TWO HANDED OVERHEAD FLY RODS [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum


12-16-2008, 01:11 PM
I’ve been fly fishing in saltwater (stripers, Blues, sea trout, etc.), for well over 45 years with single handle rods from 7 to 10 weight. Presently, I decided to try 2 handed overhead rods to achieve more distance only when needed. I just bought the new 11 foot, 8 weight, Deer Creek TFO 2 handed rod. (Mfg Recommendations - 400-600 gr. or 7-10 weight lines)
Three Questions-
a) Suggest a manufacturer’s line for maximum casting distance in 3’ deep flats, (light winds), an Intermediate line.
b) Suggest another manufacturer’s line for fly fishing from a jetty into 25’ of water depth, (light winds), a medium sinking line.
c) Finally, suggest a line for fishing the heavy surf, (moderate winds), probably medium sink line.
I assume that fly lines would either be heads with looped running lines, integrated line heads, or Weight Forward lines.
A tough question, but would really appreciate recommendations from experienced 2 handed overhead anglers. Much thanks!

12-17-2008, 07:45 AM
Keep the head length around 38 ft (give or take) and when on the beach the best running line you can find. Rio and Airflo both make great lines in this configuration.

Use a stripping basket you will have lots of running line in play.

I prefer no loop connection although some are slim enough to slip thru the guides with a fish on or on strip to the tip situations.

Rio Outbound, Airflo 40 plus, etc - great lines. Longer heads from SA are nice as well but as 'Simon says' (Simon Gawesworth) right around 38 feet is best when grains match up with the rod.

Get together with friends who have gone thru the learning curve and try their gear or take some lessons.

12-22-2008, 09:10 AM

Are you still teaching two hand casting? If so, can you send me details. If not, is there any one you can recommend on the Cape.


12-27-2008, 08:38 PM
As mentioned, I am new to this type of casting, & I thank you all for replies on line suggestions. Just a bit of info- I received my rod recently, and since I had a 600 gr. Airflo Depth Finder line, I tried to cast it being a novice to the techniques. With several consecutive casts (no false), I suprisingly casted the 90 ' line + leader, and significantly into the backing with little effort. My conclusion: - With some more experience, and possibly using other lines, this new means of casting has met my objectives. The rod is not fast action, but seems to deliver line appropriately. Next is learning how to catch, retrieve and land fish with this long rod.

12-28-2008, 04:43 PM
Flywriter, interestingly, I've got the same rod, and while still in the learning mode, I've been using the Rio Outbound 9wt (375 gr) and getting 90 feet without a backcast. The head (38') outside the tip top and slipping a couple of feet on the backcast is pretty easy, as long as you don't muscle the rod. I'll try a 10wt Outbound and see if that loads or overloads the rod. I think it should be better.

My intention is twofold: surf and rivers for muskie.

12-30-2008, 04:35 PM
Try a 12 weight Intermediate St line (30'Head), with braided mono running line,- it worked for me.

12-30-2008, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the info on the 12wt intermediate. If you look at the Rio site, they indicate and confirm what Juro said, a 38' head is ideal and they recommend the AFS Outbound 7/8, or the standard WF9 Outbound for the TFO Deer Creek Switch Rod. Incidentally that site has a wealth of info on spey rods.

I've been reading books on spey casting from Al Buhr and Simon Gawesworth, and I'd recommend them to anyone getting started in the two-hand endeavor.

12-30-2008, 06:04 PM
Jim- while attending the Canal Spey Day last spring (attended by Paul C, Sean R, FishHawk, and Kenny A, to name a few), and during the Canal outing on the first day of the Spring Clave (attended by several of the same), I discovered that (at least in my hands) the Atlantis is not the best rod for spey casting. It's a bit too stiff, and not quite long enough (great for overhead surf casting)- even with the Skagit line that several folks recommended for it (and I must admit, Paul C was able to get it to work reasonably well with that line, but it was just not coming to me that day). I got a chance at the Spey Day to try out FishHawk's new T+T spey rod (with the same Skagit line, I think), after which I started dreaming about what things of value I could sell off so I could by his rod's twin brother- that rod was SWEET- much more forgiving than the Atlantis, and Sean R had Bill and I firing off acceptable casts with it after a brief tutorial.
I'm still trying to figure out what I can sell to get up the money for that rod and a matching reel:confused:

12-30-2008, 08:19 PM
Doc, DH rods are like SH rods - different rods suit different folks casting styles/abilities.

I have a 12 year old Daiwa 13' 8 weight (bought new ;) ), and i've fished top of the line Sage, Sharpes, Loop and Hardy DH rods and I still prefer the old cannon - which I can fire 70/80 feet with a DT line in a double spey cast (i.e. no false cast).

my unlearned opinion is that for people who only fish DH rods occasionally, many of the top rods are too fast an action for peoples timing which tends to be hit and miss unless you fish it all the time like steelheaders etc or you're very good.

if you find a rod you like and it suits you stick with it. :cool:

12-31-2008, 04:43 AM
The T&T rod is as FlyDoc says a great rod. Jim I use the 10 wt Airflo 40+ beach line on it. I contacted Trevor of T&T who recommended the line . I got the line from a fly shop in NJ (can name it because of the rules) . The owners son is on the pro staff of T&T and he confirmed the recommendation. I do more overhanded casting with this rod and it's also useful as a Spey Rod for Canal fishing.
Paul C has given me some valuable casting lessons which I will continue in 09. It's a 13 foot rod which is very useful for Spey casting and over handed casting despite some who think this rod is too long. ;)
Sean Ransom is also a great caster and and really put the rod thought it's paces.
I contacted RIO and got their Skagit line, turns out that Simon owns this rod and likes it very much.

01-02-2009, 07:40 PM
Fishhawk, personal preference notwithstanding let's talk simple physics. Longer rods are fine for casting and I own rods over 16ft in length (Spey) especially for Spey casting.

However, as I have clarified since day one, the problems I've encoutered were not with casting.

#1 - landing fish

When you are 8/10 of a mile from land on a flat and are trying to land a 42" cow by yourself in waist deep water two extra feet of graphite is a lot.

If you're on a beach no problem (hence I coined the term 'beach rod') but from a boat, rocks, wading flats - the less graphite lever the better for landing your catch.

A properly executed two-hand cast can yield profound distance and grain carrying assistance without being too long for landing fish. But it's always a trade-off.

#2 - working the fly

When you are imparting the critical enticing action that is often the difference between catching and not in striper fishing the extra graphite creates distance to the fulcrum point, weight, and reverberation during the strip. The longer the rod, the less "connected" you are to the fly / action on the fly.

This does not apply to a swung fly, which is the approach that 2hdrs were developed for in the first place across the puddle. This is an age-old technique borne from anadramous salmonids, effectively Spey fishing. However a swung fly is a just minute slice of the spectrum of striper angling options.

BTW - for Spey fishing longer rods are ideal.

So here's my gentleman's challenge - instead of making vague references to "good" and "others think" post some reasons that would sway me from the thinking I developed from years of experimentation in this area over the past couple of decades.

I can be (and often am) swayed by solid argument but not by a lack thereof, meaning no disrespect and meant humbly and sincerely.


01-02-2009, 11:29 PM
Juro, u have a PH'd in physics, I didn’t know that...the man has an opinion. Why are u always questioning FishHawk’s opinion? It’s getting very old…. please teach us critical enticing action. What the hell is that. I’m just a dumb fishman??????

01-03-2009, 02:12 AM

I don't think I could have been any clearer about what I said. I hoped to elevate the discussion beyond this:

despite some who think this rod is too long. ;)

to discuss the reasoning behind such digs (which are never given).

As I said in the original response to the above quote - I can be (and often am) swayed by solid arguments but not by a lack thereof, meaning no disrespect and meant humbly and sincerely.

Silly me - somehow I got the impression this was a thread about a two-handed fly rods!

01-03-2009, 06:27 AM
Juro you have strong opinions about your choice of rod. When I told you that I got the rod your first remark was that the rod was too long. :confused:
That's fine but if this rod is good enough for Simon it's good enought for me. :D
We can argue about the merits of the length of the rod but the bottom line is respect the other person even if they have different view from yours.
So, I don't want to get into a pissing match with you and will keep my opinons to myself from now on.

01-03-2009, 08:52 AM
Fishhawk -

I don't make decisions on opinions, but rather observations. Furthermore I have changed my beliefs with every observation worthy of merit, and most came from interaction with others. I am always comparing with what others observe.

That being said it genuinely drives me crazy (in a very objective way) when people postulate opinions about GEAR with no explanation, let alone post digs directed at me. When opening up the discussion to focus on the GEAR causes a personal affront I think we've fallen off the discussion track.

I was almost apologetic to you about the way I asked "where's the beef?", i.e. talk about your observations and beliefs objectively.... yet no response involving the GEAR seems to be forthcoming just more indignation.

Just a reminder - this isn't an opinion poll. If you want to post an 'opinion' in the form of a dig, you can bet your tutti frutti fly that I will ask a question about the rationale behind it if you omit it.

Let's get back to a discussion about GEAR.

01-03-2009, 11:28 AM
hey chill guys, as I said different rods for different strokes n folks ;)

Juro, as to your first problem - slack off the reel completely, pass the rod under your arm and separate the top two sections off with your right hand, and then hold both sections by the rod in your left hand - making sure you are only touching the line once.


01-03-2009, 01:30 PM
No worries Mark, I am not in the least bit agitated but just calling a spade a spade.

Interesting idea - and you sound like you've tried it too (?) I suppose you could also drop the section in the water and land the beast with the stout bottom half as long as you were confident you could retrieve it in the event that the knot broke.

01-03-2009, 03:22 PM
I got the idea from someone else in ireland ;) - its also what they do to land fish in UK/EU 'coarse' fishing in what they call 'pole' fishing, when they use 13m rods...

he was wearing hip boots and just stuck the bottom two sections including reel down his left leg :chuckle:

I have tried it myself when I was fishing in high water on a submerged island mid river and I had nowhere to land a fish - i tucked and broke the rod down.

I wouldn't leave the top half in the water - the fish could run and tangle in to it.

from the boat or the rocks its easy peasy as long as you put the bottom half of the rod with the reel face up so it can freespool (with you controlling the line by hand).

I am now vaguely recalling that on Irish loughs they use 15-17ft rods in 'dapping' mayflies on floss (no flyline) from boats and do exactly that.


01-04-2009, 09:56 AM
I like it! I could effectively hook the fish on an 12wt and land it on a 4wt! ;)

Mike Oliver
01-23-2009, 07:56 AM
I am no expert with TH but currently have two both 14 feet long with overhead casting actions. One is a TCR 9 the other a one off CTS I got built about 3 years ago. The CTS is stiffer than the Sage. For me there was no point in staying with a rod length that was close to my 9 foot single hander so my first TH rods were going to be mid length at 14 feet. I will try 11 and 12 feet later. Unless I was to be fishing inlets or the canal Spey Casting does not come into the equation at all.

Landing big fish is more awkward with a longer TH but improvisation is the way through. My largest Striper on a TH is 32 inch. If Wading say waist deep with a decent fish on and not able to get the fish to hand then I probably would just throw the whole rod behind me and pull the fish to me by the leader and fly line. I care not about my reels taking a dunking. Somehow you get your fish to hand on the day. long TH do offer advatages over shorter versions especially if you are deep wading as you can keep the line off the water better when casting. My 14 footers are not heavy really either.

I think Juro has a point about controling the line stripping action. It is harder to be as subtle with the longer rod but I think you can still swim your flies by stripping well enough.

Th long short or medium TH all have compromises to them. You just have to sort out whats most important to you.
I just wish I had the time to play around with them more especially in Cape Cod. This year CC is out for financial reasons and the fact your dollar is fast approaching parity with the shamed Uk pound. Makes the trip twice the price and that I can't run to. But watch out for Binksey and co. I think they may return.


01-23-2009, 08:00 AM
... and a proper welcome will await them :lildevl:

Mike Oliver
01-23-2009, 08:09 AM
... and a proper welcome will await them :lildevl:

By that Juro I take you mean a wet one. Well wet on the inside from staying overly long in a disreputable place called "Squires" and being fed copious amounts of beer by you Guys.

I am going to miss the Cape this June. Last year was fantastic. I never did get to wetsuit Brewsters. The beach was different to the previous year and the currents on the incoming impossible to contemplate by swimming. One day maybe even though you Guys think I am nuts.

Hope Spring Clave is good.