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Old 04-27-2012, 01:10 PM
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Default Finally Cast The New Rod;

I promised myself that I would not collect Spey rods the way I have traditional single hand fly rods. The truth is that there are so many one handers (I like them all) that some don't see use from one year to the next. My advice on that is, don't do it. The pile of tubes makes for conversation but I feel guilty for not using some.

Back to the Spey rod, I've used the same one for 3 years and last December I bought a second rod. My original was an LL Bean 13' 8/9 rod, my thinking was that if I were to be able to grasp the casting I would do it with whatever I had to use. Another thought was the money, I'm not the kind who throws a fortune into the unknown. Well the rod (LL Bean) caught a lot of fish; some big some small and I became pretty good at casting with it. It did however seem that there was something missing. Action, the rod seemed to be too stiff but I have not given up. Perhaps another, yet a heavier line may deliver the rod loading that I crave.

I have always learned the hard way and although I can't say it is the way everyone should proceed with fly casting it has worked for me very well. My thinking was that if I could become good with an entry level rig; when the day came that I got my hands on a more sophisticated rod things would come into focus quite quickly. This has been the case with many things that I have gotten involved with in life so I stay the course.

I've never lawn cast a Spey rod, never had to and now with the ice melting off our rivers I still don't have to but............... Last night (it stays light until 11:30 PM now ) I couldn't take the suspense any longer. I took the 15' Winston Derek Brown Special out on my lawn which is now clear of the 6' of snow that kept it hidden since early last winter. The rod was an eye opener, with no water to provide anchor for my cast sets and while only producing 3 cracks of the whip; you know what I mean by that right? I was able to make 80 - 100 foot casts with great ease! Now THAT'S what I'm talk'en about! The rod has a tremendous and beautiful mid to full flex loading action. Remember, no water, no leader, no fly, and it worked like a charm.

I'm going to take it to open water tomorrow just to cast. I'm not much concerned with whether or not there will be a fish within a mile of me, I just want to see what this thing feels like and what it'll do. I know that folks who are familiar with these rods may say, "but they are so heavy, how will you cast that all day?" You will have to take my word, last night I never even noticed that I was holding a 15 ounce rod with a reel, line, and backing that weighs 16.8 ounces mounted to the handle. The upside to the weight is that my line weighs 875 grains, that's just a little over 2 ounces of line and by the looks of things most of that 130 feet of line will not be on my reel very much so I'm losing weight already

When I go casting on water I'll take the camera and get a picture of this rig for the Fly Rod Picture thread.
fysh, Davo, jpbfly and 2 others like this.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

CANNON!!!!! You have to be chewing through your teeth waiting to put it too action! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing some riverside photos of the complete rig with a silver bullet laying there next it all!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

Ard

A new toy to play with!! Good for you, I'm sure you will enjoy putting in to action. Tight Lines and Big Fish!!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

You guys are too cool, Thanks

I'm not a big believer in bigger always being better and furthermore that casting half way across the river is the key to success for salmon fishing. 99% of the fish I catch are with in 50 - 70 feet when they grab onto the fly. There are times when I know that if I could reach out 80 or 90 feet with ease and 'ease' is the operative word here, I could catch more fish. The downside of long range hook up is that you have to hope that the fish runs in the right direction when you hook one that far away. If they turn away or go strait down river this can put you in a difficult position depending on your ability to give chase in order to keep the backing on the reel.

It comes down to choosing your fights well and knowing when you will be better off fishing a short line. When fishing for trout / steelhead my experiences with these fish thus far is that they are generally not as heavy and strong as a really large silver or king salmon so the ability to send the fly on longer trips will be a great luxury. getting back to that rod, it may well prove to be everything I had hoped it would be. I could feel the load and the power in the shafts just playing out on the lawn. I've very little doubt that once i can load that baby up on the river it is gonna be a blast to cast with
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

Big baby ArdBeware not to catch Boss while garden fishing....Winston Derek Brown Special,I like the name of that rod....
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

I'm liking it JP, these rods were made in the late 1990's and I believe discontinued in or about 2003. Their undoing was the weight of the rods. At 15 ounces while other rods weigh in around 9.5 or so many people shyed away from the big sticks.

Although I do so enjoy holding and casting my 2.3 ounce Far & Fine with the diminutive little Featherweight on it I was not in the least bit turned off by a 2 pound rig. The way it works out is that if you want to reach out to some distance there are 2 ways to proceed. You may choose to work yourself until exhaustion whipping a 7 weight Switch or Spey rod around, or worse yet a 9 or 10 foot single hander, or you go to a big rod with a heavy line that will sail through the air further based on the very mass of the line. When you add a 10 foot or longer leader the fact that the heavy line will land a bit harder than a light one is compensated for by that leader.

When you come to fish I'll have you using this rod or another just like it
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

Ard,I've never fished or cast such a big rodbut would be glad to try
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

It's easy, really easy. if it were not I would not be doing it, remember I'm not getting younger here
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

Ard you may want to try adding a "grass leader" when casting on the lawn, while it still won't give you the effect of loading with water, it does help.

Simply take a 18' or so length of 12# or heavier tippet material and tie a loop one one end to attach to your line, then cut the tippet every 15" (or so) and tie it back together with blood knots making sure to leave about an inch or so long tag end on each side of the blood knot. these little tag end barbs will create drag by slightly hanging up in the grass when casting.

Certainly not like being on the water but it's better than nothing when you can't get to the river.

Gosh, now you got me thinking about heading to the park for a little practice.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Finally Cast The New Rod;

Hi John,

I knew about the leaders but had never entertained the thought of lawn casting until last night. I've been watching a 1987 Orvis 15' 11 weight rod on the auction and thinking on buying it because I'm just hooked on the old orvis graphite and.............. In a spate of rational thinking I thought, "what am I doing, I've got that Winston sitting there that I've never even cast and I'm sitting here thinking about buying another one". It was then that I grabbed the rod and reel and went out the back door. After the test casting I decided to sneak off to the Eklutna Tail Race tomorrow and use some water to get the feel for the rod. Buying more of them won't make me a better fisherman but I do like those old generation one Orvis rods
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