How many 2hand rod for the surf do U have - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:14 AM
mattzoid's Avatar
mattzoid mattzoid is offline
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How many 2hand rod for the surf do U have

I only have one out here in the Pacific Northwest (Puget Sound), a Talon Midgar 13' 9wt. The only other person I know that two hands the salt out of a million fly fisherman here is Sean. He has the Atlantis.

I've used a few others, but broke them. Had them fixed and now they never see an overhead cast. Just wondering what other rods you folks on the East Coast have used for overheading off the beach.
Spey casters do it with longer rods

Matt Burke
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Old 09-11-2004, 10:58 AM
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Greg Pavlov Greg Pavlov is offline
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Originally Posted by mattzoid
I've used a few others, but broke them. Had them fixed and now they never see an overhead cast. Just wondering what other rods you folks on the East Coast have used for overheading off the beach.
The first two that I had were custom-built for me by East Branch. One, a 10.5 ft 9/10 weight, was really, really good: it was the first rod I actually fly-fished with and on my first day out was able to get the full 90 ft of line out. Unfortunately there was a fundamental flaw in the design, because it broke 3 times in the same place on the blank. The other rod eventually broke as well. I then had a two-hander built on a St. Croix 10.5 ft 9 wt blank. This one doesn't cast very welll or, probably more accurately, I can't cast very well. The primary "surf" rod for me now is the Atlantis. I also use an 11.5 ft 7 (spey) wt blue Loop. In some ways the latter is an ideal rod for me: it is light, relatively short, and casts decently both as a spey and as an overhead casting rod.
Rod Brake
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:13 AM
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juro juro is offline
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I'll bite. Probably only 6 or 7 over time, which is a lot less than spey action rods or single handed rods probably because the application is so specific (?)... but only two now. Both 11ft, one 11/12wt and the other 9/10wt.

Anyway in 1995 I started with a 9140, a 10150-4 and a 7136-4 Sage fresh off the plane from Seattle. Great spey casting tools but just wrong for the atlantic surf on Cape Cod. I didn't know of any rods suited for this purpose even though I worked at a flyshop, but it's a big universe and I could've been wrong. I did have fun spey/swinging for stripers on tidal rivers but that's about the limit of spey action enjoyment I had and wanted a big surf gun for flies.

Anyway I couldn't find anything like that so spent the next few years working with people like Aubert Smith of the Rod Builders Workshop chopping and converting Sage blanks and fitting them with funky handles to seek the holy grail. He had some antique rod books and we saw some of the things they did to two-handers for overhead casting on salmon rivers centuries ago on huge heavy wooden rods. With some trial and error we came pretty close but the fervor slowed when I had a conversation with Kevin Thompson (Sage) where he was less than excited about the frankenstein effect we had applied to his blanks.

Then I found and bought a great production rod for the task, the Sage 9126-3 euro - perhaps the best production rod for the surf at the time IMHO (opinions vary of course). Jay Horton might remember this rod as the rod I coerced him to try on the Outer Limits Conclave on Nauset Beach. He threw the "chicken" fly I was using a long way on his first two-handed cast ever.

Well Sage discontinued this rod in a market who didn't really understand two-handed benefits in the surf nevermind underhanded spey, but it was really a very nice rod for both of these tasks. Rumor was that it was designed by Goran Anderssen but I am not certain about what conversation goes on across smoky vodka-stained tables in the back rooms of Swedish salmon lodges or out on a western cedar deck in a Bainbridge Island think tank, although I would like to.

It was primarily designed as an underhand casting rod, which is was excellent at doing. I found that it was a superb overhead casting rod and hung on to this artifact for years after it's discontinuation; in fact I just recently sold it to my good friend Topher Browne who will give it a good underhand workout on the salmon streams of Labrador, Newfoundland, Quebec and Nova Scotia I am sure. It went to a very good home and will live out a full career fulfilling it's design intent. This rod was just ahead of it's time IMHO.

Some time later, the T&T 12ft 12wt came out as a dual purpose salmon overhead and saltwater overhead rod, which is still how the website describes it today. I understand that it was a very popular rod when it first hit the scene yet the consumers were not ready for a two-handed adventure and I was surprised that I did not see more of them on Nauset or other Cape Cod outer beaches despite trucking out onto Nauset by 4x4 25-30 times each season.

I believe the masses felt that the two-hander was a boutique rod as opposed to a useful mainstream tool for handling adverse conditions - even more then vs. now and the dawn of two-handing on the atlantic is still just rising over Marblehead . I took a pretty good ration of friendly razz'in about my two-handed enthusiasm as I assume other east coast devotees like Nick Curcione and Jay Horton did in their two-handed endeavors.

IMHO this magnificent T&T rod was also ahead of it's time like the 9126-3 Underhand Spey Sage. The frugal Yankee market is always so slow to accept new ideas and was not accustomed to the higher cost of two-handed rods, which I imagine kept the Sage 9126-3 Euro from being played with more out on the beach too.

Today more people understand two-handed rods and I see them much more frequently on the beach. People realize that it takes a lot less energy to defeat more challenging conditions provided the caster learns to let the rod do the work.

There are high, mid and low price/performance levels to choose from as new models appear on the scene, which makes it easier to adopt the rod (e.g. T&T, CND, Temple Fork, etc). The rods are all very different, some brands (not listed here) rate as a 9wt but require a 14wt WF to load for overhead casting, these rods were designed to overhead cast a spey line. Some are very long, others compact. Some slow, some fast. The variety is good, it offers choices for those who are exploring this new frontier. I guess it's a matter of doing some research, trusting people's advice and trying as many as possible.

Sidenote: I think more and more people are facing a snotty sidewind in chest high surf each weekend saying "what the heck am I doing with this buggywhip?" staring at their singlehander. OK maybe that's only 3 or 4 but that's 3 or 4 more than were saying it last year, and maybe 30 or 40 will say it next year, and 300-400 the year after. Some guys go to spin gear but us two-handers don't have to, provided the angler puts a little time in to make the switch. Casting well with a two-hander is not harder, just different than a one-hander and once these differences are learned a new freedom is gained on the beach.

I just watched a show on the new centerpin craze taking over the Great Lakes fishery... compared to that two-handed casting is a cinch

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Old 09-11-2004, 01:49 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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First attempt was in 1999 with a St. Croix 14' 9/10. I put a 90' WF-10-I line on it and it did OK, repeatedly casting to the backing knot and handling a wind that was defeating the other fly rodders, despite me being a raw rookie at the striper game. I had actually spent the previous day at Pleasant Bay flogging a Loomis 8/9 - 9 footer and damn-near wrecking what was left of my right shoulder. I went to the St. Croix to give my shoulder a rest.

Now I have five two handers, all of whom will overhead cast very well, but I only use the Atlantis in the salt with a Loop 7116 as a backup/schoolie rod. I could use the Daiwa 9 wt. (a laser cannon overhead - think of it as a 13'6" Atlantis) but it is a bit big.
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