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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Old 02-07-2005, 07:11 PM
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Spock Spock is offline
Jim Buffalo Outfitters
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Western N.Y.
Posts: 91
two hander

Iam looking at getting into this and would like to know what kind of rod,reel, and line to use for great lakes steelhead. I like sage rods and ross reels, so this might help you guys out.
Catch and Release So Others Can Enjoy Them (Buffalo Outfitters FlyShop)
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:13 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Location: Grand River, Ontario
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First, I'll put my answer into perspective. I'm a huge fan of Sage single handers and I've owned more Sages than any other brand of rod. I have never owned a Sage two-hander (though I've casted many) and it's doubtful I ever will.

You fish the Catt and I've fished it enough times to have some feel for the creek. Except for a few places like the bridge at Gowanda, distance is not an issue. We need a rod that'll handle short to medium distances plus one that will handle a range of lines and terminal rig. The best rod I've found to meet that set of criteria is the Loop Blue 8124. I also own the the lighter version, the 7116, and it would be a good choice too for the narrower stretches but the 8124 is the more overall versatile rod.

There are other excellent rods in this category, the CND Custom 1308, the T&T rods in the same range, etc. -- I'm just recommending the Blue 8124 as it's a rod I own and I know what it can and can't do. Black Francis inhabits this spot too and he's a local store owner of yours. I'm sure he can point you in the right direction. However, before you lay down serious cash, I strongly suggest that you extend your search criteria beyond Sage.

Last edited by peter-s-c; 02-07-2005 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:19 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Eastern Great Lakes & Gaspe
Posts: 1,003
Have to agree with Peter on this one. Sage has a very limited selection of rods for the kind of fishing and casting you will be doing on the Catt. and for that matter most of the tribs in the area. I use the Sage 12 5wt. In the early fall when the weather is good and the fish are small, but as the season progresses the weather gets worse, the fish get bigger and the 5wt. Is a bit out classed. I would look for a rod in the 11 13 foot range in a 7/8wt.

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Old 02-08-2005, 09:36 AM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Great lakes and West Coast Steelhead
Posts: 165

I would agree that Sage are not the greatest rods for the region. Especially for someone who is entering the spey arena. Unless you are fishing the bigger rivers, which for me means the Niagara, Genesee, Oswego, and Salmon, 12-13'6" 7-8 weight is probably a good range to be in. This will also cover a lot of the fishing in the aforementioned rivers also.

I noticed that your home page is for Buffalo Outfitters. You should have access to Orvis rods then ? The 12'6" 7 weight and 12'6" 8 weight are both nice rods. I should clarify that my 8 weight is the old Trident. I have not cast the newer line but understand the action is similair. My 8 weight does very well with a WC 7/8/9 for casts in the 65 - 70 foot range. This covers most fishing situations in the area. If you have good technique you can push these rods out to 90 ft plus. I have not cast the 7 but would imagine a 6/7/8 WC to be a good starting position. These rods really come to life when there is a light reel under them so don't put too big of a monster under them. I am very disappointed that Orvis stopped the Trident spey, they were much more pleasing to the eye. If you want a more detailed review of these rods Dana did a review of the Orvis on the spey pages.

T+T, Winston, CND and Loomis (just to name a few) all have rods that are nice for the area and some are tuly more capable rods than the Orvis. I chose to encourage you to try the orvis only because of your association with Buffalo Outfitters which I believe is an Orvis dealer and because it is an under appreciated rod. The Orvis line is also very nicley priced for the starter or someone who wants an additional rod at a good price.

Good Luck

Sorry, just notice that Orvis has redone their line a little this year. I would reccomend the 12'6" 7/8. They no longer have two different 12'6" rods. I'm guessing that this rod is closer to my 8 weight than the old 7.


Last edited by Gillie; 02-08-2005 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:37 PM
Nick Pionessa OOFS
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: wny
Posts: 160
i would have to disagree at least a little. i think sage makes at least two darn nice rods for this area. the first would be the 12.5' 8 wt euro. which i like a lot and is not too much rod for the catt and not too little for the niagara. if you like med action rods it is really a nice casting rod. the other which i learned to cast on is the 13.5' 7 weight. i think the existing one is a little different than the old (7-8 years?) one that i borrowed from a friend. this rod is slow but it is actualy a great rod to learn on as it really lets you know what's going on. definitly not a weight rod but for the catt lots of people use it. it loads on short casts very well and is darn near impossilbe to break a fish off on. the distances here don't usually require a cannon of any sort and if there is one area sage can cover it's here. btw i don't own or regularly fish any two handed sage rods, but i have cast the mentioned rods quite a bit. i am a T&T fan myself but i like the faster rods.
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Old 02-08-2005, 04:30 PM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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Location: Great lakes and West Coast Steelhead
Posts: 165

Those rods would certainly do the job, and probably do it well. The reality is that almost any manufacturer makes a decent spey rod these days. It really comes down to preference and casting stroke.

I know that for me it took a little bit to get used to how fast my T+T is but now I absolutely love it.

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