Need Advice Selecting First 8 Weight [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Need Advice Selecting First 8 Weight

07-06-2003, 10:22 AM
I'm planning my first fishing trip to Alaska and shopping for a 4 or more piece 9ft 8wt for salmon (except Kings) and larger trout and char. I want a fast action but have never had a heavier rod than a 6/7 weight.

I am leaning toward buying through LL Bean and getting either the Sage XP 4 piece, the Loomis GLX or the Bean travel rod, and a Ross Canyon BG 4 or 5. I have not had the chance to try casting any of these.

I would appreciate any advice on the relative actions of the three rods; not so much which is better (tho any of those comments would be nice as well) as which is the fastest, which the slowest and which is in between. Also, the relative flex of the tips.

Finally, any comments on whether the BG4 or 5 would balance better with these rods would be helpful.

Oh yeah, as long as I'm begging, any specific suggestions on lines would also be great. I think I want separate lines rather than one of the multi-tips. Thanks.

07-06-2003, 10:56 AM
If it were me...

Sage 890-4 VPS
Canyon 4 or Lamson Velocity 4 (killer drag, good price)
Floating line, cut 15' off the head and loop it up for tips.

That's all you need for smaller salmon and trout!

Of course a CND Custom 13' 8/9 spey or 14' 9/10 spey would let you cover a lot more water :devil:

07-06-2003, 02:19 PM
Thanks Juro,

I'm curious why you'd suggest the VPS over the XP? Is it because a newcomer to a larger rod should not have as fast an action? I ask that because, in fact, I am not the best caster in the world.

I'm afraid I am also a bit lacking concerning the use of tips if I cut off the first part of a floating line and loop it. Can you refer me to a site, or thread that explains that?

07-06-2003, 04:26 PM
Howdy sjs, While I don't disagree with anything Juro has told you, while you are looking at rods take a look at the Echo 890-4X (9'-8wt-4 piece). I think you will be pleasantly surprised and at only $139.95. Any Airflo dealer in your area should have this rod in stock for you to test. I know several steelheaders that are using the Echo rods and are extremely happy with them. As for lines I like the Airflo multi tips in 8 or 9 wt, but I also agree with Juro on cutting and looping whatever your favorite brand line is. If you do a search in the archives using loops or line loops you will find much info on this subject. It is not a hard project and will save you some loot. Take care, MJC

07-06-2003, 04:56 PM

Just spent a few minutes looking over "Lines, Loops & Leaders". I should have paid more attention and done some research before asking the question. It's all there and I will spend some time going through it. Thanks for the heads up. Sometimes when I am buying new gear I get overwhelmed by all of the choices out there. Actually, in recent years, most of the time.

07-07-2003, 09:10 AM
Sjs, I'd recommend giving Bean's new travel rods a shot. I brought the 9 piece 9wt with me to the bahamas this spring, and I absolutely loved it. I've heard the 6 piece is also really nice, but I haven't cast that one yet. One of my favorite parts about these rods is the price- $200 for the 6 pc, $250 for the 9.

The Sage is probably a nice rod, but you can get two of the Bean's rods for the same amount of $$ without (IMO) sacrificing quality- something to think about.

07-07-2003, 06:34 PM
I own both the GLX and the XP. They are similar in that they both have fairly soft tips.
The GLX has a softer tip and a stiffer butt. It also has a certain lively feel that is hard to describe. Maybe a very fast recovery due to the high modulouse graphite and thin or non existant scrim? The sections are very thin (the GLX tip is thinner than the tip on my Orvis one weight!). The GLX is also the most fragile (or unlucky:eek: ) rod I have ever owned.
The XP is also an excellent rod and I fish it as often as the GLX.
I know that you are planning to get the rod at Beans, but you really need to cast them both. You could buy both and send one back. That would be a good idea.
Another thought: both of these rods are a little tough to cast if your skills are just beginning. The soft tips on both of these rods can be overloaded by hamfisted, overly excited casting, and that leads to tailing loops and frustraition. For that reason, the VPS isn't a bad call. Better yet, get the rod you want, and practice practice practice!

07-07-2003, 11:35 PM
You might want to take a look at the Winston BL-5 because it is a slower rod than the GLX or XP and it has a lot of power reserve due to the boron in the blank. The extra power with moderate action makes the BL-5 a for more forgiving rod with timing that is less critical as well. And the rod tip of the BL-5 is more substancial than the GLX.

T&T makes a very nice 4 piece 8wt that has an action similar to the GLX (a little bit slower though) but with a thicker tip than the GLX. However, both the T&T and GLX have that real sweet, alive- in-the-hand feel when casting.

Redington makes a very nice 4 piece 8 weight too in their higher priced rod series.

The Lamiglas IM700 is also a nice 4 piece 8 weight. The cosmetics on it such though.

07-08-2003, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by sjs
Thanks Juro,

I'm curious why you'd suggest the VPS over the XP? Is it because a newcomer to a larger rod should not have as fast an action? I ask that because, in fact, I am not the best caster in the world.

I'm afraid I am also a bit lacking concerning the use of tips if I cut off the first part of a floating line and loop it. Can you refer me to a site, or thread that explains that?

The VPS is the former RPL re-incarnate as a cheaper, less prestigious rod. The fact of the matter is, it was hard to better back then and is still today.

I firmly believe that a good casting stroke feels like a slow-motion two-way slingshot; a catapault for throwing rope, loading deep like landing on a trampoline from a ladder and waiting for the strong kick into flight it will give you. The easier things feel, the better as long as there is enough punch in the rod to reach the distances you need. Some rods require precise timing and are not forgiving while other rods seem to kind of work it all out for you without compromising line speed as long as you throw the line back in a straight vector.

The ol' RPL had that nailed - not too stiff, not too limp and surprising reserve power in their single handed rods. Ask anyone who's been flyfishing for 10-20 years if they have sold off their 7, 8 or higher wt RPL's off yet, or if they ever will.

I was giving a casting lesson at a ball field yesterday after dinner and used my old trusty 8wt 9.5ft 2pc RPL with the old SA floating steelhead taper. Howard wanted to move up to casting bigger rods and double hauling from trout rods to stripers so I wanted to use an easy long-cast setup to step up from 5wt to 9-10wt rods. While messing around I shot the whole line, which was not attached to a reel or backing, through the guides and over my pickup truck parked on the road. In fact if you didn't say you needed a travel rod I would suggest getting the 8wt 9'6" VPS (RPL) as a rod you will love for life. But there are so any good rods out there, you'll find your baby I'm sure.

Another 8wt I love and own... the RPLXi 5pc 9ft 8wt. wow, what a sweet casting rod but the pricetag is a bit higher. This is my traveling bonefish rod; fits in the suitcase.

Anyway cast a whole bunch and go with the rod that feels great for your casting stroke. Put some pure parrafin wax on those travel rod ferrules too.

Loops and tips:

It's easiest just to buy a multi tip line. No doubt about that. Making one yourself is not difficult and it gives you more control over hybridizing lines over the long run, and that's not bad.

There are many loop systems, I've developed my own as have many others (see Expertise page on "hybrid lines") or you could use store bought to get started. Essentially, since you are talking single handed here, buy a reasonably priced floating FWF line and cut it about 15-16' back from the end. Put loops on both ends and re-assemble to make yourself feel better ;)

Then buy a 30 type IV shooting head. Cut that 13' from the front. Put loops on both ends and now play mix-n-match games to get (1) floater (2) 13' type IV and (3) 17' type IV back end. If you need to, get a type II or type III shooting head and cut that as well to get 5 options on the same spool. Carry the tips in a $6 tip wallet and you're ready for anything the river can throw at you.

Just curious - why aren't you bringing spey rods to fish rivers in AK?

07-08-2003, 12:01 PM
Actually Juro, I am getting interested in spey rods after reading the spey pages, but I figured I should learn a bit about spey casting first. My initial efforts with a one handed rod have been less than impressive. I think I need instruction.

Thanks everyone for the advice and info. I ended up ordering the Sage VPS and Ross BG 4. Now is the hard part, waiting for it to come in.

07-10-2003, 07:13 PM
Thank you SJS and others.

I enjoyed your info as it pertains to my situation as well.

I'll start my own post.