Are Short Rods Just a Recent Fad ?

MCXFisher

Well-known member
Messages
4,832
Reaction score
1,366
Location
North Yorks
Brian was content with my hand positioning and merely adjusted my grip. From memory the top edge of my upper hand is about 4-5” from the top of the grip.
I suspect that your problem on the Tyne is the same as everyone else’s. Faced with big water we try too hard and mess up our technique.
 

charlieH

Well-known member
Messages
3,252
Reaction score
596
I suspect that your problem on the Tyne is the same as everyone else’s. Faced with big water we try too hard and mess up our technique.

Which, in a way, brings us back to the original subject - although I think the OP did already answer his own question when he said:

Also I watched somebody on the trip this week with a two decade old 15' rod and spey line, fishing in front of me. He seemed to be having a very untroubled day letting the fly swing under its own volition - compared to my frenetic stripping in shooting line.

My most enjoyable casting experience ( from memory) was with a 15' Shakespeare Oracle and Hardy Mach spey line - on the River Spey itself at Granton.

There's no doubt that short rods and similarly short lines are adequate in many situations, and may be easier for some people to cast, especially if their bodies no longer work entirely perfectly. Former owner of this forum 'Springer' and I disagreed on the use of short rods; I felt his evangelism on the subject went too far, and sometimes wondered whether his view was, at least in part, coloured by the shoulder problems that he had.

I had a frozen shoulder a few years ago, and when looking at the scan the orthopaedic surgeon mentioned that I also have an impingement in my right shoulder. He also, incidentally, said that a very high proportion of people over 50 who have lived moderately active lives have similar problems to some degree. But although my shoulder can nowadays get a bit creaky over the course of a week's hard fishing, I wouldn't choose to abandon my longer rods. In fact, like the OP, I find that short rods - and more particularly the shorter lines (and all the consequent stripping between casts) that go with them - can cause me greater problems.

Most of my fishing at the moment is on larger rivers, and mainly the Spey, and there are times and places where the ability to make long casts undoubtedly will put extra fish on the bank. That's not to say that you need to be throwing 35+ yards of line all the time, but when you do it's much easier to do so with a longer rod and line. By way of analogy, a Nissan Micra is entirely adequate for general use on urban and on country roads, but if you wanted to drive at 90mph down the motorway (not that I would for one minute condone such behaviour :shocked:), although you can certainly do it in a Micra, you'd feel rather more comfortable and relaxed at the end of the journey if you did it in something a bit larger and more powerful. So also with fishing tackle (and just about everything, in fact) - life is much easier if you're not operating too near the limits of your and the kit's capabilities.

So while shorter rods and corresponding lines are no doubt absolutely fine for many people's fishing, I maintain there will always be a place for the long rod and line. It's all about having the right tool for the job, and I do fear that some people, who choose to abandon long rods and lines altogether (or who never learn to cast longer lines), are depriving themselves of a useful tool in the armoury.

Incidentally, it's interesting to see wetwader's comments about fashion in the US swinging back to longer rods and lines. I've been playing on internet forums, and Speypages in particular, for about 20 years now. When I started, before the turn of the millennium, the average Speypages member was probably using a Windcutter or similar short headed line. Then, no doubt on the back of Steve Choate and Way Yin's performances at the CLA Gamefairs in the early 2000s, the fashion swung over to long lines, and XLTs and Grandspeys were the order of the day in North America (until people realised that the reason their rods were breaking was because they were grossly overloaded!). Then the fashionisti declared that Skagit lines were the way to go, though more recently these 'bricks' were moderated to shooting heads and so-called 'Skandit' lines, being something of a halfway house between the two. Now, it seems, long lines are back in fashion again. I wonder whether there's any correlation with women's hemlines...
 

kramdrazzi

Generally, I’m sloshed.
Messages
713
Reaction score
55
Location
Somerset
............who choose to abandon long rods and lines altogether (or who never learn to cast longer lines)

I learnt with 60/65ft heads and moved to 75ft heads before doing exactly the above and abondoning them for Scandi 35-40ft heads and shorter rods. As previously stated, I am digging out the old kit for the Tay and my worry is I won't remember how to cast the damn things!

We'll see......................................longer stroke, longer stroke, longer stroke...............oh good grief......:tongue:
 

MCXFisher

Well-known member
Messages
4,832
Reaction score
1,366
Location
North Yorks
Thank you Charlie for a very clear and sensible exposition.

There's no doubt that if one is fishing the big rivers such as the Tay, Spey, Tweed below Kelso and the main stem of the Tyne, then a 15 footer and a long-headed line are the right answer.

I do so little fishing on the big rivers that I can't justify the investment in something that may remain unused for years, and have to content myself with covering only part of the water with my existing rods.
 

offshore

Well-known member
Messages
2,055
Reaction score
475
Shooting heads were the way to go for me, after originally starting with a Norway, Windcutter and then Partridge Spey lines. I think I have still got the blue tins!

Heads provided the to ability work the fly in the less than prime water I have typically fished - club waters and smaller rivers. If I had lived in Granton-on-Spey I am not sure I would have be so keen. Horses for courses I suppose.
 

onelastcast

Active member
Messages
590
Reaction score
26
I don't think the shorter rods are a fad having some real advantages over the long rod,I use my short 12ft 6in rod when the river is up and a short to medium cast is needed,having said that when the river is normal and lower height I always use a longer rod and spey line and catch most of my fish on the spey line but it is far easier I find with the shorter rod when the river is up,onelastcast
 

offshore

Well-known member
Messages
2,055
Reaction score
475
Interesting discussion.

Join in !

I went to the forum fishing / casting day at Dalmarnock on the Tay quite a number of years ago when I saw a great selection of rods in action - somebody caught a fresh 12lb too on a Frances I think.

I couldn't believe how far the Century 12 ' (?) rod cast on that day - but I believe that was with a 10/11 line.

I may have got the line rating/ rod length slightly wrong, but it was something of that order - a very powerful rod.

The shorter rod I was using recently is 8/9 - a lovely rod in general.
 
Last edited:

wetwader

Active member
Messages
741
Reaction score
52
Location
Bavaria - too far away from salmon spots
I guess a fad can only become a fad, if too many follow it.
For rods and lines:
As long as most choose their equipment/rod and line lengths for what it’s best, there can be no fad to follow, only a popular rod length for river xy...
Even then, all rod and line lengths can have their situation. If 15’ or even 16’ rods are popular for river xy, it can be very useful to have a short and strong Switch rod for “fishing in the bushes under trees” in high water.
Vice versa it can be useful to have full control for fly drift with a longer rod in smaller rivers.

It’s simply nice to have the full offers in rod and line lengths of any kind nowadays to adapt to the specific fishing situation or individual preferences.
The real pitty is, the salmon stocks are suffering that much.
And I for myself hope, there is no need for “travel rods only” for us in future, to fly around the whole globe for other chromers ...
 

Neil W

Well-known member
Messages
1,301
Reaction score
772
My experience has mainly been small to medium rivers where short rods are king and they are great fun to fish. I am for the last few seasons fishing more big rivers and love a 15ft rod. I have calmed down my casting and am much more relaxed these days and as long as rod and line are a good match I don5 find casting the 15ft rod any more tiring. I like using both
 

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
5,855
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Gods County
I've just had almost 2 weeks solid casting with a 17fter and the odd spell with a "little" 16fter.On my return home and back to Ribble I fished my 11ft 6 8 weight switch Friday.Love this rod its a pleasure to fish with, but it felt distinctly club like after the longer rods.Well, for a while any way.
I have a lot of reason to fish switch rods and shorter double handers during most of my years fishing and when coupled with the new line technology these rods are a pleasure to fish and very very capable indeed.However its easy to forget what the longer rods are capable of and indeed the pleasure of playing a fish on one(yes you all remember that bit I'm sure, the once a year reason we all go fishing for!,lol),coupled with modern lines once you settle back into them you can easily cover some pretty impressive distances and gain serious water coverage,with the extra lifting power available when using sunk lines tubes etc. you can question the trend in shying away from the longer weapon.
I've allways said this game is a horses for courses thing, pick the right rod for the right circumstances.My early days were a two rod affair, an 18fter for Tay and a 15fter for every where else.Whilst I doubt there's little practical need to go longer than say 18ft, I do now realise the need and practicalities of the shorter rods when common sense dictates they're right for use.Line technological advances have seen the shorter rods very much to the fore so much so I can see ground in the argument the 13ft 6 rod is the jack of all trades?
I doubt personally I could choose a one rod option, my fishing does vary so much and there would be limitations both ways with a single rod usage.
Weather depending Tuesday could see the 11ft 3 6 weight switch flogging away on Ribble.Mindst you, had my once a year occurrence on Ribble this year, be good casting practice!
Pedro.
 

offshore

Well-known member
Messages
2,055
Reaction score
475
I had jumped to the conclusion that shorter rods were a complete replacement for longer rods, and that 15 ' rods and above were now relics - like flat screen TV's replacing the thicker versions. I think I jumped to the wrong conclusion with that.

Likewise shooting heads and (short headed) spey lines; given a full day on the main Tyne (or similar width) I may try those again.
 
Top