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Old 12-08-2011, 09:29 PM
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Default Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

Hey everyone, new to the forums but I'm part of a few other forums for a few more of my hobbies.
I'm looking at a few 10' 7 or 8 weight fly rods for salmon and steelhead fishing Lake Ontario tributaries, as well as kayak fishing for bass, but I want the rod to shine on the single hand spey/roll casts used on Salmon and Steelhead.

So far what I've gotten off people I fish with and friendly shop owners is that heavy sink tips or split shot and double taper lines are the way to go. Considering the weight I'll be throwing, and the not so long casting distances, I'm planning on overlining the rod by 1 with a double taper line.

I really have no idea which rod to pick which is where I'd love some advice. I know I want it to be fast and lightweight (what every rod claims to be).

Please note, the limit is 400, every $ under gets extra points if it casts well.

Red truck diesel 10' 7 weight
Sage Flight 10' 7 weight
Scott A4 7 or 8 weight 10'
St. Croix 7 or 8 weight 10'
Orivs Access 7 or 8 weight 10'
Winston VSL 7 weight 10'
G Loomis Pro4x 7 or 8 weight 10'
Echo Ion 8 weight 10'
Redington
Voyant, RS4, CPX
all 7 weight 10'

I've had little to no experience with most of these rod makers and unfortunately can't cast a large number of these before I buy so any good things or bad things to say about them would be greatly appreciated, or any other rod or reel recommendations that you've found to be good for King and Chrome

Thanks in advance - Alec
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

I have had St Croix, Scott, GLoomis, Reddington, Orvis and Echo(had an Ion 10' 7wt and it was way too heavy), now just St Croix and Scott(and an old Lamiglass). Out of all of them my Scott's are my favorite, attention to detail, great action(I have an A3, S4, and 2 S3s rods), and they'r made in America(like most of the rods you listed). I haven't tried the A4 but you can find great deals on the A3 online and tey're great rods, I realy like my 908-4. If it were me I'd go for the A3 or A4, as a matter of fact I almost just picked up a A3 956-4 but went with the S4 instead.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

I'm not intimately or personally familiar with any of the rods you've mentioned, but I think I can add some value to your post. First off, if you are fishing Ontario Trib, I wouldn't go with anything less than an 8wt. If you are fishing salmon a good bit, you may even find that to be a bit light. An 8 should be adequate for most steel that you'll run into but Ontario fish are big.

My local shop sells the heck out of the Echo Ion rods. Great price and value, lifetime warranty and under $200. I've heard great things about these rods. The others I'd encourage you to look at are the Access and the Scott A3 or A4. As mentioned, A3's are on closeout so you may be able to score one of those. The Access seems to be getting rave reviews for the price point, performance and quality of the rod. Orvis has a 25 year guarantee on this one and their customer service is very good. TFO is another company to look at. 10ft rods in an 8wt seem to be fairly limited unless you go over the $400 range. I'm a big fan of Sage rods, you may also want to poke around for a Z Axis 8wt on closeout, they make those in a 10ft version, but just a little over your budget. You'd have no problem selling that if you ever felt the need to.

Good luck, let us know what you end up with.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

i have a scierra xd 10' 7 weight that i absolutely love. scierra is a euro brand that i'm not sure is readily available here in the US. great rod (3 piece w/ tube and sock), and i think i paid less than a hundred from an auction.
kind of a weird option, but one to consider
good luck on your search!


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Old 12-09-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

Caseywise - how is the action on it? I am very much a fan of fast action rods so I am a little hesitant to try lower end graphite rods.

I've also heard great things about the Access, and Echo, but not much about the Scott. I know of a local shop back home that sells Scott so I'll have to give those a wiggle (college student).

As an edit to my first post, I am definitely going to get an 8 weight. I remember one of my problems being distance on the Salmon River so instead of going light and uplining, I will probably go heavy and use the same line as rod weight. A 9 weight to me would take all the fun out of the fight. I hooked into a 10 or 15 pound fish on an 8 weight and that was a good matched fight though it broke off, but thats not the rods fault.

As to the Z-axis, $400 is my absolute limit, and I would really love to get a $300 rod, which is why the Echo is so tempting, but I don't know how it compares to the same size/weight as an Access or A3/4 which is what I'm leaning too.

Anybody with Sage Vantage experience? I've always liked Sage rods, but I feel like its a little marked up because of being made in America. (as a side note, I have no problem with foreign made goods for economic reasons, so long as its made well I will consider buying it)

Thanks for the help (ladies and) gentlemen
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

its a rod that i would say falls on the fast side of a medium/fast action. a good rod, finish and fit are great, and i would say it may fit your needs.
that being said, an 8 weight may be hard to locate and it may not be, due to shipping costs, your best bet
good luck

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Old 12-10-2011, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

Ok, college student budget, totally understand. Go with an Echo for under $200 with lifetime warranty and be done with it. Do you have a reel and line for it? If not, you can get yourself a Lamson Litespeed and line to go with it. The Litespeed is on closeout and has a great drag.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

After reading the reviews of the Echo Ion being an absolute cannon in a 9' (which I'm sure 10' will only be adding distance), that's what I'm going to buy. As much as I want a quality fly rod that looks pretty, I need to get the preconceived notion out of my head that this means spending $500 minimum. I haven't seen these rods in the flesh, but fishing capability for me far out-weight how nice it looks. It could be pink for all I care. And hell, its hard to beat a lifetime warranty on a super-fast rod under $200.

As of now, I have a good reel but I want to upgrade that too, so a lower price rod will help. I have a Sage 1680 but its just too darn heavy. I was looking at Redington Rise because of its light weight and spooling it with gel-spun backing, but I was unaware of the Litespeed being on clearance so I'll check those out too. My local fly shop really love the Echo Ion Reels, but that's heavier than my Sage and overhead casting for bass for hours can really be a arm killer even for a ~20 year old.

As far as lines go, I'll pick up a quality DT or triangle taper line for steelheading because of the single-hand spey/roll casts, and then a SA Bassbug Taper for my kayak fishing. No cheapo lines though, because in my experience, lines are by far the best bang for your buck in a setup.

If anybody wants some of my old gear I'm selling give me a shout.
Sage 1680, Winston Ascent 9' 6w, Redington Crosswater 9' 8w

Again, thanks for the help (ladies and) gentlemen. Any more comments would be appreciated
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

To add another option - give the TFO BVK 8wt a cast or two. Great warranty and the rod action is fast yet smooth. I cast one the other day at a local fly shop and am convinced that it will be a strong contender when I decide to get a higher line wt rod.

A major plus is that the pricing is right around $250 or less.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Best 10' 7/8weight rod under $400?

You might want to get one of the Ion's in your hand first, my 10'7wt was 2oz heavier than my st croix in the same length. 2oz more with a 10' leaver makes a huge difference, it was too heavy for me to fish all day comfortably. I'm not a small guy(5'11", 210) either, or out of shape(work out 3-5 days a week) so it's not my physical capabilities, the 10' 7wt comes in at 6oz!. I'd just be carefull as I picked up the Ion based on reviews and was very dissapointed with it, it may be great in a 9' but the 10' is just too heavy. I'd buy a St Croix imperial at the sub $200 price(ebay prices), nice fit/finish, lifetime warranty, just an all around good long standing company(what good is a warranty if a newer rod manufacturer goes under?).
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