I will let Juro answer your question, but I wanted to point one thing out: The Thomas & Thomas DH1212-3 is not a twelve-weight rod. It is actually designed around 30'-long twelve-weight shooting heads, which makes it more like a ten-weight than a twelve. This is not made very clear in the catalog, which frankly, was headed to the printers before the rod was even completed, so it was a bit rushed.
Alas, I have still not yet cast the completed design.
I appreciate your reply Jay, you've definitely got the inside scoop on the new T&T. I know you are going to obtain one, did you get yours yet?
Harry Koons of Nauset Angler will be getting a few in for fishing the outer beaches. Might be a good way to try one in the midst of some big backside bass! Contact him <!--http--><a href="http://www.nausetangler.com" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url-->
On the contrary, the Sage two-handers I have are the opposite - they say 9wt but mean 10/11. I've been told that this is because the European overhand style casts involve huge lengths of line, thus increasing the overall grain weights well beyond the head. For example, I find that an 11wt intermediate loads the 9wt 12'6" two-hander very nicely. I have also been able to cast an entire 12wt intermediate line with the "modified" Euro 8wt 12' 4", but not consistently (yet!). Both handle quick-descent style lines well in the 400 grain class, so that should speak for the short head line weight relationship.
As I suggested last year, we need to have a two-handed casting clave. I may have been ahead of the curve over the last several years on this stuff but I think this is the year!
Look forward to it.
Nate - I've held the same opinion on this topic since my first season of testing (1995). The best rod is long enough but not too long, stout enough but not stiff, and meets the other prerequisites of fishability for coastal species. I'll dig up some of the long posts I made in the past and provide links to them here.
Best advice: try 'em and see which you like best! My job is to create that opportunity for you.
Just to clarify even further: The DH1212-3 is the only rod in the T&T two-handed lineup that was designed around shooting heads, so it is not indicative of the rest of the rod line. This is why I keep saying it is not a 12-weight rod, although I am still not sure what full line would load it best.
COOL! Can't wait to try it this summer on the outer beaches.
I remember walking around the Cape in fall 1995 with my 14ft 9wt, for the first time feeling like I had the big guns on the beach (verses the surf rods). It was a true Spey and not the best tool for the job, but it was obvious that the surf doesn't need the extra length and a pendulum effect has no place open backcasting water like the coastal NE scene provides. I think there's an archived post in R/T expressing my joy in the prospect, unless my rocky exodus caused erasure of my posts along with the many others they deleted during that time.
Since then I've gone through many iterations and ended up with a 12' 6" 9wt (which casts a 12wt line easily) Sage European style two-handed fly rod (not Spey) before being granted similar blanks for research (yes, I can say it here
) purposes in this fishery. And experiment we did, starting by cutting the 8wt down. Not Kevin Thompson's favorite topic, but I do deeply appreciate his generosity and I know that such experimentation is what discovery was founded on over on Bainbridge Island. I've cast seven lines on this rod so far. Before the 2001 season arrives, the three two-handers will be completed and the 6wt (yes, a beauty) will be shipped to Montreal for trials on the St.Lawrence River (see Luis' article on this river system). The bigger guns will stay focused on the briny stuff, both here and on the pacific where I hope Brian and his Puget Sound salmon crew put it to the test for coho, king, chum, pink, sockeye and potentially ocean steelhead on the shores of Whidbey Island down to Tacoma Narrows. Although I really love the stock 12' 6" Euro two-hander, the new modified 12' Sage fishes well with an 11wt intermediate or an extended head system.
It's great to see how far T&T has come in such a short time, and I have a feeling Jay's enthusiasm had something to do with it. The reduced length and stoutness of the 12x12 acknowledges the northeast coastal fishery's demands, an advance from original thoughts that longer rods were suitable for the coastal fishery that Jay and others had.
Despite all the great progress people like Jay have encouraged, I still seek a different design than anything on the market based on my experiences using two-handers in the salt. Now I'm no expert but I know what I like and have some aptitude for what consititutes good fishin' gear as do all serious practitioners of the game. In my humble opinion the ultimate rod does not yet exist in any catalog - but we are getting a hell of a lot closer and major advances are emminent.
Once again - kudos Jay, and try 'em till you like them Nate!
I NEVER liked spey-action rods. I never said I did.
I still DO like long, 14&15' fast actioned two-handers. For pure easy distance, and big surf, I really like these long rods.
I think there is tons of room for newer/better two-handers for working the beach. Hopefully this is merely the early stages of the evolution of the two-handed salt water rod.
Just as no one rod is right for all trout or steelhead or lunker bass fishing situation, I don't see how one rod could be right for all beach fishing situations.
I don't know why Kevin T. seems to be so un-interested in this subject, but that was my take on the situation also when I spoke with him about it. I do know that his number one celebrity endorser is very fond of two-handers for this application, and that said fisherman did enjoy a turn around the casting pool at Salt Lake City with the DH 1212-3. Maybe they would be more receptive to the idea now????
I also know that Nick Curcione got a DH 1212-3 out of the first production run, and he will be at the Marlboro show, ( At least on Saturday,) so that may be an opportunity for folks to speak with him about it.
Harry Koons, proprietor of Nauset Angler, is also loading for bear with these DH 1212-3 rods on the surf. Having the big beach as a back yard should put him in the salt-encrusted two-handed zealot category in short order. He and I took the 12'6" out to the inlet two or three years ago and he ripped the line over a high surf with ease. I am jealous of the season he'll have out there - in fact I am jealous of every season he has out there
I'm going the other direction - the shortest possible rod that does not compromise the advantage of two-handed casting while offering almost a single hand feel while strip-retrieving the fly. There are other details not having to do with length or distance that Smitty and I will be putting into the prototypes for this season. I totally agree that the longer rods cast further, but I don't think distance is the only reason these rods are superior for certain fisheries like the outer beaches.
In fact I've found Spey-length rods (not action per se) are ridiculous on a boat and make it real hard to land fish in a number of shoreline situations. The reason for the length in Spey rods are to allow the absence of a back cast. This is not an issue for two-handed salt, in fact I can cast my 9ft rod just fine for my purposes.
.02, and thanks for the update on the rods Jay! See you at booth I-23
I cast the 1212 T&T rod today with a 400 grain line and within two casts I could tell that this rod is very easy. Big distances will be attained by anyone who can pony up the dough. The real problem is going to be line management. 100 ft of running line tangles once every seven casts or so. I suspect that the number of tagles goes off the charts with 130 ft. in the basket. I can't wait to have that problem.