The dream lives... two hands on the beach today! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: The dream lives... two hands on the beach today!

06-21-2003, 05:21 AM
Since 1995, I have been experimenting with two-handed rods in the striper surf. Spey rods, which are seen a lot more lately, are the wrong rod for the job. Don't get me wrong, I love spey rods and fishing like few other things in life. It's ideal for salmon and steelhead fishing, and has some application in striper fishing but the majority of striper fishing is not spey fishing and there is a really applicable niche I have been chasing for almost a decade that just plain fits like a glove.

Some of the more recent two-handed overhead casting rods have come closer, but are not there for a number of reasons. A lot has changed since the day I handed my two-hander over to Jay Horton on Race Pt beach, his first time trying one several years ago. Over the last eight years, I've cut blanks, bought discontinued brand name rods, had rod builders whip together prototypes and listened to discouraging comments from people who think it's "not flyfishing". Hah! Two-handed flyrods are several centuries old and borne from the old country, and is very much at the core of flyfishing's history!

I provided a specification to Nobuo-san and in return, I received what I believe may be the embodiment of the dream. Light as a feather yet wreaking of power, these prototypes easily throw the whole Rio Deep Sea line with a single back cast on every attempt with a wad of yarn on the end.

I have yet to try them on water, but that will occur in a couple of hours... but I have a feeling that we will reach the beach with this one.

Nobuo, I am truly indebted and even more impressed with your magic than I was before - if that's possible. We still have much work ahead before production, but if this is where we start I am certain success is in the near future with the new striper two-hander that I have dreamed of for so long.

First field trial... gotta go now! :D :smokin:

06-21-2003, 07:21 AM
Way to go Juro! Make it happen!

06-21-2003, 07:23 AM
So, Juro, when are you going to hand that new one over to me?;)

I hope it is just the rod you have been dreaming about.

How long is it and what lines does it throw?

But more importantly, when do I get to try it?

So many beaches, so little time........

Jay Horton

06-21-2003, 02:14 PM
It will be my pleasure to have you critique it Jay!

I had limited time so I ran up to the Plum Island surf and inlet. I started by throwing the deep sea 30' 350 head on the 10wt rod and it performed admirably although I really need to experiment much more with lines and the alternate segments Nobuo provided before I can even come close to conclusions.

I found that it is very lightweight yet extremely powerful. When in the retrieve position its length is quite manageable and feels only a bit longer than a single hander when retrieving. Suddenly as I was concentrating on how the rod fished a hard pull and the first fish on the new design was on... a bright PI schoolie. Handled it with authority, I need to get down to test it on some Chatham keepers :devil:

The action is very fast, may need to slow it down a hair to make it telegraph loadpoints more especially if it's used at night. This modulus however fires the line with authority when you keep the backcast and the stroke in the same plane.

I wandered out to the surfside where there was a big tide flume forming and two flyguys were taking waves in the face trying to fish it. I walked out so that the wash from the highest waves were thigh deep and was able to fire the line three times further than they could. I was not reaching the spin guys casts but was fishing a new level of reach on the beach for sure, and without standing in the waves. I got a little wet on one sleeve and that was it. Ready for the outer cape beaches test next.

The biggest problem I've encountered so far - there is no stripping basket made on earth that can handle the whole running line of a 100' line like the Rio Deep Sea. Using these rods, and equal challenge is to design a stripping basket that can handle all that running line. It felt as if the retrieve was going to last forever. But you know what they say... the more time your fly is in the water...

It's far from perfected yet. When the action has been perfected to be comfortable as well as authoritative, or when I find the right line that bends them the way they want to be loaded, I'll be glad to hand it over to anyone who wants to try 'em.

Right now there's a ton of experimentation to do in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, I may have made 4 or 5 false casts all day, and zero hauls or double hauls - yet fished most if not all of the flyline.

Several more feisty schoolies tested the tip of the rod as I worked back to the parking lot, but I'm gonna need a cow to put it to the metal to see how that part of this design passes muster!

BTW - the length and special handle design lends itself to easy landing and retrieving of the fly as hoped. These features will require little or no change before production.

More to come...

Doc Duprey
06-21-2003, 02:39 PM

Sitting here in the midst of the 90th day of rain this year (mostly weekends) in Joisey, your posts got me to thinking...

In the interests of science, and as part of the validationprocess for these new rods, may I humbly suggest that operator variability needs to be the interests of science, of course.

So, purely in the interest of science...please sign me up!:devil: Thes rods sound like a real breakthrough for the surf, and I'd love to try one when you judge that they are ready for more extensive testing.

Until then, please keep us all up to date on developments. Vicarious thrills may be all some of us get for a while yet.

Best regards,


Dble Haul
06-21-2003, 03:47 PM
Juro- What you, Jay, and others are doing with these rods is great. It will probably take a while for them to gain any hint of popularity with the general striper flyfishers (many fear change), but you're solidifying what legends like Lefty Kreh have always believed.....that longer rods will always outperform one-handers in the right situations.

Good luck with your continuing trials.....and share some pictures if possible and in due time.

06-21-2003, 04:58 PM
Sounds great Juro.

So what exactly is the length of the mystery rod? 10'6" or 11"?

Ah, the holy grail of two-handers in the surf is surely what to do with all that line! Once you learn to cast the thing, the rest is all about line management. This is the reason why I lean towards the short rods, because beyond 100-120', any additional casting distance you might be able to achieve is theoretical rather than practical, at least for me.

Can one of these rods really be too fast? I didn't think so, but I am willing to learn.

Here's an offer: Show me yours, and I'll show you mine.

Latest prototype, that is.....

06-21-2003, 05:25 PM
Probably ought to pursue independently for now.

When the rod is ready, I will show everyone - I hope to have them in production as soon as humanly possible. My welfare depends on it!

06-21-2003, 07:06 PM
I got at 10wt 15' sage spey a couple years ago. I've brought it to the cape several times, but have yet to get any salt water on it. You may have just given me the inspiration to get it wet.
I keep thinking it ought to be the ticket at stage harbor or nauset.
We'll see.

06-21-2003, 07:32 PM
I guess we now know who will be casting to the rip on Monomoy, from J Buoy on SB :hehe:
All kidding of luck Juro on your new thinks that could be the name of the rod:)

06-21-2003, 08:48 PM
Rooster -

I also own the 10150 Sage, which is a good spey rod and overhead casts but is nothing like these rods. These are not spey rods by any imagination, they are very specialized saltwater shore fishing rods that are well-suited to tide rips, beaches with or without surf, river mouths, etc. They are shorter, faster, the handles are different and they are designed to cast a longer line, throw much heavier weight lines, bigger flies, and ultimately fight bigger fish more easily than the typical single handed rods.

That being said, spey rods are cool for SWFF especially in longshore currents, rivers and inlets, etc.

06-22-2003, 01:00 AM
how long are the Juro? Tom D

06-22-2003, 08:03 AM
How long a backcast is required?

06-22-2003, 08:57 AM
The rod length is designed to provide long casting advantage of two-handers but short enough to feel like a 'normal' rod when fishing and fighting fish. Final lengths are not determined at this point but the prototypes are very close to meeting the criteria.

Unlike speyrods, they require as much backcast as any single handed rod - they are overhead casting rods. To throw the whole 100' deep sea I needed about 50 feet of room behind, to throw 60 feet I needed about 30 behind so it's approx 2:1 ratio but this will range dramatically with the line being used (eg. shooting heads) so these metrics are not significant.

I did spend some time casting with a high beach berm behind me and confirmed that there is a distinct advantage to being able to elevate the backcast higher. I did hit the sand once or twice in this exagerrated test but as an exception rather than the rule. Sure a 15 footer would get up higher but then you're stuck with all that rod for the retrieve and fish landing.

The biggest advantages thus far are:

- standing knee deep back out of the surf and doubling or tripling the distance of those getting whacked by the waves
- not one single or double haul all day to throw further than a single hander could consistently, profound reduction in effort
- one back cast 99% of the time, if it lacked power I'd do it again
- little or no difference in the sense of the rod's length while strip retrieving the fly, easy strip set on the strike
- better big fish fighting tool than single handers which have to be accomodating to casting with one arm
- ability to throw grain weights you'd only dream about with one arm, thus huge flies for unheard of distances all day long with no fatigue once you learn the stroke

Testing continues...

06-22-2003, 12:06 PM

When I was at the Cape last summer and used the 13'2" Loop in the surf, I found that the cast I used the most was a combination spey/overhead. This is the cast that Jimmy Green first used while designing the first PNW rods.

I used, if you recall the Loop Adapted shooting head (approx 35'), the cast involves a "crappy" switch cast (once the head is out to firing position), when this 40' cast hits the water you then take advantage of the "water load" to lift it into one back cast and launch the head towards Europe! I was consitently firing 120' with little effort.

I'll have to ask Dana what running line he had on that outfit, but I had very few problems in the stripping basket. Though I think that now I would be tempted to try the "Slick shooter".

I hope you get all this wired so that when we get out there next summer you can show us how its supposed to be done! :smokin:

06-22-2003, 12:21 PM
Holy smoke Juro - I wish I'd known you were going to be out there having all that fun yesterday - I had to put up with having the crib all to myself on the outgoing - my poor old arms :devil:

06-22-2003, 03:24 PM
Tyler, yes the initial switch cast is the method I use to get the head ready to fire, then I shoot a variable amount into the single backcast and fire away on the forward stroke. Because striper retrieve often involves stripping right to the knot, the head is mostly inside the tip.

I slide the line through my fingers as I come around to make the roll/switch, then throw the head out with the first motion. Then I immediately pull the line up and back into a backcast letting line slip into the loop to the rear. When an ample amount has slipped, I cinch down with my fingers and stroke forward and stop at a position not unlike a spey stroke, the head flies forward with breakneck speed.

I'd really like to try the Loop adapted line. I also have a S/A prototype WARD line which I will be using over the next few mornings, thanks to Marlow.

Adrian - You almost did see me, if not for an afternoon commitment you would have had company for sure. We did v-e-r-y well there on Tuesday. Nice to hear they were active on the ebb.

Greg Pavlov
06-22-2003, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by juro
The action is very fast, may need to slow it down a hair to make it telegraph loadpoints more especially if it's used at night.

That's really important. I was fishing an overhead casting
two-hander when I was at the Cape several weeks ago, but
I found myself switching back to a one-hander when fishing
at night because the two-hander wasn't giving me enough

06-23-2003, 06:20 AM
Greg -

What rod were you casting?

Also, for night casting I plan on purchasing a Rio Lumalux with glow in the dark running line. It will let me gauge exactly how much running line I've shot into the backcast, visual key - no brainer.

06-23-2003, 11:18 AM it buddy :tsk_tsk:

Originally posted by juro

I had limited time so I ran up to the Plum Island surf and inlet. ....I was concentrating on how the rod fished a hard pull and the first fish on the new design was on... a bright PI schoolie. Handled it with authority, I need to get down to test it on some Chatham keepers :devil: could work a little at getting keepaz up heah!:smokin: I'll take you out, but you have to find them.

And then:

Several more feisty schoolies tested the tip of the rod as I worked back to the parking lot, but I'm gonna need a cow to put it to the metal to see how that part of this design passes muster!

Well? Plenty cows around the No. Shore. Watch it buddy:devil: Your Cape bias blinds you oh wise one. :D

06-23-2003, 11:24 AM
Aha! I thought I might be able to raise a north shore bruiser with those trolling remarks! ;)

My guess is that the fish were further up the river than the mouth. I saw only two or three legals and a sprinkling of schoolies among the shore anglers, which were wall to wall. Reports of much bigger fish upriver had me wondering what might be happening up current. Didn't matter I was there to test rods not backing.

On the way back Joppa was still bare bones, but I didn't see a single angler out there... :confused:

If I didn't have an early afternoon commitment I would have sloshed out there for sure.

06-23-2003, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the info on the spey vs overhead. Guess you can see why it still has not gotten wet!
Hope to see you in mid July.
Also, I just got the Big Brothers pictures back. I am getting them scanned at the end of the week. How do I post them on the forum. Got a lovely one of you and Adrian with a pink boa!!!!

06-23-2003, 04:17 PM
Pink boa? NEVER!

(it was white) :hehe:

See you in July.

Greg Pavlov
06-23-2003, 04:38 PM
Juro: what rod ? Lumalux line

Juro, the rod I have, until something better comes along ;) ,
is a two-hander built on a 10.5 ft 9 wt St. Croix Ultra-Legend
blank. With the lower handle, it is apx. 10' 9" long. I personally
think that 11' is ideal.

I (now) have a Rio intermediate line with a glow-in-the-dark
section that marks the end of the belly of the line. I found that
to be useful in the daytime as well: the phosphor or whatever
it is gives that section of the line a slightly different color than
the rest.

06-23-2003, 11:14 PM

It wasn't the first time that Juro and the pink boa tripped the light fantastic!

Area 61 - July 2002

06-23-2003, 11:15 PM
And just so Adrian doesn't feel left out ...

06-23-2003, 11:20 PM
Good trick Kush! But I had the black boa in backcast, twas YOU who had the pinkie out for a spin in that picture! :devil:

That's a reverse snake roll if I ever saw one! :hehe:

Ah well, all in jest. I keep my pink boa in the closet ;) ;)

06-23-2003, 11:32 PM
Okay Juro,

You got me, but I was not the culprit - here he izz...

06-24-2003, 02:46 PM
Saw Juro in his two hander product development test tank today:D That's a fine rod. Hope you put the finishing touches on a keeper:smokin:

06-25-2003, 09:43 PM
JF, nice chatting with you yesterday. After slack, I turned the corner on the next flat as the tide started moving and things exploded. Got several large fish in the mid 30+ inch class sight fishing, in fact all but a few were over 28". Once they stopped coming, I walked over and started tossing the whole fly line into the rip and landed 4 more legals up to 34" in the fast current.

On the flats I found it easy to put a line in front of a pod with the two-handed rod (especially since the action is overhead not spey) and it's short enough to be accurate.

After that hoof'ed it to the big beach where this rod comes into it's own. The advantage was obvious on the back beach. I never got water in my stripping basket while fishing 70-100 foot distances left-handed. I was standing so far up on the beach even the biggest waves were just foam surges lapping my knees. While practicing left-handed casts (easily do-able) big bass started running the waves the long way and I picked off three more good fish including the one in the image I posted of the bruiser and the rod together.

It was an incredible day overall, logged some serious keeper mileage on the new rod from both sides of the beach, and was pleasantly surprised to find out how well the rod does on the flats for sight fishing without false casts or double hauling.

I am seriously pondering an all-rounder that is sweet on the flats while being authoritative in the pounding surf...