double handed rod offers a distinct advantage
if you are fishing many Scottish waters. Many
of our rivers are bordered by trees and it is
simply not possible to overhead cast. This is
why the "Spey" cast was invented. With this cast
all the work is done in front of you.
A single hander can be useful
for grilse fishing and for fishing on the smaller
rivers and streams, but ideally even here it should
be a relatively long rod (10'+) to allow for roll
casts. All rods should have sufficient power in
the butt section to handle a 10lb salmon. An 8'
brook rod should be left at home!
size and AFTM
Most European single handed reservoir
rods these days are 9' 6" and AFTM 6/8 and at
a push such a trout rod can be used for grilse.
But if you want a rod for the job it really needs
to be 10-12'. Above 12' and you start losing power.
Unless you are already familiar
with a rod the advice is try it before you
buy it. Many tackle
shops today have a testing area and even
if you don't but it from them - have a go.
You will often see people in shops
pressing a rod against a roof - so say to see
what the test curve is like. No doubt a few rods
get broken that way and a few sales made. Here
is a better way:
Assemble the rod and hold it horizontally
Wiggle the rod up and down quickly.
The rings on the rod will become a blur - except
This is the pivot point.
The closer is is to the butt the more through
action the rod will have. On the other hand if
the pivot point is close to the tip then you have
a tip action rod in you hands.
from the States
Rods (and much fishing tackle)
is much cheaper in the US. Most rods cost in Dollars
what we pay in Sterling. So check out some of
the on-line shops. Just be aware of tax (?), shipping,
packaging and insurance.
handers all tend to have through action to make
Spey casting possible. A real tip action double
hander is good for nothing but trolling!
In order of importance the rod
size will depend on:
There is no point handing an 18 foot double handed
rod to a child, they wont be able to pick it up!
Most ladies find a 15 footer about the most they
can handle comfortably. Beyond 16 feet the strain
starts to show after a morning.
Bigger double handed rods can throw a longer line.
So if you are fishing big waters go for a big
rod - 15/16'+.
Sunk line fishing usually takes
place in winter and spring when the water is cold.
You need a big rod to lift the sunk line out of
the water. - 15/16'+. Most salmon rods are weighted
between AFTM 9-12. 9/10 are usually used for floating
line work while 11/12's are used for sunk lines.
Summer fishing with floating lines
relies a little more on presentation and a rod
of more that 16' is about as big as you are likely
The AFTM number is less useful
for salmon lines since it only measures the weight
of the first 10 yards and you will be mobilizing
much more line than that .. so take advice when
buying the rod.
With a sunk line part of the line will inevitably
still be in the water when you make your cast
so for the same rod my sunk lines tend to be of
a lower AFTM than my floating lines.
If its really windy apart from switching to a
safer cast (e.g. upstream wind from casting from
the left bank use a single Spey) you might also
consider using a sunk line and a longer rod. A
sunk line tends to have a lower diameter and flaps
about less in a wind.
If you are just learning keep
within the 14-16 foot range.