Grain Weight Line Relationship between Steelhead and Trout - Spey Pages
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 3.00 average. Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Connecticut River
Posts: 121
Grain Weight Line Relationship between Steelhead and Trout

Just something to think about, these are not recommendations just observations. Let's say that Steelhead average 10lb's, let's also say that they are pursued on average with a 7 weight spey rod paired with a 500 grain skagit head.

Also, let's take a trout of 15" and it's weight is on average 1.5lbs. And because Trout Spey is relatively new there is a lot of trial and error going on. So the question is what is a good recommendation for line size.

If we calculate the relationship between a 10 lb Steelhead's weight and a 1.5lb (15") Trout: 10/1.5=6.67. So, the Steelhead weighs 6.67 times more than the trout. If we then take the 500 grain head used to catch the Steelhead and use the same relationship: 500/6.67=75 grains. So if you persue Steelhead with a 500 grain skagit head then the same relationship would be a 75 grain skagit head for trout.

Or to put it another way if you are pursuing 15" trout with a 300 grain skagit head: 300*6.67=2,000 grain skagit head for Steelhead. If you pursue 15" trout with a 300 grain skagit then it would be like pursuing 10lb Steelhead with a 2,000 grain skagit head.

How about a 20" trout? It weighs on average 4lbs. So: 10lb/4lb=2.5. Steelhead weighs 2.5 times more than the trout. So, 500gr/2.5=200gr. So a 200 grain skagit head would be the same relationship.

Again this is just putting things into perspective, it is not meant to judge, offend, etc., etc. It's just something to keep in mind.
Rickbjr is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 08:10 AM
Registered User
 
Joe M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sauk and Skagit but stuck in Boston
Posts: 211
There might logically be a correlation between the mass of the flies used to catch a fish relative to the head weight of the line you are using (but we all know in reality there are a lot of big fish that eat really small flies so I doubt that one could even make a reasonable correlation here). The other correlation that might have meaning would be the average weight of the target species relative to the breaking strength of the line used to pursue it. But I don't see any reason for the head weight to correlate directly with the mass of the fish you are pursuing. Just my 2 cents.

Joe
Joe M. is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Connecticut River
Posts: 121
Joe M.

I believe there is a direct correlation between head weight and the ability of the fish to put up a nice fight.
Rickbjr is online now  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 09:28 AM
TTL
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: West of the Divide, MT
Posts: 146
I look at the head weight as a payload delivery system, not a fish fighting system. Do the flies we use for trout consist, on average, of 6.67 times less mass? I don't think so. 75 grains corresponds almost exactly up AFFTA's recommendation for a 2 wt. single handed line. I don't think many folks would say that is a plausible setup for any wind resistant or mass-y fly.

Also, it sounds like you're assuming a linear relationship between head weight and a fish's ability to fight. I think it is one of the minor variables in a very, very long string of other variables.
TTL is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 09:42 AM
Registered User
 
Cowboy Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Methow River
Posts: 768
What TTL said. It's more about the load carrying capacity of the system. A 75gr head would be something in the vicinity of a 1wt single hand line and not be able to move much of a fly.
Cowboy Tom is online now  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 09:57 AM
Released to spawn
 
Speyducer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Scotland, BC, Norway, Russia - anywhere with fish!
Posts: 4,350
If you're casting a size 16 to 24 BWO at 'sipping' 15" trout, then a 75 grain line and 2 to 3 lb tippet may be appropriate....

If you're wishing to fish with a size 8 to 4 streamer @ the same trout, then your line weight would probably have to raise some, and if you want to fish 3-4" "bunnies" you will need to step up even further....

There's always a dilemma when you are trying to target certain fish/size of fish...what if the water holds other species, in other sizes; what if, when you're targeting those 15" trout your offering gets sipped in by a 15 - 20lb+ feisty steelhead, or a 20 to 25lb chum or chinook,..... how's your 2 wt trout setup gonna manage that?

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles (spey rods). Doug Larson

Take only photographs, retain only memories, leave only a good impression of yourself, perhaps just footprints.

Your lines, your rivers, your way!
Speyducer is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 10:23 AM
FISHIN' FREELANCER
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Michigan/Ontario
Posts: 1,407
"I believe there is a direct correlation between head weight and the ability of the fish to put up a nice fight."

Probably true for the most part. Personally, I think it's got much to do with the short fat bobberesque nature of Skagit heads. Keep grains the same and go to the decreased diameter of an Intermediate density, stretching the line to around 30' would make pretty big difference in the above context.. of course we might not be able to fish those big Sculpins

Tackle choice seems to be driven more by it's capacity to deliver specific payloads. This was really driven home for me after a few seasons of Muskie chasing.

"Like Brook Trout, fishingbums can be particular about their habitat and most will either leave or die if needs are not met" Eric Shoemaker

Word origin & history; Wander "move about aimlessly.. wanderlust" http://local-wanderings.blogspot.com/
shotgunner is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 10:26 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Rivers and streams of the Catskills
Posts: 895
I agree that the line is about delivering the fly and not the fish's ability to fight.

Take the exact same rod and the exact same steelhead, but drop the line weight down to a 420-450 gr. Scandi.

You're line grain to fish's weight ratio has changed now, yet that 10lb. Steelie, has gained nor lost anything in the fight!!

-Bill
Bwana Bill is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-06-2015, 12:20 PM
FISHIN' FREELANCER
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Michigan/Ontario
Posts: 1,407
I see a couple posts have been torched (deleted) ..lol..

To clarify, I think a heavy head can diminish the power of "a trout of 15 inch", also specified in opening post. A 10lb Chromer.. not so much.

"Like Brook Trout, fishingbums can be particular about their habitat and most will either leave or die if needs are not met" Eric Shoemaker

Word origin & history; Wander "move about aimlessly.. wanderlust" http://local-wanderings.blogspot.com/
shotgunner is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 01:10 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Spokane,Wa
Posts: 93
Does line wt matter in fighting fish?

The ROD has far more impact on the ability to "fight" than the line.
brookrain is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 04:52 PM
FISHIN' FREELANCER
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Michigan/Ontario
Posts: 1,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by brookrain View Post
The ROD has far more impact on the ability to "fight" than the line.
That's a given. Take same rod, two different lines. One, a 300 grain 20' Skagit short (figure on additional 60 - 80 grain tip for total weight) the other a 6wt single hand 35' 40+ Intermediate 260 grain.. both lines I've used on my Beulah 4/5 Switch. Which one will impact what a mid sized trout can show for himself more?

"Like Brook Trout, fishingbums can be particular about their habitat and most will either leave or die if needs are not met" Eric Shoemaker

Word origin & history; Wander "move about aimlessly.. wanderlust" http://local-wanderings.blogspot.com/
shotgunner is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 02:48 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Snake, Grande Ronde
Posts: 210
I think it makes much more sense to rely on actual experience rather than theoretical ratios to determine what rod/line size to use on trout. The ratio described has little or no relation to reality, in my opinion.

My experience is with rods rated as 3, 4 and 5 wts. for trout of 15-20". The lines I've used have generally been floating scandi heads of 270-330 gr. , though I've also used some Skagit heads in the 320-360 gr. range with T-8 tips or fast sinking polyleaders.
Fish have a much tougher time fighting against the fat Skagit heads and sinking tips than the floating and lighter scandi heads, but if you need to use big or heavy flies you're forced to use a Skagit.

I have the most fun with rods rated as 3 or 4 wt with scandi heads of 300 gr. or less and small or lightly weighted flies. Even smaller trout give a good account of themselves, especially because the leverage against a longer rod magnifies their pull. Of course if you need to put the wood to them, holding the rod low and using the butt gives you lots of power, making the weak link the tippet, not the rod. I've caught Atlantic salmon of 10+ lbs. on a 4 wt. with no issues.

In my opinion the rods rated as 5 wts. are overkill for trout, throwing even scandi heads equivalent in weight to 11 wt single hand lines. The two-hand line rating system doesn't actually go below 6 wt., so different rod makers use varying standards for lighter weight rods. I'd say 300 grs. or under is the sweet spot for trout, regardless of the rod designation.
speycaster is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 09:51 PM
Registered User
 
Botsari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,771
There is a joke...

about how a mathematician, a physicist and an engineer try to solve the same problem that this thread reminds me of.

While I was trained as a theorist I agree it might be better to use the empirical method in this case.

So just a bit more data, on Thursday I caught an 18" rainbow on a 3wt 10'6" switch using a 240 gr ~22ft head and an about 75gr 10ft sinktip. The rod did not feel underpowered in the least, just the opposite, and while it was only one fish, I now feel like I'd be unworried to fight much bigger fish on that rod.

That said, if a 10 lb Steelhead for some reason grabs my fly I am probably going to cry like a little girl.
Botsari is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 10:11 PM
Registered User
 
Lawrence S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Southwestern Montana & Eastern Idaho
Posts: 261
Trout Spey

Some people just don't get it.

Lawrence S

My version of a $5000 a week steelhead lodge.
Lawrence S is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 01:12 AM
btree
 
btree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Island
Posts: 270
I'm not sure if the obvious is overstated in the initial post here. It seems like a bit of a rhetorical question, but surely one cannot argue that a 15" trout would offer a greater fight against a spey rod lined with the grains needed to deliver a decent cast, as opposed to an appropriate single handed rod setup.

I've often wondered about what the benefit is to fishing a spey rod for trout, and the only benefits I can see are the payload which can deliver heavy tips or big bulky flies, a casting system that does not require a double haul, and the ability to use spey casts with a two handed system. Beyond that, if you want to maximize the "fight" in the fish, the fewer grains there is between you and the fish, and less resistance your line gives to the fish, the more you'll feel.

Strange, but that sounds like an argument for using an ultralight spinning rod.... nearly no grains between you and the fish

To each their own, but I cannot bring myself to use a two handed rod or lines heavier than 200 grains for the whole head for trout. I've yet to find a fly that I'd fish for trout that I couldn't cast with my 5wt (single hand). Ok, occasionally I bring out a 6wt, but only if I suspect a few summer runs might be mixed in
btree is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grain Weight? MacKenzie GTX spey line... wrx_canoe Tackle 2 12-17-2012 04:47 PM
Line Grain Weight Shotgun_Willie Tackle 7 03-27-2011 03:11 PM
Sinktip grain weight vs skagit line gr wt rmflyrods Tackle 7 07-09-2009 03:11 PM
Confused on grain windows vs line weight gwozdz Spey Basics 10 11-12-2008 01:50 PM
The Underhand and choice of line grain weight Hibernicus Technique 7 05-29-2005 03:39 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome