We ran our first Expert Rig post over four years ago. Whoa!
That’s pretty cool…except for the fact that things have changed a lot in the past four years. We’ve heard from quite a few of you that you’d like updates on what our fishing experts are fishing now, so today we start the very big project of updating you on a whole bunch of rigs!
Tom Larimer – Oregon guide, spey instructor, Deneki host, all-around great guy with cool signature glasses – is first. When Tom steps onto the Dean this summer, here’s what you’re going to find him fishing. Note that he’s got two different head setups for his 7126.
- Sage ONE 7126-4
- Hatch 9+ Finatic
- Airflo Skagit Switch, 510 grain or Airflo Rage Compact, 480 grain
- 30 pound dacron backing, attached to the spool with an arbor knot.
- Airflo 30 pound Ridge running line attached to the backing with a seven turn Albright knot, coated with UV glue.
Skagit Switch Rig
- Airflo Skagit Switch 510 for sink-tip fishing. “I love fishing these switch heads on short, powerful rods like the 7126 ONE.” The head is looped to the running line using the factory loop on the back of the head and the factory loop in the front end of the running line
- 12 feet of Airflo T-14, T-10 or 10’ Airflo T-14, T-10 FLO tips looped to the Switch head. “I weld loops on the business end of my tips big enough to pass a rigged Marabou Tube or Intruder through it – that makes it way easier to change sink-tips.”
- 4 – 5 feet of 15 pound Maxima Ultragreen attached to the welded loop on the sink-tip via a non-slip mono loop.
- Reverse Marabou tube flies in Red & Orange, Orange, Pink, Purple and Black & Blue, stacked as necessary.
- Owner SSW #1 hook, tied on with a non-slip mono loop looped through the eye.
Rage Compact Rig
- Rage Compact 480 for dry line work. “When I designed the Rage I had short, fast rods like the 7126 ONE in mind. This thing jacks! The head is perfect for throwing bulky foam skaters in the upper river.”
- 10 foot Airflo salmon/steelhead Intermediate Poly Leader looped to the front of the Rage Compact.
- 1 foot butt section of 20 pound Maxima Ultra Green. “I use a seven turn Albright knot to attach the butt. On the other end I tie a small perfection loop.”
- 4 feet of 12 pound Maxima Ultragreen leader, attached to the butt section with a non-slip mono loop and a loop to loop connection.
- Fighting Gravity skater tied on with a non-slip mono loop.
- “The ONE 7126 is perfect for the Dean. The rod has enough backbone to fight big fish yet it’s light enough to fish all day without wearing you out. Plus, it’s a really fun rod to cast!”
- “I always carry extra heads, running line and sink-tips in my backpack. To date, I’ve seen three occasions where a Dean fish takes the whole enchilada and heads for the ocean. It pays to have back-ups of everything.”
- “When I’m on the Dean, I either fish big flies on sink-tips or I roll a skater – I rarely fish a traditional wet fly on my dry line. These fish love to eat dry flies, especially later in the season when I’m there. It’s easy to get sucked into the sink-tip game and put numbers on the board. However, skater fishing has mega soul. I do carry a few buggy wets and muddlers as comeback flies.”
- “Don’t bother bringing any hooks smaller than a #1 Owner – the fish will bend them.”
- “I love the simplicity and versatility of stacking Reverse Marabou tube flies for sink-tip fishing. I can adjust quickly to the conditions and attitude of the fish. I add a cone head lined with a plastic tube if I need depth. I fish them un-weighted if the fish are tight to the bank. Red & Orange is always a good color in the sun. During the low light periods or on overcast days, it’s hard to beat a black & blue marabou with a pink cone head.”