How big/heavy a fly does your 4 wt. Trout spey handle? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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How big/heavy a fly does your 4 wt. Trout spey handle?

I'm learning with my Winston BIII TH Micro-spey 4 wt and having a blast, but I am still a beginner. I just managed my first 80 ft. cast to the opposite bank (measured with a golf type rangefinder for learning purposes) but it was only a very light small epoxy leech pattern #6 on a 300 grain OPST Skagit, so it didn't take much skill. I tried casting some medium sized smallmouth flies including standard deer haired sliders and Shenk's streamers #4 and a medium popper. My casts looked terrible and fell short. When I learn to get a consistent load and small loop I wonder how big a fly I can cast with this setup. I know the rod has a lot in store for me, because there are (rare) moments when I get my form right, avoid creep, delay the turnover, load the rod deep into the handle, finish crisply and the cast sails effortlessly across the river. Any of you advanced casters' take on this would be welcome. It would help me set realistic goals. I also toss the Rio trout spey head 305 grains and love it, but haven't tried smallmouth flies on it yet. My goal is to fish smallmouth with Skagit and trout with the scandi type lines, I guess. Any thoughts welcome.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 01:48 PM
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Just curious, did OPST recommend a 300 grn for your Winston 4wt? Their website recommendation chart shows 250 grain for 5wt spey/switches. Thinking of trying a 250 on my Decho 4wt.

As far as casting bigger flies I'm no expert but you might try starting your sweep with your rod tip a little higher off the water. If you can have less sink tip anchored on the water (without blowing the anchor of course) that may help since the bigger flies have more surface area and therefore more 'stick'.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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The Winston recommended line chart for the Winston BIII TH 4 wt. Microspey recommends 325 grains for the Rio Skagit Max Short head and 300 grains for a Rio Scandi. This is from the Winston page. I used the 300 OPST commando head based on what was shown on the Red's Fly Shop video showing that rod being cast for trout with small wooly bugger-type flies.

The suggestion to minimize stick is great, since I think the poppers might have been popping and the sliders sliding as I tried to go from sweep to D loop. That would explain the intermittent cast failure along with my limited ability of course. Thank you! I'm headed back to the practice river to try this now.

I hope I can reliably mobilize the flies I mentioned. We'll see.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bocast View Post
The Winston recommended line chart for the Winston BIII TH 4 wt. Microspey recommends 325 grains for the Rio Skagit Max Short head and 300 grains for a Rio Scandi. This is from the Winston page. I used the 300 OPST commando head based on what was shown on the Red's Fly Shop video showing that rod being cast for trout with small wooly bugger-type flies.

The suggestion to minimize stick is great, since I think the poppers might have been popping and the sliders sliding as I tried to go from sweep to D loop. That would explain the intermittent cast failure along with my limited ability of course. Thank you! I'm headed back to the practice river to try this now.

I hope I can reliably mobilize the flies I mentioned. We'll see.

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Oh I think I've seen that Red's fly shop video, will take another look, thanks.

Yeah I've never tried casting poppers so not sure but let us know what you learn. I had some luck with a foam/fur mouse this year on a standard rod and can't wait to try swinging it on a 2 hander. I'm thinking a floating poly leader I should be able to hit the far bank...always more to try no matter how long you do this.

BTW an 80' cast with a little 4wt is impressive with any fly.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I think I have a small mouse pattern to try. Thats a good idea. As for that 80 foot cast, that was ONCE out of a whole lot of not ready for prime time casts...

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 06:49 PM
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I've had a curiosity about these light line Spey rods ever since they came onto the scene. The curiosity is rooted in the fact that as time has went on my flies have changed from tiny almost weightless traditional patterns to large mouthful patterns. And there's the rub.

I just posted a step by step tying on my blog page showing how I make a Dolly Lama on a tube because the traditional 3 1/2" Bunny Fur - cone head ties is very hard to push using a 600 grain Super Scandi line. With lighter less wind resistant patterns I have no issues but the big fat Bunny flies, I need an 800 grain or more to get them to distances.

I do all my trout fishing with either a 13 foot 8 weight or a 11 1/2 foot 7 weight. Either one will cast almost anything I tie on the line. They also make a larger fish easy to reel in. I think the micro Spey rods will probably be fine for small light flies and fish but if you want to throw the big stuff it'll have its limits.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
I've had a curiosity about these light line Spey rods ever since they came onto the scene. The curiosity is rooted in the fact that as time has went on my flies have changed from tiny almost weightless traditional patterns to large mouthful patterns. And there's the rub.

I just posted a step by step tying on my blog page showing how I make a Dolly Lama on a tube because the traditional 3 1/2" Bunny Fur - cone head ties is very hard to push using a 600 grain Super Scandi line. With lighter less wind resistant patterns I have no issues but the big fat Bunny flies, I need an 800 grain or more to get them to distances.

I do all my trout fishing with either a 13 foot 8 weight or a 11 1/2 foot 7 weight. Either one will cast almost anything I tie on the line. They also make a larger fish easy to reel in. I think the micro Spey rods will probably be fine for small light flies and fish but if you want to throw the big stuff it'll have its limits.
The micro spey rods are nice for certain applications. Light indicator rigs or unweighted nymphs and no indicator, swinging wets in smallish water, etc. The B111 11' 4 wt is a nice rod but might be too niche for me.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GHalliday View Post
The micro spey rods are nice for certain applications. Light indicator rigs or unweighted nymphs and no indicator, swinging wets in smallish water, etc. The B111 11' 4 wt is a nice rod but might be too niche for me.
Small streamers? Or medium streamers engineered to be light? How do you, for a rod that throws a 300 grain shooting head, omit streamers but include 'light indicator rigs'? Heresy!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 09:02 PM
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I use a 250 grain OPST on that rod. That's what's recommended by OPST:

https://pureskagit.com/line-chart-winston-line-chart/
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I use a 250 grain OPST on that rod. That's what's recommended by OPST:

https://pureskagit.com/line-chart-winston-line-chart/
Skol Bandit, thank you for pointing that out. OPST recommend a lighter grain weight than does Winston. Could it be a Rio vs OPST design difference? Or is it that the OPST recommendation is geared to advanced casters while the rod manufacturer wants good loading for newbies like me to appeal to the widest audience? The youtube vid I referenced is this one


Thanks for the input!

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GHalliday View Post
The micro spey rods are nice for certain applications. Light indicator rigs or unweighted nymphs and no indicator, swinging wets in smallish water, etc. The B111 11' 4 wt is a nice rod but might be too niche for me.
GHalliday, the microspey may be a niche rod, but it hits squarely in a niche I love. So far my 4wt Winston Microspey has easily handled 8 lb and "almost 10 lb" steelhead caught while learning to cast and swing in a river not known for great lakes steelhead , smallies, a largemouth of about 5 lbs, 12 to 20 inch trout and even some wimpy bluegills with a fun bend and a quick play to the net for every fish. All the while it is making me a much better caster and always puts a smile on my face. I can't ask much more of a rod meant for Ohio and Pennsylvania fisheries for two handed rods. You have one, if I recall, so you know whether it works for you. As for me, it has quickly risen to most favored rod status. For really big flies cast to serious sized steelhead in the more northern great lake fisheries and if I ever make it to the hallowed PNW waters, I will need more rod, of course. By the time that happens I'll actually know how to spey cast because my sweet Winston Microspey calls me to the waters, even to waters I know are devoid of fish just for the joy of learning casting. By the way, I did manage to toss the Shenk's streamers far enough to fish effectively and by minimizing the stick, launch some waterlogged bunny-laden flies and a big deer haired monstrosity. The last fly sailed slowly to the target, reminding me of the helicopters as depicted in Apocalypse Now. "I love the smell of wet deer hair in the morning. It smells like victory..."

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 11:50 AM
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This is just my opinion and could certainly change as I am always open to experimentation. But coming to the spey thing from trout country (Rockies) my view of 2 handed rods is that compared to single handed rods they only do one thing better: swing a streamer. This because they (even the little ones) are built to launch shooting heads long distances repeatedly with less effort. They are worse when it comes to being able to react quickly to environment around you which is what you need for pretty much everything else: nymphing, dry fly fishing...even swinging soft hackles I don't get why you would do that with a shooting head, scandi included. Even for streamer fishing I am coming to admit to myself single handers are deadlier because even if your radius of presentation might be a little smaller you can present your fly in a greater variety of ways with less headache (and still jack a few long casts to swing a tailout if you need to).

But, if you have a swing friendly river and just want to cover lots and lots of real estate with repeated casts beyond 40', and you need a little bit of sinktip to get down (or wake a big bushy dry), a shooting head on a two hander is tough to beat. Sorry that's just my long version of saying that to me they are definitely a niche rod, but to me the niche is definitely not 'small nymphs and soft hackles'. Of course you can do all the other things you would do with your single hander, but in my experience having a two hander no matter how light makes all of them more cumbersome, soft hackles included.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
This is just my opinion and could certainly change as I am always open to experimentation. But coming to the spey thing from trout country (Rockies) my view of 2 handed rods is that compared to single handed rods they only do one thing better: swing a streamer. This because they (even the little ones) are built to launch shooting heads long distances repeatedly with less effort. They are worse when it comes to being able to react quickly to environment around you which is what you need for pretty much everything else: nymphing, dry fly fishing...even swinging soft hackles I don't get why you would do that with a shooting head, scandi included. Even for streamer fishing I am coming to admit to myself single handers are deadlier because even if your radius of presentation might be a little smaller you can present your fly in a greater variety of ways with less headache (and still jack a few long casts to swing a tailout if you need to).

But, if you have a swing friendly river and just want to cover lots and lots of real estate with repeated casts beyond 40', and you need a little bit of sinktip to get down (or wake a big bushy dry), a shooting head on a two hander is tough to beat. Sorry that's just my long version of saying that to me they are definitely a niche rod, but to me the niche is definitely not 'small nymphs and soft hackles'. Of course you can do all the other things you would do with your single hander, but in my experience having a two hander no matter how light makes all of them more cumbersome, soft hackles included.
Sounds like you have this whole fishin' thing figgered out, then.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 05:12 PM
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GHalliday, the microspey may be a niche rod, but it hits squarely in a niche I love. So far my 4wt Winston Microspey has easily handled 8 lb and "almost 10 lb" steelhead caught while learning to cast and swing in a river not known for great lakes steelhead , smallies, a largemouth of about 5 lbs, 12 to 20 inch trout and even some wimpy bluegills with a fun bend and a quick play to the net for every fish. All the while it is making me a much better caster and always puts a smile on my face. I can't ask much more of a rod meant for Ohio and Pennsylvania fisheries for two handed rods. You have one, if I recall, so you know whether it works for you. As for me, it has quickly risen to most favored rod status. For really big flies cast to serious sized steelhead in the more northern great lake fisheries and if I ever make it to the hallowed PNW waters, I will need more rod, of course. By the time that happens I'll actually know how to spey cast because my sweet Winston Microspey calls me to the waters, even to waters I know are devoid of fish just for the joy of learning casting. By the way, I did manage to toss the Shenk's streamers far enough to fish effectively and by minimizing the stick, launch some waterlogged bunny-laden flies and a big deer haired monstrosity. The last fly sailed slowly to the target, reminding me of the helicopters as depicted in Apocalypse Now. "I love the smell of wet deer hair in the morning. It smells like victory..."

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I agree with you 100%. After my other post and after I landed in Indy, checked into my hotel, did time sheets, laundry, and shopping, etc, I grabbed a six pack for the cooler and hit my favorite (top secret) small mouth spot. I always travel with my B111 11' 4 and after a summer of swinging bigger rods for stripers I seem to have lost the finesse for the smaller rods. I was delighted with the B111 11 4 and Ill give it more attention. Although it may have to fight it out with my Platinum 10' 4" 6wt.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2018, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with you 100%. After my other post and after I landed in Indy, checked into my hotel, did time sheets, laundry, and shopping, etc, I grabbed a six pack for the cooler and hit my favorite (top secret) small mouth spot. I always travel with my B111 11' 4 and after a summer of swinging bigger rods for stripers I seem to have lost the finesse for the smaller rods. I was delighted with the B111 11 4 and Ill give it more attention. Although it may have to fight it out with my Platinum 10' 4" 6wt.
A secret spot for smallies, a Winston Microspey 4 wt or a Beulah Platinum 6 wt, and a cold beer ... sounds like perfection. Nice.

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