Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion
A 250 & 300 grain head seems to be standard for faster action 8 weight rods. Rio rates their density compensated fly lines at 300 grain for 8&9 weights, 250 grains for 7&8 weights, 200 grains for 6&7 weights, and 150 grains for 5&6 weight rods.
A 300 grain line overpowered a one of my medium/fast 8 weight rods. A single handed spey cast / roll cast would have been the only way for me to throw a 300 grain line with my 8 weight. Aeralizing a 300 grain line would have been ugly, however the 250 grain line worked nicely. I imagine a 250 grain would be more representative across a broad spectrum of 8 weights, while allowing distance casting.
On narrower rivers, a 300 grain sink tip would work best out of a drift boat so the line isn't aerilized over a guide's head. It isn't necessarily that the rod can't cast a heavier sink tip. I think the shootout expected each rod to not only cast a sink tip, but also achieve a certain distance. I am sure that faster action rods like the Hardy ProAxis, Sage Xi3, and any of the Loomis rods could have handled a heavier tip nicely. I am assuming that when Yellowstone Angler uses a sink tip, it is to probe larger rivers, while many who fish in Michigan use a heavier grain to get a streamer down as fast as possible in a narrower river utilizing roll casts instead of double hauls and false casts.