Thursday, July 17, 2014

TFO Deer Creek 4 wt Review

Recently I had a visitor to my blog site asking about the TFO Deer Creek #4 switch rod. That got me thinking...why have I not done a review on this rod. I had this rod for the longest time and was my favorite workhorse before my Sage ONE switch #4 came along. I bought this rod because I like how soft it is..thinking that it would be perfect for the 1-2 lb Peacock bass in our reservoir. Back in 2009, there were no switch rod quite as limber as the DC#4. I paired this rod with a 235 grain Ambush line and was very happy with it. It cast really sweet and easy, flexing low into the butt and I was catching lots of fish with it.

After a while, I realized that this rod has great potential. TFO made this rod with Kevlar in its matrix and it is an extremely strong and tough rod. Sure, it is not as light as the Sage ONE, neither does it have the fast high modulus graphite response, but it is a very very good rod for the money. I have since landed many big fish with this rod and I have no hesitation using this rod on 20+ lb fish. I also like how versatile this rod is in terms of grain window. It can handle a very wide grain window of 200 - 400 grain. When I know I am fishing for smaller fish with small flies, I will use my 235 grain Ambush. When I have to cast bigger flies to target bigger fish, I will pair it with my 350 grain Ambush. I have a fishing buddy who even tried 450 grain on this rod and he says it still cast good.

I like it that this rod never fails me. It is a tough workhorse. Fish big or small, it will handle. Nowadays, I often bring it along on my trip to back up my Sage ONE 4116. This rod is a lot more limber than the ONE 4116 and will give a healthy bend when into one to two pounders. In comparison ONE 4116 feels a bit over kill for fishes that size.

Although limber, this rod is no push-over. There are plenty of reserve deep down in the blank. When into big fish, you won't feel the need to baby the rod because it is very tough at the butt. I think that is where all the Kevlar fiber is.

So for those considering a 4wt switch, and if the budget is right, this is the rod I would recommend. I feel that it is a better rod than the more recent Echo and Redington offering of the same price range. It has a lighter swing weight, very sweet casting and tough.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spey Fishing British Columbia

Another beautiful slow motion Spey casting and fishing video done by Simms. Sharing for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Search of the Grab - Steelhead fishing Skagit style

 Video Link

Here is a beautiful video by Simms that I thought I should share. Beautiful slow motion Skagit casting for Steelhead in late fall Oregon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Saltwater Fly Fishing with Double Hand Rod

This is my third consecutive year flats fishing in Maldives with Switch rod using Spey techniques. I must say I have really grown fond of Spey style fly fishing in the salt and probably would not be going back to using single hand rod any time soon ;-)

Switch rod is really a wonderful invention and development in fly fishing. Paired with modern short head Spey line, it is just an amazingly efficient fishing and fly delivery tool. Pre Switch rod and mini Spey era, I would be ripping my arm off, hauling and battling wind and crazy projectile like  Clousers, trying to reach the distance. Doing that whole day for eight consecutive days can really put serious strain on arms and shoulders. With Switch rod, this problem melts away.

From the perspective of battling fish, Switch rod truly excel in my opinion. The 11+ feet length of the rod makes fighting smallish fish sensational as it amplifies every tug and struggle, giving the fish leverage advantage. On the other hand when hooked onto a monster, the butt strength of the Switch rod kicks in, complemented with high fore grip, provide superb efficiency for the battle.

During this trip, I used my trusty Sage ONE 4wt switch throughout. This rod never fail to amaze me with its versatility. Paired with Lamson Speedster 3.5 and the Wulff Ambush clear head 350 grain, It handled everything from spunky Spangled Emperor to Giant Trevally with aplomb.

There was a single day that I did switched over to my brand new Sage ONE Switch 6 wt but that rod broke while casting... big disappointment. Paired with 400 grain SA Skagit Extreme, it was performing really well earlier in the day but somehow folded near the butt in the afternoon while casting. Fortunately I could continue fishing with my buddy's Sage ONE Switch 5wt and that is another  jewel of a rod. Paired with Wulff Ambush 400 grain, the setup zips through wind with ease and was a real pleasure to cast.

This year was a great year in Maldives for clocking up mileage for my Sage ONE 4116 and Lamson Speedster 3.5. Lots of good size Trevally were caught this year including a 22 lb GT. The 4wt setup performed flawlessly each time and this gave me great confidence and satisfaction.

I have not given my Lamson Speedster reel much of a review but this reel deserves more than a passing  mention. It is extremely light for a super large arbor reel and balance nicely with the ONE 4wt. The sealed drag is easy to maintain and is consistently smooth with no start-up whatsoever. This year, the Speedster's drag was put to a real test when it was squeezed tight to stop the charge of a 22lb GT. I am  really impressed that it managed to put the brakes on the GT without palming. I am sure the smoothness of the drag also plays a crucial role in preventing the break off of the 16lb leader. Kudos to Lamson!

Note: You can access all my blog post on saltwater spey by clicking on the "Saltwater Spey" link located on the right hand side under Labels.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Skagit Casting Olympic Peninsula

Click on the photo to go to the Youtube video

Could not resist sharing this. Mesmerizing slow motion video on Skagit casting and fishing in the Olympic Peninsula. Beautifully done video. Beautiful place.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Demystifying Scandi and Skagit Shooting Heads

Click this Video Link for part 1 of the video

For those who are still confused as to what Spey shooting heads they should be using, Scandi or Skagit, here is a good video demystifying the issue. Airflo lines are used as an example but this video clarify how line design impact the casting style. A bit lengthy but good to sit through if you have the time :)

In part 2 of the video, the presenter talked about how to choose the right weight line for your rod and why Scandi and Skagit are weigh differently for the same rod. Another important thing to note is that in Scandi or Skagit system, the polyleader (Airflo) or versileader(RIO) and the sink tip grain weight are not taken into consideration in the total grain weight to load the rod.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Choosing the right fly line for Switch rods

Here is a good video by Reds Flyshop that really helps to clear up the confusion on the multitude of lines out there available for Switch rods. A pretty comprehensive coverage of lines including the Wulff Ambush, RIO Scandi Short Versitip, Switch Chucker and RIO Skagit max.

*18 Jun 2015 update:
Here is a good article by Gorge Fly Shop on the various options of line for Trout Spey -