05-10-2001, 12:02 PM
Jay, I got your email but the return address got bombed out by the server - do you have another address?
By all means come along and bring the big stick! That goes for any one else who feels like trying something completely different! I'm not decided on the final location yet - it looked very crowded around the usual spots last week-end. I plan to drive up very early Friday morning and fish for a couple of hours. Then I'll be taking off to catch up with the early clave scouts.
05-10-2001, 03:12 PM
If anyone is interested, I have a Spey at the shop you can take outside and give it a try. If there is huge interest, I'll purchase a demo for the shop and you guys can check it out and go fish with it.
Sound good? Let me know...
Thanks for the offer Dave! I am all set with 5 (hope the wife's not reading this) two-handers in my rod rack currently but the offer is very generous and I'd be surprised if someone didn't take you up on it. If you get a demo the one to get for around here would be an overhead casting two-handed rod IMHO (as opposed to a Spey rod).
My experiences with the true Spey in salt were as follows:
With the exception of sand eels, crabs, and other nice small patterns which get big fish who are acting in specific forage habits, worthy fish often like meaty patterns and the fly sizes I was fishing created too big of an anchor for a good Spey cast. I ended up using the compact Spey head to compensate, and before you knew it I was overhand casting because it was so much easier plus it cast a mile. In this case the 2handed overhand rods were superior tools, just as they are worse for Spey casting.
When I went to a traditional Spey line with a smaller fly, two things happened - (a) Spey casts don't involve stripping line in rivers, striper fishing typically does and it was a pain to feed the line back out each cast (b) schoolies on a 15 foot Spey rod are hard to reach when you are standing on slippery rocks.
On the other hand, with a twohanded overhand Euro sage I can cast an entire 12wt line with a pogie fly using one backcast on a day when the wind is quartering onto my left shoulder. I actually got my son to video such a cast! I have to dub over his teenage parody comments. He was getting even for making him come film me casting on the soccer field in public, in plain daylight where someone might see him so he filled in the clip with his Bart Simpson comments (of course I was Homer in this role-play, very funny son... dOh!)
This overhand casting advantage is the cat's behind on the outer beaches where the waves, patterns, and fish are tall. I found it fares well where the shoreline is gradually sloped and the current is fierce, requiring heavy heads and frequent casts. Big girl comes to mind. Two hands and less false casting make for a pleasant day in otherwise tiring and repetitive circumstances.
Super long rods are not advantageous in my opinion. The utlimate two-hander in my book, as I have maintained all along (well after the first couple of years of trying them) is the shortest possible rod that still provides the push-pull advantage and cranks the long ball casts. It should also be WAY more stout than a single hander, because it won't wear you out. I always tell Brad from Sage, the T&T reps, Murf at Redington, etc - in passing at the shows that it will eventually be an 11 foot 11 weight that takes the two-handed bigsurf title in the end. Oh well, we'll see. I would love an 11x11, 11wtx10ft, 10x10 or even a 12wtx10 foot if it had a taper that could launch the line while being short enough to tuck under the arm and strip the fly to tease the fish. Simple things like the distance between the reel and the stripping basket count a lot, and Smitty has made some great suggestions to me in our eternal experiment with the new Sage european blanks (my fault for the delay of course).
I've been saying this same thing for years, like a broken record. We'll see someday if it's right or wrong. The trend seems to be growing and with guys like Nick Curcione working the T&T roster I would imagine that within a few years the two-handed bruha will settle into some great new rods for the nor'eastern surf scene... and perhaps some consensus about how they are best applied.
It's possible that the true Spey approach would be ideal for the canal, since it is afterall a river in essence. My one concern would be the sharp rocky incline and the task of removing a schoolie that is tethered quite a distance away, where the gradual beach provides an effective landing spot even with the longest rods. I am anxious to hear the results of this experiment!