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By ben_beyer
#2323510
I am looking at getting a fly rod for targeting Speckled Trout with and since it's going to be a lot of blind casting from the kayak or while wading an area, I'm torn between getting a 7wt or a Salt 6wt (I.E. fighting butt and maybe a little faster?).

I'm probably going to focus on flies in the 4-8 size range. I have an 8wt but I don't want to wear my arm out and I also want to be able to cast into reasonable winds. This would be in the Aransas Pass/Port A area most of the time.
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By impulse
#2323515
If money's tight, I'd get a 6Wt line and see how it casts on that 8Wt rod. You may be surprised... Ditto for a 7Wt line on that 8Wt rod. It's mostly the weight and inertia of all that line that wears you out, not so much the minuscule difference in the rod weight. If you don't believe it, try flogging that 8Wt rod all day long with no line on it. You'll never wear out.

I've always found the weight rating of rods to be very subjective. I have several rods that just feel better with a mis-matched line weight. You may find that a rod is loaded perfectly on longer casts with the lighter line. And a rod/line combination that feels great on small streams doesn't perform well on longer casts over open water.

If you don't like it (or you have money burning a hole in your pocket) you can always pop for the 6Wt or 7Wt rod to match the line. You're not out anything either way.

Also, IMO, going up or down 1 weight doesn't justify spending a few hundred $$ for the difference it will make. But I'm cheap that way... And sometimes it's nice to have spare rods along to salvage the day if you break one. I've had several epic days ruined when my rod broke and I didn't have a backup with me.
By ben_beyer
#2323518
Money is not the issue but at the same time I'm not going to just go out and blow everything I make.

I also am worried how much a dink Trout wouldn't bend the rod and be "fun" to fight and land.
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By Ron Mc
#2323521
I've never cast a fly rod blind for speckled trout - I only cast to fish sign.

Sometimes targeting a specific fish, sometimes targeting schoolies, but always casting to bait sign or wakes on the surface.
Or at the very least blind casting in a moving tide pass with a sinking line, where the probability of gamefish is high.
But even then, you see slashes at the shore across the tide pass.

Second cast of the morning in Allyn's Lake - first cast was a bigger spec that tore the hook out on her second run.
I was casting to shrimp jumping out of the water.
Blind casting here would never have seen these fish, not been prepared to quick cast, and probably turned them away before they arrived.

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This was wading broken grass on a foggy dead calm at structure, and casting to vee-wakes coming off the big bay. a dozen at a time.

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This was drifting a boat and blind fishing a baitcaster - put the bait rod down and picked up the rigged fly rod when we drifted into trout sign

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Schoolies under the lights - don't even stand up until there's fish sign, or they'll move to the next light.

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If you want to blind cast something, an UL shore light game rod is a lot of fun.
OK, and even here, mostly casting to fish sign.
This is NS Black Hole 8' UL Rockfish rod.
Shore light game rods are made with a progressive taper, equivalent to a 3- or 4-wt fly rod.
They have a reinforced butt section for turning big fish.

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The lighter versions will throw 1/64th oz - have been fishing this one in the salt 13 years now

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this is an 8' shore light game UL baitcaster that will sail a 3-g plug to 120' using a BFS reel.
This day there was no fish sign or tide movement in Little Cut, and I still turned a couple of tourist trout.
This is fun fishing, and anything but obstinate

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By TexasFlyaker
#2323548
It really depends on the model rod. I fish a lot of TFO rods and I can tell you their Axiom-IIX 6wt will throw 6wt and 7wt line no problem. The rod doesn't care either way. I don't know what 8wt you have but a 7wt might not be a huge difference in feel. At the end of the day do what we all do and get them both. :)
By TexasFlyaker
#2323583
The mini mag is a heavy duty rod that really does well from a kayak in thick cover. Its shorter length makes it feel light too. However it is an 8wt all day long. The Mangrove is a nice 8wt and provides good feel when casting. If you like the action of the Mangrove and wanted to stay with TFO, then you should look at the LK Legacy or the Mangrove Coast. The Mangrove Coast will be very close to the original Mangrove while the LK Legacy will be a little faster. The Mini Mag is a little difficult to compare do to the shorter length, but I would say the Axiom-2X has the same powerful butt with the ability to make longer cast. If you have the opportunity to cast these rods, you might look at the standard Axiom-2. These rods have been overshadowed by the A2X but provide great feel and accuracy. They are slightly faster than the LK Legacy and are also the lightest rods TFO offers right now. Even the 8wt has a very low swing weight. This is a write up about 7wts and compares the action/power of the different TFO models. https://tforods.com/why-you-need-a-seven-weight/
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By Ron Mc
#2323587
Shorter rods (mid-length), moderate action progressive rods (see Fisher Natural above), and heavier lines all have an advantage getting off a quick cast, especially when you're seated in a kayak.

I set up a CGR7/8 to deliver a 70' cast on the 3rd forward stroke from Go - beginning with only the leader and a few feet of fly line out the tip.

I had a lot of lines around to evaluate tapers and grain weight, and for this rod and task, the perfect line ended up being Cortland Liquid Crystal Salt Guide 7-wt.
The line cost as much as the rod, but again, for this task, it had just the right front taper and especially grain weight to get past a critical 35'.

fwiw, this same line sucks on both my wading rods, RPLX7, and custom-rolled Japanese para-taper S-glass Izch PBEX8667.
And likewise, the long front taper redfish lines those rods like don't work for getting distance out of the CGR.

I will say the CGR fishes any line in close extremely well, and the glass moderate taper will add shoulders to any fish you hook up.
If Karstopo drives by, he'll sing the praises of his CGR 7/8

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Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
By ben_beyer
#2323625
TexasFlyaker wrote:The mini mag is a heavy duty rod that really does well from a kayak in thick cover. Its shorter length makes it feel light too. However it is an 8wt all day long. The Mangrove is a nice 8wt and provides good feel when casting. If you like the action of the Mangrove and wanted to stay with TFO, then you should look at the LK Legacy or the Mangrove Coast. The Mangrove Coast will be very close to the original Mangrove while the LK Legacy will be a little faster. The Mini Mag is a little difficult to compare do to the shorter length, but I would say the Axiom-2X has the same powerful butt with the ability to make longer cast. If you have the opportunity to cast these rods, you might look at the standard Axiom-2. These rods have been overshadowed by the A2X but provide great feel and accuracy. They are slightly faster than the LK Legacy and are also the lightest rods TFO offers right now. Even the 8wt has a very low swing weight. This is a write up about 7wts and compares the action/power of the different TFO models. https://tforods.com/why-you-need-a-seven-weight/


I remember that article about the 7wt and it is interesting. I may go with an Axiom II in a 6wt and a 7wt Bonefish line as I'm an Intermediate level caster and wanting to load the rod to get some distance. Part of this is also to have a sight casting setup for Redfish if they are spooky and the fly needs to be downsized to a 6 or an 8.
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By Ron Mc
#2323627
Ben, if your goal is sitting in a kayak, make sure you're not buying a long-belly bonefish line
(this is SA Mastery)
ImageWhat loads the rod is the grain weight of belly that you have out the rod tip.
If it takes more than 2 false casts to get the belly out, it's not helping your fishing or stealth.
If you're wading or standing on a boat deck, you can have belly staged for a quick cast.
You don't get that option seated, unless you're trolling fly line belly.

Certainly not recommending a TS 250 unless you're fishing deep passes with strong tide current, but with either of my long wading rods, I can consistently shoot that 30' belly to 140' including my Allbright knot and that much backing.
For comparison, here's the taper on the Cortland Salt Guide, which is made to load quickly.
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I much prefer long-front taper finesse lines wading, but this line loads sweet when you're seated.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
By ben_beyer
#2323628
Fair points Ron. I guess a consideration is if I'm drifting or anchored in a position and blind casting for Specks, is doing 2 false casts to get distance a problem?

I understand sight casting that you want quick shots and I could get a different line for that.
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By Ron Mc
#2323629
The only time I'm blind casting, I'm in a moving tide pass - Estes cuts or marker 60 pass to LHL - also long ago in Cedar Bayou - if you think about it, this is river fishing, like fly rods were made for.
I'll be using the Teeny line, though I've also used both Ridgeline and Mastery Bonefish intermediates (slime lines) especially at Outside Beach to Aransas Bay. - have caught jacks and big black drum on Lydia Ann beach.

If you can begin with 2-3' of front taper and have the belly out on your 2nd forward stroke, shooting on the 3rd, that's as quick a cast as you can ask for.
Getting that result when seated depends as much on the rod and line as it does the operator.

When wading, I'm usually staged so one false cast finishes the belly, and my 2nd forward stroke presents to fish.
Again, wading, I really like those finesse front tapers like Rio Redfish (the only Rio line I like).

The Teeny line doesn't even need a false cast, though you usually begin sinking line with a roll pick-up - back-cast gets belly and all the line speed you need (ok, false cast for line speed to shoot 140').

And I'm having so much fun with that baitcater I showed, I'm hoping to try it next week where I'd normally be wading with a fly rod for reds.
It will throw pencil poppers, and my epoxy crab easier than I can turn it on a fly line.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
#2323666
I have fished several lines on the Axiom 2 6wt. If you want to overline the rod, one line you should look at is the Cortland High-Vis Flip Salt line. I did not know much about this line when I purchased it but I became a fan of it for quick loading and repeated presentations. All the lines in this series are one line size heavy so the 6wt is really a 7wt.
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By karstopo
#2323688
Speckled Trout can be a lot of fun on about any set up. The vast majority of speckled trout I’ve caught are on either 6’4” -7’ ML to Medium baitcasting rods or 7 or 8 weight fly rods. I think what makes trout fun is their sort of unpredictable and head thrashing, tail walking types of behavior. They aren’t really power fish, relying more on finesse and trickery and delicate mouth membranes to get free. Any rod you enjoy casting and fishing ought to be right.
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