Field Trials - New Striper Two-hander [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Field Trials - New Striper Two-hander

06-25-2003, 08:17 PM
I'll post a full preview report later, but have a lot of catching up to do before I can take the time... so let me let two pictures do the talking:

The prototype performed admirably in the big sloppy surf:

And was quite pleasant to fish on the flats as well:

More questions than answers right now, but the quest is well underway!

06-25-2003, 08:31 PM
Lookin offly good my man!

06-26-2003, 05:18 AM
Would like to try that rod sometime. You should sell that photo to Mass Chamber of Commerce. Come fish Cape Cod. You caught the Chamber of Commerce Striper. FishHawk:hehe:

Dble Haul
06-26-2003, 08:16 AM
Not only could those pics be used by the MA Chamber of Commerce, but the top pic could very well be used as a marketing image to help promote the rods once on the market.

Yes, I'm drooling.....:p

06-26-2003, 08:33 AM
Actually, I have plans for a particular movie clip for that purpose... the only day I will actually bring a ladder out on the water for the camera man. :smokin:

06-27-2003, 06:17 AM
OK, so here's what I found so far... please keep in mind that these are NOT spey rods (another passion of mine), but 2-handed overhead casting flyrods.

Surprise! Excellent for sight fishing...

I found the new prototype two-handers to be awesome on the flats for sight fishing because:
- they place the fly acurately with less fuss to get it there
- they help get the follow-up cast repositioned faster
- they require less effort to get enough grains out to cast
- they are great tools for fighing big fish

Think about the last time you were fishing the flats with friends and a pod emerged from nowhere... I can hear the buggy whipping as we speak as people try to get enough grains into the air to reach the fish. With a two handed rod matched with the right line, you can get the line to the fish very quickly and furthermore re-position it if the fish veer or you miss the take and want to make another cast, etc. Much quicker than a single hander for the same distance reached.

I had phenomenal success sight fishing with a two-handed overhead rod on the flats during field trials and feel there is no compromise, in fact there are distinct advantages to fishing with them on the flats. Faster placement, more importantly RE-placement of the fly in front of pods means more hookups. If the rod is light and responsive enough to be precise, then it's a better tool in many ways.

During the trials I fished the bigger beefier surf version on the flats. Once I strung up the lighter shorter proto I could have kicked myself! I guess I'll just have to go back :) There is definitely the potential for an all-rounder that excels both on the flats and surf - in fact my goal is to arrive at exactly what that length/power configuration will be ASAP so I can get the prototype in hand and prove it out. I will say that I have a prototype in the lighter rod that is acceptable and superior to anything else I've tried in this class, but there's always room for a little improvement in seeking that perfect all-rounder :devil:

On the big beach / surf...

If there's anyone who can say they don't feel silly sometimes casting a little singlehander into the chest high surf, I would say there's some denial going on. Even if you could reach desired casting distances standing above the waveline, which most mortals can't, you still have to try to work the fly and fight fish in the brawling surf with the strength you possess in one wrist.

Most 2H rods on the market today are too long, soft, and made for blissful days fishing wild steelhead and atlantic salmon on the great rivers of the world (sigh) but that's an entirely different fishery. They are wonderful for what they do, but IMHO not great for SWFF.

Not so with the properly configured two-handers...

It's night and day! Stand with the highest wave-washes at your shins and throw a full fly line past the waves. Easily lift the line over, through breaking waves, and handle the biggest fish comfortably.

Why hasn't this caught on?

I can guess...
- people confuse spey rods (ultimate steelhead/salmon tools) with two-handed overhead rods to tame the sea
- the pricepoint for two-handed rods has been prohibitive to try them and thus learn their virtues
- people are very accustomed to using singlehanders and the different method of casting is not well known
- the right rod has not yet been available
- Yankee thinking takes a long time to change ;)
- people like to be soaked, knocked down and get their stripping baskets filled with sand and water to fish the surfline :p

Next steps...

I've known in my gut for several years that (a) the right configuration would be ideal for the surf situation and (b) it did not exist yet. These prototypes have proven to me that this is true far beyond wildest expectations - and that the right configuration is also killer on the flats!

Now, with Nobuo's magic wand, is the time to get this project done. One of the prototypes is very, very close and I would wager better than anything out there already. But there are a few adjustments to consider and perhaps new configurations to introduce based on new findings.

Once I get to the next stage, I will be asking for more particpation from my friends in the forum. The more field trials the better the product will be!

Looking forward to it,

06-27-2003, 11:29 AM
Sounds like you are on your way to a winner!

Two questions for you. Did you have any fish spook because of the length of the rod over head while casting on the flats?

What is the potential for these rods on tropical flats out of a flats boat for bones, and tarpon? Seems to me that they are perfect for Tarpon in that these rods could reduce fighting time in the right hands.

06-27-2003, 11:51 AM
Funny you should mention that... the first day I had a rod tube strapped across my back inside the chest pack straps. It's a black pvc hardware store special where I carried all of the tips and sections Nobuo sent me to try in the field. That rod tube's wide horizontal profile was definitely giving me some bad juju on the flats. But the rod? It's only a little bit longer than a 'regular' flats rod, not too much but not too little either. I would say not at all, especially when you factor in the reduced leg movement which has a huge spook factor.

Not to mention the single backcast, multiplied by the number of repositioning casts per pod. It might make sense to use the CND Specialist style finish in a pale sky blue since it really doesn't matter what color the rod is out on the surf yet it's utility on the flats would benefit from such coloration.

I'll put it on the list of wishes for the master.

06-27-2003, 12:00 PM
A flats rod too!!!! You may be saving me in the future...sad to say I developed arthritis in my right (casting) hand...base of thumb and wrist (that's why I wear that silly brace and use 2 hands on caught fish)....a 2 handed rod would certainly take the strain of my casting hand. This year I've been thinging...if this gets worse, I might not be able to do what I truely love. Get that new weapon of yours sounds perfect already. God willing I hope to be on the flats for 30 more years....your rod may be just the ticket for my FF longevity.

06-27-2003, 12:28 PM
Juro, what's the story on the new stripping basket nubs? - figured we'd see a picture of them at some point.

06-27-2003, 12:37 PM
Funny you should ask... the entire line requires more robust stripping baskets in the surf. In fact I would not use lines longer than 100' without a better basket. Dem' nubs are the first experiment I plan on doing, although I am guiding through the weekend and will not get to it until Monday.

For an adhesive, I have decided that marine epoxy will hold the surfaces together after testing some similar surfaces. I have purchased a few different tubs to try with deeper, wider cavities. Unfortunately the bottom surfaces are not flat and uniform as I would like and I want light weight.

Anyway, these field trials are related in that they call for each other!

FYI - I might go ahead and order a case of them just to have them available. If nothing else they will make nice schwag at a flyfishing show booth. I have a feeling they will work out just dandy though.

06-27-2003, 12:43 PM
Interesting point Ron, I genuinely think that these rods will alleviate stress at the base of the hand and wrist. Especially when stripping line - the rod is supported under the arm but it can be worked either as a single hand strip or a double-hand strip just as easily. The wrist does not support the rod or tension, the arm does. While casting, there is just as much pull on the lower hand as push on the upper. The left hand does not haul or double haul - at all, no need to.

I wouldn't say it's perfect yet - but it's getting closer all the time!

Originally posted by Paxton
A flats rod too!!!! You may be saving me in the future...sad to say I developed arthritis in my right (casting) hand...base of thumb and wrist (that's why I wear that silly brace and use 2 hands on caught fish)....a 2 handed rod would certainly take the strain of my casting hand. This year I've been thinging...if this gets worse, I might not be able to do what I truely love. Get that new weapon of yours sounds perfect already. God willing I hope to be on the flats for 30 more years....your rod may be just the ticket for my FF longevity.

06-27-2003, 03:16 PM
Thanks Juro for the reply....encouraging info. I plan on being at SB next Tues/Wed or Mon/Tues, pending weather..... hope to see you at work, testing the new rod. It may be my future.
California daughter visiting for 3 weeks beginning 7/15 . Plan on taking her a few times, maybe the 17th (I'll give her the 16th to get over jet lag ). Wish she was coming then I fear that lock-jaw will have set in on SB.
PS: Was thinking re basket.....I wonder if wider cones would do the trick. Maybe even with 3 high cones in the middle of the basket, with shorter ones around the perimeter, that way the last line retrieved is to the side and not on top of the line initially retrieved.

06-27-2003, 03:24 PM
from my post on Works for me, when we talked about these cones: the dimensions are way different than what's conventional or expected in the marketplace. See below.

Or, if your company/organization has a Graphic Arts/Visual (whatever) department that uses adhesive back photobase, heavy coated paper, transparent sheet or what have you like the stuff Charrette sells, then you can scrounge the plastic tube ends, which are molded like an Atlas rocket nosecone, with a .250 flat flange. Cone measures 3.00" long X 1.875" dia. Flange is 2.50" dia. Cone shoulders off at 1.750 to a blunt tip of .5

I'd say these are pretty wide and long enough to diffuse tangles - hope we hear from the Field Tester soon!

Juro posted a picture of them somewhere.

06-27-2003, 05:45 PM
got to see some of Juro's "trials" (e.g. smokin' me on the flats) and even got a little taste myself.

...already placed my order.

06-27-2003, 09:01 PM
Juro -

Talking two-handers with Nick Curcione at the T&T booth at one of the shows, I told him I started in the salt with eleven-foot surf rods. He said that that experience and my long-ago career as a lacrosse player were probably good training for a two-hand fly rod. Do you agree? Where (and when) I fish on Nantucket, covering a lot of water and cheating constant wind are more often the order of the day than sight fishing or working in close. I'm ready to be a convert. When you run some hands-on demos, count me in.

Greg Pavlov
06-28-2003, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Paxton
A flats rod too!!!! You may be saving me in the future...sad to say I developed arthritis in my right (casting) hand...base of thumb and wrist (that's why I wear that silly brace and use 2 hands on caught fish)....a 2 handed rod would certainly take the strain of my casting hand. This year I've been thinging...if this gets worse, I might not be able to do what I truely love. ....Ron
Several years ago I talked to manufacturers' reps at several
shows, asking if they would consider releasing 2-handed
overhead casting rods. One of my arguments was that there
will be a lot of ffishermen like you and me who in the near
future will be sufficiently clobbered by arthritis to have to put
away the stiff one-handed 9-footers. They weren't convinced.
My guess is that we will see some in the next 2-3 years, tho.
I wouldn't have lasted the 8 straight days I fished Cape Cod
this last month if I hadn't used a two-hander for much of the

06-30-2003, 11:56 AM

Tell me how the action on your new surf two hander is different from the traditional Spey rod feel. On the Spey rods I have used the whole rod seems to bend into the handle and that slow rhythum is part of the feel of the rod. I understand there are more crisp versions of Spey rods with much more "modern" actions, but I have never used one. Is the rod you are prototyping a move toward the power and flex speed of the newer type of Euro long wand or is it moving in a completely different direction?

06-30-2003, 09:42 PM
The rod, although it has two handles, is an overhead casting rod all the way. It's taper is direct and powerful made to yank line out of a dynamically extended back-cast into a tight loop going forward. It's intended to be able to throw very grainy heads and thus huge beach-sized flies.

A spey rod's taper allows it to take the load and hold on to it through the various motions of a double spey, snap-t, circle spey, snake roll, perry poke - then release that load in a smooth and positive manner. A spey rod needs to have more flex in the right places to 'carry' the load around during the various strokes (and pre-strokes) so that a line can be pulled from the dangle and into the next cast, mend and swing. A stiffer rod does not engage the line in a smooth manner thus makes the moves leading up to the final power stroke more difficult to keep stable during the cast. A snake roll is a good example of putting a load into the rod and bringing it around to the anchor for the forward cast. The flex in the rod pulls the whole line into play in a snake roll.

Many good spey rods make lousy overhead rods because of these flex points. Many overhead rods make lousy spey rods for the lack of these sweet spots. The primary difference to answer your question is the taper design of this rod, which leans far on the side of the overhead taper and doesn't have much of a spey casting sweetspot to it.

What it does offer instead is a lot of quick loading power to drive long casts with a single backcast and no double haul from the high sand on the beach over the breakers and into the fishable shoreline. It provides a powerful big fish fighting tool suitable for the conditions, while schoolies are still fun on it.

With just a touch more flex in it, and a little lighter action, a bit shorter - I think it will make a great flats, rip and beach all-arounder for overhead casting. But I wouldn't want that to take the place of the dominating beach rod, especially with the fall migration coming in a couple of months!

07-01-2003, 10:09 PM
You mentioned "pricepoint" being high in one of your earlier posts. About what is the cost of this 2 handed wonder rod?
Hope to see you folks on the flats the weekend of 7/18.
Also, How do I post the pictures I have of Big Brothers day?

07-02-2003, 10:13 PM
Can't give a final price but all I can say is the target price will be significantly lower than what is out there today in this class. Sorry, will provide a better answer once I can.

The objective is to have price not be a barrier to getting one.