TCR Troubles

Salmo9

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Took myself off to a lovely beat on the Nith today.. Decided I'd dust off the old TCR 12' 9" jobby (not my regular rod) with a Rio unispey multi tip 10/11.. What a lot of hard work that was, especially with a fast sink tip on..!

Stiffish wind blowing upstream and me on the right bank so cack-handed/fanny pulling it was but not a lot of joy.. Very open loops or just a dribbling mess.

What weight of line really makes these rods sing..? Maybe a 13/14# or something like a 1000 plus grain, old skool Spey line or even bespoke/specialist..?

My casting is generally OK most of the time depending on wind speed and my wellbeing so was banking on the unispey being a good match.

All sensible thoughts and comments appreciated..

Thanks much - Salmo9.
 

Tyke

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I used to have the 14 footer; I sold it as if was a pure casting machine but far too stiff & hard on the hook hold to be a true fishing rod - at least to my taste. It was supposed to be a #9, but needed #10/11 lines to make it go properly.

Regards, Tyke.
 

rotenone

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tcr divides opinion personally I loved my 14 footer, a hardy mach flew off it, though it was better suited to 42 gram heads
 

Llandogo

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tcr divides opinion personally I loved my 14 footer, a hardy mach flew off it, though it was better suited to 42 gram heads

I note you are writing in the past tense rotenone, which would suggest you have moved it on and that begs the question why if you loved it so much? I had the 14 ft TCR,
I am a Sage fan but that was the worst Sage I have ever tried. As was mentioned earlier a great casting rod but in my opinion the worst rod for playing grilse and smaller salmon I have ever owned,glad to get shot of the thing.
 

MikeCC

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Is the Rio Unispey not a multi tip type Spey line? It must be around 60 feet of head by the time you've added the tip etc. On a 12'9" rod that sounds like torture to me just thinking about it rather than actually fishing with it. The TCR's all go better with shorter shooting heads in my opinion. An AFS 38 gram would be my first port of call with the rod you mention, then take it from there.
 
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castor

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My experience of the TCR range is not a happy one. They were more suitable as riot control batons or cattle prods than for casting a fly with any pleasure. The point made that they are too severe on the hook hold is true of so many of todays rods and is a major reason why I only use through action rods. They are also the main reason why so many people use over-complicated highly over-priced reels with patented braking - most of which are designed for salt-water use. If a rod is the reason that you cannot fish with an old Perfect/Beaudex/similar then that rod is not a fishing rod!

That said, I really do think that the time has come for us all to give up buying expensive new tackle and to remember that countless thousands of salmon have been caught and landed with the most basic of tackle. We would do far better for ourselves and the sport to donate 10% of our 'wish list' to a good salmon welfare organisation.
 
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Salmo9

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Gentlemen.. Your comments have been noted and appreciated. I am now in the process of cleaning and returning this rod back into the darkest recesses of the fishing cupboard..

My regular go-to rods are old skool, Hardy Classic Deluxe Speys. A stark contrast I know, but actions I'm pretty familiar with, and therefore returning to..

Thought I'd try to move up a gear with this faster fangled stuff but was truly bitten on the bum.. again..

Thanks much - Salmo9.
 

rotenone

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I note you are writing in the past tense rotenone, which would suggest you have moved it on and that begs the question why if you loved it so much? I had the 14 ft TCR,
I am a Sage fan but that was the worst Sage I have ever tried. As was mentioned earlier a great casting rod but in my opinion the worst rod for playing grilse and smaller salmon I have ever owned,glad to get shot of the thing.

The 14 foot was the best out of them, the 12.9 was a complete poker and the 15 a telegraph pole, if you had the right line on the 14 foot it was a sweet rod, I dont fish for small grilse I only fish in the north where the salmon are rather large and the rivers are extremely powerful, such rods as the tcr have there uses, in certain situations on these rivers, hmm the past tense that rod is quite old now, there are much better rods out there now, but the tcr was always a chalk or cheese rod, it needed to matched to the right line, I cast the rod as it was meant off the tip so I never had an issue, actually when reviewed in trout and salmon some of the ghillies described the rod as unbeatable if I remember rightly, it says it all you had to be an advanced caster to get the best out of it, do i prefer it to my Gaelforce and lts rods no, but it was not that bad:) I caught many a large salmon on the 14 foot and was happy with the power in the blank at the time.
 
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rotenone

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Is the Rio Unispey not a multi tip type Spey line? It must be around 60 feet of head by the time you've added the tip etc. On a 12'9" rod that sounds like torture to me just thinking about it rather than actually fishing with it. The TCR's all go better with shorter shooting heads in my opinion. An AFS 38 gram would be my first port of call with the rod you mention, then take it from there.

Thats a great post, anyone I know who struggled with the tcr was either a novice or had the wrong wight line on it
 

Tyke

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Thats a great post, anyone I know who struggled with the tcr was either a novice or had the wrong wight line on it

But you're referring to the casting ability again - as I said it casts a mile, then bounces a lively fish off when you try using it with floaters & small flies/ hooks. It's fine with a sinker, big tube & a size 5 treble, but that doesn't make it a good all round rod.

I have other fast recovering rods, but they have much more forgiving tips/ actions when playing a fish; I just found the TCR too stiff & unforgiving for my fishing.

Regards, Tyke.
 

Salmo9

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Is the Rio Unispey not a multi tip type Spey line? It must be around 60 feet of head by the time you've added the tip etc. On a 12'9" rod that sounds like torture to me just thinking about it rather than actually fishing with it. The TCR's all go better with shorter shooting heads in my opinion. An AFS 38 gram would be my first port of call with the rod you mention, then take it from there.

You're right Mike.. 60' it is. However, I was retrieving the back taper almost to my hand and in between too, in a bid to resolve the issues I was experiencing..

Perhaps if the weather had been a bit more favourable and I wasn't having to chuck of the wrong shoulder things might have been better.. And I might not have been so shoulder sore this morning either.

I've a selection of AFS heads so the rod might just get a reprieve..

Thanks - Salmo9
 

MikeCC

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If your taking the back taper of the line into your hands then your taking a load of the head weight inside the rod when it should be outside.....thats never going to the load rod.
 

Salmo9

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Thought that was one of the benefits of the Unispey according to Mr Gawesworth.. 10' of back taper to allow us lesser mortals to fine tune the loading of our chosen rod.

Shame they don't do a 11/12 for rods like the TCR 9129-4..
 

rotenone

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Theres no argument here, the tcr is a big river ,big fish rod I personally would never of used it for floaters and small flies I understand your view point,however I always take more then one rod to the river so I do not expect 1 rod to do everything, I have never lost a fish due to a rod in my life, I have lost plenty by playing them badly, wrong choice of leaders and hooks etc , , peoples experiences are going to differ, all I can say is I never had any problem landing or hooking fishing on the tcr on the rivers I fish, I actually caught a lot of sea trout with mine whilst fishing for salmon, I dont want you to misunderstand me , I completely get your point,, I like deep progressive rod actions myself, but most peoples frustrations with the tcr were based on the wrong line being used, it really was not a bad rod just very fast and maybe a bit much for uk/ireland fishing, I am mainly fishing rivers like Byske, Tornio, Gaula, and Kola rivers so at the time tcr was one of the best choices high water big flies, when it was released , for me it would cast a large heavy fly a long way easily on a 14 metre sinking shooting head which was ideal.


But you're referring to the casting ability again - as I said it casts a mile, then bounces a lively fish off when you try using it with floaters & small flies/ hooks. It's fine with a sinker, big tube & a size 5 treble, but that doesn't make it a good all round rod.

I have other fast recovering rods, but they have much more forgiving tips/ actions when playing a fish; I just found the TCR too stiff & unforgiving for my fishing.

Regards, Tyke.
 

Potbellied Pig

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I have the 12'9" and the 14' TCRs, on the 12'9" I used a Hardy Mach II 55' head seemed to go well with it, the Rio SSVT 9# flies out of it.
I've never spent a great deal of time with the 14' but the 9/10 Rio AFS was the line I used it flew out of it also.
I personally like the rods although the 14' doesn't get out much I chose to keep it and go rid of my LPXE 14'.
 

Salmo9

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I have the 12'9" and the 14' TCRs, on the 12'9" I used a Hardy Mach II 55' head seemed to go well with it, the Rio SSVT 9# flies out of it.
I've never spent a great deal of time with the 14' but the 9/10 Rio AFS was the line I used it flew out of it also.
I personally like the rods although the 14' doesn't get out much I chose to keep it and go rid of my LPXE 14'.

What line weight was the Hardy Mach II you used.?
 

Potbellied Pig

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What line weight was the Hardy Mach II you used.?
It is the original Hardy Mach 2 says WF 9 on the box I've just set up the rod and give it the old waggle test yes on the stiffish side but I've never had any doubts about it,I've mainly used it on medium sized spate rivers hooked,landed and lost dozens of grilse on it, never blamed any lost fish on the rod.
 

fishpond

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I would never use a mid/long spey line on in the 9129-4 TCR - the 14 and the yes but 9/10/11 and 11/12 rated wimdcutter spey.lines of 42g and 48g. But for the 9129 a 40-42g head around 11-12m long and you can cast miles within confined space and it has authority if you hook a lump

Tight.lines

Richard
 

beardog

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I used the Guideline RTG Short Cut Power Tapers 10/11 41g on the 9129-4 TCR and loved it for Spring work or high water.
Spent ages trying to find a rod that felt and cast the same, and that would work with a 30g shooting head, but gave up as I couldn't find anything that had that 'something special' the TCR had.
Have wondered how the 12'6 TCX and Method would compare?
 

rotenone

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I used the Guideline RTG Short Cut Power Tapers 10/11 41g on the 9129-4 TCR and loved it for Spring work or high water.
Spent ages trying to find a rod that felt and cast the same, and that would work with a 30g shooting head, but gave up as I couldn't find anything that had that 'something special' the TCR had.
Have wondered how the 12'6 TCX and Method would compare?

Its amazing how the tcr divided people, you are in my camp m8 but some people really loathe it I suppose thats salmon fishing
 

Llandogo

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As I said earlier I am not a fan of the TCR.but I like Sage rods. I am not the sort of bloke that is not afraid of admitting to making mistakes when I have bought the wrong gear. I suspect that there are a many others out there like me but ego won't let them admit to it. If I comment on something you don't have to agree with me but it is my honest opinion.I have used for the last couple of seasons the 12ft 6incs 8wt Method. I know that it is not a straight comparison with the longer and heavier TCR but the only thing they have in common is that they are both made by Sage and are fast action. I absolutely love the Method, it is light and although described as tip action you can feel it working in the hand. Will throw a line into the next parish and put a lot of longer and allegedly more powerful rods to shame. Plenty of backbone for the bigger fish but responsive enough not to rip the hook out of softer mouthed fish. I have over the years had many different makes of rods but I can honestly say without any prejudice it is the most accurate rod I have ever used. It has a very fast recovery. It responds better with a dominate lower hand.I would not recommend it for the inexperienced but in the right hands is a fabulous tool a true fishing rod and not just for exhibition on a casting platform. I use the Rio short versitip on it for an eight weight and it is a match made in heaven. It will throw the nine weight but in my opinion that is overlining it. It's been about a few years now and if Sage keep to their marketing strategy it will not be long before it is discontinued for something new and with luck the Method might be had for a bargain.
 

Tyke

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As I said earlier I am not a fan of the TCR.but I like Sage rods. I am not the sort of bloke that is not afraid of admitting to making mistakes when I have bought the wrong gear. I suspect that there are a many others out there like me but ego won't let them admit to it. If I comment on something you don't have to agree with me but it is my honest opinion.I have used for the last couple of seasons the 12ft 6incs 8wt Method. I know that it is not a straight comparison with the longer and heavier TCR but the only thing they have in common is that they are both made by Sage and are fast action. I absolutely love the Method, it is light and although described as tip action you can feel it working in the hand. Will throw a line into the next parish and put a lot of longer and allegedly more powerful rods to shame. Plenty of backbone for the bigger fish but responsive enough not to rip the hook out of softer mouthed fish. I have over the years had many different makes of rods but I can honestly say without any prejudice it is the most accurate rod I have ever used. It has a very fast recovery. It responds better with a dominate lower hand.I would not recommend it for the inexperienced but in the right hands is a fabulous tool a true fishing rod and not just for exhibition on a casting platform. I use the Rio short versitip on it for an eight weight and it is a match made in heaven. It will throw the nine weight but in my opinion that is overlining it. It's been about a few years now and if Sage keep to their marketing strategy it will not be long before it is discontinued for something new and with luck the Method might be had for a bargain.

I concur, it's all about how it feels to the individual.

I sold the 14 ft. #9 wt. TCR, which I just couldn't get on with, & a little while afterwards bought the 14 ft. #9/10 Loomis NRX; on paper 2 similar rods, same length, line class & both fast recovering.

The difference is that the NRX feels totally different to me & [once I ignored the 36 Gram recommendation on the rod & used 39/40 grams instead] it became one of my favourite & most versatile rods. It also throws a line a country mile, but is [to me] a much more accomplished all around rod than the TCR was.

However, someone else will look for a different feel from the rod & may have exactly the opposite opinion. It's very difficult to call a mid to up market rod good or bad as they are all pretty good nowadays; it's just that one will suit one angler & the other someone else & where & how we fish will be the determining factor over which rod best suits the requirements.

Regards, Tyke.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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As I said earlier I am not a fan of the TCR.but I like Sage rods. I am not the sort of bloke that is not afraid of admitting to making mistakes when I have bought the wrong gear. I suspect that there are a many others out there like me but ego won't let them admit to it. If I comment on something you don't have to agree with me but it is my honest opinion.I have used for the last couple of seasons the 12ft 6incs 8wt Method. I know that it is not a straight comparison with the longer and heavier TCR but the only thing they have in common is that they are both made by Sage and are fast action. I absolutely love the Method, it is light and although described as tip action you can feel it working in the hand. Will throw a line into the next parish and put a lot of longer and allegedly more powerful rods to shame. Plenty of backbone for the bigger fish but responsive enough not to rip the hook out of softer mouthed fish. I have over the years had many different makes of rods but I can honestly say without any prejudice it is the most accurate rod I have ever used. It has a very fast recovery. It responds better with a dominate lower hand.I would not recommend it for the inexperienced but in the right hands is a fabulous tool a true fishing rod and not just for exhibition on a casting platform. I use the Rio short versitip on it for an eight weight and it is a match made in heaven. It will throw the nine weight but in my opinion that is overlining it. It's been about a few years now and if Sage keep to their marketing strategy it will not be long before it is discontinued for something new and with luck the Method might be had for a bargain.

I have the 14ft Method but when I tried them the 12,6 was a better rod for me - I just didn't need another approx 13ft 8 weight rod. What surprised me with both of the rods was the difference between the marketing message and how the rod felt in the hand - to me at least.

I note that a couple of experienced rods on here didn't think much of the 14ft Method and I know the 15ft was generally held to be a better rod. However, I really like it and have heard of others that do as well. It isn't the best with a fast sinking head (S1,S3,S5) and a 55ft Spey line doesn't feel like it's natural territory but everything else I've tried goes very well Float, I-S2-S4, F-H-I heads, and a 600G Skagit. For me that just shows how rods are horses for courses and what suits one set of circumstances won't necessarily suit another.

The Method range rods I have tried are certainly fuller flexing than the marketing rubbish would have you believe and I am sure they would be attractive to more people if they tried them - and if they were reduced in price a bit;). I'll be on the lookout for more when they get discounted next year or the year after. John Norris had an ex-demo 12,6 8 weight in stock, still a bit pricey for me but maybe worth a shot for somebody.


Beardog: I bought a 2nd hand B&W 12,4 30g Shooting head rod off the forum last year, it's an absolute gem, it won't be as light as the Method but worth a look. Takes everything from 420g-510g Rage heads and loves the AFS 7/8. Maybe worth a look
 
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Dunbar

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It's been said already, I used the Guideline ready to go power tapers in #10/11 on my 12'9" - they sailed out. I no longer have the rod,though. It wasn't the best tool for hooking/playing fish.


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