Newbie to the cane: looking for guidance and advice

revo

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Apr 13, 2011
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Tamworth, the Midlands
The rod you've got sounds ideal - you won't be disappointed with it. For a first cane fly rod you've hit the jackpot. Don't be too self-congratulatory though - I promise you there will now commence an endless quest for others, which can get quite expensive.
We must have posted at the same time. I am bloody delighted with it. I have a much older split cane 9' with intermediary whippings and agate eyes (ooh get me with the jargon!) that is heavier and slower than this little beauty. I had feared it was the norm for 'boo rods but it seems not.

I'm assuming that the Featherweight Scottie in any given length is lighter in overall weight / mass than a non-FW one? Is it also whippier / tippier? Better for dry fly? Or just easier to fish all day and not get tired? Pros and cons of Featherweight?
 

three rivers

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Apr 13, 2017
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You are now in a first-hand position to understand that all cane rods (they're cane by the way - only Americans call them bamboo, or worse, 'boo!) are not equal. So many people pick up a tired old cane in a junk shop or car boot sale, try it and assume all cane is the same. I use rods made of cane, glass and carbon with equal enthusiasm, but all my fly rods bar a ten foot reservoir/sea trout stick are cane, because they work better for me.

The Featherweight series are not lighter versions of other rods - they were just so-called because, by the standards of the time (late 1960s) they were lighter rods than was the norm. Most people back then were using nine foot rods taking a number 3 silk line, or an HCH equivalent (number 6 in today's money) on rivers, or powerful ten footers on lakes. Seven foot rods were a novelty in the UK, only used on tiny brooks.
 

revo

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Tamworth, the Midlands
Thanks again three rivers, you are mine of information.

I mostly fish a wide stretch of the Dove (with waders) or a small river close to home, so if I can chuck out 12 yards of line with accuracy then I'm happy. I still have 9 & 10 footers (#7) for the stillwaters and reservoirs. Tbh the "nine foot rods taking a number 3 silk line, or an HCH equivalent (number 6 in today's money)" seems overkill on all but the biggest rivers.
 

three rivers

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Apr 13, 2017
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Overkill maybe, but most anglers only had one rod, so they'd pick something that would cover as wide a range of situations as possible. Also, cane rods last longer if not abused, so it was common to go slightly heavier than what we'd consider suitable today. Go back to Sheringham's time (1900-1920) and see what he was using on the Kennet and Test - eleven or twelve foot rods, heavy silk lines (equal to a number 8 today). On Blagdon he'd often us a fourteen foot double-hander.

I am often accused of using over-heavy tackle on my streams, but an eight foot cane and a number five line works nicely for me. It's what I learnt to fly fish with, and seems somehow familiar now. I dislike rods much shorter than eight feet unless I'm wading, and normally I'm not (try wading one beat I fish and you'll quickly wish you had put on a wet suit and an aqualung). I catch as many as anyone else, and I'm happy with that.
 

revo

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Apr 13, 2011
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Tamworth, the Midlands
Thanks. I guess a 12 foot greenheart is a seriously heavy rod, too? Also, if not wading then the extra reach from the bank would come in handy. Were they not aerialising as much line, too? Or are we just weak and wussy compared with the Real Men of the Edwardian era?
 

Jason 70

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Jan 3, 2020
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The congested SE
Thanks. I guess a 12 foot greenheart is a seriously heavy rod, too? Also, if not wading then the extra reach from the bank would come in handy. Were they not aerialising as much line, too? Or are we just weak and wussy compared with the Real Men of the Edwardian era?

I've never handled a Greenheart, but when I used to do a lot of Barbel fishing, rolling meat all day with my Barbus Maximus was a bit of a chore. But using a Sharps Scotties impregnated rod was fine as were one or two others I own.
 

three rivers

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Apr 13, 2017
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Thanks. I guess a 12 foot greenheart is a seriously heavy rod, too? Also, if not wading then the extra reach from the bank would come in handy. Were they not aerialising as much line, too? Or are we just weak and wussy compared with the Real Men of the Edwardian era?
I think Sheringham was using split cane by then, at least for fly rods. Nevertheless, a twelve foot cane fly rod is not something you'd want to wave about for long. Fortunately the necessity of drying and re-greasing (or reversing) the silk line ensured a rest at midday.

We have it easy these days, even those of us who prefer cane.
 
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