8 Wt Shoot Out [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 8 Wt Shoot Out

02-23-2007, 06:40 AM
Here is something you don't see often and should create a lot of discussion.

yellowstoneangler.com/FlyRodComparisonon8weightrodsAlbrightG.LoomisG-loomisOrvisScottTempleforkTFOThomasandThomasSt.Cro ixOrivsZeroGravityOrvisT3RedingtonCPSAlbrightXXSag eXi2SageZaxisLoomiscrosscurrentLoomisNativeRun.asp

02-23-2007, 06:17 PM
The results George Anderson got when these rods were compared do not surprise me. In fact, they are nearly what I expected before I read the comparison results. This comparison also shows why I take issue with those who claim that lower-priced, low-technology, low-modulus rods are nearly as good or as good as the pricier, high-technology, high-modulus rods.

As I've said before, the best rods are made with the best materials, tapers, and technology. Despite the emphatic enthusiasm and arguments put forth from the many who don't want to believe this is the case, a comparison shows it is each time. The comparison also shows why marketing hype, internet hype, high-price, and great cosmetics aren't indicators of rod performance.

This is why I save my dollars until I can afford one of the high-performance rods or blanks when I wish to buy another rod instead of buying a lower-priced one with less capability.

02-23-2007, 07:32 PM
Still subjective though. I mean most '8 weights' nowdays are comparable to the 11 weights they were using 15 years ago as far as load carrying capability. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something. To only test with an 8wt line does not prove much to me. For instance I think the GLX rods really start to shine when you overline them 1 or 2. I am not one for having to double haul 3 times to get the necessary line speed to cast a line. You still gotta go out and cast them yourself...


02-24-2007, 07:49 AM
Interesting test and results. For example, the Xi2 and the T&T Horizon II are almost identical yet the Horizon gets a lower score. A nice marketing exercise.
A better test would be to take several average casters and let them do the test.
Eliminate the celebrity anglers in the mix, then see how the rods stack up. I think that sometimes this is the problem in rod design. The rod is designed for the celebrity angler and not the average caster.
One thing I've noticed with TFO rods is that the average guy can cast well with these rod unlike some of the more higher priced rods. Disclaimer, I don't own a TFO rod .
FishHawk Just my .02:smokin:

02-25-2007, 02:26 PM
good to see Redington getting some recognition. They arent the marketing whores that TFO are, but they produce a fine rod. Now if they could get the word out a little better i think they might really give TFO a little more competition.

02-25-2007, 05:24 PM

My friend I disagree with you about how most 8 wts of today are comparible to the 11 wts of yesterday. The first 8 wts I cast were Fenwick and Conoline fiberglass, along with Leonard, Orvis, Payne, and Powel bamboo. I also cast some of the 1st generation boron rods made by Rodon (which is now defunct), including a 10'6" one back in the mid-70's. I've also cast 11 & 12 wts rods of fiberglass, 1st generation boron, and 1st generation graphite.

The first graphite 8 wts I cast where the original Fenwick HMG's from 1974. They certainly were 8 wts rods, eventhough they had slower recovery than the ones availbble now made of higher modulus graphites. The Rodon boron were very stiff, very fast recovery, and tossed a load of line; however, they were a bit tip heavy and as a result tired you after a few hours.

The 11 & 12 wt fiberglass rods were not wimpy, full-flex sticks. They were stiff, progressive rods, with the slower recovery inherent in fiberglass. The Rodon borons were very stiff, very fast recovering and had that annoying tip heaviness.

The modern 8 wts are 8 wts, even if most of them has faster recovery (the result of higher modulus graphite), mostly progressive, and run the gamut from stiff to soft, just like in the old days of the 70's. And just like today, many folks overlined rods (yes, even bamboo and fiberglass) to slow them down a bit and to load them more so they could more easily feel the load on the rod. This is no different than today. And whether a rod has a little larger grain window in which it doesn't have the rod overloaded or severly underloaded than those of the 70's is only a reflection of the modulus of the materials used.

And must like the criteria used in the Yellowstone Angler test, one of the most important measures to me for an 8 wt single-hand rods has always been how easily and accurately does it cast 60'-65' with one backcast. It has never mattered whether it was bamboo, fiberglass, boron, or graphite. Rods that wouldn't do so, never measured up to me and I've always passed on them.


If only average casters were used, the rods would never be pushed to their limits for the simple reason that average casters have not learned how to cast 65' with one backcast, or how to cast 100'. Thus be definition, the limits of a given rod would not be found because the average caster would not be able to push the rod to its limits. Likewise, many of a rod's weaknesses would not be reveiled also because the average caster in unlikely to push the rod to its limits.


The results of this rod comparison point out weaknesses and strengths of rods. And back in the day (the 70's) a lot of folks didn't like the results of similar comparisons made with the rods of that time period. Just like people driving Porches don't like to see a Corvette that cost 50% less outperforming Porche (granted by very small amounts, but outperforming nonetheless) in a performance comparison. Whether someone likes the results or not is immaterial because the results are the results. One can agree or disagree with the results; but it still doesn't alter the results.

02-25-2007, 06:16 PM
I still do not agree Russ. These newer rods are only 8 weights in that you can tip cast an 8wt line with them. Some of the most popular lines noways are the lines like rio outbounds and airlfo 40+ which are 2 line weights heavier than other 8 wt lines on the market.

I actually have a couple old fiberglass rods and a rodon rod from my grandpa. Mine do not need overlined to feel what the rod is doing. I think the popularity of rods like TFOs also have to do with the medium-fast flex nature of the rod. A beginning caster can feel what the rod is doing. Rather than if they picked up a TCR for their first rod where you have to be able to create vast amounts of line speed to get the rod to throw an 8wt line. Not all rods are like this and the winston actually is pretty good in the feel department but others are just more work than they need to be if you line them with a matching line wt.


02-26-2007, 02:33 PM

It sounds like we are disagreeing only on whether on the basis of a given 8 wt being stiffer throughout than another determining whether it is an 8 wt or not. Granted, I would not hand a beginning fly caster (or even one with only 2-3 years fly casting experience) a Sage TCR for the simple reason that this rod takes good technique and the ability to put a lot of power into a cast to get the performance built into it. And I agree the softer rods like the TFO with its soft tip and pretty steep taper from butt to tip (that makes it feel stiffer than it is) allows a newbie to "feel" the rod load since the tip bends so readily and the middle of the rod bends pretty easily too.

However, I think the popularity of the TFO has more to do with a combination of low price, the mid-flex taper with soft tip giving the illusion of being stiffer, faster than it actually is, and the hype generated by newbies who have cast the cheap, lowest priced Wal-mart, Bass Pro Shops, Cabella's, G.I. Joes, Sportman's Warehouse fly rods. The TFO sells for only a little more than the really poor casting cheapos they have cast or been using so when they pick up a TFO, they can cast better. This leads them to proclaim they have found great casting rods nearly the equal of the best for a lot less money. And the hype generated by their postings on the internet causes those who are new to think that this is the best buy on the market for a very good casting rod, so heck, just get a TFO and use the money you save for something else since you won't gain much by spending more for the better rods.

02-28-2007, 09:21 AM
I have to disagree on over lining a GLX. That would make a sports car feel like a dump truck to me. This highlights the subjective nature of line ratings, rod evaluations and Sean's belief that modern rods are underlined.

The average caster can't cast, and will generally like an overlined rod for the simple reason that the more grains in a flyline the more work it does for them.

People ask a lot of their flyrods. They are trying to cast more weight, bushier flys, further on lighter lines than in the past. A seven weight used to be a standard trout rod. Now a four or five weight is the standard. Sean brings up the outbound (which is kind of like a scandi line?). What is the weight of a double taper line when you have 40' feet out? DT's used to be the standard.

TFO rods are a good value at best...IMHO.

02-28-2007, 11:54 AM
Isn't this what fly fishing should be about:

The average caster can't cast, and will generally like an overlined rod for the simple reason that the more grains in a flyline the more work it does for them.

Shouldn't the rod and line be doing the work for us? Having to artificially provide 'load' via a double haul should not be the norm IMHO. The average casters far outnumber the 'experts' and fly fishing should be catering to the everyday angler, not just the ones who spend 2 hours a day practicing.

I can cast just fine with the 'correct' line wt on my glx but it is more work to cast 60 - 80' with the 'correct' line than it is with a line wt that is 1 or 2 weights heavier. 95% of anyones casts are never more than 80 feet and I can do that with one backcast and no haul with a heavier line.

I just think the idea of casting properly being having to double haul like a madman is dubious at best. I can cast with 'high line speed' but no longer prefer to do it. Just too much work and my spey casting has taught me the value of loading the rod with the line so that is what I do with my single handers.


ps. The outbound in an integrated shooting head line round 37' long. Nothing to do with scandi.

02-28-2007, 04:40 PM
Sean, everyone develops their own likes. That was my point. I like a zippy fast recovery (especially on the GLX) and you don't. OK.
One of the main reasons people like "spey" style fishing is that the monsterously heavy lines do so much work. It makes it kind of easy (like your saying). Anyone can flop out an 80' cast after a little instruction. What's not to like? Can't shoot line? Make a 130' head. If you are Way Yin, you could shoot a bunch of line on top of that. Now that's covering some water! Most people are happy with an easy 80'.

One of the reasons people like fishing scandinavian styles is the light approach (isn't that one of the main appeals to fly fishing in the first place?). Shorter, lighter lines and rods. It is very efficient and quiet. Maybe more work for big distance, and maybe a little more skill too. That doesn't sound like fun. But in no time, anyone can be zipping out short casts with little trouble. That is kinda fun. And those Swedes and Norwegians seem to be able to air out a little line. Again, most people would be happy to get an easy 80'.

To each their own...right? Some like trucks others like sport cars. They both have their place. If I could cast both styles well, I would be pleased.

Anyone who has to "double haul like a mad man" needs more than a hundred more grains. I'm sure you would agree.

ps. are you sure that there is nothing scandi about a 37' shooting head? If it flys like a duck....

02-28-2007, 05:23 PM
It definitely is a preferred approach but I guess I just have a problem with the fact the high line stuff gets so much play as to being better than just loading the rod from the start with the line. Fly fishing is not as beginner friendly as it could be. Guess when it comes down to it that is what I wanted to say. I also do a lot of single hand spey casting throughout the typical day fishing a single hander and most all correctly matched line combos make for poor spey casters as they are not heavy enough to load your rod for single hand spey casting.

We get by with about the max 110' heads over at the speypages. Not sure if there any any much longer out there, at least not commercially made ones. Shooting a 60' foot line to 110' is about 10 times easier than picking up a 110' line and casting it back out without shooting.

Not sure I would characterize scando fishing as a light approach. Lines are still pretty heavy for a short line. About 600 grains for my 12' 6" 9wt. It is a low effort style though as it most of spey casting.

The taper on an outbound is actually opposite the taper on most scandanavian lines. Can you cast them with an underhand approach, yes, but most underhand casters would not categorize them as a scando line. They cannot be modified like a typical scando head is either to match your rod length. I think peter-s-c on the board has a good write up somewhere about all things scando fishing.

Well how is that for off topic :)