Lines For Single Hand Spey Casting - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Question Lines For Single Hand Spey Casting

If it matters I am an Atlantic salmon fisherman. I took up the two handed rod about 15 years ago. As some suggested I stopped using the single handed rod all together. Now that I am half proficient I feel it is time to dig out the single handed rod as it can be the better tool in certain situations. I'm looking forward to trying some spey casting with the single hander.

What lines do people like for this. I could be using a spey cast, an overhead cast or a spey to change direction then going overhead as I've seen in some videos. Thinking of the Wulff triangle or ambush, maybe the new Rio line or stay with something traditional? Not looking to do a lot of roll casting.

Thanks for any suggestions, Leo.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 10:45 AM
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I know the real answer is any line you like on a rod can be used for single hand spey casting but we can all use a leg up. Going up in weight or even two from a standard weight single hand line helps, but of course the line itself can also help. Yes, the short clunky head is alway the first thing that comes to mind and your are right the ambush is the most elegant of a somewhat inelegant crowd of short, easy to cast heads. It is surprisingly elegant (for what it is) at doing single speys and snake rolls, and of course since it was specifically designed to be great at roll casting it is the boss at doing SA casts. The back end however is fatter than a skagit head so while I find the triangle taper far more elegant than a skagit head it can land like a first grader doing a cannonball to splash his mother at the pool.

If you are really serious about wanting to switch seamlessly between spey style and overhead, and you don’t mean only “technically” overhead like a lot of people on here mean when they say this, then the line I really love for this is the Rio SH Spey that you mentioned. I wish I was skilled enough to really make it sing, but It does “real” overhead casts just like a true WF line, up to and including delicate dry fly stuff, but it is beefed up a little bit in the butt to give you a leg up doing spey style casts. Think of it as a short belly lenght line for your SH rod. I think that one or one more like it is closer to what it sounds like you are looking for. For me it is THE line that fills the slot of a line that does everything you would ever want to do with a regular floating (they have a multi-density slow sink ones too) line on a SH rod while ALSO a little easier at doing spey casts. Not fall-off-a-log easy like a clunky short head, but not too hard, and a whole other world from the clunky heads. Unfortunately I think it currently only comes in a max weight for an 8wt SH rod, so maybe problematic for Atlantics. But many people on here have suggested other nice lines that also work well in the slot the SH Spey line fills. Unfortunately I don’t (can’t) really do SH Spey casts with anything over an 8wt rod and the details shot in one ear and out the other - those people will have to speak up again unless you want to search for the threads.

Last edited by Botsari; 04-02-2019 at 11:15 AM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Botsari for your lengthy reply. I forgot to mention that it's an 8 weight rod I'm going to be use. So it sounds like the Rio Single Hand Spey would be a good place to start. I kind of wondered about the Ambush but haven't written off the regular Wulff line. I had one years ago and really liked how it cast. Will be interesting to see what others have to say.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo M View Post
If it matters I am an Atlantic salmon fisherman. I took up the two handed rod about 15 years ago. As some suggested I stopped using the single handed rod all together. Now that I am half proficient I feel it is time to dig out the single handed rod as it can be the better tool in certain situations. I'm looking forward to trying some spey casting with the single hander.

What lines do people like for this. I could be using a spey cast, an overhead cast or a spey to change direction then going overhead as I've seen in some videos. Thinking of the Wulff triangle or ambush, maybe the new Rio line or stay with something traditional? Not looking to do a lot of roll casting.

Thanks for any suggestions, Leo.
I'm in the same boat Leo. I use the Rio Single hand Spey line right now for trout when I want to fish dry flies, and still have the ability to Spey cast if need be.

Honestly though, it's not totally my cup of tea but it is at least delicate enough that you can do honest to goodness overhead casting with small dry flies, but I have to focus a little more with this line on proper technique for Spey casting.

If the Rio Single hand Spey and the OPST smooth had a baby, it might be the perfect fly line.

The Ambush might be a better choice, for me anyway, I might lean that way, not really sure.

Airflo has some great offerings and our Friend Peter Charles crafted a very fine article here on his Hooked4life website.

I would read the article above and contact him. He's very knowledgeable and helpful.

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I can't spend any money yet. The line Peter refers to as "the gold standard for single hand spey casting" is the 40+ which is the line I currently have for that rod. Didn't see that one coming. I should probably try it first.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:59 PM
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I don’t think I have ever tried the (longer) regular triangle taper but have heard from others that they are pretty sweet. I think it is a balance of opposite factors, and the sweet spot for any given person probably depends on the percentages of the various opposite things they want to do. Im sure some purists would consider the SH Spey clunky as a dry fly line, while others will feel even an ambush is not powerful enough or easy enough to cast. There are actual unavoidable tradeoffs in this case.

SH shooting heads are a bit like skagit heads at one end of the spectrum, but there is a continuum of the length of the continuously tapered part (the part that gives the smooth elegant turnover at the expense of raw power) relative to the more level back end from something simple like a comando that has practically none, though a outbound short, then a 40+, an ambush or other triangle taper to something like a SH Spey or just a regular WF trout line. I don’t think there is necessarily an overall gold standard, just a gold standard for a particular person and their mix of uses and where they feel the most comfortable casting regardless of the mix of applications.

Just saying you might want to do spey style casts, a style that is basically in opposition and wrong for dry flies because of the anchor, and dry flies with the same line is already creating a huge tension in opposition. Amazing that it is even possible without sacrificing the essence at one extreme or the other.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 01:52 PM
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I've used the Wulff Triangle Taper for many years on my 7wt and love it for single hand spey. I can land it pretty softly when needed and also can throw a reasonable sized fly with it. It mends really nice as well. I've used the Ambush a bunch as well, it's a fun line and can throw some junk but definetly clunkier than the reg TT. Think scandi vs skagit, at least that's how I compare them. The reg TT casts fairly well overhead, the Ambush let's just say is not my favotite to cast overhead. I've been using the Rio Single Hand Spey on my 8 weight this year for higher water and i like it a lot. It does everything I need it to, throws a 10' poly and a wieghted fly pretty easy. Not as delicate as the TT but not as aggressive as the Ambush. Feels like an amped up reg TT, mends every bit as nice. I honestly don't think I've ever overhead cast it so I can't help you there. I like all the lines but I've been using the reg TT so long it's the one I compare all others too and I always seem to end up with it on my reel.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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njord with the regular TT do you stay with the same weight line as the rod? So I would get an 8 line for an 8 weight rod as opposed to going up one weight?

Thanks.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 06:06 PM
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Leo - check out this review of the Rio single handed spey 3d. This convinced my buddy to buy one last salmon season and he was very pleased - and overhand casts only.
Review: RIO InTouch Single Handed Spey Line 3D - New England On The FlyNew England On The Fly
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jake.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:56 AM
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In my experience, single hand spey performances better in lighter weight rod like 5-6wt, and double hand spey performances better in heavier side. 7-8wt is champion.

Single hand spey casting in 8wt rod hurt the arm or wrist too much. I usually hold the butt section with another hand and cast like a switch rod.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:05 PM
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I used to upline 1 weight but now they make the Triangle Taper plus which accomplishes pretty much the same thing so now I use TT plus in the same weight as the rod.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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Pick a heavier line for the usual reasons (such as wind, or distance) --- don't think that you must have a heavier weight-class just for spey casting. So an 8wf for an 8 weight rod.

Since they are so short - fly lines that under 30 feet are an exception to this. Ambush or Commando and such --- where you could use one or two , or three lighter weights for a rod. Ambush 5WF is 215 grain roughly 18 feet compared to most 8WF which range from 202 to 218 at 30 feet. An 8 wf Ambush is listed at a whopping 290grain and likely to be heavier still.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
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Leo - check out this review of the Rio single handed spey 3d. This convinced my buddy to buy one last salmon season and he was very pleased - and overhand casts only.
Review: RIO InTouch Single Handed Spey Line 3D - New England On The FlyNew England On The Fly

I actually got a back up of one of these a while back as it seems like a line that might get dropped quickly. I hope that will not be the case, but now I’m at least a little covered.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 11:38 PM
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I do quite a bit of single hand Spey the past few years , I have tried the rio single hand Spey line , ambush and opst, but nothing even compares to the guideline bullet imho. It’s amazing overhead and Spey , I use it for Atlantic salmon dry flies and also in the fall to turn over a light sink polys with bigger flies. Great line
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