Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:14 pm

Agree salar. Some of the top end manufacturers should follow suit.

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Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:00 am

The recommended weights for a shooting head written on the rod are somewhat conservative in this case. The Shakespeare Scandi 12'9" rod will handle a Shooting Head of anything from 26 grams to 44 grams. From my cut and splice trials a head of 38' weighing 35 grams with a 15' #5 (5 grams) tip is about optimum. Casting distance with the minimal effort is exceptional either overhead or underhand. My running line is marked up to 130' and from what I can see, I can lob a 5" sand eel pattern well beyond what I would ever need to in practical fishing reality

The profile of my preferred line has a 10' front taper and a 3' back taper - the front half weighs 14 grams and the rear half weighs 21 grams. Underhand casts with no back cast room are exceptional and overhead casts are easier still. Turnover with the 15 ' foot tip would suit un weighted bass flies right down to small mullet patterns.

If you happen to be salmon fishing, this line profile would cover most of the year other than a very cold and early Spring situation.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:25 pm

The above profile....


Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:46 pm

The 12' 9" oracle scandi in action with a 100' plus line out

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:35 pm

Pretty impressive salar. 53' is a long head though. Do you not struggle in head winds in the surf?

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:29 pm

Hi Spruce

If the wind strength and direction creates casting problems, I leave off the light 15' tip and it becomes more manageable. For the most part though I find that the full 53' seems to suit the rod.


Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:01 am

Very handy to have... Takes all the confusion out of it for sure.. Nice one Shakesphere!!

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:04 am

Over the year I have found that the affordable two handed Oracle Scandi 12'9" is a gem of a fly rod which delivers effortless long casts (40yds is no problem to the experienced spey caster) also doubles as super float rod - and if want to travel light and have a small fixed spool reel in your pocket, - will deliver a 30 gm lure with ease.

Waiting on delivery of the Shakespeare Oracle Scandi 14' 9" a rod which has held its own in shootouts with brand-names costing considerably more (10 times). Might be a bit overkill for salt water but the last 15' rod I fished weighed 2.25lbs -but this one weighs in at only 11 ounces. Heavy rods had little impact on casting but were difficult to hold horizontally whilst you worked a fly around on a swing.

Also what I have found is true is - what I have always suspected - if you are delivering fairly large flies over distance in challenging conditions - the two-handed rod reigns supreme.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:00 am


The 14' 9" Oracle Scandi lives up its verdict by Trout and Salmon as an en exceptional but inexpensive distance caster of shooting heads. However, from the point of view of 'feel' the 12' 9" Scandi casts 'almost' as far with less effort. On this tack the very reasonably priced Flextec 11' #8/9 can also make the longish cast with similar effort. I always use 100ft to try double handed rods because usual casting distances of 50-70' in practical fishing become effortless with these rods.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:25 pm

Very nice salar, but...please forgive me if I am wrong but it looks as though you have a favourable breeze and you definitely aren't overhead casting. Conditions are usually different in the surf and performing waterborne anchor are "kiss and go" casts are rarely achievable. Nice casting all the same.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:28 pm

Spruce wrote:Very nice salar, but...please forgive me if I am wrong but it looks as though you have a favourable breeze and you definitely aren't overhead casting. Conditions are usually different in the surf and performing waterborne anchor or "kiss and go" casts are rarely achievable. Nice casting all the same.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:46 pm

Hi Spruce

A big proportion of my fly fishing is around high water in the estuary where I seem to be invariably backed up into the trees. When your back is nearly in the undergrowth, spey casting makes fly fishing possible.
If I were on the beach in the surf, overhead casting is the way to go. Using a spey profile I shorten the line by bringing the join to the running line 5 feet inside the top ring which loads the rod up correctly on the back cast in an overhead cast.

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:05 pm

Hi Everyone,

I just chanced on this topic last night. It is really good to know that there is a growing interest in TH surf fly rods. Reading the posts it seems there is a misunderstanding that the gear I use is long and heavy. I am glad to say it is anything but.
I started my own TH journey around 2005 trying to find a solution to stay in the game fly fishing when it just was not possible with the single hand 10 wt. I started fishing for a Striped Bass in Montauk around 23 years ago. First of all with 3 Oz spinning gear casting huge plugs and a Bucktails. I learned how to wet suit from the Americans and surf casting was soon in my blood. We enjoyed the small team of Brits I went with unbelievable fishing compared to back home. Not unusual to catch and release 70 Bass in a day or night tide. Fuchs ranged from a couple of pounds to 25lbs for myself but one crew member landed a fifty pounder. As the years rolled by my interest turned to using the fly rod for them. In the very tough fall conditions the single hander would get overwhelmed and I had to stand and watch the spin guys bailing fish after fish on 2 Oz a Bucktails. This is the price you pay when you fly rod in salt water. The solution was a powerful TH. Easy or so I thought but how wrong I was. Most available rods were designed for spey casting and they lacked the power to deal with big surf and winds up to 20 mph. Lately the Switch rod came onto the scene introduced by the Americans. It is probably one of the most misunderstood rods. Essentially designed for rivers with capability to be cast spey style or Overhead. That’s where the term switch comes in. A large number believe it to mean can be cast either single hand or with two. Casting an 11’8 wt rod with one hand is incredibly fatiguing and makes little sense especially to any sort of head wind on an open beach.
Some guys like them and they do work ok especially in inlets, back bays and calm days on the beach.
The Americans are responsible for the almost defacto short TH of 11’. This I believe happened not for technical reasons but because they felt that single hand salt water fly Anglers would be afraid to use longer rods. Yet our fresh water bretherin have no problems fishing rods up to 15’ with 13 and 14’ being quite common.
The main issue with short TH rods is generating high line speed as there is no double haul to assist. We get line speed with TH by casters skill and rod length. But there is a trade off when we go too long the rod becomes heavy and hard work to push through head winds and the balance when fishing is tip heavy.


Important errand

Re: The Short Two-hander in the Salt

Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:27 pm

Continuing from previous post.
The more powerful Switch rods such as 8 wts that is a spey 8 wt might work for you on open beaches but I could not get even 10 wt Spey rods to do that in a head wind. For me they did not perform better than a Single hand 10 wt. You need to be careful with both spey rod and Switch rod line ratings as they can be optimistic and mostly relate to air borne touch and go and water anchored casting. Most of our casting will be over head. The other issue is that most of them are designed with butt sections which bend more deeply than is desirable for a rod to be cast primarily over head.

The compromise that I found worked for me was a rod around 13 feet in length and which could easily cast 500 to 600 grains. A rod like this is can be very light as well as powerful and the leverage works against the Angler and means we can have very good sport with fish as small as two pounds. The rod is selected primarily to be able to deliver our fly rather than the focus being on the size of the fish we hope to cast.
The 13 footer is long enough to produce very high line speeds but is not too long to push through strong head winds. What beats wind is a heavy fly line and line speed. This type of rod has become my go to general purpose Beach rod. It is roughly the equivalent of a single hand 10 wt in terms of its utilitarian nature. This type of gear is very easy to cast and if distance is needed casts of over 130 feet are achievable by good casters. Up to 90 feet it is very relaxed. The good news is that most guys can learn how to cast a TH in less than an hour if they can get a bit of help
In practice I found that once head winds get to exceed 20 mph that often sea conditions become too rough to make fly fishing feasible even with a powerful TH. At those wind speeds I like a more powerful rod and 700 grains.
It is not easy to buy integrated fly lines of more than 500 grains with head lengths of around 33 to 35 feet in the various densities required from floating to fast sink. It is a case of making our own by cutting and splicing lines or using lines designed for different casting like skagits. Personally I do not find Skagit lines cast well overhead and into head winds.
The best way and most affordable way to obtain a rod that will work well in the surf is to buy a carp blank in around 2.75 to 3 lb text curve. One of the more modern blanks which tend to have stiff butt sections.
Spinning rods are also good if you can find one that will cast around 2.75 ozs and is not through action.
If you have a spin or carp rod of these specs then just put a fly line on them and trial them with some casts.
I fish my TH in Kerry in the fall and winter months and enjoy using them as much as I do in the USA.
My dream is to get out into the type of surf needed to bait fish on Stradbally Strand in a Kerry in my wet suit around low water and catch my first Irish Bass on fly on an open beach. The TH will help that dream one day or night I hope become a reality.
It is great that the Irish fly guys are taking such an interest in TH fly rods for the Bass.

I hope the above helps and is of interest.