looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 07-11-2000, 09:21 PM
bill
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looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Fishing a dry with the spey rod the other day reminded me of the 10ft 7wt sage i've been lusting after for a while now. I'm really digging the double taper floating line on the spey rod, but i'm also yearning to spend some time with a more delicate single hander.

Whatever i get will do double-duty for trout in new zealand this december, so it can't be too much of a stick. The biggest fly it will have to drive home is a heavy wire size 1. The primary fly it will toss are small dries, skaters or softhackles, probably exclusively on a full floater. Maybe i should be looking into a 6 wt?

I'm not totally convinced i should get the 10 footer instead of a 9.5, but the extra length just makes a lot of sense to me. I suspect that Juro/Brian/et al may suggest that i'm so close to the 7140 spey, why don't i just get that? And i'd love to hear pros and cons for light-weight spey (such as the sage 7140) vs single-hand rods (such as the sage 7100) as well. For example, what's it like dead-drifting a dry with a spey rod? and is a 14ft spey a bit long for small summer flows?

thanks in advance
Bill Littlewood
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2000, 01:32 AM
skookum skookum is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Hey Bill--

For what it's worth, here's my two cents: I fish a 9140 all winter and on the Dean, and fish the 7136 with sinktips in early summer. For dry-line fishing, my favorite rod is the RPL+ 796. I also own and have used the 890 (awesome type 5 sinktip rod for deep, fast slots, but a little short for dry-line) and a 7100 that for whatever reason, just doesn't do it for me. So, for drylines, love the 796, hate the 7100. Of course, that's just my own personal preference, but that 796 is lighter, crisper and just fishes a little livlier in the hand, and I feel it's plenty long enough. Does that "livlier" comment make sense? I don't know how to describe it other than I think it fishes better, I guess in the way that I feel Loomis rods cast a mile but don't feel as "fishy" as Sage rods in general. But that's a whole other topic of conversation. Anyway, the RPL+ 796 would be my recommendation. However, if you're still dying for the 7100, I have one I'd gladly sell you for a reasonable price. Just let me know if you're interested--I don't even know what they cost retail. Or I'd trade for an SP four weight four piecer. Well, as I said, this is just my personal preference--I'm sure everyone has a different opinion, and I'll be interested to see what the other guys have to say.

Peace,

Dylan
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Old 07-12-2000, 01:33 AM
skookum skookum is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Hey Bill--

For what it's worth, here's my two cents: I fish a 9140 all winter and on the Dean, and fish the 7136 with sinktips in early summer. For dry-line fishing, my favorite rod is the RPL+ 796. I also own and have used the 890 (awesome type 5 sinktip rod for deep, fast slots, but a little short for dry-line) and a 7100 that for whatever reason, just doesn't do it for me. So, for drylines, love the 796, hate the 7100. Of course, that's just my own personal preference, but that 796 is lighter, crisper and just fishes a little livlier in the hand, and I feel it's plenty long enough. Does that "livlier" comment make sense? I don't know how to describe it other than I think it fishes better, I guess in the way that I feel Loomis rods cast a mile but don't feel as "fishy" as Sage rods in general. But that's a whole other topic of conversation. Anyway, the RPL+ 796 would be my recommendation. However, if you're still dying for the 7100, I have one I'd gladly sell you for a reasonable price. Just let me know if you're interested--I don't even know what they cost retail. Or I'd trade for an SP four weight four piecer. Well, as I said, this is just my personal preference--I'm sure everyone has a different opinion, and I'll be interested to see what the other guys have to say.

Peace,

Dylan
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2000, 12:25 PM
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Doublespey Doublespey is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Hey Bill & Skookum,

I just tried what I consider to be a great rod for those who want a floating line summer steelhead single/double rod - the Scott ARC 1196/4. Great travel rod, has a very nice delivery with the RIO Windcutter 6/7/8, can be easily cast 1 handed but also casts well 2-handed (for those times when you've got the brush at your back).

It seems like it would handle a 7wt line very easily for single-hand, maybe even a WF 8 in a pinch. Nice finish, etc.

I've tried the Sage 1007 and 967 and both are nice rods - I think I like the feel of the 967 for casting but the mending of the 1007. The big advantage of the Scott is that it's just as nice for single handed work, but gives you the option of a two-hander when you need it.

I also love the 7136, but it's a bit much to cast single handed <g>

Oops - think I might have just sold myself!


Later,

Brian
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Old 07-12-2000, 09:53 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

I have the Scott 1196-4 and I think it is a really fun dry fly rod. I have used it to cast Stimulators with a dropper for trout, but I know it would work even better for swinging and skateing. I think that it is not good for the sink tips ( at least for me) so I'm going to put on a floating wind cutter and use the line with tips on another rod. It casts well single handed, but since you have the option, I think you will usually cast it with two. It seems that these lighter rods( like the #7 Sage) are sensitive to being overpowered. Lots of fun. Eddie
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Old 07-12-2000, 10:04 PM
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juro juro is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Bob Schmelzle was pretty fond of his T&T 12 foot 8wt single/double the year before I moved east. In fact he landed two steelhead the morning I fished it with him.

Bill, I would recommend a 9' 6" 8wt instead of a 7wt personally because the typical summer conditions (August / September) have depleted oxygen levels in the water for potentially very large fish. An 8wt does a much better job of bringing the fish to hand expediently. In reality I have not fished the 7wt 10 footer but I have fished the 8wt extensively and it's a great casting, mending, and fishing tool.

As you know my preference is for a two-hander in most cases simply because of the amount of coverage you get on most streams. Even when using a single hander, you'll end up Spey casting whenever there's brush behind you. The 7136-4 Sage is a great summer run tool, although in some cases it has been a little soft for fishing sinktips - to get the hook set well on long swings.

On bigger rivers like the Sky, Cow, Hoh, etc. - you'll probably use the big two-handers anyway. A 7wt is a pretty whimpy tool for these rivers in my opinion. I got totally smoked by a chrome Hoh summer run on my 15 foot 8/9 Loomis. I dunno how I would have fared with a 7wt single hander?

Then there was that guy, ironically named Bill, on the Cow with the 7wt 10 footer. Never saw anyone hit so many summer fish in such a short time! At one point he followed four fishermen thru the pool and still hit a 17 pound buck. Every fly he had in the flybox was a black woolly bugger. He fished a homebrew line with nearly a full sinking head section spliced to a running line. His target zone was very close to shore where most people stand, and he only fished in the evening and early morning (period).

I caught a nice 12 pound hen the day I met him. He was walking around killing time and came over to see the fish. He told me he never fishes until 5:30 or later and that he had caught seven that morning. I thought he was full of ####.

Later on I passed by his camp. We talked further about the fishing, and he showed me his box full of black woolly buggers while thought I was cool flashing the wheatley full of summer speys. Then he popped open his cooler... and there was the biggest, brightest, thick shouldered summer buck I'd seen all season. It was awesome to behold, even dead (hatchery).

He, his freind, Lou and I fished together that night. After Bill landed the first fish he moved the the back of the line, where he continued to land fish playing clean-up behind us. The last fish he landed as the lights went out was a buck just like the one he kept that morning.

From what I could see (even though I was too proud to study him) he fished the edge of the fast water and the soft water near shore, shaking his head at how far we stood in the river. He swung the fly hard, leading it with the rod aggressively. I think I detected a little twitch in the hang down imparted using his stripping hand, but I am not sure about that.

Anyway, don't know how much help this was for rod choice but it was fun reminiscing about a few great times on the river with some big steelhead in the pools.
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Old 07-15-2000, 02:37 PM
bill
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Thanks everyone for all of your gracious feedback!

Yes, Dylan, the "livlier" comment does make sense to me ( i too have a thing for sage tapers - i was already a little concerned about the 10 footer being a little too noodley, and the comments you and Brian made about the casting superiority of the 9.5 have sold me on it over the 10. I'm only sorry that your honesty has lost you a buyer for your 7100
I'm going to hold out until i get a chance to check out that Scott ARC 1196/4 though (an 11.9ft 6wt). It sure seems to be worth a look even though i'm on a hunt to balance the 8150-4 with a pure single-hander.

Juro brings up a good point about a rod being strong enough to bring in a stubborn big fish before it gets played for too long - if anyone could compare this quality in the scott 1196-4 vs sage rpl+ 796-4 vs sage 7136-4, that would be a goldmine for me

thanks again,
Bill Littlewood
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2000, 02:14 AM
skookum skookum is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Hey Bill--

Haven't fished the Scott, but I fish the RPL+ 796 and the 7136 quite a bit. In my opinion, the 796 is an awesome fish fighting tool--as with any single-hander compared to a two-hander, the amount of control you have over the fish and the feel you have to respond is excellent. The 796, in my experience, also has plenty of backbone to fight big fish. I use it for both sink tips (type 5's in deep slots) and dry-lines on the upper part of the Dean every year, and have landed some huge fish. As you probably know, the Sage single-handers tend to be right-on for their listed line weight at 9 feet, but at 9.5', the added stiffness seems to fish one line weight heavier perfectly--so I usually fish an 8 weight line on that 796. Anyway, you'll never need anything stiffer than this rod for steelhead. In comparison, the 7136 is very soft, and while I recently landed a 28lb king with it, I don't recommend it for big fish. I don't believe rod strength has anything to do with how far a fish will run, but when you're trying to move a fish in close or in heavy water, the 7136 makes for a lot of work and finesse (not to mention luck). I do love casting and fishing the 7136, though, and it's a real treat after lugging and casting the 9140 all winter. Incidentally, the primary reason (for me) for using the heavier rod in the winter/spring has to do with the size of the flies I fish at that time. Anyway, I think that 796 is the perfect compliment to your two-hander--it fishes everything from floaters to type 5's beautifully, and man, can that rod whip steelhead. If I havn't already bored you to tears with all this tech-babble, I wish you luck on your decision making, and keep me informed of what you decide.

Peace,

Dylan
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2000, 02:33 AM
skookum skookum is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Now that you've got me started...another great single-hander--especially if you're going to primarily fish sinktips--is the old workhorse 890. This rod is a classic, and though it's been updated a bit over the years, is always an excellent choice. It may feel a bit short, but in tough, windy conditions when you need to fish deep and fight big fish, it's a killer. For years when I was working in Alaska and fishing 150 days a year, this was my standard rod--I actually wore one out from fighting fish (a condition the good fellas at Sage swore was impossible, until they fished it and promptly handed me a brand new one.)
Also, as I look at my posts, they seem heavily biased towards Sage, and I want to be clear that although I had a Sage pro-deal for years, I no longer have any connection to the company other than that I think they're great rods. There are also a lot of other great rod makers out there, and I've fished a number of them, own a few, and even done some work for another, but when it comes down to it, for the style I fish (and this is a matter of purely personal preference) Sage is usually the rod that fishes best for me. I just didn't want you guys to think I was some kind of shill for the boys from Bainbridge, so I thought I ought to at least be clear about where my biased point of view comes from.

Dylan
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Old 07-17-2000, 12:21 PM
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juro juro is offline
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RE:looking for single-handed dry line summer rod suggestions

Bill -

Why don't I just send you my 896 RPL? You can still buy the Sage VPS 896 which is the same blank essentially; and from the above I would stay it's at least a contender in the contest for the single hander to fill the niche.

I don't like to beat it up in the surf and I have four 9 weight rods at this time (don't need the 8wt). After throwing the 9wt rods that 896 feels light and lively.

Let me know, I'd be happy to do it.

Juro
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