Spaz's Excellent DT adventure - Page 4 - Spey Pages
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post #46 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 07:11 AM
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Glad you enjoyed it!

I forgot to mention that as it has been stored for years a clean down and then an application of floating line dressing will improve the pick up from the water & the shootability of the line - but you've probably already done it....

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post #47 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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I began to clean it as I spooled it up and found it was spotless, so used it as is. But come to think of it, an older line will want a bit of nourishment. So I believe I'll take your advice and give it some dressing when I spool it back on.

I always allow my lines to dry overnight on a Reel-E-Good after fishing, to allow the backing on the reel to dry. I acquired this habit when I noticed that putting reels away after use promoted mildew in the backing. I do the same with the rods after one of my rods began growing scary things on the grips. It's not much of a problem now, but when I'm fishing a lot during the cold/wet season it certainly can be.

I also welded a small loop on the front end to made leader changes a snap and allow the use of polys and sinktips. That is quite simply the best DT I've ever cast. I'm going to have to take some time on a sunny day, maybe this evening if I have time, and roll it out on the grass and mike it to see exactly where the steps in the taper lie.

Your advice earlier in the thread was great, and I want to quote it here for others to absorb:

"As Peter said; you need to put a lot more energy into the lift and backswing - and "aim" the line at the touch down rather than allowing it to collapse onto the water.

This way you can keep a big airbourne V loop behind you and the retained tension pre loads the rod so you don't need to clout it as hard on the forward cast as you might think.

If you aim to achieve a shallow extended V loop, rather than a dig open D loop, on the back swing / set-up & a tight narrow loop on the forward cast [aim low in a head wind so it just extends before touching the water] this will help in dealing with windy conditions & produce longer casts on calm days."

-The only way one would know these things is through intimacy with the line type. This aspect is so important to DT casting and so succinct I felt it was worth repeating. I think those three sentences added to my cast yesterday, or at least made it easier.
This is the reason I haunt these pages, to selfishly imbibe the knowledge.

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post #48 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 06:52 PM
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I have been thoroughly enjoying your adventure, Spaz! Time to join in the fun!!

I too started out with DT's and long-bellies, and only went to Scandi's in the last few years or so, mostly because of the fact that I have more time to play with lighter "trouty" two-handers, and since no one ever made a 4wt. Grand Spey, I tried the shooting head option. No regrets, but I do miss a long line.

I toyed with some double tapers on my trouters early on, but never found the right match. Recently however, I tried a 7wt. on my 4/5 Deer Creek, and I really think it's got some hope! What bliss... fine and far off for trout!

As you are discovering in your journey, technique needs to be spot on- perhaps the reason for my failed attempts earlier? I will join in your venture, and hopefully find something to add to the quest!

As long as it's not windy that day!!

The search for the Grail goes on...

-Bill
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post #49 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwana Bill View Post

As you are discovering in your journey, technique needs to be spot on- perhaps the reason for my failed attempts earlier?

-Bill
Oh Bill, you sure got that right. Contrary to anything I've ever thought, it's never the line's fault haha

Besides being a good fishing tool, it sure is an excellent casting litmus. Glad you've reboarded the DT train. I notice after a day with a DT, every other kind of line becomes a lot less challenging.

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post #50 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeySpaz View Post
Glad you've reboarded the DT train.
Never left it, it's all I have lined up on my single handers!

Just starting to re-explore with light two handers.

One of my fishing buddies just asked me a short while ago, what's the best line for roll-casting, and he then added, "Yeah, I know, don't tell me, a double taper."

He's also the one who asked me- "Do we really need all these flies to catch a Steelhead?" My reply- "No, this is all you need- and handed him a black Wooley Bugger" He still has not caught one to this day... Why?

Because, he did not embrace the love for the Double Taper!!

-Bill
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post #51 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 09:37 PM
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Good stuff here!!!
Great thread!
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post #52 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 02:14 AM
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Where do you get high quality DT's in, say 8-11 wt? Seems like all the higher quality lines are 6 wt or less.
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post #53 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like Bwana Bill is a fellow DT Wildman, good on ya bud! I've always kept a few of my trout rods lined with them too- good to hear from a fellow sufferer.

Cowboy Tom, you've asked a great question that I don't a have a good answer for- sometimes it helps to just Google and follow your nose. Or begin calling fly shops and seeing if they happen to have a dusty one lying around in a corner somewhere. They're around, just not advertised.

I suppose there's Speypages members who have a few squirreled away here and there, they were in common use up till about 10 yr ago. Might be worth putting a WTB ad in classifieds if you can't dredge one up online.

My next phase after DTs is going to be XLTs -now that's going to be a bear! I have to try and find one of those soon, because I have two on loan right now and I'm always uncomfortable using borrowed lines.

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post #54 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 09:11 AM
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I have one question - How different does the weight of a DT line in the guides feel compared to WF line and the entire body beyond the tiptop?
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post #55 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I find it's much easier to stay in touch with the line when at least the back taper is inside the guides. The line tends to feel more like an extension of the hand to me that way.

A lot has to do with the rod/line match though, and the rod length plays a huge role. Once you hit 5X rod length, the mass-per-foot/length ratio is very demanding of the caster. At a certain point you just have to have a 15+rod, imo.

Which, btw, is what I'm enjoying about this so much. I started the Excellent Adventure with a short rod and worked up to its greatest carrying capacity for weight, then moved up through my rods, looking for a nice match of length and action against the line. Very individual for each caster.

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post #56 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 11:53 AM
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Matching the rod length to taper makes sense to me. This is what I'm wondering about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeySpaz View Post
It was a clear and cool morning today, not too crowded, and nary a breeze to give me an excuse for a bad cast. Occasional puffs downstream, perfect for snake-rolling.

The line today, same as before. Rio Mainstream DT8F, 12' leader to 10# tippet, same perfection loop setup for quick fly changes. Same fly as last time, too.

Some gear guys were "aerial poaching" at the deadline, and no amount of polite callouts from the boats were stopping them. Eventually enforcement showed up and they relented.

First rod up today, 9140 Brownie. I consider it an 8, and it has a nice relaxed action. I thought it would do well.

Next, a 14' for 7 Meiser S. It seems to like lighter lines, and it's easy to get into the top end of it, since it's a scandi action.

Third, my 12'6" 4/5/6 Meiser Highlander Classic. I knew it would be on the light side, but I wanted to see how the Highlander feel would go with this line. The 5/6 Deer Creek (which I love with this line) is a somewhat stiffer rod than this one.

Fourth, another wild card. My 7119 tcx switcher. I figured it might do even better than the 4wt switch I tried last time!

So, I ignored the flossers at the deadline and began.
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how did it go?

The 9140 Brownie was pretty nice. It cast the whole line, eventually, but the line felt a bit light for the rod and it was just too much work.

The 14' S rod was better. Its softer tip helped me engage the blank but it, too was underloaded for comfortable fishing. I did pop a couple underhands with it with about 60' of line out, and it was lasering.

The 12'6" 4/5/6 was overloaded but had a really sweet and full feeling. The forward stroke bent it into the corks with about 65' of line out, and I bet it would have been the best rod of them all had it been a 5/6/7.

The 7119 switch was a disappointment. I thought it had a chance to be a dark horse in this, but it disappointed with the line all the way out. Was pretty great at 65', though. I could shoot till the backing knot was in my hand
.

No takes, no hookups.

Next, takeaways and thoughts going forward.
The same DT8F would have been better on a heavier rod. Is that because you would have carried more length? If not - that's considerable line weight within the guides and it seems your switch-rod turned out a nice match also.

How does that weight factor into the load? If at all.
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post #57 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeySpaz View Post

My next phase after DTs is going to be XLTs -now that's going to be a bear! I have to try and find one of those soon, because I have two on loan right now and I'm always uncomfortable using borrowed lines.
Cool thread Spaz!
I remember my DT experiments!
I think you'll find the XLT much easier to cast than the DT's.
Another to try is the Grand Spey which is basically a DT with a tapered body.

Lines had sure changed in the last 10 years!

Boss fly lines.
Revolution Spey Casting.
CF Burkheimer.
FFF CI and THCI
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post #58 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it's funny-
The rod I most thought would agree with that DT based on grains ended up not being very great with it, because I was going by the weight of the line vs the grain window for the rod, and the two only "kind of agree". The total grain weight at full extension wasn't enough to get into the upper range of the rod, a 6/7/8. It overloaded and ovaled a 4/5/6 Highlander. But the 5/6 DC, a pretty solid 6, was just right.

The rod I ended up enjoying the most had a grain window that tops out at 550gr. The DT I was using, an 8DTF, was 620gr/82 ft. By getting into the last 10 ft or so of that line, the amount outside the guides approximately equaled the top of the rod's grain rating. And the length at 70 ft or so was well into longbelly territory for a 12'6" rod. That's why it felt so sweet.

On the 15' greased liner, it was a salmon DT, much longer: 1430 gr/120ft. An enormous difference. 85 ft of that line weighs at least 1000-1100 gr. It was a 7/8 and it handled it. It liked it. It didn't oval the blank or bottom it out. That length, too, was 5-6X rod length, a longbelly cast.

My lesson learned is the amount of DT line that loads the rod fully also produces the sweetest cast, easier to time and control. When this length of line is also 5-6X rod length, you have a winner. It also helps explain why longer rods are preferable for efficient use of a DT that is long. Imagine how much easier 85-95 ft of line can be managed with a 15-16 ft rod. Especially when the line is heavy enough to slow things down for you.

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post #59 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 06:12 PM
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Hey Spaz, et. al.,

How much of a difference to the flex profile of the rod make for success with a DT? Intuitively it seems to me that a rod with a deeply regressed flex (e.g. Meiser MKS) won't load very effectively with the weight distributed essentially equally through the whole line. I would think that a more uniform flex like a Meiser Highlander or Loomis Greased Liner would be the preferred flex profile. Am I just whistling Zippity Doo Dah up my own honey hole or is there some basis in reality for this assumption?

Inquiring minds want to know.

CT

PS. Still trying to find a good quality DT. Are the Cortland 444's good lines or do you have to go to something like one of the Salmon taper DT's?
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post #60 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Any DT that meets the need can be used, eh? I think there's a lot of options for smaller rods, I find up to DT10F pretty easy to find on the net... 16 bucks on Amazon. Or, a higher end line like Cortland 444 or even a 333 will all do fine.

The salmon DTs are rarer birds. Their availability in the US is pretty limited.
I have two of those now, and am keeping my eyes open for more. They're 120 feet long, come in heavy heavy weights, and are best suited for 15' or 16' rods; though they'll work on shorter sticks, a long rod helps you use almost the whole line. I love it when the backtaper is in the guides. That's where it all comes together for me. These lines explain the early US spey norms for long 9/10 or 10/11 rods.

I agree about strong, progressive tapers for DTs, but I do think a big MKS is more than up to the task. The MKS was designed for managing long lines with its stiff tip, but very easy to time due to its regressed taper.

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