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Old 10-22-2004, 08:21 AM
TheSeph TheSeph is offline
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Location: Georgia Coast (USA)
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Question New to forum...have a q

HI everyone,

I have been fly fishing for 6 or 7 years. I am lookin at getting into the saltwater inshore in southeast usa. I want to buy one rod likely an 8 or 9 depending on if i decide to go just for reds and trout or throw in an occasional striper or jack crevalle so im leabing towards the 9 wt.
The bigger conundrum lies in rod length. I have always cast a 9 foot rod and shorter on tight streams. As a general rule (excluding spey casting) what are the benifits and dilemmas associated with say a 9'9" to 10 feet or so onehanded rods?
I know a bit of it comes down to loop control, but i can shoot about 80ft ft on my 6 wt so i figure im okayish on that level. as far as energy requirements and distance capabilities which is better 9 or longer? Also, which is capable of throwing the tighter loop(negating angler experience)

the fund is around $350

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Old 10-22-2004, 09:43 AM
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juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
The vast majority agree that 9ft is a great length for throwing with one arm. 10ft takes some leverage away for most average sized casters, while 8ft feels shorter than one could handle on saltwater shores. Since the lever is powered from a grip point a foot or so up the blank with one hand, the longer the lever above it the more work involved. Your physical size will matter, big dudes wouldn't have a problem but our kids would really struggle with a 10ft 10wt single.

Adding a second hand (two-hander) dramatically increases leverage, pulling force from the bottom to complement pushing force on the upper handle. Length can be increased with little impact to the physical expenditure required. But going too long adds other complications pertaining to fishing ease.

For single hand, 9ft feels pretty darn good to me at 5'8"; 9 1/2 is still in the game for line weights up to 8wt for my size and power but that's my limit.

For double hand (beach) I prefer an 11ft two-hander to match casting power with fishing ease.

8wt or 9wt depends on fish, flies and conditions. The more grains, the bigger you can go with flies and wind.

Tighter Loop:

A tight loop leading a fully-energized line definitely deals with wind better. Size of loop is a function of the distance from the rod stop position to the path of acceleration that the rod tip took from back to front. I am not sure that 9ft vs. 10ft length necessarily impacts size of loop as much as other factors, except that the longer rod could potentially deflect more if hit too hard and the action is too soft. A longer rod could also extend the stroke length and potentially provide more energy transfer from rod load to loop depending on the caster's technique. Rod taper is very important, as is line design. But most important of all is the caster's stroke when it comes to loop size IMHO.

If you plan to cast longer head lines and pick up a lot of line between casts a longer rod might be nice provided you stay within the grain weight right for your arm power. For me that would be an 8wt 9 1/2ft Sage RPL (now VPS), or a 9ft 9wt.

Most SW lines are shorter, often sinking or intermediate, and the 9ft 9wt standard sure works for me!

(Your results may vary)
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