: Offshore 2hander Specifications?
It seems pretty clear that since the 8wt 12'4" european two-hander is able to handle very high line wgts on the beach, the best thing to do with the 9wt 14 footer is to try to figure out how to trim it down for use on boats for v-e-r-y large fish.
We liberated 4" from the 8wt and it easily throws 12 wt lines now. (yes it blew our minds)
I would like to ask you offshore guys what you'd like out of the rod - the extra handle for fighting ability (place it on the hip, belt or under the shoulder?), the no-nonsense casting without hauling or excessive false casting? The ability to throw super heavy line weights?
What insights do you have for us to shoot for in this next rod?
Anxious to hear...
03-28-2000, 10:52 PM
It seems as if folks aren't sure what to make of a two handed blue water rod. I think that general wisdom holds that shorter rods give the angler a leverage advantage( which is why tuna sticks are so short). Casting(quick and accurate) would seem to be less important than fighting. Most "big game" rods have an extended grip but now even those are coming under scrutiny(negative).I spoke with Jeffry Cardenas and he sais that he doesn't use a fore grip when fishing for tuna. I like to have the option able to move my hands around during a long fight but I am always open to new ideas. I look forward to hearing about your progres.
I heard about a guy fishing with a spey rod for tarpon, but nothing beyond the novelty factor. An English guy once told me that "nothing kills a salmon faster than a two handed rod" whatever that means.
Handling the fish close to the boat will be a challenge that needs to be worked out.
It will be fun, but I would hesitate to get too cute with the fish of a life time. Maybe a week in Quepos would give you enough shots to solve problems quickly.
I don't mean to be negative, but I am having trouble seeing what problems will be solved with a two handed bluewater rod.I am all for inovation so I encourage you to experiment. At the worst, you'll have a few good storys to tell, and who knows...pioneer of two handed bluewater fishing. Tell us more. Eddie
03-29-2000, 12:44 AM
Hi Eddie -
> It seems as if folks aren't sure what to make of a two handed blue water
> rod. I think that general wisdom holds that shorter rods give the angler
> a leverage advantage( which is why tuna sticks are so short). Casting
> (quick and accurate) would seem to be less important than fighting.
Absolutely! For the surf stick we are sticking with 11-12.5 feet, but for the bluewater rod we're thinking 10 ft MAX and a lot of that is the extended handle and full rear grip. Frankly, it will most likely lack the ease of distance casting that long overhand rods provide but I would like to think the full handle behind the reel and the extended handle above would allow (a) ability to easily cast the highest line weights and flies using two hands (b) ability to place lower handle and butt on hip or belt to gain greater leverage on big game.
> Most "big game" rods have an extended grip but now even those are coming
> under scrutiny(negative).I spoke with Jeffry Cardenas and he sais that
> he doesn't use a fore grip when fishing for tuna. </font><!--color-->
Great guy! I met Jefferey when he ran the shop on Key West. I was recruiting website customers for Mike Tucker and Greg McDermid (Virtual Flyshop before their big business arrangements). If you have contact information, I'd appreciate it if you could forward that to me (email icon).
> I like to have the
> option able to move my hands around during a long fight but I am always
> open to new ideas. I look forward to hearing about your progres.</font><!--color-->
We'll DEFINITELY keep you posted, in fact please consider testing the rods first hand (or should I say second hand http://188.8.131.52/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif) I'd be happy to send them your way for testing.
> I heard about a guy fishing with a spey rod for tarpon, but nothing
> beyond the novelty factor. An English guy once told me that "nothing
> kills a salmon faster than a two handed rod" whatever that means.</font><!--color-->
Well, these are very different from the Spey rods I own - they're two handed but the tapers are worlds apart. As I mentioned our intention is to determine the applicability of two-handed rods to new scenarios. Spey rods IMHO already have their place on the salmon and steelhead rivers of the world, and do not fit into the niches we are exploring.
As I understand it, many traditional atlantic salmon anglers are not catch-and-release oriented. Catch and release is a new cultural shift (away from catch and kill) that is being promoted in Canadian Maritimes and European regions even in this day and age. One might possibly (although who am I to say) interpret that statement as "the Spey rod is the most effective weapon for salmon". I would agree with that, you cant cast where you can't with a single hander, you can mend virtually the whole line, and the bungee action keeps the fish on the hook despite the classic antics of the leaper. Whether he meant "you can tame the beast" easily with the two-handed rod -or- the two-handed rod exhausts the fish to death, I don't know. If you have his email I would love to engage this discussion with him.
> Handling the fish close to the boat will be a challenge that needs to
> be worked out. </font><!--color-->
I would agree if we were targeting something as long as a Spey rod... but 10 feet should be fine, what do you think?
> It will be fun, but I would hesitate to get too cute with the fish of
> a life time. Maybe a week in Quepos would give you enough shots to solve
> problems quickly.</font><!--color-->
Tell me more! Should the rod rendezvous with you there?
> I don't mean to be negative, but I am having trouble seeing what
> problems will be solved with a two handed bluewater rod. I am all for
> inovation so I encourage you to experiment. At the worst, you'll have a
> few good storys to tell, and who knows...pioneer of two handed bluewater
You hit it on the head when you said "fun", that's what we're trying to do most of all - and include members in it directly. It sounds like when we get something worth sending out here, I will definitely send it to you to test out if you would.
Problem to solve:
Given that the rod is a reasonable length (~10') in an overhead (not Spey) two-hander, it will allow (a) fatigue-free casting of super large flies and line weights using the push-me-pull-you motion (b) added advantages during the fight due to leverage of long forward handle and prominent lower handle on hip or belt (c) overall shift in human-gear weight ratio in favor of human.
Thanks for the great points and I hope we can prove oput some of these concepts in your neck of the woods someday!
04-19-2000, 09:22 AM
Wish I'd found this a bit sooner... Anyway, here's a few thoughts.
I think we need to separate casting from fish fighting. I've had a couple of good fish on a fly rod, and after the first 1/2 hr or so invariably like or wish for a foregrip. By that time you either have a belt on or your gut is really sore, and my right forearm is starting to cramp. Laying the forearm under the rod helps rest it, but hurts your pumping. I try to set muy reel drag to 1/3 tippet strength, i.e. 7 lbs with a 20 lb tippet. Then it's a question of how to maintain the full 7 lbs of pull throughout a fight. If you can do it without a foregrip, more power to you! I can't if I'm into a fish for more than 30 mins. At the same time, a foregrip doesn't seem to hurt my one-handed casting, at least not on a 12 wt.
So now casting. The standard form of teaser offshore fishing is productive, but in my view, very contrived form of fishing. Other than IGFA, just troll the flies next to the teasers and be done with it! The method's been engineered to work around the limitations of fly gear, ergo the 25' casts. I've 'fly-fished' with trolled teasers, but never caught a fish that way. It just doesn't do it for me.
I happen to occasionally work on offshore research ships. There you frequently drift for days on end in the deep ocean, and frequently all sorts of interesting fish happen by. Now if you see a billfish or dolphin cruising by the hull, a fly rod is a very natural and satisfying way of getting a lure in front of these fish. It is really a form of sight-casting and is to me very gratifying. (I know, there's an inevitable comparison with sight-casting to teased-up fish, but there is a large difference in my mind.)
Anyway, for these occasions, I will often set up a rigged, stripped-line, rod in the corner by the A-frame. If something shows up, I'm at the fantail waiting for it with a rod in hand. now in this situation, you desperately want both reach, and the ability to deliver the fly in as large a sector as possible, and here a two-handed rod might work very well. Recall, you have to have a heavy stick, just in case you do hook up, the flies are large, and just won't go out with a 10 wt, and you have a 25' steel tower 3' behind you. It's a very tough place to control a cast.
The other situation is casting to boiling tuna. I would argue again that reach and large sector are important, and the difference between 50' and 30 deg sector and 90' and 120 deg sector are significant. The rod is again a 12 wt or more, although I understand flies are smaller. I'm VERY excited by my new-found ability to wang out a 90' two-handed cast with my 15 wt and 600 gr head. I just wish I could control the thing and get better than 25% cast success rate.
One final question: why not cast all 12+ wt rods with two hands? Is there some design feature which makes them difficult to cast this way, i.e. how would you modify a standard 14-15 wt rod for two-handed casting.
I can only imagine the fish you've hooked offshore in the various regions you've traveled to (including our own!). By your accounts, the foregrip is a very important component of the big (BIG) flyfishing game. I see your point about there being no real need for two-handed rods in the teaser scenario, but it seems to me the extra grip wouldn't hurt.
> I'm VERY excited by my new-found ability to wang out a 90'
> two-handed cast with my 15 wt and 600 gr head. I just
> wish I could control the thing and get better than
> 25% cast success rate.
SO... tell me about your new two-handed rod!!! Did you go conquer the 'lighthouse' scenario?
Per the question of 14-15wt rods and two hands - I can't think of a reason why all mondo weight rods wouldn't be towhanded. In fact, it may open up the road to 16-17-18-19- do I hear 20? Going once... going twice....
04-19-2000, 09:49 PM
There shouldn't be a dogmatic debate on the utility of foregrips - I've found them useful at times, and they don't seem to get in my way too much. Suppose if I worked out my grip more often, I wouldn't need them. Call them a crutch, if you'd like...
As to the 'two-hander' it's just a Redington 8'9" 15 wt with a convenient grip, and I have too much time on my hands. I must look like a bear knitting, but do manage to get the line out from time to time. never having seen a two-hander, I'm curious how different would an 8'9" 15 wt TWO-HANDER rod look from the one I have now. What needs to change?
I misunderstood your earlier post. I meant to say that two-handers have both a foregrip and a rear grip and the double grips might come in handy for fighting big fish. I see now you were making an important point about leverage during long battles.
As far as what would change, (in so far as my opinion on this matter goes) there would be a rear grip added below the reel seat. The action of the rod would be such that it accomodates the increased stroke speed of two-handed casts, and it would generally be a little longer which offers a distance advantage when two-hands are applied. But not too long - the traditional Spey rods are up to 16 ft long and made with a sweet flex point in the heart of the blank to help swat huge amounts of double taper belly up river banks using contrived roll casts. I believe the modern SWFF two-hander should not exceed 12 ft, no reason for it if the blank is designed for overhand casting.
The line management of running line changes in that the line hand is occupied with the rod, but it shoots just fine out of the basket.
Hey I've got an idea - I'd love to bring down a few of the doublehanded rods to see what you think. Let me know when there are some fish around and I'll swing by. The rocks at the Nobska sounds like a good challenge.
I hope we're still on for some "field testing" of these rods when the big stuff arrives http://184.108.40.206/images/flytalk/Happy.gif