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Old 06-14-2010, 03:40 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Stan, the short answer is yes. I tend to use a leader slightly longer than what I would use with a single-handed rod, but only by a foot or two, and it is by no means a necessity. I just got back from Chatham yesterday, and I tested several lines with my Beulah 11' 9/10 Surf rod. Several people, including James Shaunessey, the owner of Beulah, has suggested I would prefer the 500-550 grain heads over the ones under 500 grains. I did quite a bit of fishing with the now discontinued Airflo 40+ Beach line in the 11/12 version which is 530 grains. I just found that line to overwhelm the rod, and I had a tough time forming tight loops with it. The 9/10 version, which is 425 grains is much nicer to cast. About one in every 15 casts with the 11/12 everything would come together and I'd pop off a huge cast, but even that was only about ten or fifteen feet more than I would consistently get with the 9/10. I also used the prototype of the Beulah 535 grain surf head with a Rio SlickShooter running line and also found that one to overload the rod. Personally, I think something in the 450-475 grain range would be best suited to me. When thinking about this it occurred to me that those who false cast probably would prefer the heavier line. I fish these as a shooting system and simply lay the line down with the head and about a foot of running line outside the rodtip (though I had to use less with the 11/12 lines) and in the direction you intend to cast. I let the head sit there only long enough to get some bite and then throw a backcast and a forward cast. The problem with the heavier (500+ grain) lines is that they were way to difficult to pick up once laid down and that difficulty resulted in wide loops and a backcast too close to the water to suit me. It helped when I started allowing only about a half second of laydown for the line to get traction, but I still preferred the lighter line.

I've heard from many who prefer the Outbound short (or Airflo 40+ Coldwater) for this type of fishing. I've found the longer head of the standard Outbound, or the 40+Beach lines way preferable. The difference between a 30' head and one that's 35' or 37.5' is substantial and unless there is a clearance problem behind you I just find throwing the longer heads with the double-handed rod easier and way more comfortable. For single-handed work I've switched over completely to the 30' Rio Outbound Shorts.

James Shaunessey mentioned to me a month or so ago that the prototypes of the Beulah full line Beach lines should be out shortly. I'll be looking forward to trying those as I wasn't happy using that prototype head. Since I strip line almost to the point where the fly can sometimes end up near the rod tip, I found that connections between the head and the running line rattling though the guides constantly to be a distraction at best and a hindrance at other times, and I had all my connections done right and coated properly. It's much nicer to use an integrated shooting head for that purpose, and I believe others agree which is why the Rio Outbounds are so popular. And even though the Airflo 40+ Beach lines didn't sell well, I personally believe that's because they were ahead of their time. Surf and beach fishing with double-handed rods is growing exponentially each year, and I think those lines would sell better today if they were still on the market. The standard 40+ Coldwater lines do sell quite well.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but this issue is something I dealt with quite seriously during my week on the Cape so everything was very fresh in my mind.
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