How things have changed.

minitube

Well-known member
Messages
2,667
Reaction score
32
Location
Foxford, Co.Mayo, Ireland
I had the chance two days ago to cast a Hardy Soverign Deluxe (I think) 13 ft three piece rod, with a double taper line on it. One the person has had for many years. To think we all (older anglers) once used such inefficient gear for Spey casting. It was really truly awful to cast compared to modern gear and I couldn't help thinking what a disadvantage it would be to try and learn on that outfit. I started myself at 16 years of age with a Milbro Verre 13 ft fibreglass rod and double taper sinking line. Roll casting mainly on a spate river, the river Roe. It seemed a better outfit though than the one I tried two days ago but maybe it wasn't.
 
Last edited:

MCXFisher

Well-known member
Messages
4,832
Reaction score
1,366
Location
North Yorks
Robert,

that was most refreshing reading for those of us who as double-handed beginners struggled with soggy rods and double taper lines, and were made to feel less than real men because we didn't crack the code in the first 10 minutes. In my youth I didn't need a double hander - the river was too small and too heavily treed. But at the age of 50 I was invited to join a house party in Scotland and so dug out the rods, lines and reels I had inherited from my father and grandfather. The 13 footer built on a Fibatube graphite blank with an Aircel line and a Youngs Beaudex reel seemed most appropriate to the circumstances and the size of the Findhorn at Tomatin. Trying to learn with that without the benefit of any instruction was sheer misery: at every opportunity I reverted to a sea trout single hander.

Then in the third year I met the Rio Windcutter, which changed everything. The rod was still sluggish and slow, but at least I could get the line out to useful places, and best of all, start to catch salmon. Then I got a proper modern rod (Loop Classic Spey) with a bit of instruction and never looked back.

Yet I still meet anglers of my vintage who faithfully fish (but unwittingly struggle) with their aged 15' Sovereigns and DT lines, whilst snorting derision at my light short rods and shooting heads, telling me that I'm neither man nor gentleman.
 

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
5,855
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Gods County
Think you mean the Deluxe range there Mini tube.I agree they were truly awful rods.
The Sovereign range followed that some years later and were much better rods.
I heard some years back, the Deluxe range were designed purely for casting up to 25yds of sinker and a tube flee overhead from a boat on the Tweed!.Don't know if it was accurate but I do feel its believable.
I had a 15ft 6 Soverign,different animal to the 15ft 4 Deluxe totally.I once a good few years back now had a casting problem so went to the Chatsworth Game Fair and attended a casting clinic.I was there early and booked a slot with a pro.
Come my slot,I met the guy and had a choice of two rods, one being the Deluxe, so I chose that.He said get a line out and we'll have a look so I worked a line out and had a cast or two.The whole outfit was awful,he had a DrySpey DT line on it and I couldn't get the rod to load up every cast.Any way I kept going until I got to a knot the size of a football between backing and floating line.
I asked what was the caper(assuming he had a lash up outfit for the Game Fair that day),he said the line was 27 yds long and he never got that far!.When I asked what he did when he hooked a fish, he said he didn't get that many and killed them all with no more than the line out.
He then asked what I was doing for the rest of the day as I could cast far better than him and would I be prepared to help out.
As for the fault I had a problem with, he'd no clue at all.
The rod was awful,I'd have been very disappointed if I'd have bought that one!.
After that shambles I was lucky enough to catch Michael Evans after one of his demo's.a great bloke,10 mins and he'd analysed my prob and sorted it.When I told him about the guys outfit, he just laughed and agreed they were terrible rods to Spey Cast with.
Also I had an acquaintance I used to see every year on the Assoc. Water at Grantown.I had my Sov. and he had the Deluxe.One day fishing the Slates down on Upper Castle Grant,I got a fish while he was watching, we sat on the bank chatting and he went to go in.He picked up what he thought was his rod(the Deluxe) but took my rod with its 10/11 Lee Wulff line.They looked almost identical!,he was gob smacked ,waded out and said he'd never cast as well and just couldn't understand it.I explained his mistake, we laughed and I had a go with his rod, bloody awful!.
Glad times changed though!.
Regards,Pedro.
 
Last edited:

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
5,855
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Gods County
As an aside to that,Hardy had(amongst other rods) the Deluxe initially,then the Deluxe Spey Caster series, then the Sovereign series.All were a shade of burgundy with similar although different coloured whippings.Very easy to mix up the rod ranges unless you were/are clued up.
I personally loved the 3 piece 15ft 6 Sovereign,The Deluxe was terrible and the Spey Caster,wayyyyy to soft for me.The latter two rods I could never cast at all.
It was a youthful Bob White who showed me the benefits of the Sovereign. and 80ft Lee Wuff on the Tay one day.That was one of my "MOMENTS" where things changed in my casting world there after.
Pedro.
 

Tyke

Well-known member
Messages
2,678
Reaction score
51
Location
Swansea
X 2 to what Rennie said; I had the Speycaster Deluxe 16 ft [a bit too soft], & still have the 15'6" Sovereign [excellent]; I couldn't get on with the 15'4" Deluxe at all - bloody heavy too [17.75 ounces I seem to recall], actually considerably weightier than the 15 ft Hexagraph which everyone complains about being too heavy.

I think the extended weight forward "Spey lines" were the biggest step forward as the improved front taper designs improved turn-over & the ability to shoot a lot of running line increased distance even when used on the old rods.

Regards, Tyke.
 

Rennie

Well-known member
Messages
5,855
Reaction score
1,809
Location
Gods County
Not surprised you struggled with it Robert.If some one such as yourself passes comment, it makes mere mortals such as I think I must have some bits right.
Pedro.
 

Tyke

Well-known member
Messages
2,678
Reaction score
51
Location
Swansea
Nicely finished though - they look real quality holding up the runner beans.......

regards, Tyke.
 

tone-s

New member
Messages
754
Reaction score
0
Location
Herts/Cambs
Nice article. My first salmon rod and line was hand-me-down from my father-in-law to be. It had no discernible name and I'm not sure how long it was, or what the line on it was. But I had worked out for myself how to cast with it, and like an oyster smooths a pearl, I was putting out a good 15 yards, albeit a bit splashy. (Still caught fish though, bizarrely).

When my fishing eventually took me away from his watchful eyes I craftily upgraded at Jack Simpson's little shop down near Cheshunt. Jack had a licence to hand-build Sage rods from their blanks here in the UK and he recommended the 15'1" Sage IV (I'd never even heard of Sage before) and a Rio Windcutter with interchangeable tips (again, all new to me).

My first trip out with it was my first foreign foray, to the West Ranga.

It's difficult to describe the shock to my system that half-week effected on me, as you might imagine...a rod that felt 'alive' in my hands...a line that went much further than I could spit...and no less than 8 or 9 fish on the bank every day.

It's all been downhill since...:lol:

Buster
 

Newly From The Sea

New member
Messages
558
Reaction score
0
Location
Eden Valley
Its amazing how things have changed. My first 2 hander rod was a B&W 13.6 Cordon Bleu with a #9/10 double taper, it was a lovely wee rod once I got used to using it, but i fancied something with more oomph so pxd it for a 14' hardy glass (forget the name- brown/marroon blank) that I simply loved and funnily enough, I used to fish a weight forward in 2 sizes bigger for fishing in windy and wild conditions and it was smashing, chucked a good length of line out with a spey cast( i guess this was my early version of a modern Spey line). I then moved to a Daiwa 16 foot which was a powerful rod but hard on the back.

Now I have gone the reverse, my big heavy duty rod is a 13' century, but for 85% of my fishing a feather weight 12' loop #7 with a light airflo scandi/spey and it is just brilliant. I am even thinking of trying a switch rod now (or at least I was until the lack of fish makes we wonder if its worth the cost).

The modern rods and lines make fishing a joy in all weathers.
 

MikeCC

Well-known member
Messages
2,624
Reaction score
657
My first rod(as a whipper snapper 14 year old!) was a 17ft'2 Daiwa Osprey kevlar with a high D home made 12/13 weight shooting head. Armed with a wifeys size pair of Oceans, my old man happily plonked me several yards into the Tay and told me to get on with it. I guess he had a sense of humour back then. Despite my less than brilliant odds I did actually catch fish on several occasions. There were however fish in the Tay at that time!!
 

Rrrr

Well-known member
Messages
7,495
Reaction score
2,070
I learned with a hardy "salmon fly" 13ft (thats what it says on the blank but no doubt itl have another name) fiberglass rod with a double taper wetcell line and it was hard work rolling the line up to the top to try and cast it at about 7 or 8 years old. Great for really small pools but as good as useless for somewhere like the tyne where you need a bit distance so i would use my 7wt daiwa whisker single hander for that and was massivly undergunned but it got a line out.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

kramdrazzi

Generally, I’m sloshed.
Messages
713
Reaction score
55
Location
Somerset
When I was at Jeffery’s of Guildford, which was from 1991 until 1995, we sold the 12 and 15ft Favourite; the 15ft 4” Deluxe and the 15ft Sovereign........I think!

I couldn’t afford any of them so I learnt with a 12ft CF98 8/9 that I had right up until 2006 - when I gave it away!
 
Top