: Spey Rod Size?
01-11-2001, 04:43 PM
When I first began Spey fishing abour 5 years ago I bought the standard 14ft 9 wt. I soon found myself wanting a bigger more powerful rod so I bought a 15 ft 10wt. I like the rod and it does everything I want it to and I am sure it could do more than I am capable of. I just recently bought a 13 ft 9wt I planned on it being my summer/floating line rod. But I have found meself using it for everything. My 15 footer hasn't seen the light of day since last April. I am wondering have other spey rodders had similiar experiences? Moving away from longer heavier rods to shorter lighter ones? What is it you like about the rod you chose?
My rapidly dwindling Spey exposure per annum concluded the following before I left the wild west...
Started with the 14' 9'er like everyone else in those days. Fun, but wanted a 15' 10wt so sold it and picked up the Sage 10150-4. Hit the Skagit and a few other rivers that size... LOVE IT! It casts dense winter heads easily. It casts DT's and windcutter lines easily too. Very sweet rod, almost sold it - GLAD I DID NOT!
Then got my hands on a 7136-4 for summer. Sweet! Hooked and landed a lot of summer fish on it and got hooked on the lighter and shorter feel (to your point!). Fished it into the winter... started to hook bigger spring nates and find out that it is not easy to get the thick wire winter hook penetration needed with the little noodle to hold big fish in big water. I really do like the lightness and ease though. Needed something more stout for spring fish in smaller rivers.
Third: found an G.Loomis IMX 15' 4pc 8wt rocket launcher. It is a perfect in-between the other two. It casts a head, Windcutter, DT, etc.
I am pretty happy with the mix I have going right now but if there were a shorter rod with the same pop as some of the longer Spey rods I would welcome it in my arsenal.
Who makes the 13ft 9wt you have?
01-11-2001, 10:26 PM
I do not personally own it but GLoomis's 11'6" 7/8 GLX is one sweet stick. It can be fished either single handed or double handed, has a fast tip which casts heavy tips no problem. Also with the fast tip, you will have no problem penatrating heavy gauge hook's through a steelie's mouth. It casts a dry line like a DREAM. And because it is a GLX, it is super light.
01-11-2001, 10:50 PM
My 13ft 9 wt is a Thomas and Thomas. I have been using a windcutter 7/8/9/ on it. It has worked well for me on the Babine,Klickitat and Deschutes Rivers. It will fish tips around 150 grains fairly easily and handles the floater very nicely.
My 15 ft 10 wt is also the sage 10150-4 it took me a while to get this rod dialed in but i really like it for throwing my 15 ft 550 gr tip:O)
My odessy with spey rod size goes as follows. I started with the 9140-3 then fell into a deal for an 18' Bruce and Walker (actually 2 of them @ $100 CAN each!). I used the big stick for 3 solid years on the Thompson, Skagit and the Sauk, I loved it I could not only cast a mile I could mend the line while it was out there. At that point I added a Sage 10151 to the arsenal and thought I might as well use the "little" rod a bit and did so (as long as it stayed in the regulation 4 pieces anyway). I love casting the 10151 (it is definitely my favourite rod to cast) but it was too much rod for the Skeena summer fish, so I went with the 7136. I love this little rod too, it was perfect on the Bulkley and I even caught some big Thompson fish on it this year. It is however not enough rod for the 'T" so I went with the 10151 until I broke it the 2nd and 3rd times. As a result I fished a plethora of rods this season thanks to Dana's sweet supply of test rods. Among others I fished Dec Hogan's 13 and 14' models, my 9140-3 as well as my favourite the 14 Loop Yellow. In spite of all these excellent rods I still long for the control and extra distance offered by the 15' rods - especially when wading deep. As for my 18'er I broke one when Juro was up with me in October and I've been a little reluctant to risk breaking the other so its in semi-retirement. Though a busy November day on the 'T" may get me to bust out (bad choice of words) the big stick to fish some "unused" water! I like most of the rods I fished and changing from one favourite to another was usually dictated by the river I was fishing.
Tight lines - tyler
01-12-2001, 02:13 AM
Well, here's my two cents: For our spring fish and on the Dean, I fish the Sage 9140-4, and love it. There is a reason it's "the standard" for a lot of people. Of course, I wish the handle was a little longer, or that I fished a heavier reel to give it a little better fishing balance, but otherwise, I think it's a great rod.(more on this in a minute) For most summer run fishing and and other times when hatchery size fish are the norm, I too like a lighter rod, and I like the 7136-4 for these purposes quite a bit. It's light, easy to fish, and once I slow down a little, it throws a sink-tip well and fishes it deep. I originally thought it was more of a dry-line rod, but I made a deep sink-tip that dredges for those early summer run hatchery fish in high flows, and I have a lot of confidence in this line. If you want the formula, let me know. Anyway, I may be biased as I am now working for Sage, but they just sent me the new 9140-4 that's been redesigned and made with a higher modulus graphite (IIIe), and I fished it the other day on the Sky. What a great improvement--lighter, a bit quicker, and it feels extremely "lively" in the hand and on the swing. Incidentally, this was an earlier model that has since been changed back, but it had a longer foregrip, which made the balance point comfortably under your right hand. This years version has the original length handle, and I've been talking to them about a handle length somewhere in between the two, but for now, the 2000 model has the long handle, and the 2001 has the same length as the old rods. The balance problem on the short handled version can easily be solved by going to a heavier reel, but you'll pay for it--Tibor Gulfstream, anyone? I highly recommend you get your hands on this new version of either the 9140-4 or the 7136-4. I love both these rods in the old version, but this new design and material really is better--makes a guy think about trading up. I know a product endorsement from someone making a living from the company is hardly credible, but I really am excited about the improvements. Give 'em a try and let me know what you think. Now, if only our rivers were going to be open in the spring...
01-12-2001, 10:38 AM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the 8150-4 yet. I also started out with the 9140-4 but was never satisfied with the feel of it. It just always seemed to soft to me and I hate the handle. Possibly the line was part of the problem as I used an 9-10-11 Windcutter on it and in my opinion that is a little much for that rod.
Through some kind fishing partners, I got the opportunity to cast a number of rods and line setups. Last Spring, while floating with Tyler, Bryan, Juro and Bill, I cast Bill's new 8150. I told him then that he had just cost me a lot of money. This Summer I picked one up and cannot say enough good about it. It is light and can cast a mile. It handles a floater effortlessly and will even easily sling a 150 gr. 15' tip. I expected fly size to be a limited but it throws any of my 1/0 creations. I also have picked up a 10150-4 and it is a cannon and will certainly throw a heavy tip but is nowhere near as nice to cast and fish with as the 8 weight. The last month on the Sky I have found myself fishing the 10 less and less and reaching for the 8.
01-12-2001, 02:57 PM
This goes to show you that it's very much a matter of persnal preference. A friend of mine bought an 8150 the first thing i notices while casting it was the weight in relation th the diameter of the cork grip. To me it seemed heavy and uncomfortable to hold. I did't like the way it cast. That however is 100% myopinion of how the rod cast with my style.
It just wasn't the rod for me and also emphasizes the fact that you should always cast a rod before you buy it:O)
My friend loves his 8150. The main thing is once you have a rod you like to make the time to get out and enjoy it.:O)
01-15-2001, 11:06 AM
My experience with the 8150 is ditto to Sinktip's - I Love it! I have a custom-built one, so the grip is a little narrower than stock ( i did notice how big the standard grip was - don't know whether I'd like it or not).
Anyway, one danger is deciding you like a rod -or not - based on casting it with one line. I know plenty of people who'll tell you how they hated a rod until they got it lined correctly (for them).
I think we all agree we'd like to go as light and as short as we can without sacrificing the ability to mend/control the line and effectively hook and land the "average" steelhead we can hope to hook in whatever river we're fishing. The reason I like the 8150 is that it's light enough to fish all day for as many days as I want to fish without tiring me out and yet has the length to make serious mends and control the fly at 70-80'++.
A point Juro mentioned about the 7136 and heavier wire hooks (think 2/0 Tiemco) is worth considering as well - you can present the fly, but can you get a good hookset with the 7136 and a 2/0 heavy wire hook? I don't think so - or at least I coundn't. The upside is that I've been experimenting with brass tube flies for winter fishing this year and have been very happy with the results. The brass tubes get the fly down effectively, and you can really feel the contact with rocks much more clearly than with a heavy-wire hook and with far fewer snags.
I've been using #4 Tiemco 105 hooks - wide-gap lightwire hooks designed for tying egg flies. Even when I've been bouncing the fly off rocks, the hook seems relatively unaffected - I check it often and it's stayed sticky-sharp thru several "snags" and many bottom-dredging swings. With this small wide-gap hook, I'm much more confident that if a cold-water steelie grabs my fly and I can "feel" him with the 7136 I can get a solid hookup.
Skookum - I'd be very interested to hear your line formula for the 7136 (similar to Kinney's?). I've been using the Rio Windcutter 6-7-8 and have been very happy so far - I normally find the Windcutter head to short, but actually like the 55' length for the shorter 12-13' spey rods.
01-16-2001, 01:45 AM
Couldn't be simpler, Double. I take a long-belly Mastery Salmon Spey floater (77 feet of fat) in the 8/9 I think it is, cut 19 feet off the tip and replace it with the sinktip portion (15 feet) of the old SA steelhead taper type 5 for an 8 weight. This fishes quite deep and is easy to cast on the 7136. I just saved my old single hand type 5's from my guiding days and cut the tips off at the color change. It's my go-to line for confidence. As for hook sets, I'm 27 for 34 (including a 27 pound chromer king on the 7136) on landing since I switched to the crappie hooks (knock on wood) last spring--which is a vast improvement for me compared to all the years I fished Partridges (crap), Alec Jacksons (better), and Tiemcos (better still). When I look at that list, it seems like the prettier the hook, the lower my landing percentage. The crappie hooks outdo them all by so far I can hardly believe it. But then that's a whole other topic that I can go on and on about forever. Anyway, see if you can get your mitts on a new (green) version of the Sage 7136-4 or 9140-4. They're both a bit lighter, livelier and stiffer than they're previous incarnations (brown). Good luck and let me know what you think.
01-16-2001, 09:47 AM
What up guys this sounds like a does size matter topic.
I started the never ending search for the perfect rod with the St Croix 14' for 9/10. Landed my first Thompson fish on this rod. Other than the cheap components I really like this rod. I cast the blank built buy a custom builder and prefer it to the 9140-4 (brown), it feels a lot like Brians AW blank.
Ok, then I went for the 7136 for the Kalama, EFL or the Deschutes on the rare non windy day. The small light nimble feel creates the impression, everything except looong casts are effortless. Next I got the old sage 10150-4 nice traditional rod for the bigger rivers like the Big T and the Skagit. Within a couple of weeks I came across a 10151-4 with a screemin deal attached, loved the feel and bought it. I've broken this rod three times and the only weekness is it breaks, otherwise it's a wonderful casting and fishing tool 9 it just doesn't travel without friends) We'll see the last time Sage fixed it it came back with a different feel (butt has been stiffened).
Next the 8150-4 which quickly began my favorite summer rod for bigger water. This with without question has been my bread and butter stick on the Deschutes and "larger" SW WA rivers.
My go to rods are
Smaller water Burkheimer 13'3"
Larger water Sage 8150
Larger water Sage 10151-4/10150-4
(big fish water)