Atlantis Rediscovered [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Atlantis Rediscovered

12-01-2003, 09:00 AM
I say this as an angler, rod monger but most of all I say this as the incurable dreamer that I am...

After a long journey of twists and turns over 8 years of hope, I have just received word that the inaugural order of Atlantis 1111 Surftamers will be completed within the next few days.

My thanks to all who have believed - and disbelieved; all who have challenged, and embraced the idea of two-hands on the beach. The support has been helpful but the criticism has been priceless.

Next season as I once again hear the soft grinding sounds of my own footsteps in the sand silenced by the pounding surf, shearing tide rips, and howling coastal gusts I'll walk with a new weapon that has been an opus of sorts, a segue into the next level of flyfishing on the beach, an alternative to being under-gunned in big conditions to push beyond the limits of the single handed flyrod.

I welcome my fellow beach ninjas to join me in this new endeavor to find new line configurations that will exceed 150' casts, new fly designs that present large prey to large fish, to extend the circumstances where a fly rod can be used instead of reaching for conventional gear, if that's something you wish to do of course. For me it's been the dream.

Believe me when I say it's not about the money... I started this long before money had anything to do with it and our biggest challenge was keeping it affordable. IM8 materials with titanium hardware doesn't grow on trees and the quality of the cork on the handle costs almost as much to make as some of the bargain rods (complete rods) out there today.

I do hope people open their own doors to discovery with it, and I hope people are enlightened to new possibilities with it, but it's coincidental that there's something in it for me now. When I started, it was about figuring it out. I guess it took a master rod maker and some business potential to make it come true.

Nobuo-san, I thank you with utmost sincerity; I am indebted. Again thanks also to all who have helped me on this project directly or indirectly.

Juro, beach ninja

Dble Haul
12-01-2003, 09:23 AM
I can't say enough how happy I am for you. Your hard work is paying off! Congratulations! :D

I'd love to get into the Atlantis rod fishing....perhaps next spring I can come up with the funds to get set up and into the next level. I saw what you could do on South Monomoy and was impressed with the versatility of the outfit.

Again, congratulations and best wishes for continued progress!

12-01-2003, 10:15 AM
Juro...Congratulations!!!!!! I am happy for you as well.... and I hope my rod is in that order .... let me know about the details to conduct the transation..... Can I get mine with your Sinature on it....;) ... I am joking ..but half serious.

Leland Miyawaki
12-01-2003, 10:33 AM
Well done Juro and Nobuo! Can't wait to see the Puget Sounder.


12-01-2003, 11:14 AM
Mine too I hope! :D

12-01-2003, 04:38 PM
The purpose of roads and byways is for us to have journeys. But it must feel really good for you to also arrive at a destination!
Congrats & keep travelling

12-01-2003, 08:22 PM
Juro, I'm so pleased that your tireless work in this domain has come to fruition. As you know, this new paradigm of flyfishing will truly expand the opportunities available for the longrod.

I hope my order will be included in this production run. After a couple of demos/trials with the rod(s) on S. Beach and S. Monomoy, I too am excited about the possibilities.

Arrigato Gozimasu,


12-01-2003, 09:19 PM
I can't express the joy I have for you at this time. You have done something that few of us can eve say we've done. You took a chance. Take some more.;)
I can't wait to be the first kid on my block to own one of these babies!

12-05-2003, 06:55 AM
I know that you'll change the rules of the game for saltwater flyfishing with this new tool. I will be there on the beach to watch it all unfold.

12-05-2003, 08:23 AM
Hopefully, those of us who ordered one will get the rod by Christmas so we can go back to being like three year olds waking up for Santa. :)

I hope to make it out to the Cape with Greg once or twice in '04. I better not let him try it or I might not get it back. ;)

My first use for it, however, will be on the GLs; perhaps in the surf or more likely, on the Niagara or as an underhand shooting head rod on the smaller rivers. It'll probably make it up north as well for some muskie and pike fishing.

Greg Pavlov
12-05-2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by peter-s-c
Hopefully, those of us who ordered one will get the rod by Christmas so we can go back to being like three year olds waking up for Santa. :)
I hope to make it out to the Cape with Greg once or twice in '04. I better not let him try it or I might not get it back. ;)
If you get yours soon, I could get a few casts in away from rocks, doors, overhead fans, etc, to decide whether to get one for meself. And if so I might have one of my own, or one of Bob Meiser's switch rods, by the time the Cape calls in the spring. It's gonna be a great year, I can feel it coming on !

12-07-2003, 10:40 AM
Is there any maker prior to Thomas and Thomas, and Talon, who pioneered the design of two handed rods for the salt? That is, who truly did set the paradigm?

I'm curious also how CND's more recent entry into the field compares to these others. What was learned from the earlier (and still current !) offerings of those other makers?

For example, this text lifted from the T&T website describing the T&T Surf two handed reads very similar to much of the newer text posted about the Atlantis:

DH 1212-3 A short, extremely powerful, two-handed rod designed specifically for launching shooting tapers tremendous distances with overhead casts. Combine it with a stripping basket and reach far out over the surf line for inshore gamefish, dredge the big rivers for salmon, and work the deep water cuts and reefs for a variety of tropical gamefish.

How do these surf rods all differ? (fast, slow, heavy, slow, bouncy, stiff, all that stuff)

12-08-2003, 01:42 AM
I am not aware of anything that Talon has done in this application??????

The first 2-hander that I am aware of being marketed specifically for working the surf, was built on a Talon Cairnton 12' 10/11 blank, by Hunter's Angling in New Hampshire. This was at least as early as 2000, ( Maybe '99?)

Around that time I was researching a piece for Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine, and had a good selection of loaner rods to use. I had rods from 12-15' and used them all for a whole season. That was when I first realized the utility of the 12' length for me.

I had met Juro a few months prior to that, and he was already using a 12'6" Sage on the beach. Somewhere during the course of my research, he was already telling me about his idea for this shorter, two-hander for the surf. At that time I believe he was still in the early stages of his thinking and had not yet settled on a length and line-weight, but he was talking about something stout, between 10 & 11'. I messed around with adding a lower grip on some 10' rods, making a rod around 10'6" but never really got anything working very well.

Talon wasn't really interested in what I had to say, but Tom Dorsey at T & T saw the potential in it and went right to work on the DH 1212-3 which was released at the Denver show that year. I asked him to make a 12' 3-piece rod that would load fully with 30' 12-weight shooting heads.

In my opinion, the 12' Talon had three problems. One is a wicked flat spot about a third of the way down from the top. The other is that it is just not dampened very well, ( Which in retrospect, is probably related to that flat spot.) The biggest problem I felt that rod had was there were no shooting heads available that would load it properly, other than fast sinking lines. That rod wanted 550 grains just to think about starting to load, and it really preferred about 650. ( Understand that that rod was a true 10/11-weight SPEY rod, designed around those mega-heavy lines.)

Since 12-weight heads were the largest that were easily available in all densities,( At that time,) it seemed sensible to me to make a rod around them.

I have used the DH 1212 hundreds of times on the beach and I absolutely LOVE that rod. I use it 90% of the time in the surf. When the surf is big, or if I want to throw a big popper a long ways, I use a 14' for 10, or even a 15-footer. If the fish are in the first wave and the water is calm, I may switch to a 9' one-hander.

The only negative with the DH 1212-3 has been the price, which is high-enough that someone has to really be sure they want it before they fork over the dough.

CND's Atlantis now gives people an alternative, and there will be even more rods to choose from in this space in the very near future. Some of them will be very cost-effective, too.

If anyone knows any history about this application prior to what I have documented I would be very interested in hearing it.

The first documented mention of this application that I know about was in a revision of Lefty's book, " Salt Water Flyfishing."

I know there were definitely a handful of people on both coasts using fast two-handers prior to my involvement in it, but I am not aware of any rod specifically targeted to it prior to the Hunter's rod, nor of any blank designed specifically for this application prior to the T & T DH 1212?

Around '97 or '98, I met an old bugger spey fishing for stripers at the mouth of the North River in MA. Honest to god, he was fishing a silk line and a bamboo spey rod and he was catching fish.

Undoubtedly, some wacky Scots were doing this kind of thing back in Edwardian days, or even earlier.

12-08-2003, 11:28 AM
Great discussion.

I am sure the 'first blood' award for using goes to some man perhaps in a kilt (eat your hear out Striblue!) who had but a quick pass at the shoreline whilst running the goats down to market. Most likely before the Mayflower set sail.

In the nor'eastern US coast, the use of two-handers absolutely pre-dates any specifically targeted development efforts. An interesting and colorful history I am sure but not what we are discussing here. If we were talking usage my research (I remember being ridiculed for using that word back then) goes back to the late 80's when this spey fisher from Seattle would visit striper country with family regularly and 'dabble' (an appropriate term for the rods I was using - too long & soft). The choices I had led me to favor single handers again. I have no idea who else was "dabbling" up and down the coast but I hear a legend about some tarpon anglers on the keys...

But usage is not what we are contesting here - clearly what we are talking about is serious investment in designing and producing a rod specifically for coastal flyfishing with two-hands.

Allow me to establish 3 levels in this respect:

0) Using a two-handed spey or overhand rod for coastal flyfishing

1) taking an existing blank designed for other purposes and wrapping it for the application

2) modifying (e.g. chopping) an existing blank and then (0 & 1)

3) specifying, designing and engineering a blank from the ground up specifically for this purpose, configuring hardware to be more suited to the application, etc

Here's how I fit into the chronology provided above by Jay...

0) I first used spey rods on the beach in the late 80's but not in earnest until I moved from Seattle to Boston in 1995...

1-2) Being on Sage's pro-staff for my guide business, I worked with my good friend Smitty from Rod Builder's Workshop to help me figure this out. Brad Gage (MA rep) and Kevin Thompson (Bainbridge Island) provided blanks in the faster two-handed "Euro" spey series and we played with them.

Smitty and I quickly got to #2 but cutting even a little off an existing blank can be dramatic and the results, although tremendously powerful, did not feel "sweet" to cast and the whole thing petered out when I met Kevin face to face at a fly show and reported on my progress. He said (understandably) you did what to those blanks?

I forgot to tell him I would be choppin' em. :p I have to thank Kevin and Brad for their support and Smitty for his infinite wit and willingness to help. It was a very educational experience. I learned a LOT about hardware configuration. The problem was that the market for such a rod was not quantifiable at the time. I agreed, but kept my hopes alive. I settled in to using that Euro 12'6" 9wt.

As an indicator back then, the regional internet communities at the time seemed more prone to ridiculing the notion than supporting it - New Englander's are set in their ways and traditions. It seems the climate for the two-hander has changed recently as people have become more aware of the alternative configuration and have time to digest it's possibilities.

Not for lack of trying, I focused more on "using" the two-hander and less on "creating" one in the late 1990s. The production rod I liked best was the Sage 12' 6" 3-pc Euro 9 wt, which as told you when I handed it to you that day:

a) too long, had 18" it didn't need
b) too light, a 9wt is just a 9wt - 11wt minimum
c) handle not laid out right for the beach (it's a spey handle)
d) not priced to convert frugal early adopters
e) designed for underhand spey casting, much better for that purpose than overhand

I met Jay on the beach at a Reel-time beach clave I organized - dubbed the "Outer Limits" clave. This was November 1999. Yes, I take full credit for passing the two-handed beach bug to Jay. :smokin: He's done a lot with two-handers and deserves a lot of credit for his dedication to the growth of two-handed rods in coastal flyfishing. Especially since he's out on Highbank in December practicing! ;)

Jay yes I was glad I had that 12'6" 9wt ; it was a good compromise but I was still driven to reach level 3.

My time to achieve this finally came in November 2002, completed in September 2003, second to last modification showcased at Denver, both the 1111 and the 1099. With all due respect to others I say it is the first rod specifically designed from the butt to tip for this purpose.

I could be wrong, but I haven't seen it.

- It is not a spey rod wrapped for salt.
- It is not a Euro spey rod.
- It does not use traditional Spey hardware or handle.
- It does not have a Spey taper for a blank.
- It is not tippy, nor is it soft.
- It's light as a feather in the hands yet tough as nails.
- It's short, light and easy to hold while strip retrieving because there is nothing there you don't need.
- Even the handle is unconventional to accomodate the beach angler
- It flexes 'sweetly' into the blank yet could break the neck of a passing seagull with the loop it generates (not recommended).
- It can handle AFTMA 11-12wt lines without missing a beat, throw huge flies, and tangle with big gamefish even in the chaos of a pounding sea.

It's not a tuna rod but compared to a single hander it's quite an upgrade. That is it's intent.

If I step away from personal involvement and look at this rod, I still see a rod that was made 110% for this purpose. If you can say that about another rod, well then that rod is level #3 to you.

Yes, I had something to do with it, but I am genuinely curious to hear what people say about them now that the shipment has arrived and they are in stock. This rod is NOT an also-ran or retrofit. It came with persistence, experience, investment and of course Nobuo's magic touch.

But it doesn't matter what I think, what do you guys think - did we make level #3 to you?

We are working on photos for the CND site soon for those who are curious. You can check them out at the Marlboro and Wilmington Fly Shows as well. A number of exhibitors will have them available for testing and purchase.

12-08-2003, 02:59 PM
Since it was Lefty Kreh who first told me about the utility of 2-handed fly rods in the salt, I e-mailed him this morning for a brief description of how he became aware of this. Following, is his reply:

" Hi Jay,
My introduction to two-handed rods came on the freshwater rivers of Scotland in about 1973. I remember the rod vividly--it was a 17 foot greenheart that I swear to God---weighted at least three pounds. But I want to tell you--when that heavy tip came sweeping over--you could roll cast the line clear across the River Spey.
Soon after that I fished the Alta in Norway--the best trophy salmon river the world (the average fish is more than 20 ponds) and the river is wide and as much as 80 feet deep. The 2-handed rod was the ONLY way you could fish this river with flies ranging in size from 5/0 to 10/0.
It was then that I realize that especially in surf fishing the two handed rods would be a great tool. I began fishing them off and on in the surf in the mid-1980's. And did I get some strange looks. The two biggest problems were that aside from shooting heads there were virtually no lines available for the sport in the US and most of the rods were soft and designed for long roll casting. It was when Sage began to make stiffer rods that I really liked them. I revised my latest saltwater fly fishing book in 1996 (published in 1997). On pages 146 to 148 I tried to explain the advantages of using them in saltwater. The response was lukewarm--and in some cases saltwater flyrodders gently chastised me for recommending them.
Now it seems they are finally being recognized as a great tool.

All the Best,


12-11-2003, 03:17 PM
very cool stuff. Thanks for all the info.

and yes, the Talon rod that I was referring to was indeed the one offerred through Hunters. I've only seen it in a catalogue. I had no idea that it was a specialty-stick offerred through that shop only

I also didn't realize that the Atlantis was a $500 stick. I assumed that it fetched "Specialist" series prices, $600-$700, so even better to be aware of that.

not to mention all that stuff about Kilts and Kreh and Dorsey.

another Q? How is the longer Atlantis bottom handle an improvement over a standard 6" spey bottom handle for this application?

12-11-2003, 04:38 PM
Good question!

The standard 5-6" spey bottom handles are down locking which keeps the offset at a minimum from the end to the middle of the reel. If you strip a two-handed rod the handle needs to nestle under the arm to get out of the way of progress with the strip-tease.

The Atlantis handle is an uplock which maximizes the distance... and well I'll let the picture tell the story (don't mind the plastic cover on the new handle)...