The technique of using two handed rods has a long history in fly fishing and has spread from Europe, to the west coast of the U.S., to now seeing it more here on the east coast. Although the concept of using a two-handed rod in the ocean to achieve longer casts and to better negotiate larger/heavier flies and lines is not a new thing, it is still somewhat of a grey area in New England. Although slowly catching on, single handed rods still rule the flats and seaweed covered rocks here in Maine. But, if you have not considered using a two handed rod in the salt for striped bass, here is a great chance to get started. Especially with the fishing being so good lately!
The Redington Dually was released a few years ago to great reception. It has found a foothold in not only the spey world, but the skagit and also two-handed overhead casting worlds with ease. This review will cover using the Dually specifically for striped bass on the coast here in New England.
A medium-action rod, which is well suited for most two-handed applications, the Dually is not only a good rod for beginners to learn the "two-handed world" but also those accomplished casters who enjoy a more feel-oriented experience. The idea of a medium-action rod might not initially conjure up thoughts of 100+ft casts, but this can actually be quite on the contrary with the Dually. Specifically when using a spey/skagit rod in the ocean, having a softer rod while specifically overhead casting will allow it to fully load under less weight. This intern equals less need for false casting and provides the rod the ability to load under one or two water-hauls - which is really the preferred style for how we are using it in the salt. This doesn't mean that the Dually is the longest casting two-hander on the market, but it is very well designed for this style.
Generally, the main goals when picking up a two-hander and heading out for striped bass are to eliminate the amount of false casting, to cover a lot of water, and to do so efficiently. Most of the fishing we are doing is blind casting. So if we can cut down on the amount of false casts before shooting the line out, we are saving a lot of energy, Advil, and time. Plus, if dialed in, one can achieve longer casts with heavier flies using less energy!
Fitted with a full cork handle and reel seat, the Dually is a burgundy/maroon colored rod in a matte finish. Available in either spey or skagit configurations, it ranges from a 10’9” 4wt to a 13’6” 8wt. So whether it’s swinging streamers for trout or looking to target big steelhead, salmon or striped bass, the Dually has a size/weight for all of these applications. Plus, it has been a popular choice for anglers here in Maine who also venture to upstate New York and Canada yearly for other anadromous fish. The price point puts it well within most anglers budget. In our opinion it gives rods twice the price a run for their money.
The rod that we have been testing here at All Points is the 11’3” 7wt. Matched with shorter head and skinking lines in grain weights 330-375 from Rio, Scientific Anglers, and Airflo work very well. This setup allows an angler to effectively fish bait patterns such as clousers and also crabs flies deep along the bottom. You will find most anglers using two-handed rods here on Maine beaches are doing so with sinking lines. Matching the proper line to the rod is one of the most important aspects in fly fishing. When first getting involved in two-handed technique, this mystery of line matching can be infinitely more confusing. One added note about reels: finding a slightly heavier reel to help (counter) balance the longer rod will aid in casting and help with fatigue. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us!
Rod testing + content by: Ben Whitehead + Josh Thelin
Photos: Josh Thelin