With deliveries of the latest Hardy Marksman 2 and Greys XF2 Salmon fly rods just around the corner, many customers have been asking us to explain the differences between S and the T models that essentially give us two concepts in one rod range! The T series rods are designed with full Spey lines like the popular Hardy Mach Spey line in mind. For those who like casting a full line, these rods fit the criteria perfectly and will suit those who favour a more traditional rod and style of casting. The S series rods are designed with versatility in mind - the ultimate in user friendly rods for use in conjunction with modern short or shooting head lines.
Who better to explain the concept than Spey casting and Salmon fishing expert Ian Gordon, who helped develop these two ranges of rods...
|The all new, user friendly Hardy Marksman 2 Spey Rod|
"As the full range of both Hardy and Greys rods reach the market, I’d like to offer those who may not be familiar with this concept exactly what it’s about.The full range of Hardy Marksman 2 and Greys XF2 Salmon fly rods are available to see and to buy from Glasgow Angling Centre now!
Having seen the success of previous rods and having a good idea of where the market was going, back in 2009, we decided on a more “Holistic” approach to the design of both rod and line. Basically, ensuring we have something to fit all. That is – All fishing and casting scenarios and even delving into the murky waters of casting technique. Although it has its sceptics, this approach will, I believe set the precedence moving forward.
Across both brands the new Hardy Marksman 2 and Greys XF2 Ranges of double handed rods will support either “S” Scandi style, and “T” Traditional style. So in each range we have two separate rods with very different actions and cosmetics, providing the angler with something which best fit’s their personal approach to both fishing and casting. It is also designed provide those giving casting and fishing tuition an easier platform to help customers make the correct decisions when purchasing a rod.
The XF2 "S" model has a shorter handle
Generally speaking, “S” Series rods are slightly softer in the butt, but much stiffer than their “T” cousins in the tip. Handles, both upper and lower, are shorter on “S” rods than those of the “T”. Specifically designed to encourage casters to hold, not the cork, but the ball at the end of the handle, “S” series rods will have a familiar feel to most people familiar with the underhand technique. Those more used to longer, more traditional casting strokes will feel much more at home with the longer handles found on the “T” series rods. The action of each has also been designed with what I know to be the most popular/common casting techniques in mind. Of course this leads to murky waters and grey areas, but for the most, I know this will prove to be positive, rather than a negative step.
Extensive testing with High speed cameras working at 200 fps, also provided us with what were optimal ring spacing’s on each series. Most “S” series rods have 11 rings whilst for the “T” series this is 13.
The XF2 "T" model with its more traditional styling
Whilst at the heart of the concept is my own perception of what are the most common casting and fishing styles, the addition of the optimum weight of fly-lines present us with system where, no matter what line type the customer asks for, the shop owner will know instantly what is optimum for that particular rod. This of course is where we find those “grey areas”, however, when I use the word “Optimum”, I’m of course talking about how the rod will perform when using the most common casting techniques.
There are many of us who, because we fish a great deal, can adapt our technique to suit almost any weight of line on any rod, but for those walking into a shop and asking for a rod and line set up for a particular size of river, our “optimum line weight and length” [OWL], will prove invaluable to both them and the people in the shop.
The new OWL line rating guide - Click to enlarge
Both “S” and “T” series rods have the “OWL” marked discreetly on the underside of the blank just above the cork. Each rod has marked similar to this -
e.g. - SH 32g, SS 38g, MS 44g LB 54g, showing the range of weights optimum for that rod. This also points out, although designed for a short or mid head line the “T” series rod, will also perform with a Short or Long Line depending on the ability of the caster.
SH =[Short Head], SS =[Short Spey], MS = [Mid Spey] and LB = [Long Belly]
Of course there will be those who like to pick holes in this concept, it’s the nature of the beast, but for whom it is aimed at, “Mr Average”, I know it will make things a whole lot easier than they are right now…."