Re: after much decision...echo I went
I am in no position to educate you but I can give you some advice...Call echo. Talk to them about flylines and styles of casting.
And go with their recommendations.
If you are new to 2H rods and casting, the wisest thing you can do is stick with a known quantity esp. while learning. The rods have been designed and tested...they weren't grown and harvested in the wild. The head/line weights that are recommended are known to work well, maybe even excellently, with the rods. If you are having trouble casting those lines, it has little or nothing to do with the rod or the line or what you think you want to feel, and everything to do with learning to cast.
Let me tell you a story that illustrates the point.
I began fly fishing at about 13 (I'm now 67) and over the course of years I got good enough casting a single handed rod that I could throw the whole 90' WF line and several feet of backing out the rod tip guide. I taught casting for my FFF club and I gave demonstrations of casting a flyline without any rod--barehanded, IOW.
When I began with the 2H rod, I bought a 7wt Beulah Platinum switch. And I loaded it with a Rio Short 425gr. That's what the good folks at Beulah recommended. But even so, I admit I was struggling.
To make matters worse, I started reading all these recommendations to just "do your own thing"--folks advocating putting ridiculously heavy heads on this rod, ostensibly because it helped them to "feel" the load. And justifying it with comments about "grain windows." Maybe the specs were wrong. How could someone who was as good a caster as I had been be so out to sea? I started "looking for love in all the wrong places."
Now I'm not saying that there is no such thing as a grain window. Or that overloading the rod won't allow you to feel the rod. Or that you cannot cast with a line 100 grains heavier than recommended.
But what happened to me was that I started questioning the line weight and the rod rather than focusing on what was really the issue--my own casting stroke. Even though my goal was to learn spey casting I was trying to cast the rod like you'd cast a single handed rod--upper hand dominant, with little or no regard for what my lower hand was doing.
Once you start questioning the rod and the specs recommended for it, you lose the ability to learn. Simply because you don't have faith in your equipment. Again, the rods were designed to cast properly with the specified lines. The only variable in the equation is you.
Maybe somewhere down the line...once you've learned to cast the 2H rod properly with the lines it was designed to work with...you will decide to go to a heavier or lighter line.
But to start with, the better part of wisdom is to keep it simple, work within known parameters and concentrate on what is unknown--your casting stroke, IOW.
Take lessons if you can. It will work. You will get it. And in the end you will be happy you took this approach.
Last edited by MacSuibhne; 02-05-2013 at 10:14 AM.