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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently looking for a smaller summer salmon spey rod that won't break the bank balance. I want something between 13-14ft to fish a an 8-9wt. I do prefer a medium-fast progressive action rod.

Would be interested to hear feedback on :

Redington Redfly v Loop Blue

or any other good recommendations.

cheers
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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As a representative for Nobuo and our sponsor CND, I would be remiss to not mention the Expert 13' 8/9 for $325 USD or the slightly faster Custom 13' 8/9 for $425 as good options in that price and power. Also in the upper echalon is the Skagit Specialist at 13' 8" 9wt which has a super-smooth action providing finesse on the upper taper with surprising reserve power in the lower blank.

Aside from any associations with CND I am personally a big fan of the 13ft 8/9 for a general purpose fishing tool. It's quite versatile for a variety of situations on the river.

Our other sponsors provide great rods in this size and power as well, check out the sponsor page for links to homepages and product information.

Good luck with your choice.
 

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storlaks

Keep your eyes open for a slightly used Scott ARC 1409.

Some people don't like the action of the rod and sell their new ARC after a few uses. You can pick one up for about $350 to $400.

Put a Grandspey 7/8 floating line on the rod, and you will have an incredible rod/ line combo.

The rod is easier to cast than my Sage 7141 or 10151. It works very well with a long furled leader, either floating or sinking.

Even a crippled old goat like me can cast the full head of the GS7/8 with the 13' to 15' furled leaders.

Just be sure to wax and tape the ferrules. They really move around with the GS.

The rod will rip the Rio sinking tips out of fast water as well as the floating tip on the GS 7/8.

The other alternative is to have Bob Meiser build you one of his new ocean rods and get a spey tip as well as the ocean shore casting tip. I have one coming my way, and it will be my summer salmon rod, winter salmon rod, winter steelhead rod and of course my coastal rod. You can stand on the shore and boom fast sinking striper lines 90' into the river or do a spey cast with an appropriate spey line. It will replace my Sage 10151. Meise's new ocean rod is about 5 times easier for me to cast than the 10151. Also, at 13'6", the fish have less leverage than with a longer rod like the 10151.
 

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I have cast both of these rods and like them both. The only difference that I found was that the Loop felt a little heavier in the tip but casting performance was about the same. Finish on the Redington is not quite as good as the Loop but here in BC it is about half the price
 

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mjyp

"Split the difference and pick up one of Meiz's 13'6" 8/9."

Yep, this is another great rod by Meiz. I had the pleasure of casting it a few weeks ago.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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The Redington is a bargain at its price of $250.00 U.S. and a very nice medium-fast rod if you line the with a line one size smaller than the rod's rating. The cosmetics on the Redinton are not the best though at its price, who cares, it is a fine casting rod.

Meiser makes some very nice medium-fast rods in the 13' to 14' length.

The CND Expert and Custom that Juro mentioned are very nice rods, although they are a bit on the slow side of medium. The CND Skagit Specialist is a very nice medium-action rod, although it does cost more than the Loop Blue.

The Loop Blue 9132 or 9140 are both very nice medium-fast rods.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guys, thanks for the feedback. I've just looked through my Trout and Salmon magazines and found a review of smaller double handers from last summer. Now this review doesn't cover all Mfg models, but it's a good cross section. Funnily enough the Loop Blue comes out top of my kind of price range. The sage, T&T and B&W parabolic come out top of all, but I can't justify that kind of money for a rod which I won't fish too often.

The Redington got an OK review. The casters were uninspired with this rod, although it did seem to do the job required.

The other rods, like CND, Meiser etc were not tested. To be honest, I'm being slowly drawn towards the loop...... size is perfect, action is what I'm used to and prefer and it's a reasonable price. The CND, from the feedback , seems to be a slower action than I want. Meiser is a bit too expensive.

Who are the good Loop dealers in US?

thanks
 

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CND 1308SP-custom (works very well with 7/8 midspey or 7/8/9 windcutter ) is more medium-fast rod. This rod WILL NOT bend all the way to the cork, and is very progressive.
Redington is quite fast, stouter rod ( you need 8/9 midspey ) and not as progressive as CND.
You will not be disappointed with 1308 SP-Custom.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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The LOOP is an excellent choice and Meiser's heirloom rods are exceptional works of art, I will own one myself someday soon. 7141 Sage is another very good in this class, in fact we are lucky to have such great choices at our disposal.

But to say CND Custom rods are "slow" is relative, in fact as far as spey action goes the IM7 Graphite used on Custom series rods is not slow but surprisingly powerful for the weight and smooth loading action it provides. Some even call it "fast", it's all relative to how you like to send your line out there for the serious business of river fishing.

CND rods are specifically designed for spey casting where the lift and sweep load progressively down the blank to maximize the energy held within to transfer energy into the d-loop in a very stable and easy motion. The taper then allows the forward stroke to push the energy deep into the blank for split second until the high modulus materials retailates and produces the effortless casting that is spey casting, IMHO.

Maximizing the efficiency of the mechanics of spey casting means comfortably working 12 hour days on the river if desired. Casters who prefer and master this approach do not compromise distance for comfort, they simply use the tool more effectively to cover more water with little physical stress. This to me is the profound value of spey casting that has lasted thru the centuries. It does not and should not require arm strength to cast beautifully, and therein lies the advantage of rods (regardless of brand) that are designed this way.

True that they are not as stiff or stout in the lower half of the rod as Flytyer likes them to be for his extended belly line aerial display, but they are certainly not in any way soft and the action is very specifically "spey" with a good well of reserve power. I like stiff two-handers for throwing heavy short heads overhand on the beach for saltwater gamefish but when spey casting I prefer getting in tune to a traditional action with high-modulus materials to provide the zip.

CND rods are all about letting the rod do the work, not the arms and shoulders. But with his mandrel design expertise Nobuo strives to balance the traditional actions with modern aerospace materials like the IM8 graphite in the Specialist (& Atlantis) series.

People have their preferences, so all rod makes and models are wonderful to someone. We're lucky to have a veritable cornucopia of spey casting rods at our disposal in the market today!
 

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Peter,

Perhaps we should talk in term of how stiff and powerful the rod is along with how far down the blank it bends with a mid-length cast. This would give much more information about a rod than the very subjective terms slow/medium/fast.

Anyone who knows me or has hung out here for a while knows that I like rather stiff, powerful rods that bend furthur down the blank as casting load increases for casts with more than 70 ft of a long-belly GS or XLT, whether a heavy line rod or a light line rod. A very good friend and excellent spey caster doesn't like rods as stiff or powerful as I, he prefers a medium-stiff rod that has reserve power in its butt. He likes to feel the rod bend furthur down the blank without having to really put to muscle to it to bend the butt. Another very close friend prefers a rod with a little stiffness but with enough butt power to be able to make 90 ft casts with a mid-belly line.

Notice that none of the three of us like or use a noodle; but that each of us has very different preferences in rod stiffness, power, and rod bend under load.

For example, the T&T's, GLX's and Loop Greens that I like are pretty stiff, powerful rods that require quite a bit of power to be applied to bend to the cork under casting. The CND Thompson Specialist is a moderately stiff rod with a somewhat stiff and powerful butt that bends to the mid-point of a bit furthur under all but the most powerful casts. The Meiser FES is a bit less than medium stiff rod with a medium power in the butt that flexes about 3/4 of the way down the blank under even moderate casts. However, the FES has enough reserve power in its butt to power out long casts without collapsing when enough power is applied to bend it into the cork when casting.

Which one of these actions is best? simple, the one you like best. Which one of best for casting long-belly lines? again, the one with the power and stiffness you like best. I like stiff and powerful rods, so? They simply allow me to put a lot of power into a cast, which I do because my prefered spey casting style uses both arms, shoulders, wrists, and hands to power the cast. A combination of a rapid underhand pull with the lower hand and top hand push, and the stiff rods allow me to do this without overloading the rod or creating tip-bounce.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Max -

Sorry first time at on line in days. Serious 'field testing' :D

I will email later,

tight lines
 

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flytyer

I think that you have nailed down the other parameter of two handed rods.

Orvis has come the closest with this re their ads and listing of rod flex.

When your rod descriptions/classes are combined with the weight loading range with a rod will make our choices a lot easier re the rod and then the line/lines to go with it.

Everytime I cast my new ARC1409 with the GS 7/8 (with tips), I say thank you for recommending this combination.

My Sage 7141 works with the GS7/8, but to me is more tiring and difficult to use. It is obvious I prefer the ARC and Meiser's Spey Rod actions for my not too great casting styles.

Thanks for all of the real advise you share with us new bees to the two handed rod world.
 

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Grandpa,

You're welcome.

For the reasons you stated, I have started to talk in terms of stiffness, power, and recovery rate when describing rods. It provides a very understandable and far less subjective way to describe rod action.

The reason the GS 7/8 is tiring on the Sage 7141 is that it overloads the rod and results in having a "heavy feel" when casting beyond 50-55 feet of line. The same thing that happens with me T&T 1510 with the 9/10 GS or my T&T 1611 with the 10/11 GS, or my 13' 8/9 GLX with the 8/9 GS. If I drop one line size with each of these admittedly stiff, powerful, fast recovery rods, the heaviness disappears and they then have the nice fast-action I like.

The same dropping of a line size with the GS works with nearly all 2-handers. Your ARC 1409 is an 8/9 rod, which means dropping a size puts the 7/8 GS as the GS to use with it. And yes, you ARC 1409 is a moderately stiff, somewhat powerful, medium-fast recovery rod that has a slower, easier loading casting stroke than your Sage 7141, which is moderately stiff, powerful, fast-recovery rod. Two very different actions and feels when casting.
 
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