Red Truck Summer Steelhead Balanced Outfit
• Outfit: Purchase here…
• Rod: 6126-4 Diesel
• Reel: Red Truck Diesel Chrome
• Head #1: Airflo 390gr. Scandi Compact
• Head #2: Airflo 450gr. Skagit/Switch Compact
• Tips: Rio MOW Tips (Light)
• Head #2: Airflo #20 Ridge
• Leaders: Umpqua Leaders
January 24, 2014 (Sonoma, CA): Steelhead fishing, regardless of the season, is a test of form. A day of two-handed casting demands the most from your technique and your gear, making efficiency the key to all-day success. The Red Truck Summer Steelhead Balanced Outfit was designed with this in mind, providing exceptional power and line control in a perfectly balanced package.
The Right Length: The Red Truck Summer Steelhead Balanced Outfit is all about the efficient transfer of energy. At 12′ 6”, you’ll have no problem making long casts and easy mends, but the reduction in length and weight makes for a tremendous improvement in the in-hand feel. This is thanks to the custom line system built around Airflo’s Ridge Running Line. With today’s efficient fly lines, we’re able to reduce the overall length and weight of our spey rods without sacrificing performance. If you’re used to fishing longer rods (we were too), it’s a welcome change. And if you have one steelhead rod in your lineup, go for the Red Truck Summer Steelhead Balanced Outfit.
Diesel Durability: This is a given. Red Truck fly rods are built to handle the harshest conditions, and steelheading is grueling on your gear. The heavy-duty guides, aluminum rod tube, snake-belly finish, and quality cork are all top-notch. Plus, the outfit includes an extra tip for streamside insurance.
The Reel: Red Truck Diesel reels, like any good diesel engine, are built to stand up to a lifetime of hard work in tough conditions. The Diesel Chrome may be the largest in the series, but it’s every bit as efficient as its younger brothers and tough as nails. Built to balance perfectly with our Diesel 6126-4 spey rod, it’s the exact right weight and size for summer chrome. And the outgoing click is there to celebrate when all those casts finally pay off.
The Lines: The backbone of any good outfit is as much the fly line as it is the rod, and we chose the Airflo Ridge Running Line for its superb shooting capabilities in any conditions. Included is the Compact Scandi head for skating dry flies or swinging summer patterns. And if the fish are staying deep, you’ve got the Skagit head and a set of Rio’s MOW tips. It’s a comprehensive kit for every steelhead scenario.
The Rundown: Summer run steelhead make for some of the most enjoyable fly fishing around, but an inefficient setup can distract you from the fun at hand. Enjoy every cast, focus on the fishing, and reduce fatigue. Invest in an outfit that will last forever and experience the Red Truck Summer Spey Balanced Outfit.
Washington State’s Grande Ronde River is world renowned for its summer run of steelhead. If you’ve ever wanted to raise a steelhead to a skated dry fly…this river must be on your list. I was lucky enough to spend a few days on the G.R. last season and my goal was to bring a wild fish to the surface…more on this later.
My current selection of two-handed fly rods was a bit overkill for this style of fishing, so I wrangled a Red Tuck Summer Steelhead Outfit for the trip. I’m sure glad I did. Although the outfit came with a properly matched Skagit Compact head and a selection of sinking tips, I didn’t need them. Instead I got to cast the floating Scandi Compact head with a tapered leader and skating fly. Every cast was effortless and enjoyable. I almost forgot how fun it is to cast a two-hander without a heavy tip or a big bug.
The Red Truck Diesel Summer Steelhead rod is 12’6″ in length, which felt perfect in my hands. It was still long enough to provide efficient casts and easy mends, but didn’t feel like a big stick…it’s very well balanced. I was a bit hesitant to fish a two-handed fly rod rated as a six weight, as most of my all-around two-handers are seven weights, but I found it had ample power to efficiently cast the flies we were using. Most of the runs we fished were pretty shallow and therefor required a subtle presentation, as to not spook the fish. I have to say, that casting the included Airflo Scandi Compact (390 grain) head on this rod was a real treat…easy casts and subtle presentations. Everyone needs to cast a Scandi head!
Like any steelhead trip, I had to make lots (as in tons) of casts, but with this Red Truck outfit, every cast was easy and enjoyable. My mends were effortless and each skate of my fly seemed to promise a surface grab. I found myself almost forgetting that I had just made another cast and swing, as everything seemed to work better than my other outfits. Finally, on one of my many skates…it finally happened. I woke from my comfortable daze to see my skated dry fly disappear into a watery void, then my line went tight. I had just skated up a wild, summer-run steelhead on the Grande Ronde. It gets better. The Red Truck Chrome fly reel, with its click and pawl drag system, announced to the world I had completed my goal.
I was lucky enough to repeat this topwater experience two more times while on my trip. I’m pretty confident that I could have caught more steelhead with a Skagit head and sink tip, but I didn’t care. The fun I encountered while casting and skating dries on the G.R. far outweighed the potential increase in fish count I might have encountered fishing down deep. If you’re looking for the truth and essence of catching a summer run steelhead on a fly rod, I highly recommend you book a trip to Washington’s Grande Ronde River and don’t forget to pack a Red Truck Diesel Summer Steelhead Outfit.