I'm kind of peculiar in that I don't like to have to string up more than one rod at a time. I also tend to get into a groove and stay there even though it may be a 'rut'.
I'm becoming a believer in heavy lines for use on big waters and the other day I actually strung up a second rod. You may think a 13'9" with a 770 grain long belly rod sounds heavy but I finally used the Big Gun.
15' Winston with an 875 grain RIO Mid Spey line;
That's an old picture but I didn't bother with many pictures on the last outing. I did however take 1,
That gives an idea of how big this big gun is. The rod on the left is the 13'9" with a salmon reel mounted. The Winston is huge by all means of comparison. The Orvis Vortex 11/12 reel made in America, has a good drag and the rod will cast clear across the Talkeetna River! Of course I didn't catch any fish on 100' or longer casts, all were within 50 foot or less but wow what a difference the line makes!
I like the old Hardy rod, I really like the idea of using the long belly 770 line on it but............ the line is too light and the rod isn't really hitting its stride this way. Meanwhile the 875 on the Winston seems about perfect. You can load up a cast with the entire 65' head out of the tip top and then blast out another 20 - 30 feet of running line behind it! I've never used anything this well matched before and will be testing the 875 on the Hardy rod to see if it will work with that rod as well.
That's all I had to say, I just thought we needed to get some Spey chatter going here I did catch some trout on the Winston and no, the rod was not too heavy. When you use a rod like this there is not really a fish in the river that will challenge the rod, only the tippet.
The really cool thing is, there is no back cast. Zero, nada, none........... You can shoot a fly 80' out onto a river with a high bank and brush right behind you. It is more relaxing than hauling line overhead all day. With the amount of time it takes between casts and the fact that you don't do overhead casting, the weight (a tad over 2 pounds for rod, reel, line, and backing) is not really an issue. You just kiinda cradle the rod in the crook of your right arm while you fish out the cast and when you have to reposition the fly, you use both hands. Pretty cool stuff,
---------- Post added at 07:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:48 PM ----------
Currently I'm using an Ian Gordon Long Belly (75') head that weighs 770 grains. The line will load up the rod for long casts if I use the Perry Poke set up but that can become a bit tiresome with 60 - 70 feet of belly out the tip top. What I'm going to do is to mount the Orvis reel with the 875 grain 65' head to the Hardy rod and give it a go once this storm lets up.
We have another big storm crossing Prince William Sound and hitting parts of South central Alaska right now. Out here in the Valley we have winds & rain, wind is around 25 - 35 and gusting. Over in Anchorage the winds are between 65 and 91 mph according to the National Weather Service. Areas like Cordova have had over 7" of rain in the past 24 hours so we are getting off easy here. The rain is however a worry as far as water levels go for the next week.
Back to the rod / line situation; I imagine that I'll be able to figure out where to land on the grains / head length chart by trying the 875. If it feels good I'll be buying another RIO Mid Spey and using it. I e-mailed the people at Carron Lines and they say to use the Carron size 10/11 in 65' head length on a 1981 Hardy like this. The rub is that I can get the RIO at a better price than the Carron Jet Stream line. I would like to keep the entire outfit all British but will have to find a way to justify the cost of the Jet Stream line...........
i'll post results after using the RIO on the Hardy rod,
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Yeah It's Heavy but Man Does It Ever Cast!
Just a personal observation, but a 75' head on a sub-14 foot rod sounds pretty long (with all those grains going). But, the key thing is you didn't mention (I've missed ) what the 'rod line weight' designation may be for the Hardy.
DO THE CARRON!!**Kidding aside, for 'long headed lines' I've yet to cast one that was better. They're the only 'long headed line' I use anymore. The 'short stuff' is a mix of RIO and Steve Gotshall's custom cuts. The first are 'off the shelf,' the second is an individual line cut/crafted for a specific rod/casting style.
You and I may have exactly the same rod, but doubtful the line we'd get from Steve would be the same (grains/length/etc).
** Hint The Carron Casting team didn't win all those awards by Ax-E-dent.
Edit: Send some of that cooler/wet weather my way down here in Southern Oregon. Mid week we were in the high 90's, one day hit 100.