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Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 01:24AM

Hello all. I am planning a new build after watching a couple fly fishermen put on a clinic in front of me ,now I want to build a fly rod.
I'm willing to drop a fair amount on a decent blank. The rod will be used for still water throwing of streamers to striped bass on the
west coast,fish ranging from schoolie sized up to 10 pounds. I encounter wind conditions so I know I will need at least a 7 wt.
My question is ,can I find a blank that can double as a fall run steelhead rod as well and light duty surf casting? I've been looking
at Batson Eternity 2 blanks as well as St Croix. I love that cobalt blue color,but perhaps a quickline may be more cost effective.
Will an eternity 7 wt with 8 wt line work for me? I'm novice,but I can pick it up pretty quick and plan on a couple lessons.
Thanks in advance,I will probably have more questions as this unfolds. My main thing is not going too heavy as I want to have a good
time fighting the fish,while having the right action for what I want to do if that's possible.

Robert Ford

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: December 11, 2018 08:23AM

If the stripers you're most likely to catch are going to be in the 10lb range I'd go with an 8 or 9 weight outfit. Stripers are plenty strong and you won't be overgunned plus you'll be able to cast larger flies/streamers.


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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 08:50AM


A 7 weight is a bit light for what you expect. I'd go with a 9 weight. My thinking is there is a world of difference between a 7 and a 9 in the wind.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 09:47AM

IMHO the most important factor to consider is not so much the fighting of the fish, I expect stripers to be in open water, so you won't have to try to horse them. The bigger issue is being able to cast the flies you want to use, especially in the wind. I would expect Donald is right with a 9. All fly rods I've checked CCS on have shown power at the top of the range for the weight designation, from 3 to 9 wts. So I expect over-lining by one would be right.

I have built and used both Quickline 6 and 8 and Eternity 2 in 8 wt, built a 9 Eternity 2 for my son. All cast well up one line weight. I am not an expert caster. My son has not up-lined his 6 Quickline or the 9 Eternity, but he is a better caster than I. The Quicklines and the Eternity 2's are all "fast" actions, so will do well in the wind.

Quickline will certainly be the least expensive. However, with the nano tech of the Eternity 2 I would expect it to be significantly tougher. Since rods for this kind of use need to be really good, and considering that the cost difference will not be all that major, I would go Eternity 2.

One last comment- not all fly lines conform to the specs, so being able to weigh the first 30 feet to get an indication if it's a nominal line or something off nominal is valuable. You can do it much easier than the CCS rig, so you can weigh the line and return it if you don't like the results. Get an electronic scale capable of measuring very light weights, like the ones people use to weigh epoxy mixtures, find an empty fly line spool, weigh it and record the weight, then wrap the first 30 feet of line onto it. Weigh that and subtract the weight of the spool. Be sure the line coming to the test spool from the line you are not weighing is horizontal and short to get the best chance of not having it affect the weight. It's easier than it sounds.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 11, 2018 09:58AM

If you build a "9 weight" blank I suggest you cast a 10 weight line. I read and heard considerable praise for the TFO Axiom II rods and I tried casting one. The praise is well deserved. I'm not sure TFO has put the blanks themselves up for sale yet, but if you can hold out until they do it might be worth the wait.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Sandy Harris (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: December 11, 2018 10:24AM

I've built both a 7 and a 9wt Eternity and use them in the marshes of coastal NC mostly targeting redfish. Needless to say, the wind here is often an issue. I think you would be happier with a 9 as an all around rod for your situation, although I have no experience relating to steelhead fishing. My 7 is a lot of fun and is in the boat whenever I go but I can deal with more wind and heavier flies with my 9.

As for overlining, many of the newer lines are rated a half size heavier by the manufacturer and are designed to load quickly. At least with my Eternity blanks, I've been happy with lines rated for my rod weight.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 12:59PM

If you want the blank with the lightest swing weight amd fast recovery - please consider a CTS affinity-x in either an 8wt or 9 wt.
I fish almost exclusively for stripers on Cape Cod amd fish only 10wts to control a big fish in the surf - but more importantly to cast 2/0 or 3/0 Gurglers.
An 8 or 9 wt is fine if fly size allows it

Your email is hidden

If you wish to discuss - please email me hladen@hotmail.com
U.S Distributor, CTS Rod Blanks

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 01:49PM

To me an 8wt would be appropriate for your situation. Just have a 9 wt line when it is windy. It is no problem going up or down a line weight with the right blank. Herb's CTS blanks are state of the art and you certainly could not go wrong with one. The new NFC blanks like the F 890-4 (Gamma Beta LMX) is another outstanding blank and it is 65% off $450. This is what I use and I target fish in your size range with large streamers in windy conditions. The St Croix blanks are also a good choice and are on sale at some of the places on the left. I guess they are discontinuing some models and replacing them with new models but none the less, they are great blanks. The TFO blanks are good as are the Batson ones or the MHX out of Mudhole. These are all good blanks with the CTS and the NFC ones being a little faster so if you have a quick forward thrust on your cast these would be heavy contenders with a more forgiving type blank for a somewhat slower cast then TFO, Batson or St Croix. It is really up to your style of casting on the blank, they all make different models with different actions so I am speaking in generality when I say one may be faster than the other. This is just my experience with the different blank manufacturers and things are changing all the time.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Ryan Janos (---.sonoma-county.org)
Date: December 11, 2018 02:05PM

I just finished a Rainshadow RX6 8wt for stripers in the Sacramento Delta. It's not like you need to bomb huge casts to these fish so the moderate action actually makes a day of fishing from the boat a bit more relaxing. I was able to throw a 300 grain 30' head into the wind about 70' without any false casting and I'm an average caster. Sure, a rod with a faster tip wouldn't hurt... but it might hurt the wallet. Got this rod done for under $100 and I'm going to enjoy it for many years.

Just make sure you get a shooting head setup that matches the rod and any of these blanks will be a lot of fun to fish. Strip... strip... set!

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 11, 2018 06:47PM

Recommending a rod is tricky. A recommendation depends upon the conditions it will be used in, the type of line used (sinking? floating?) the caster's proficiency (double haul? 40' limit?) the angler's personal taste, the cost of the rod, and even the line weight of a particular make and model of rod - there's often a big difference in the action of different weight rods of the same model made by the same manufacturer - between an 8 wt. and a 9wt. BVK model by TFO, for example. The most reliable and economical way to choose the right rod for you is to test cast a number of different rods in the line weight you are looking for. If there a fly Fishing Club in your area it is likely to offer casting instruction and test casting, and club members are usually happy to let you test cast their fly rods to find the one you like best. An inexperienced fly caster would best not buy an expensive first rod. The best rod for him or her will change as practice improves technique and proficiency.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 11, 2018 09:45PM

IMO - Phil is correct on many points above.
Hands-on experience with a rod before you lay down good $ on the blank and all components - to say nothing of the time spent - is a good thing to do.

That is why I offer the opportunity to test cast my CTS demo rods - if I have the model of interest - and I receive suitable security.

And some rods do like particular lines. But That statement might only be a reflection of the preferences on the part of the person giving the advice. I have found that when I fish with friends who cast the same CTS model as i am use different lines that I. So - it is most likely that a well designed blank will cast a wide variety of lines.

I would disagree with buying a less expensive blank for their first fly rod build. Robert has indicated that he can afford an upper range blank. Rods can easily be re-done if the builder is unhappy with the first results. Starting with a blank that will provide less than optimal performance means that rod will ultimately end-up in the back of the closet. I know that these rods may be destined for "back-up" rods. But I would not want to fish with a rod built on a 2nd rate blank except in a emergency. Once you experience a wonderful blank - it is hard to use something inferior.
Distributor, CTS Rod Blanks

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2018 09:47PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: December 12, 2018 01:34AM

Thanks all for the advice I have a lot to chew on here. Herb I will email you tomorrow when I get some free time I have a few questions.

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Re: Rod blank suggestions
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: December 15, 2018 10:26PM

Well I believe I am going to build on a Rainshadow Eternity2 ETEF908-4. I love the color! I am thinking Rec titanium double foot snakes,a blue alps triangle reel seat,fuji or alps titanium stripper guides, and I haven't figured out the grips. Thanks again for the help and Herb I emailed you to no avail. I do plan on building on a CTS one of these days so you'll hear from me.

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