12-21-2013, 04:55 PM
Re: First Spey
I have an LL Bean Streamlight 13' #8 rod. For the price (I paid 180.00) I think they are a good rod. Finding the correct line was harder than learning to cast it well. I ended up using a Scientific Anglers #9 short head, 55' foot belly with it and it works just fine. I do believe the rod may work better for some with one of the Skagit lines perhaps around a 550 - 565 grain but I've never had one of those.
The problem with the Skagit system is that you are limited to a 28' head where all of your rod loading vinyl coated floating head is located. This will make learning a breeze and will offer better loading which will lead to better casts, but.............. You would need to have a braided type running line spooled behind the short head to allow for the 60 - 90 foot casts you will need for the Miramichi. So what's the problem then?
The running line won't mend as well as a vinyl fly line will and there's more....... Because you will be using a short 28' floating head you will need to hand strip line back until the shooting head is back to or through the tip top. 'That's the part I don't like'. If you chose to learn with lines having a longer belly, say a 55' at least' you only need to retrieve line until you are at the 55' mark on the fly line. When you add the fact that you have a leader of about 12 - 13 feet attached to the line you have a 67' cast each time even if you have none of the vinyl coated running / shooting line out the guides.
I find that a great deal of my salmon fishing is of a very targeted nature with not so much 'searching the water' for the fish. You and I are more likely to identify a 'lie' and then position ourselves to be able to swing a fly just above that targeted lie or current seam. For this reason I like the longer head / belly lines from 55 to 65 feet. I am able to make repeated casts and presentations to an area of a river without doing any excessive line stripping or shooting.
So, unless you find a more attractive deal than the LL rod, I believe they are good rods. I have caught many salmon on mine including some 35 - 43 pound fish. The rod will handle the fish and you can learn to work one well enough to be effective with them. Be sure to talk to someone with the sales department who has actually used one of these rods. There was no one when I bought mine, and hopefully there will be someone who does something other than Skagit casting. If there is not, I would look for a line in the 55' head range around 600 grains for the rod.
For a reel I used an Orvis Odyssey IV - my Cascapedia 8/9 and a Hardy Uniqua 11 /12 to provide enough spool room for line and backing as well as weight to balance out the rod while casting and fishing.
Keep up posted to your choices as you make them, I'm far from an expert but I manage to fish these rods and I have a good time doing it.
---------- Post added at 01:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 PM ----------
Since Gary actually fishes the river there I would advise talking with him about what he's using. He and I were both replying at the same time and I believe his advice will be more accurate for you.