Time to move on . . . [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Time to move on . . .

09-08-2007, 10:10 PM
. . . to Saltwater that is. After 7 years of strictly trout, I'd like to try some striper fishing and would like your opinions on equipment.

I'm partial to Sage and was looking at both the Z-Axis and the Xi2 in a 9' 9 wgt. Pros and cons between the two? I've cast them both (but not side by side) and they seem comparable.

Anyone have any experience with the Nautilus line of reels? I was thinking of the NV but open to suggestions on all brands.

Lines? Floating, Intermediate?

Thanks in advance!

09-08-2007, 11:47 PM
I have no opinion on the rods or reel, but I use a floater most of the time and use trout tactics of presentation for my striper fishing, even for teh blues if they are being fussy. Ron

09-09-2007, 08:07 AM
Don't know what your budget is but I like T&T rods. I used to be a Sage guy until I tried the T&T. I now own and built two T&T Horizon II. As for reels I have a Tibor Riptide and it is a sweet tough reel which is well machined and made in the USA .
This is what I use. You'll hear a lot of folks that say a sealed drag is the only way to go but I've never had a problem with my reel and I fish it in the surf and it has gotten dunked several times. Just something to think about . FishHawk

09-09-2007, 09:29 AM
I don't have an opinion on the rods, never owned either brand.

For an intermediate line, nothing beats the Cortland Little Tunny. For reels, I have an Old Florida 6SA that I really love, which is owned by Nautilus.

09-09-2007, 02:43 PM
Just a comment on the Xi2. I have a 6 wt for the salt. In use about 3 years. No signs of corrosion at the guides. Good salty product. I think that most would opt for an 8 wt for the first salt rod if fishing on foot. Good crossover for bonefishing. Then if you are interested in bigger flies or more lifting power from a boat you can get a 10 as a second rod :biggrin:

09-09-2007, 04:00 PM
A note on the T&T rod company. I broke my vector and sent it in, not really expecting a quick turn around time but I did put a note in asking to have it by the 21st. When I called last week to check on it, the lady who answered the phone went out to the shop and checked on the status. I'd give there service an A+. They said check back next week and if it's not done they may be able to hook me up with something anyway.

09-09-2007, 04:17 PM
A note on the T&T rod company. I broke my vector and sent it in, not really expecting a quick turn around time but I did put a note in asking to have it by the 21st. When I called last week to check on it, the lady who answered the phone went out to the shop and checked on the status. I'd give there service an A+. They said check back next week and if it's not done they may be able to hook me up with something anyway.

That Lady at T&T is great. She took care of me a few years ago. I think she had just taken over the rod repair activities at that time.

09-10-2007, 05:13 AM
I have couple Xi 2's & find them to be very good rods. They are made for the salt water. They have a little stiffer(or different) action than the Z-axis I think & will shoot heavier shooting heads better. I have only cast a Z-axiz 9 wt on the lawn. Only when you cast it in a fishing situation with wind will you know for sure. But if it was my money I would stick with the Xi-2 for the salt

09-10-2007, 06:00 AM
just to add to the confusion. i had been a sage man for quite a number of years until recently. i still like them a lot and use them for most, but not all applications. i own 3 xi2's-6wt, 8wt, 9wt. 2 years ago i purchased an 8ft 9wt gloomis crosscurrent for peacock bass. very fast action and powerful lifter. i now use it on my boat for stripers. i like it better than the 9 wt xi2. i was still using the xi2 on the flats however until july this year when i jammed the 2 middle pieces together and could not separate them. i had to send them to sage for repair. So while i was waiting, i purchased a 9'9" crosscurrent. for me, the best. smooth and fast with a more flexible tip than the 8ft and it suits my casting style better than the xi2 9wt. that said, i think that the xi2 8wt is a cut above the 9wt-and i have always felt that way. i tried the z-axis while on a salmon trip in late july. it was matched with sage's line. the rod i cast was 10' 8wt, and i was able to cast the entire line-something i cannot otherwise do. but that was on the lawn and again it was a 10'rod with the perfect line match. i own nautilus reels. i cannot say enough about the quality, the look and the service-and the price is less than most comparable reels. P.S. sage could not fix the 9wt xi2 so they sent me a brand new new one. i was thinking about selling it on ebay. if you decide on sage xi2 drop me a pm if you think you'd like to purchase it for a deep discount.

09-10-2007, 10:13 AM
Flyman -

As a fellow FFF instructor I am confident you already know how to generate a good cast so let me see if there is some 'salty' advice as basser put it so well that might be helpful.

I would categorize striper fishing as having four primary dimensions - surf, flats, inlets and estuaries. If you are on a boat that's another discussion but let's stick to shore for now.

In the surf you need distance to overcome the inshore turbulence as well as stoutness to handle larger grain lines and wrestle fish in sloppy breaking waves - typically larger fish as well. You want a rod that in in the balance between giving you a sore shoulder (e.g. too stiff) and folding up on you when you are using a powerful stroke. In Sage terms the Xi2 or a two-hander for surf, also the T&T H2 is a favorite of mine. There are many options but I would go with a 9wt or 10wt or a two-hander.

On the flats most casts you make will be short and reactionary with accuracy and timing being far more important than distance or stiffness. An 8wt would be fine, a 9wt is better given some of the huge fish you may hook. In Sage terms I love the old RPLXi or RPL action for the flats because of it's forgiving flex which helps make those ninja casts. ;) I prefer the stiffer rods when going down to a 7wt, again the T&T H2 is my favorite in that category for bonefish, even a stiff 7wt is not stiff in a grown man's hands. The best single line for the striper flat is a clear intermediate line, all-around. Floating and sinking lines work fine but a floater doesn't cover the dropoffs, channels and tide rips adjacent to the flats and the sinker can be a ham-fisted intrusion to the skimcoat of water over the white sand at noon.

Inlets where tide currents are strong are best fished with fast sinking lines and there is an advantage to long casts (swing coverage) and with so much tension from current it's best to go with a rod with some butt power when you hook up in the current. Again I would opt for a 9/10wt or a two-hander in spots like the new Nauset break, Chatham lighthouse inlet, mouth of the Merrimac, Monomoy Rip, etc.

Estuaries - you can use anything you want. Very forgiving but the fish might be overly focused on worms or copepod swarms, grass shrimp and give you fits that way but you could use about anything you got in an estuary.

Hence most just get a 9x9 which does it all in striper country, a wise choice. Put a clear intermediate on that and you can cover most of the scenarios effectively. I would get a sinking line next, then if you wish a floater last. Others would steer you differently but I would argue that they are fishing the way they want rather than matching the demands of the situation.

Good luck and join us down the cape where all four of these categories are unmatched anywhere on earth. :smokin:

09-11-2007, 09:04 AM
I appreciate everyone's answer, and especially the thoroughness of yours Juro. If anyone has more to add, I'm listening!

As someone who is just beginning the transition from strictly trout to the salt, I feel there is so much more to learn. But, that's what makes this sport so great!

As for books on the topic, where is a good place to begin - any recommendations? There are always those books that tend to stand out from the rest. Can someone list a few for me?

Thanks again!

09-11-2007, 10:13 AM
Ray Bondorew's Stripers and Streamers is a favorite of mine, Simple and to the point. Ray is the inventor of the Ray's fly, which is a very simple effective pattern for stripers.

Alan Caolo's sight fishing for stripers is a good read.

The moon pulled up an acre of bass, is a diary format of the fall run around Montauk, but there is much information to be gleaned from the stories written in it.

09-11-2007, 10:29 AM
Inshore Fly Fishing by Lou Tabory is probably the bible on the subject.

Fly Rodding the Coast by Ed Mitchell is another good read.

I agree that Caolo's book is the one if you want to get into sightfishing for stripes.

If you don't have it from your freshwater days I would also pick up a copy of Pratical Fishing Knots by Kreh and Sosin.

There is a host of others with flies, baitfish etc...but I would start with Tabory and keep going. It is a bit old when it comes to the tackle section but the parts about reading the water etc...will prove invaluable.


09-11-2007, 01:12 PM
Regarding reels, a couple of thoughts. I use both Tibor and Nautilus reels, but separate them to different types of fishing. The Tibor is built like a tank with a very robust cork drag. Because it is not sealed, I steer away from using in while wade fishing. Excellent for use on boats and as a heirloom to hand down to the kids. The Nautilus has a sealed drag system and I have been using them for almost two seasons without drama. They have been dunked and nearly buried in the sand. The only maintenance is a good sweetwater wash.

Juro touts the Daniellson reels, also sealed drag system. Similar maintenance program to the Nautilus.

Whatever your selection, the spool should hold 200 yards of backing and your preferred flyline. Stripers don't tend to require a lot of backing unless you hookup in a strong current/rip.

I've teamed my reels with Sage Xi2 rods. I'm somewhat partial to Sage RPLxi rods because they have a softer tip than the Xi2; but the Xi2 is a great rod for the salt. Strong butt section for lifting, oversize guides, and a fast action. If it was purely a sightfishing game for you, then the accuracy and finesse of the Z-Axis would be my choice.

09-11-2007, 02:49 PM
For rods, personally, I'm very partial to my Xi-2. Just a great casting rod, made for the saltwater enthusiast.

As for reels. Last year I acquired a Dannielson LW 8twelve and I love it. I've fished Bones and Stripers with it. Built well, low maintenance, and it looks good.



09-11-2007, 03:09 PM
Chris -

Candy for the eyes...

"the second most beautiful thing Sweden produces"


09-12-2007, 04:46 PM
Do you Dannielson guys have any problems with sand getting between the frame and the spool? Seems that this could be a problem area. Why I wonder did they choose to put the spool inside the frame ? FishHawk

09-12-2007, 09:36 PM

Never really had that problem. With all of my reels, I try to keep them away from any real sand contact, ie. resting in my hat or stripping basket on the beach. Which is really a good rule of thumb for any reel you have, since they can get sand in them.

I can't think of a reel that can't get sand in it. As a matter of fact, I recall spending 3 hours working on a Tibor reel to get sand out of the bearing when we were in Acklins. Every reel is subject to this.

But to answer your question, I haven't really noticed this on my Dannielson.


P.S. - I do love the Tibors, just can't justify one right now.

09-12-2007, 10:32 PM
Not too much a problem and you can always do the danielsson rinse. Stick the butt of the rod with the reel on it into the saltwater and shake vigorously, repeat, and then continue fishing.


09-13-2007, 11:06 PM
Sweet looking reel that LW 8/12. I just ordered the HD 9/13 as it will be used for small tuna and im hoping it can handle the rough boat rides and my rough handling after a year of reading posts online and drooling over the Danielsson site. :D

09-17-2007, 09:16 AM
Chris -

Candy for the eyes...

"the second most beautiful thing Sweden produces"


Juro, What´s the frist one ? :)

09-17-2007, 09:40 AM
I have my opinions but it ain't watches or chocolate. :lildevl:

09-17-2007, 10:46 AM
I knew it :tsk_tsk: :razz: :chuckle:

09-17-2007, 10:47 AM
I know what you´r talking about, I live in Sweden :razz:

Sean Juan
09-17-2007, 03:39 PM
One thing to consider is that a good saltwater rod casts differently than a good trout rod - even if the rods have a similar action.

Very often a guy will want a rod that casts best for him (with his trout fishing experience) and ends up with essentially a big trout rod.

Comparing the two I found the Xi to be more of a saltwater rod and the z-axis to be less of one. As is often the case personal perference matters most you can use either with great success.

One rod you should test is the G.Loomis Crosscurrent. In my opinion it defines what a saltwater rod should be - however most guys who play with mine dislike it because of its exceptionally stiff butt which was designed more as a fish lever than a casting tool. If nothing else it may give you some food for thought.

I'd also look at the two-handed rods - I have one and it took a while to learn but it does make big fly, heavy line, long cast situations much easier to fish.

09-25-2007, 01:38 PM
My Danielsson HD 9/13 reel came in today! What a piece of engineering. Its awesome. Thanks everyone for pointing me in the direction of this fine reel. Now...to spool some gel spun and line then take it out to RI for a test run! :biggrin: