Advice on deep rocky rods [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Advice on deep rocky rods

11-12-2001, 03:23 AM
Hey to All,

I have been feeling rather envious ever since the how many rods do you own thread started... I need something new and I know that if any one has the jen on what's what it is you guys so read on and get back to me (please!).

I have decided that to increase my marine catch rate I will have to get down and dirty. To this end I have come to the conclusion that the way down is to use a Teeny 450 (I will be fishing from rocks into deep drop offs most of the time). Any suggestions for a good 8/9 rod to match?

I think seeing as that great present fest is coming up (I will not mention its name until December!) I should treat myself, or have someone near and dear treat me, to a Sage or similar.

However having never fished one, and only had a few cast of some of the trout versions I would appriciate a bit of guidance on what model to fish, especially considering the line requirements.

Looking forward to you helping me spend my money!


11-12-2001, 06:20 AM
Hi Mylo -

Here in the northeast US most find that a 325-350 grain matches best with an average 9wt, and 450 and beyond overloads a 9wt dramatically. Of course there are some makes that are rated as 8 or 9 wt that are stout enough to cast 10wt lines, others are rated pretty much for the AFTMA line rating like Sage.

I believe the grain rating for 9wt according to AFTMA is somewhere in the 250 grain range - so you wouldn't want to cast a 450 grain on an average 8 or 9 in my opinion.

Personally, heavy lines tend to sag deeper toward the end of the retrieve and this means many lost flies on rocky shores.

I try to use heavy lines on sandy bottoms with depth or current, otherwise I stick to the intermediate line.

Now I can't say I know your fishery at all but the vast majority of shore anglers who want to fish deep across the puddle from you use a 9wt rod loaded with 325-350 grain sinking head with intermediate running line, commonly sold as Rio Deep Sea -or- Cortland Quick Descent -or- Orvis Depth Charge, etc.

11-12-2001, 09:21 AM
Hi Mylo

Ditto Juro's comments on line densities. I use a 350 with my Loomis GLX #9 and it goes out like a bullet.

I've had very good reports on the density compensated fast sinking lines - I think Airflow do them - which are supposed to overcome the sagging belly Juro referred to.

Some friends of mine had great sport with Sea Trout from the shores of Achill Island in Co. Mayo a couple of years back using floaters and intermediates over the kelp beds.

Really looking forward to hear how you get on - a combination of drift fishing for wild browns, spring grilse on the rivers and salwater species on fly would make a great trip. I'm long overdue for a return visit!

11-14-2001, 11:39 AM
My experience follows Juros observations. On Rocky shores my 325 on a 9wt. sags and gets caught in the rocks. I generally use Int. when on the rocky No. Shore. BUT! I intent to experiment from my small boat next season witb big flies down deep. From that perspective (boat) the bottom will tend to descend away from the fly on the retrieve. And I also want to try some sunken ledges with big flies. So this winter I will be hunting around for a 425 grain or the like.
Should be fun, and yes it's still flyfishing!

The only thing is the angle of the bottom. IF you are talking 20 feet of water or greater you may need to the heavier line to get down.

(note: you Cape Cod guys can ignore this thread as you never see rocks or any water over 18", and it's full of sandeels to boot ;)).


11-14-2001, 01:43 PM
I have a 10 wt. LL Bean Double LL rod with a 450 grain Teeny line and it has some excellent applications. I fish a lot in the tidal rivers of mid-coast Maine and it gets the fly down great in those deep, fast moving waters. If you are going to be fishing in deep and/or fast moving waters I think this is the way to go, especially if you're throwing some big flies.
Dave Williams

11-14-2001, 02:52 PM
Thanks for the tips Lefty and Dave, and Juro and Adrian. I don't think line sag will be an issue cos the places I will be will always be minimum 6 feet deep. I have an intermediate and a slow sinker and the setup just does not connect me with fish I know to be there. This was the most frustrating thing about this seasons fishing - knowing what was there and not catching! I was reluctant to switch to a shooting head taper because i never seen one much less cast one. I reckon using a fast sinking shooting head with a bouyant fly I will be able to entice the majority of fish in the deep rocky habitats I find myself drawn to. But I will still be using the intermediate for shallow mullet and atthe couple of of spots where I know there are serious seatrout in tidal rips... ;)

Keep the advice coming... anyone else use Daves LL bean rod? What are they like... I don't know much about them except that the nearset LL Bean outlet to me is in Boston(!).


Tod D
11-15-2001, 10:48 AM

I'm a big fan of LLBean rods, for performance, price, warranty, service, etc. I've a 9'6# and a 9'9#. Used the 6 weight exclusively while living in Blackrock (Co. Dublin) a few years back. Landed a number of nice salmos salar & trutta while fishing Screebe, Delphi Lodge, Loughs Corrib, Sheelin. Actually landed some nice 7-9 lb grilse in the 'road pool' at Screebe. Fresh from the sea and the 6# handled them well.

Regarding the 9#, it's a Guide rod. They no longer carry that line (think it was supplanted by the GQS series - nice rod there). Love the Guide rod. Relatively speaking, very short money (circa $250 US) about 5 years ago. I fish it salt & fresh. This year I overloaded it with a Sci Angler 450 grain line (bit much I admit) and the rod handled it well. My arm, however, almost fell off. Don't think I'll repeat that again next season, but my intended point is that it is a real workhorse of a rod w/ a solid backbone.

As for the Bean warranty, I damaged my 6# (it's a SPT model, which they no longer carry) back in 1998 while still in Eire. Beans sent me a new rod and ask that I just return the old one in the packing material once I received it. Cannot say enough about their customer service. They've a website ( and I believe a flyfishing 'hotline' as well (don't know if the free phone number is for outside the US though).

Sorry for the long winded post. Best of luck in your quest.

11-16-2001, 05:36 AM
Thanks Tod, thats exactly what I wanted to hear. Nice to see quality rods at a reasonable price too... I might get two different ones now! A nice no. 6 for the dry fly on the lake and the saltwater one too.



PS anyone use boobie type flys (or other bouyant types to pop-up off the bottom) in the sea? If so what are the top tips and handy hints?

11-16-2001, 05:59 AM
Mylo -

I've used bouyant flies on sinking lines with great success in the past. The concept of a floating lure behind a sinking line is pretty well used in the states by non-flyfishermen: floating rubber worms behind a sinker for bass, floating marshmallows with an egg sinker to float off the bottom, corkies to float bait behind a chunk of lead in rivers out west, etc.

In the northeast, people use surface flies frequently but pretty much use floating or intermediate to fish high in the column and sinking lines to fish low.

When I moved from steelhead country to striper country I experimented a lot with my steelhead lines and one of the very successful methods for striped bass was to fish a foam bodied sand eel pattern developed by Page Rogers called a "slim jim" behind a fast sinking line so that it would float at rest and dive as you pulled it, with the line sunk deeper than the fly.

Once again, I will note that this method worked best on sandy bottoms and when rocks were involved I kept hanging up the line on the bottom. Eventually I joined the intermediate / sinking norm - use the line sink rate for the depth desired etc.

11-16-2001, 06:28 AM
Mylo, for sinking line work, the Winston XTR in a nine or ten weight would be my first choice. Stout!

11-16-2001, 08:14 AM
Lads, thanks again.

Juro, I should have mentioned that in a lot of these places the although you fish from rocks the bottom is mostly a mix of sand and kelp... very often it is really quite clean and there is not very much risk of getting wrapped round a rock. Mind you there are other places that are the opposite and the leader can e quite damaged by the abrasion of rough barnacle covered rocks.

I can't remember if I told you all before, too lazy to check old messages, but one of the guys who fishes with me also scuba dives, and he had a look at what lives around one of my favourite marks... even though we thought we were doing quite well he said that we had not even gone beyond the tip of the iceberg in terms of numbers and sizes... that is the kind of news that inspires you to try every method available!

11-16-2001, 08:56 AM
Mylo -

I'd like to send you some of these bouyant patterns to test. Please email me your postal information.



11-16-2001, 09:40 AM
unbelievable! thanks a million - address on its way.
thanks again,
PS if anyone else would like to send me some flies you can get the address off Juro ;P ^_^

11-17-2001, 12:02 AM
Mylo, what size baite are you imitating? I love snake flies for what you're doing, Ill make you up some, give me size, color, and if the bait is narrow or slab sided like a herring... email me. Tom D