful for my tastes until you start to hit the 10 - 12 lb range. This makes it a reasonable steelhead rod for Lake Ontarion but it would be too much rod for the average lake Erie fish. On the other hand, I have found it to be a great rod for Chinook. With the skagit line on it now I am looking forward to the fall chinook run to get some big flies down deep with T-14 on this rod.
I'm guessing as I add a few new rods to my collection over the next year or so that this rod will get primarily used for chinook and mid winter conditions with 33 degeree water, to turn heavy set ups over and fish deep in the 70 - 75 foot range. It is a great rod though with a really nice progressive action and a ton of power.
I had a chance to cast the 13' 8 while at the clave and that may be a better choice for the average fish and average casting range.
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