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beninfl 04-20-2013 02:25 PM

Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
Hi Guys,

I'm rather new to two-handed casting, and I need to pick up a mid-priced 8-weight. I'm considering the following rods, but couldn't find much information on them:

- Hardy Marksman 2 (S or T, what's the difference?)
- Winston B2x (I realize this doesn't seem "mid-priced" but I know someone who is trying to get rid of one.)
- Winston B2-mx (ditto)
- TFO Deer Creek (lots of info on this, but just wondering how it compares)

As a comparison point, I also have a Sage ONE 4116 switch, which is awesome, and I don't like the Redington Prospector as it has a wobbly tip and I prefer the ONE's "through" flex.

Thanks for the help!

Ard 04-20-2013 02:53 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
HI Ben,

I have a new Hardy Marksman 2 - T. Unfortunately because of the alaskan winter I have not cast it yet. The test will come soon as the weather has taken a turn toward spring. The designation 'T' means that the action of the rod is best suited to longer belly lines. I intend to start with a 55' head that is about 690 grains in that belly I think.

The 'S' series I believe stands for Skagit / Scandi type action but I will not swear to that as a fact. Check their web site for details on the 2 actions. below is copy from a post I made to the "Rod Love" thread located in the fly rods sub forum.

Last fall / early winter I added 2 rods into my salmon / trout collection. I'll post the second in a while but start off with this one.

I chose a 13' Hardy Marksman 2 T in 13' 8 weight and am happy with the way they are making the rods. I haven't been able to fish with it yet but expect to go within a week.

The package starts off with a tube bag over and protecting a nicely finished powder coated rod tube. Inside the tube your rod is of course protected in a well made rod sock.

The reel seat is totally different than any of my old rods and the knurled locking rings spin freely on the threaded hardware.

Fit & finish is good quality all around and the only gaps I found in the cork are the 2 at the neat little trim ring on the rear or bottom cork.

In keeping with the traditional way that Hardy does things the rod sections are provided with ferrule plugs for all female ferrules, a nice touch for sure. While ferrule plugs are not really needed they impart a certain old school quality to a good rod.

The reel seat has a good solid and smooth fit and here you see it fit with the reel that I will use with this rod already loaded with a 690 grain 55' head.

I'm ready to get this season going here :)

I am most eager to try this rod and really expect to do it this coming week. I can come back to this thread and post or will write a review on it.

On the WInston's, I have 2 of their Spey rods but both are almost 14 years old. They make excellent rods and I would have to guess the ones you mention are great. I would call or e-mail to their rod tech people and ask about actions in relationship to the type lines you intend to fish. I use a Rio Mid Spey 65' and a Delta Long 67' on the Winston's.

I figure you'll do well with either one you pick.


beninfl 04-20-2013 03:56 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
Thanks - Obviously you haven't tried it yet, but when you wiggle it, how do you think it compare action-wise to other rods you've cast?

Ard 04-20-2013 09:26 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
Honestly I'm not much of a wiggler, I do however like to place the tip on the floor and then gently press the rod so I can see the range of the flex. The rod looks to be a nice progressive flex that comes all the way into the butt ferrule. I don't believe that it'll be a soft tip but more of a even action that will load up well and be fun to fish with.

duker 04-21-2013 08:00 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
I've got the TFO Deer Creek 13' 7/8. It's my first double-hander, and have only been fishing with it (well, casting anyway) for a couple of years. The detail and finish isn't up to the Hardy in Ard's pictures, but it's a quality rod and I'm liking the feel of it. I'm casting a 550 Rio skagit flight and it seems to cast well with that. TFO has a really good lifetime warranty, and you can't beat the price.

I obviously can't compare it to the other rods you've listed, but from what I can tell the Deer Creeks are a bit stiffer than some other double-handed rods. My buddy's got both a Loomis GLX Dredger 8/9 and a Deer Creek 8/9 and he's noticed the Dredger is much more progressive and fuller flexing than the Deer Creek.

Ard, I like your method of placing the tip of a rod on the floor and pushing down gently on it--a salesman in a fly fishing store showed me that method a few years ago and said it was more reliable way of assessing a rod's action and flex than "wiggling" it. I now use that method on new rods I buy, but I can't seem to help myself from giving them a wiggle as well.


Ard 04-21-2013 08:36 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
Hi Scott,

I've had some shop people pretty concerned when I warned them that I wanted to test a rod this way. In each case the shop keepers were interested in what the tip to floor test would reveal as compared to the wiggling of fly rods. I was shown / taught that method as a quick reference for actions way back in the mid 70's by a very experienced tackle seller & fisherman. It's handy in a pinch,


duker 04-22-2013 09:28 PM

Re: Hardy and Winston Spey Rods?
I hear you Ard. Despite the fact that it was a salesman in a fly shop who taught me that method, it has definitely raised some eyebrows when I've done it in other shops. No one has ever objected, however, and as you say a number of fly shop employees have shown a keen interest in what the "test" indicates. I agree with you--I think it gives you a better idea of the "profile" (for lack of a better term) of the rod's action and flex, as opposed to just describing it as "medium" or "fast" action, or as a "stiff" rod.

Anyway, just to get back to the OP's question, he might find that technique useful for assessing and comparing the actions and flexes of the different rods he's identified.


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