Thanks for asking David,
I was admiring that rod at Somerset but did not get a chance to load it up with a line. It's no surprise to me that it did not load with the SA steelhead line, which is probably my favorite *single* hand greasliners line in an 8wt on the Sage 9'6" 8wt RPL (discontinued) but it does not strike me as being the right choice for spey casting due to the very long back taper. I suppose it could be adapted to spey casting if it was up-sized to a 9wt (?) and cast with a sufficient amount of the back taper inside the guides. My experience with long back-taper spey lines is that the taper must be stripped into the guides. It does provide a good keel for the loop in flight, although other lines with more abrupt tapers also fly well with spey casts so I am not certain how valuable a long back taper is in spey lines.
I use my own groupings to rate lines for rods until all lines come into the new standards - the 5/6 group; the 6/7 group, the 7/8 group, the 8/9 group, etc. There is some conistency around Rio, Airflo, and SA in numbering in three of the four mentioned above, thankfully. In other words, if you buy a Solstice 6/7 it works with all three 6/7 lines. Or the 7/8, yes once again.
Without having cast the rod, my guess would be that it falls into the same category as the CND tracker 12'2"... what I call the "5/6" group:
- 5/6 Windcutter, best choice for versatility / sinktips, etc.
- Hardy Mach I 8/9 (not the PLUS which is much heavier).
If that's light, then up to the next notch, which is the 6/7 spey notch (listed below by heaviness of 'feel'):
- 6/7/8 Windcutter
- 6/7 Midspey
- 6/7 Delta
- 6/7 SA short spey
Beyond that we are out of the range of that rod I am sure.
I would proceed as follows:
Determine whether the rod is a 5/6 class or a 6/7 class rod. My W.A. guess would be the 5/6 group, having only wiggled it.
If yes... and you are interested in a versatile line, sinktips, etc - go with the Rio Windcutter 5/6. Otherwise if you want a floating salmon finesse line, go with the Hardy Mach I 8/9.
However if it's a 6/7 class rod:
- 6/7/8 Windcutter (tips or not)
- 6/7 Midspey (tips or not)
- 6/7 Delta (tips or not)
- 6/7 SA short spey (cut your own)
I can only tell you which if I tried it, and my opinion might differ from anothers as I like a crisp feel to cast for distance with the whole head out of the guides.
Please let us know what you find out.
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum