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  1. Default A new rod---go top of the range?

    Never posted to this part of the FF forum before. Would like to hear opinions on something:

    When I'm not holding my 5-weight single-hander, I toss skagit lines with what I'd call moderate proficiency (that'll improve). Up to now I've stayed right in the heart of my rod's line weight recommendation. Now I have a new and better rod, and a choice of a 500gr or a 525gr.

    The mfgr says the sweet spot is 475 to 525. They recommend 500 just as a default. But I throw mostly bigger flies--intruders, clousers, deceivers, stuff with dumbell eyes, etc. (For anything bugger-size or less I don't use a spey rod.)

    So I'm tempted to go 525. I reason that 525 should handle big or waterlogged stuff just a scad easier.

    What would be the downsides of going to the top end of the sweet-spot range like that? My guesses are: Just a little more "oomph" needed for each cast, and just a little less finesse in fly presentation. The 2nd one I don't think will bother me considering what I throw, and the first one I'm fine with too (assuming it's still within the realm of reason).

    I suspect benefits to a 525 would be that the setup would be skewed a little toward the larger flies, and maybe toward an extra foot or so of T-11, should I ever want to use it.

    But I'd welcome hearing about any aspects I may be overlooking.

    - Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?


    What is the rod?

    I can't imagine 25 grains making much difference but some rods are more sensitive than others. I have rods that use 475 lines, a 500 works but any more and they are weighed down by it. The same hlods true for going lighter, a 450 is fine but a 375 will not cast at all............
    Last edited by Ard; 11-13-2017 at 06:38 PM.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    Hi Ard, part of my dilemma is that a heavier line will turn over larger flies, but it loads the rod more too. I guess that's just a cast timing thing as long as both line weights are still in the rod's sweet spot. Maybe a little heavier line will pick up bigger flies & tips that much better, but rob you of a little distance. Nothing's for free. That's probably the fact of it.

    The new rod should be able to handle a pretty wide range--it's the Beulah Onyx 13'7" 7-weight. I think 500 and 525 are both good weights--just trying to decide which one.

    As long as 500gr will handle intruders and clousers and tungsten-headed beasts well enough, then maybe I oughta just start with the 500. Middle of the sweet spot. I guess I'm trying to be happy in one shot instead of buying multiple lines. Being cheap!

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  5. Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    Beulah is usually pretty good on the grain recommendations. This rod with a 500 gr Skagit head will toss some pretty big bugs. Have fun!

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  7. Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    > toss some pretty big bugs

    That's really all I'm concerned with. If their recommendation will do what I want, I should probably take it. Yeah, I know they know their I guess that's my answer right there.

    Sometimes asking the question helps to work thru the angles. Thanks guys, for talking me into it. : )

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    McKinleyville, California

    Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    If you ever wanted to throw T-14 the extra grains may help in the head, but otherwise, it's really just about how slow you want to go with your casting stroke...

    You also have to take into account a huge fly will be easier to throw on 8' of T-14 than it will be on 12' of T-11....

    I would rather throw heavier tips and less weighted flies, super heavy flies while they may get down, don't fish nearly as well as an unweighted fly...

    A 520 grn SA Skagit head rocks on that rod...

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  11. Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    Agree 100% on unweighted flies KWB. I greatly prefer them. I'll use sinking lines, sink tips, poly tips or even shot, to avoid heavy flies.

    > a huge fly will be easier to throw on 8' of T-14
    > than it will be on 12' of T-11....

    Another good point, and I was doing that math in my head just today: T14 is 27% heavier than T11, foot by foot. So ten feet of T11 weighs ~exactly the same as 7.86 feet of T14.

    But the 7.86 feet of T14 would cast easier, all other elements being equal...because it's not just weight that counts, it's weight at x distance from the "engine" (the skagit head). There's weight 2.14 feet further away in the T11 scenario, and handling it costs energy. It's similar to considering torque in mechanics--force, yes, but at what radius from the point of application? Makes a significant diff.

    Anyway tnx for the comment, KWB. I ordered my 500gr today and boy is it gonna be good. : )

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Northwest Territories

    Default Re: A new rod---go top of the range?

    Not sure what line you are tossing, but you may want to check out the Rio or Airflow line recommendation charts (see sticky at the top of the page). Those are generally a good guide to what your rod will cast.

    That said, I think a lot of what goes into the "right" grain weight for any particular spey rod is what works for the particular angler who's fishing with that rod. If you can cast well with a 500 gr head plus whatever sink tip and fly you usually use, then go with that.


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