: 10 weight recommendations
02-26-2004, 10:40 PM
I'm looking for a 10 weight rod/reel and would like some input. This will be for a wide variety of fish including king salmon, cuda, jacks, striper, blues, tarpon, etc. Some of the rods I have considered include T3, RPLXi closeouts and Redington Nti rods. The reels I have thought about include Nautilus, Pate Tarpon and Ross BG 5. I am certainly open to any suggestions though. I will probably buy used to get the most bang for the buck. Any suggestions you offer will help me make a decision as I keep my eye open for used equipment. FWIW, I already have 5, 8 and 14 weights for other fishing.
02-27-2004, 09:38 AM
Around here the RPXLi is the standard by which all others are judged. Sweet rod.
I had a chance to fish an Xi2 12-weight last fall and was extremely impressed...might want to cast one of those too.
I would go to the shop and cast them all with a variety of lines including heavy grain heads and see what you think.
Boy there are so many out there in this line class I like, but the one I own now and would recommend is the Sage 10wt 4-pc VPS (formerly RPL). It travels well, casts beautifully and is an all-around steal due to price reductions I assume because of newer model arrivals. The RPL was recently the flagship rod for Sage, it hasn't lost anything since the new rods came on the scene. Mine is not for sale :)
Recently at the winter fly shows I cast the T&T 10wts with Trevor Bross and can attest to the silk-smooth action yet fierce line speed of their saltwater rods, aesthetics fit for a king... but you're not likely to find one used as people hang on to them forever. I will be buying myself a new T&T for stripers this year, but the hard part is I have to decide which one!
Another rod that blew me away was Temple Fork's Lefty Kreh 10wt... holy crap and for a mid-boggling price. Mike Mayo and I were firing casts at the Danbury show with looks of amazement on our faces, and I thought I saw Lefty smiling in our direction. ;)(BTW - TFO has just joined the ranks of premier fly fishing companies who sponsor the Worldwide Flyfishing Forum, please join us in welcoming them to the family!)
Good luck w/ your decision!
02-27-2004, 10:29 AM
My remarks are similar to Juro's re: T & T and TFO. I'll probably be a T & T man for life (though I think an Atlantis is in my sights for next year) just due to my experience with the rods and the people at T & T, but the TFO rods have come quite some distance in the somewhat recent past and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in that price range of comparable quality all-around (which is TFO's goal, I believe). Their rods are pretty quick and have decent hardware. In many cases you may pay less for a new rod than you would for a premium used model.
If price is no big deal, I'd look for a T & T Horizon.
As for a good, inexpensive reel, take a look at the Lamson Velocity series. Relatively cheap, very reliable, light, and you might find one of the closeout reels (they recently changed the body but left the guts alone) for a few bucks below the updated version.
02-27-2004, 12:30 PM
If price is an object, try and pick up a used Sage RPLX 1090-3, especially if you are going to be throughing Teeny-type sinktip lines. No one has addressed reels. Except for tarpon, all the fish you seem to be interested in can be handled quite well with a Pate Bonefish reel. To me, that, as opposed to the Tarpon model, reel balances very well with the RPLX 1090-3. I had both reels and thought the Tarpon was too heavy. I used the Bonefish/1090-3 RPLX combination for years fishing for stripers from a boat. If you are patient, you should be able to pick a used outfit for less than $700 on eBay. My $0.02.
Two notes, with all due respect and no malicious intent:
The Lamson V series is a great deal and performs wonderfully but if you change spools in the field you should consider other designs that do not involve the spindle and drag assy exposed while 'hot-swapping'. Even the slightest exposure to salt moisture gets trapped back inside the "sealed" drag assy and will result in corrosion. If you plan on using one line and not swapping spools, it's a fantastic choice. I love mine, but it is in need of serious re-work internally despite my careful treatment.
My BG reels exhibited a similar situation with it's 99.9% sealed drag. Over the course of the season the unreachable chamber in the drag assy accumulated salt dampness and developed a layer of corrosion that prevented the drag from getting fully backed off. Everything else functioned properly, but upon visual inspection there was quite a bit of corrosion in the assy. I am having the factory refurbish it.
Nautilus is promising because it uses the same design as the Sage reels - the spindle and drag is permanently attached and the spools is just a 'shell' over the drag mechanism. Changing spools never exposes anything, so there is no invasion as a result of swapping. The reel is very new on the market but I like the design and it's lack of vulnerability. We'll know soon enough if it will stand the test of time.
The Pate Tarpon is a high maintenance cork drag but for the trouble you get premium performance. In other words I am optimistic that sealed drags will deliver on the promise of care-free performance very soon, but performance can not be compromised so a little care is worth it until the sealed drag revolution catches up to itself. Islander falls into this category, as do many other "classic" tropical saltwater reels where spool swapping is uncommon.
But if you are in that price range you should loop at Loop Evotec, which has the drool factor as well ;)
As far as rods -
I too owned the 1090-3 RPLX and sold it after three outings. This rod is a great rod for moving fish and pushes the envelope for tarpon and other big gamefish with a 10wt rod but it simply has no sweetness in it as far as flex goes and the only way to cast it is it force the stroke with arm strength. I am primarily a shore angler (by preference and necessity) and I do not find this to be a good rod for "searching", casting a lot to try to determine the presence of fish.
It would be a great run and gun big fish rod where you don't cast very often but need a real stick to move fish vertically from a boat.
But everyone's different, and most of this is just personal taste. Again good luck!
02-27-2004, 01:03 PM
Just to follow up, Juro may well be correct about fishing from shore. I do very little shore fisihing. I use the RPLX 1090-3 with a 450 grain Teeny-type sinking tip from a boat. I do some blind casting, but most of my casting is to fish I can see or under diving birds. The 450 grain tip is a bit on the heavy side for the rod, but I find it pretty easy to cast, so long as I am careful. With a wind at my back, an open loop takes the whole line with one false cast. That, for me, is an achievement.
02-27-2004, 01:22 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I hope to get some more as I am taking notes here. Part of my problem (and you are the solution) is that I live above the arctic circle and the nearest fly shop is hundreds of miles away. You are my eyes, ears & arms.
I should have mentioned that I already have a Pate Bonefish reel and like it alot. I don't think it's appropriate for tarpon but it would be ok for most of the other species. However, it would already be rigged up on my Nti 8 weight so it's a moot point.
The Lefty Kreh rods have piqued my interest but I've heard so little about them. Keep the comments coming please.
Smolt, I totally agree - the use you cited for the rod is ideal for it, in fact IMHO that usage is why the rod was so popular in it's day especially on the rocky coastlines of Maine and the North Shore, etc. If I were on board with you I'd prefer that setup as well!
02-27-2004, 04:32 PM
The replies have been interesting thus far. I expected the RPLXi to come in strong. I have wondered about the Lefty Kreh rods but have not heard much about them besides advertising. A surprise to me was hearing how much enthusiasm you have for the T&T rods. I shouldn't be surprised to hear good things about T&T or Winston but I always am? I guess I just don't see them much on the water. I also would have thought the T3 and Nti rods would have gotten comments.
As to reels, I haven't given much thought to the Evotec. Perhaps I should but I wonder how much of that is your spey background? I handled the BG reels in Bass Pro and thought they had admirable qualities and workmanship. I can't comment on their durability vs. sealed drag. I defer to you on that point. The word on Nautilus is very good at this point. Time will tell. I've never thought of the Pate reels as high maintenance so I need to do more research on that.
The search goes on...
02-27-2004, 07:27 PM
In addition to the very fine T&T (the rod I would chose) and Sage rods that have already been mentioned, the Loomis GLX 10 wt saltwater and the Lamiglas IM700 10 wt are very fine casting rods. A Sage would be the easiest to find on the used market, the T&T and GLX are far less common on the used market.
RPLXi rods have been discontinued, so I guess to your point used would be a great buy for a great rod used. In fact my favorite single hand saltwater flyrods (single handers, not double) are my Rplxi's in 8wt and 9wt, truth be told. But since Sage didn't decide to continue with them I wasn't about to toot that horn and suggested current models instead. Too bad, they were great rods as were the original RPL series. Sage is so popular because they do such a damn good job building durable high performance rods, well suited to saltwater fishing.
I spend most of the good tide changes on the coastal FF scene along the Cape Cod shoreline and very rarely have I seen a T3 outside of a shop or a show. The way they set up the tapers and flex points on those rods did not fit my casting style at all. I would have to guess that a percentage of other anglers agree based on how few seem to be in use on the beach.
T&T is pretty popular in the Horizon and Vector series out here just based on passing observation at the dock, shore or flat. Fine rods they are indeed. I love the way they load up and feel in the hands, I hope to add one to my arsenal this season.
The problem is as always... too many choices, too little time :devil:
02-27-2004, 09:51 PM
I've got RPLXi and Horizon 10 weights, and prefer the T&T hands down.
02-27-2004, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by loco_alto
I've got RPLXi and Horizon 10 weights, and prefer the T&T hands down.
That's very interesting. Can you be more specific. Are you saying that you don't like the Sage or the T&T blows it away? What kind of fishing do you use it for? How do you compare the T&T to other rods? Thanks.
02-27-2004, 11:09 PM
I own a Horizon, though not the 10-wt., though I have cast one. It's quite fast, and I can't really think of another rod with that kind of speed; I've cast the Xi2 and it seemed a tad slower, but I must admit that it's one sweet rod. I personally wouldn't say that the T & T blows the Xi2 away, however I prefer it to the Xi2. In my hands, the Horizon generates greater line speed (this was with shooting heads, which is what I use at all times); this fact alone puts it out in front of the Xi2 for me, as I like a fast casting stroke. I suppose I'm one of those freaks that likes to send the line over the horizon (no pun intended), and the Horizon just gets it done better. My casts with the Horizon were more accurate, also, though this may have something to do with the fact that the Xi2 couldn't get me as far as I hoped. In the hands of the right person, I'm sure the rod is capable of going further. I suppose that the bottom line is: cast them both before you buy one.
02-27-2004, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the comparison Flyfisha1. That kind of review is helpful to me. As stated above, I am not able to try out most gear before I buy it due to my location. Also, there is very little saltwater flyfishing done in Alaska. So either guys don't have that kind of gear or they keep it hidden and only drag it out occasionally.
02-27-2004, 11:22 PM
A rod like this is, as far as I'm concerned, a life-time investment. That being the case, I think it's worth going through some trouble to test these rods first. I'd be willing to bet that you can locate dealers for both rods, or even contact the manufacturers and ask them if they know of a dealer that will do this, that will send you the rod after giving them a deposit and allow you to test the rod for a short period of time. If you can co-ordinate having both rods simultaneously you'll be able to make a direct comparison between the two. The reason that I suggest you do this is that I know I'll never get rid of any of my T & T rods; in fact, I have had T & T put my name on them. When you make that kind of commitment (and believe me, when you find the right rod I doubt you'll ever want to part with it), it makes a lot of sense to be as familiar with the choices as possible. There are probably forum sponsors that can help you out in this testing process.
BTW - The reason that I can justify owning such expensive rods to Denise is by ensuring her that I'll have these rods the rest of my life. If you ammortize the cost of a rod out over 50 years, it's pretty cheap!
02-27-2004, 11:35 PM
That would surprise me if a dealer would let a rod go above the arctic circle so someone could try it out. I could be wrong but it's hard to believe they would do that. Even if I tried it for one day and sent it back it would be out of their hands for 2 weeks. Is this a common practice? I can't see a dealer letting someone borrow a rod for 2 weeks and then bring it back at no expense. They want their demo rods to be in the store instead of postal transit I would think.
02-27-2004, 11:40 PM
There are certainly dealers of some rods that make it a practice to send rods to interested customers to try; whether or not the fact that you're so far north is an issue is impossible for me to say.
02-28-2004, 01:05 AM
I won't say that the T&T blows the RPLXi away either, but I have a definite preference. So does my wife, who likes the RPLXi because it has an easy casting stroke for less powerful casters. She also likes Winston IM6 trout rods (I do too - great rods). The RPLXi loads easily and progressively. Its a great rod, and I could fish one day in day out and not have a problem. The T&T perhaps bends a bit deeper throughout the blank on the casting stroke while demanding just a little more effort to do so - the two rods aren't THAT different in the big scheme of things.
Whatever the reason, in my hands, the T&T seems to generate 15% more line speed for only 2% more effort (that's a guess). There is something about the T&T Horizon graphite/resin/taper combination that has amazing recoil, and I feel very connected throughout the casting stroke (does that sound like an advertisement?).
Just my opinion, but I have not cast any Sage rod that feels as smooth to me as the T&T rods. Its hard to describe, you know, feel is a very subjective thing. Both Sage and T&T comprise about 80% of the rods I own, probably 50/50 of each. The Sage rods I own were acquired in most cases by building on discontinued blanks or other less expensive routes because they simply flood the market, and they make an easy acquired quality stick. The T&T rods I own were generally built by me after test casting a large number of rods, so its not a matter of preferrring the (nicer T&T) factory cosmetics.
I hope that helps, just one person's opinion
02-28-2004, 01:16 PM
That does help...even more so to hear that you are using rods you built from blanks. It sounds as if you would heartily recommend Sage or T&T but you prefer T&T.
I've never built a rod. How much would you say that you've saved? Do you have a particular book you recommend for instruction?
02-28-2004, 01:26 PM
I've also built a couple of rods with T & T blanks, saved myself a good amount of money. PM me and I'll send you the link to the guy that I got the blanks from; very cheap.
02-28-2004, 01:31 PM
Chris your box is full.
02-28-2004, 01:39 PM
Try it again, sorry about that
03-01-2004, 06:51 AM
I fish the T & T Vectors in 9 & 11-weight, and the TFO TiCr Lefty Kreh rods in 8,9 & 10.
In the T & T line, the Vectors are more progressive than the Horizon series which are more tip-flex. I think they are the smoothest and easiest to-cast rods I have ever handled. The craftsmanship on the rods is impeccable. The Vectors are all 3-piece rods, most of the Horizons are available as 4-piece. T & T has a program where they will ship any rod you would like to try out to your nearest dealer for your approval. To find out if they have a dealer in Anchorage or Seattle, contact Trevor Bross at T & T: 413-774-5436
The TFO TiCr series are very powerful tip-flex rods. As such, they require good timing and casting skills to get the most out of them. The rods from 9 and up have very radical tapers to large diameter butt-sections. Lefty told me that they are designed that way so that a specific portion of the tip is used for casting, then the thicker butt is used for fish fighting. The TiCr 10 is the most powerful fighting 10-weight I have ever used. All of these rods that I have tried will throw a ton of line and they are nicely dampened.
I am just back from a week in the Bahamas where I used nothing but value priced equipment: TiCr 8 & 10-weight rods, and Bass Pro Gold Cup reels. All of the equipment worked flawlessly. The TiCr 8 performed beautifully allowing me to lay out long and even accurate casts in some BIG wind. The 10 would really boom out my big cuda poppers, even into the wind. All of the TiCr rods are 4-piece.
TFO has a no questions asked money-back guarantee. They are also excellent on providing speedy warranty service. For more details on these rods and policies, contact Rick Pope: 800-638-9052
The BassPro Gold Cup reels also performed flawlessly. The maintenance-free cork drag was silky smooth on the bones. They are lightweight, large-arbor and nice looking reels. They are not QR, changing spools requires a coin and there are a couple of parts which could be dropped, but so far, for the price they seem a great value. I will have a more valid opinion of them after a season or two in the salt, but so-far, so-good.
Jay Horton, Pro Staff
Thomas & Thomas
Temple Forks Outfitters
Bass Pro Shops
03-01-2004, 12:37 PM
Thank you Jay. An excellent review of some rods I was curious about. Also, very helpful to have some contact #'s and I will be giving them a call. I found it interesting that you like the Vector over the Horizon but you're spending a lot of time with the tip flex Kreh rods. How would you compare the Horizon vs the TiCr? The fighting quality of the TiCr seems noteworthy. I'll have to file that fact away. Very interesting.
03-01-2004, 02:14 PM
I suspect that you could get a shop (a Forum sponsor perhapse) to send you up a couple of rods. Pay for both with a credit card and return the one(s) that you don't like as much.
I know that LL Bean (Sage, Loomis) and Orvis have very liberal return policies and as long as the returned rods are good as new, I don't see why this wouldn't work. Also, many shops demo (rent) top quality rods, so you could fish with them. Jay is a rep. Perhaps he could arrange to have a few demo rods sent up to you. Most reps have demos specificly for that purpose.
It sounds as if you are looking for marked down (discontinued) or mid priced rods. This would count out the Horizon. I too am a big fan of the Horizon, but they do not come cheap.
Of the less expensive rods mentioned, I think that the RPLXi would be a terrific choice.
03-01-2004, 04:25 PM
I am not looking for a cheap rod. In fact, most of my stuff is high end. I have been able to get more gear for my money (be it rods, reels, guns, guitars, etc) by buying used. I'm not necessarily interested in the highest end of the curve where there is new technology but at the highest prices. I could order a T&T rod today but I will continue to research and I will get high quality gear at a good price or I won't buy it. The key is research and patience.
03-01-2004, 06:20 PM
I didn't mean to infer that you are cheap. The T&T is more expensive than the close out/price point rods you had initially listed.
You really need to cast the rod you intend to buy, if you want to get your moneys worth. All the research in the world can't describe how a rod will feel for you.
For instance, I love my Horizon, but i would not describe it as an especially "fast rod". It has a pretty unique flex pattern that is not like any other "fast" rod I can think of. You might not like it. Then again, you might.
03-01-2004, 11:16 PM
Eddie, you're absolutely right. Thanks for the advice. I guess that part of research (to me) is hearing things like you are saying. Every time a guy describes a rod for me it gives me another piece to the puzzle...especially if they begin to contrast it against other rods.