Best Gear [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Best Gear

06-21-2005, 05:13 PM
Although UK based and having spent 9 days fishing for blues and stripahs in the Cape I am now totally addicted and looking forward to next years trip.

I brought my 8 weight Xi2 with me coupled with a Loop Evotec 7/10 HD which was fine for the schoolies etc up to 10lb, but I found it difficult to fish surfside (chatham South Beach) and had concerns about whether I would land any fish greater than that mentioned.

I wont say money is no object, but as it is my 50th this year I would like to treat myself.

I feel inclined towards the Winston 5 piece XTR 9 wt coupled to a Tibor Everglades or Abel Super 9.

What do you think of my choice, can anyone suggest a more efficient/different spec?

I'd be very grateful to hear your comments


06-21-2005, 06:29 PM
The reels that you mentioned are spot on...I'm sure others will lend further insight.
Juro, Eddie (a certified Gear Oracle of note) out there?!
Capacity, relatively impervious to salt, and both boast a proper gorilla drag...
Winston...a bit exotic?! Sage, Scott, and affordable TempleFork, to name a few...test drive first and consider customer service and repairability!

If there's no rush, I'd suggest you keep an eye on eBay as there are deals to be had...
Used rods can sometimes sport a minor ding that can compromise structure...snap crackle pop! Quality reels perhaps less of an issue.

Just a thought...
Since I am "forced" to reside full time on the PharSide of the canal, I'd be happy to hold for you any equipment orders until you arrive to properly baptize them!

06-21-2005, 09:09 PM
Well who could complain about such a nice setup!

To each his/her own of course but I much prefer to use a two-hander to deal with surf, not too long but long enough with the ability to reach over the waves and reduce the physical strain of dealing with those challenging conditions.

06-22-2005, 03:27 AM
Pete and Juro

Thanks for the input, Pete............good idea, I'll contact you again when I have decided what I'll buy, many thanks.

Juro, I'm not complaining about my outfit, I just wonder whether it might be a little under gunned. The reel is great but the 8 weight xi2 is at the lower end of capable, for the size of fish possible. Next year I'll bring that and another, not sure whether to go up one or two line weights.

I know that you are a devotee of the double handed rods, I regret that I know little or nothing about their appropriateness or ease of casting.

I'll have to read your posts to get a better insight and take the comments further.

A few persons in the UK use them for SWFF but they havent really taken off, YET!

It took me a year, lots of practice and two day long lessons to achieve respectable distances with my single hander (maybe I'm a slow learner!), would the same input be necessary to learn to use the double hander and what increase in distance could I expect. I currently cast a full WF fly line + couple of yards backing, in ideal conditions and a shooting head - a little further.


06-22-2005, 05:54 AM

My apologies I was using the expression "who could complain" which simply means WOW what a setup! Fantastic choice indeed, no complaint heard my friend.

I should have said 'I wish I owned such a fine setup myself' :D

As for two-handed rods they're not for everyone in the surf. Some like to work hard. ;)

06-26-2005, 08:13 AM
I have a Winston BIIX 9wt and it a sweetheart of a rod. Plenty of muscle to land a big fish . The Tibor in my opinion is one of the best reels out there. I used to do machining and can tell you that the workmanship is flawless. FishHawk :smokin:

Greg Pavlov
06-26-2005, 03:19 PM
If an 8 wt was my heaviest rod and I wasn't planning on buying more than one or
two more, I 'd get a 10 wt, not a 9. This year I used a Sage VPS. It's old tech but
it seems rugged and casts well enough.

I would go for a two-hander if I already had a single-hander in the 9/10 range.
While I can cast a hell of a lot farther with a two-hander, especially in rougher
conditions, I find myself preferring to *fish* with a one-hander when it is possible
to do so.

06-28-2005, 12:39 PM
Thanks guys for the info.

I've decided to keep the reel and just add a spare spool, but the rod seems a necessity.

I have several good 8 weight travelling rods and conclude that I shall need a 9 or ten weight single hander.

Torn now between a Winston or Xi2 (which I love), although I was impressed by Striblues Winston - both comparable in price although the W was a five piece and noticeably slimmer blank.

Alternatively, reading the reviews the TFO ticr X seems good as does the redington cps. Bearing in mind I'll probably only use the rods for 2 weeks of the year, should I err on the side of economy?. I do hate poor gear, do you get what you pay for?


06-28-2005, 12:55 PM
Bearing in mind I'll probably only use the rods for 2 weeks of the year, should I err on the side of economy?. I do hate poor gear, do you get what you pay for?

Yes. But paying for marketing comes into play as well.

I'm actually looking at 9 wt rods as well. For throwing heavy bass flies and light saltwater use. I'm probably going to go to my local shop and buy last year's model. I'll get a good rod at a discount.

06-28-2005, 01:23 PM
If I had to pick one rod for all around striper fishing on the cape it would be a 10wt Xi2 - simply for battling the ever present wind. I have only used the 8 on windless flats days (there aren't many of them).

You may want to get the TFO in your hands before you purchase. The butt section on those rods are like baseball bats compared to Sage, Winston, etc....

clouser UK
06-28-2005, 03:07 PM
Hi Kieran,
Don't forget i've got the Tcir X in 9# and the Fullingmill equivalent in 10#.
You are more than welcome to try these out next time we, the NKB, get together and chase the elusive European Bass !
The butt section on both rods is quite thick, but the rods are light and responsive......and they do chuck a good length of line out!
I think you've been spoilt by the Xi2.....

I feel a casting day coming on :rolleyes:

I miss the Stripas :(

Dave :wink:

06-28-2005, 04:42 PM

Yep, I miss the stripas (blues) as well.

God, I wish I lived stateside

Counting the days until next year.

I'd forgotten you had the TICR, will meet up soon as the Northerlies die down



06-28-2005, 05:47 PM
I'm surprised no one has invited forum sponsor Thomas and Thomas to this party.

Their Horizons are extremely fast and sensitive with strength down low. I'm told the new Horizon II series is even faster, has the same backbone, but is lighter and easier to cast all day. I use T&T Horizons in 8- and 10-weights to fight constant wind where I fish and they're great. These guys are in Massachusetts; kinda makes sense they'd have some idea of how to build a rod for these waters, doncha think?

06-28-2005, 07:51 PM
I'm surprised no one has invited forum sponsor Thomas and Thomas to this party.

Because none of us working stiffs can afford one. :( Especially when we know we are going to abuse it by fishing Saltwater.

They are beauties though. :D

Dble Haul
06-29-2005, 08:16 AM
Ah, but T&T rods can take abuse. If you're going to be fishing a lot, they are a sound investment with good customer service.

06-29-2005, 08:30 AM
I third or fourth the recommendation to go with a 10-weight if you already have an 8. Fish an intermediate on the 8, and you can fish surface down to about 4-6' with ease. Put a 350-450 grain sinking line on the 10 and you can throw big flies, fight the wind and also fish heavy sinking lines if you want to fish down deep. Some guys even like to fish the heavy lines over the sand flats as it gets their fly to the bottom quick.

I have a Sage Xi2-10 weight, but for the $$ and the amount of use you are going to give it, I'd go with a lower end rod. I don't feel that the upper $$ rods justify the sometimes 2x increase in price over whats available on the market today.

-- Tom

06-29-2005, 10:04 AM
I agree with the recommendation for T&T. Of course, you should cast a few to see what you like.

The new Horizon II 10-weight is a very, very impressive rod. Fast and powerful!

Good Luck,


06-29-2005, 01:35 PM
I own a Horizon and it is a great rod. I would characterize the customer service at T&T in the area of rod repair based on actual experience as "much improved" rather than good. The service was in really tough shape last fall.

07-12-2005, 04:08 AM
Thanks chaps for all the very good advice given

I tried a friends 12' 6" 8wt Double Hander over the weekend, now that has really put the cat amongst the pigeons - I loved it - might have to get two rods now.

PS: Can we have an an embargo on wife's accessing these posts?


Greg Pavlov
07-12-2005, 04:39 PM
I tried a friends 12' 6" 8wt Double Hander over the weekend, now that has really put the cat amongst the pigeons - I loved it - might have to get two rods now.......

If you are leaning towards a two-hander for overhead casting, you really,
really should try out the Atlantis before buying anything.

07-13-2005, 03:29 AM

Glad you liked the rod. Made the mistake of lending it to Martin, think I might not being seeing the rod for a while.

I had a really good look at the Atlantis when we were in the Bearden. I was sorely tempted as it is a special rod. If I wasn't off to Canada for two weeks in September, I almost certainly would have bought one. The only downside I could see was that it is a three piece which will make it interesting to fly with. Your rod case will end up being a little longer.

07-13-2005, 07:42 AM

That was a great rod, awesome ease of use and capabilities in certain circumstances.

I too like the atlantis, at 2/3 the cost of the Sage it is atttractive, good reviews and shorter.

I wonder if anyone knows of a double handed overhead casting DH Saltwater Tool, of good quality that will go in a aircraft locker?

Definitely the way to go, in rough conditions where distance necessary.

Not sure what it will be like as a fishing tool, will only find out, if I ever manage to hook something!


07-13-2005, 08:14 AM
The three pc decision was made for best flex (solid middle section) and durability while being practical. A 4 or 5pc would travel well but this rod has a rather rough day job and it might be fragile with so many ferrules to watch.

I put this and other rods in a hard case and check it as baggage, keeping a single 5-pc single hander with my carry-on luggage in case I get to some faraway destination and my luggage does not arrive till the last day.

As far as being a good fishing tool I think our call to make it 11ft was right on the money. When holding the upper grip the tip guide is just about the same distance from the hand as a 9ft rod's tip. Based on over 10 years of experimentation I believe another 18 inches (12'6") changes things dramatically in the strip-retrieve and fish landing department, never mind another 48" inches of graphite on a 15 ft'er.

I can honestly say that as I become more accustomed to fishing the sea with a two-hander the single hander seems less practical all the time.

On the flats I thought it would be best to bring the lighter single hand rod when the skies were bright, but recently I've found that I fare much better with the 1109 All-arounder since I can see the fish further away, they can see me better and so I can take more effective lead shots even some of over 100ft on a flat without even breathing hard. The fish don't even know I am there by the time I set the hook at high noon on a bluebird day.

I now believe that the lighter single hander is a better tool for low light since the fish and I don't see each other until we almost bump into each other.

Unless the sun completely disappears and I search for a tide rip or hit the ocean surf, when I really miss the two-hander again. Fishing big waves with a single hander is just plain hard work, and a raging ocean tide rip begs for long casts and high grains to keep the fly from swinging out of the current too fast.

When blind casting, which I try to avoid, I find it much more satisfying to air out casts of 120ft or more. It also keeps the fly "in play" a lot longer and increases the chances of a positive encounter.

I think there is a 'hump' that the adopter needs to overcome before they accept the benefits without reservation. By the time an angler becomes proficient at single hand overhead casting, they're at a point where teaching them a new trick is not as easy. The first time someone throws a two-hander they will battle with years of muscle memory. This same nuance is evident in the Spey casting community worldwide, it's just human physics and nature.

But like Spey fishing, there are distinct advantages for those who get over the hump particularly for those who fish the sea, IMHO.