Fly Rod Weight Casting Thoughts - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Fly Rod Weight Casting Thoughts

Just received my new SH 8 wt. 895-4 to use when Steelhead back casting room and my mood permits (and Redfish in the duck ponds). Love my DH 8 wt. Skagit 8134-4 and feel it is the best fly rod that meets my desire to get down on the bottom to steelhead and salmon. Now the thoughts:

1. When contrasting line weight of 210 gr. vs. 760 gr. head/sink tip/intruder (570+150+40), I really question the basis of Spey rod number sizing which seems more like a intentional manipulation to arrive at a single digit scale.

2. Gear guys use 2” of 1/4” dia. lead and the best steelhead spoon weight of about the same i.e. 250 to 270 gr. permmy powder scale. On a spinning or bait casting rod the Steelhead essentially sees just this weight during the fight. On a fly rod, it appears that in a heavy current, the fish (and the angler) is seeing not only the line weight but a significant drag from the large fly line diameter when fighting across stream and from the loop when the he turns after the run downstream.

3. Spey rod appears to be handling/requiring 2-3/4 times the casting weight and sees much more during portions of the battle due to larger line diameter.

None of this is intended as a Spey negative, just an observation that may be screwed up. Any comments?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 02:51 PM
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OK, I’ll bite.

1. Two completely different fly fishing numbering systems so no mystery there. I’m sure some people on here may be able to explain the original connections and history in detail as to where these came from, which might be interesting.

2. The way the rod “sees” the line and fly/lure in the air while being cast of course has to do with far more than just the weight. The drag in the water has pretty much nothing to do with the WEIGHT of either the line or the lures/flies. Yes, the drag on a spey line can be great. If you ever get the line into an especially disadvantaged configuration w/respect to the water - like being snagged on the bottom across a river with a good current - it can sometimes get pretty precarious.

3. See above - comparing the total weights of the two systems is of course next to meaningless. If you want to do a proper comparison of the two systems - both are after all are fundamentally for putting a fly/lure out into the water in some way - then you should try casting the FLY instead of the lure on a gear rod. One could of course go FAR further than this, multi-book length, about the differences. While there are probably some places of superficial overlap in the fishing techniques, gear and fly systems were designed to do different things well, and VERY good at doing certain things (types of presentation) that the other can not do at all well, or sometimes at all.

So apples and oranges.

“Gravity is a harsh mistress!”, The Tick
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Botsari. I have to think a little more about what it takes to bend the bow and what the fish sees. In any case, eliminating backcast room has opened up river access for me regardless of the mass required.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:07 AM
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Only 210gr is not what #8 rated single hand rod can comfortably cast. 210gr is what AFFTA single hand rated line first 30ft should weight. Current single and double hand rods are different than rods were when line standard was updated previously about 20 years ago.

Yes, when you cast 760gr line with your double hander you make it about 11 wt setup!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks bender, that makes sense. My thought process was stuck in the past. Sort of a personal problem with only so much time to remedy.
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