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!