Winston THMS / Sage Trout Spey HD

Steelyourface

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I’m looking to compliment my current Sage TSHD 11’3” 4wt with something lighter. I’m mainly looking for something to swing soft hackles with a chance of small streamers (think sculpzilla in the smaller size). I’ll be using this around western MT, everything from the Madison, to the Mo, and over to the bitterroot. I’ve been looking at:

Sage TSHD 10’9” 2wt (200-250 grain window)
Winston THMS 10’6” 3wt (190-270 grain window)
Sage TSHD 11’ 3wt (250-300 grain window)

I initially lean to the Winston since it seems the middle ground. I plan on using a Scandi integrated line. I feel the 3wt Sage will be too similar to the 4wt in the idea I’ll still want something lighter. The 2wt Sage with a 240 grain Scandi seems appealing with the added length.

has anyone used any of these for the above applications?
 

ghostrider408

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Nice to see some fellow trout spey guys out there! I haven't personally fished a 2 wt. or lower trout spey, as I have both a Sage One 4116 and a Sage Pulse 3110 that I use for trout spey (got the bug after I started swinging flies for steelhead in Oregon). I think you are right in the 3 wt. being similar to the 4 wt., as the 3 wt. is still a pretty substantial rod, being that its about 2.5 to 3 times the power of a single hander. I think the 2 wt. is the way to go, as it will be ideal for soft hackles and will still handle small streamers. I fish my trout speys with non-integrated heads attached to mono running line. I have Rio Scandi Bodys for both rods, plus Airflo Skagit Scouts and OPST Commando heads. I bet that Sage Trout Spey HD in a 2 wt. is a killer rod. I don't have any experience with Winston two handers, but they are nice. I would imagine the Sage rods won't load quite as deep as the Winstons (a little more grunt out of the Sages). Something to think about in windy conditions, especially if fishing a Scandi style head/line.
 

ryc72

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I’ve no experience with them but the lightweight meisers seem to have quite the following. the sage one 2wt is well liked too. If you’re gonna go 3wt I’d look into the sage one and loomis imx pro as well....I’ve enjoyed fishing both of those although as mentioned earlier probably not that much different from your 4wt.
 

Steelyourface

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Nice to see some fellow trout spey guys out there! I haven't personally fished a 2 wt. or lower trout spey, as I have both a Sage One 4116 and a Sage Pulse 3110 that I use for trout spey (got the bug after I started swinging flies for steelhead in Oregon). I think you are right in the 3 wt. being similar to the 4 wt., as the 3 wt. is still a pretty substantial rod, being that its about 2.5 to 3 times the power of a single hander. I think the 2 wt. is the way to go, as it will be ideal for soft hackles and will still handle small streamers. I fish my trout speys with non-integrated heads attached to mono running line. I have Rio Scandi Bodys for both rods, plus Airflo Skagit Scouts and OPST Commando heads. I bet that Sage Trout Spey HD in a 2 wt. is a killer rod. I don't have any experience with Winston two handers, but they are nice. I would imagine the Sage rods won't load quite as deep as the Winstons (a little more grunt out of the Sages). Something to think about in windy conditions, especially if fishing a Scandi style head/line.
I moved from a steelhead fishery a couple years back and never fully committed to trout Spey until I picked up the HD. Now it’s all I want to do.

How big of a step down do you notice going down to the 3wt? I had an opportunity to test drive a pulse but ended up declining. I talked to some guys in West Yellowstone, some of them had boosted the Winston. I figure the extra 3ins and the Sage-ness of the Sage put the Winston and 2wt Sage in the same application bubble with a scandi line. my only concern is wind which is why the 3 is still in question
 

ghostrider408

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I figured you were a steelheader by your screen name. Although the 4 wt. and 3 wt. are similar, there is a difference when going down to the 3 wt. Pulse from the 4 wt. Sage One. I'm not sure what that difference would be going from 3 wt. to 4 wt. TSHD in your case. The Sage One 4116 is probably more like a 4 1/2 (as its been described by industry folk) as is your 4113 Trout Spey HD. I notice that the 3 wt. Pulse has more of a trout feel to it, where the 4 wt. is more like a light steelhead rod, BUT it is still totally enjoyable and fishable for trout. I also notice a difference in the light heads on the 3 wt., as far as mending and setting anchors, in that the 3 wt. has a softer feel and is a little more laid back. I use my 3 wt. for smaller flies and lighter tips and when its not windy. However, the 3 wt. will still handle T8 tips (light MOW tips) and any polyleader. As far as heads on the 3 wt., I use a 225 grain OPST Commando and a 265 grain Rio Scandi Body. I would say the 3 wt. Pulse is toned down a bit from the 4 wt. Sage One and just feels more "trouty." Have you taken a look at the Ashland Fly Shop's YouTube channel? Those guys have a good video on the Sage Trout Spey HD 3 wt. That Sage TSHD 2 wt. could be pretty cool for soft hackles and mellow days. Tough choice for sure.

What steelhead fishery did you used to fish?
 
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ghostrider408

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That's exactly why I'm afraid to try it.
Jefe, you really need to try it. It's super fun and really an uncomplicated way to fish. There is a saying... once a guy starts steelhead fishing, you will never look at a trout river the same again. What I mean by that is even if you haven't done any steelheading yet, your trout rivers will look and feel like a totally new river, in the way you approach them with trout spey. It really is a kick in the ass. Another thing is this... It's like steelheading, except you catch fish! lol
 

el jefe

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Jefe, you really need to try it. It's super fun and really an uncomplicated way to fish. There is a saying... once a guy starts steelhead fishing, you will never look at a trout river the same again. What I mean by that is even if you haven't done any steelheading yet, your trout rivers will look and feel like a totally new river, in the way you approach them with trout spey. It really is a kick in the ass. Another thing is this... It's like steelheading, except you catch fish! lol
I don't doubt you are correct. I think if I try this, I am going to need to re-evaluate my quiver, which I am kind of doing, anyway. I am starting to shed things I don't use. I have a whole series of ZXL rods that may be hitting the classifieds soon, and I love the ZXL.

I just noticed that you from southern CO. Where do you fish trout spey in your area? I am pretty familiar with the southern CO area, having used Pagosa as a jumping off point to fish a good portion of the southern part of the state.
 

ghostrider408

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We've talked on here before, but it's been awhile, especially about our fondness of the ZXLs (I've got a 590 and a 690). I mainly fish the Arkansas river and the South Platte. I do a lot of trout spey on the lower section of the Arkansas, as its in my backyard. I have fished most all rivers in Colorado at one time or another, but lately I don't have the time to travel as much to fish. I really want to swing flies on the San Juan. By the way the ZXLs are such great rods, as you already know lol.
 

el jefe

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We've talked on here before, but it's been awhile, especially about our fondness of the ZXLs (I've got a 590 and a 690). I mainly fish the Arkansas river and the South Platte. I do a lot of trout spey on the lower section of the Arkansas, as its in my backyard. I have fished most all rivers in Colorado at one time or another, but lately I don't have the time to travel as much to fish. I really want to swing flies on the San Juan. By the way the ZXLs are such great rods, as you already know lol.
Ahhh, yes, now I recall our conversations re: the ZXL. I can't believe I'm thinking of getting rid of them, but if trout spey ends up being the draw I think it might, I would need to do something to make some room for the new equipment. The San Juan is one place I have wanted to try trout spey techniques.
 

ghostrider408

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That's right, we seem to be the only guys that dig the ZXLs. Anyway they are the medium action rods for guys that like the Radian. Or as you put it a while ago... The Radian is the fast rod for guys that like the ZXLs. I've got some rods that I should probably cut the strings with too, but I enjoy them all too much.
 
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