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the tfo 12'6" 5/6 deer creek spey rod.
as advertised in the last blog, i swung around the 12’ 6” 5/6 deer creek spey rod for a day this week. i used a rio steelhead scandi 385 grain head and abel spey reel. any reel that has enough weight to balance the long rod will do, but if you haven't already noticed, i really like the abels. to the head i looped on an 18’ tapered mono leader that i tied. polyleaders (such as the airflo steelhead salmon polyleader and the rio spey versileader) are great for bombing with and very convenient. i use them most of the time when fishing two handed rods here. they can, however, be a bit costly in our harsh reef environment where a single fish can cost you upwards of a hundred bucks in fly line, leader, and fly. whatever is used, a leader about one and a half times the rod length is about right for a two handed “scandi” set up. since this and the last blog was intended with budget in mind, i went with the time tested hand tied monofilament leader. besides, i kind of enjoy tying leaders every once in a while. it’s just another facet of our life encompassing passion.
the tfo deer creek 12’ 6” 5/6, not surprisingly, maintained the same "good rod" characteristics of its bigger bro the 13’ 6/7. easy loading, nice feel throughout the cast, and (most importantly) very forgiving. it conked repeated long casts effortlessly as all good bombing sticks ought to. the deer creek 5/6 is probably physically lighter than the 13’ 6/7. it has to be as it is a lighter line weight and shorter rod. i didn't notice any difference in "lightness" between the two when casting them. going strictly by fatigue factor, both are effortless to cast and cast all day. not to mention super fun too. d loop fire, d loop fire, d loop fire, and a multitude of fancy pants line flailing to get to the point of d loop and fire... what could be more fun than that!
despite the good time i was having just flying line all over the place, i did eventually get down to the business of actually fishing the rod. fortunately, the bone gods once again smiled upon the (not so) young jedi and his 12’ 6” amethyst??? light saber. i was be able to hook a half dozen bones on the rod’s rookie day on the water. the rod handled bones up to five pounds in a reasonable amount of time. i landed the fish, snapped a few pics, and upon hook removal, all of them energetically bolted away (no revival necessary).
as expected, it was a bit more difficult to control the fish throughout the fight than with the 6/7 deer creek. i would say a little light for bigger bones eights and up. it is more than possible to land fish like that with this rod, just tougher to do so in the manner or time and with the control that i like. i would also caution to fish the 5/6 in sketchy reef conditions at your own risk. unless, of course, you have stacks of hundreds lying around for new fly lines, leaders, and flies. i have already lost and wrecked a bunch of lines using a 5/6 switch rod for bones. the upside of the deer creek 5/6 is that it is the perfect stick to hook micros and rats with. bones in the three pound and under range in mild reef are right in this rods wheel house and are absolute blasteroids with this stick. the tfo deer creek 12’6” 5/6 spey rod... as with everything i tend to like... super fun. that, my friends, is what it is all about. i’ll see you on the water.
as is the case with all fly rods, the tip section is for casting purposes. the power comes from the mid to butt sections. when fighting fish the tip straightens out and the power section is utilized as i tried to capture in the three photos below. a sharp bend in the upper part of the rod results in what is known as "high sticking" and often broken rods.
assorted "deer creeked" bones.
and a loloa'u (flying gurnard). when bombing you never know what is going to bite and like i've always said... if it has to eat, you can catch it on a fly.
micros are really fun to catch with the 5/6.
come bomb with me... come bomb away. i love it... good times.