Mid belly grain weights - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Mid belly grain weights

How much, if any, do grains change when moving between shorter and mid belly scandi lines?

If I have a 12ft 6wt rod that I like lining with a 380gr short scandi head, which grain mid belly line would be most appropriate? Would you aim for less grains or more? Or would it be exactly the same as the previous head?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 03:12 PM
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I've found I have an easier time with longer lines when the grain weight is more comparable to a skagit head. I used to fish the 6126 Beulah platinum with a 390 gr compact scandi. When I moved to the Aerohead, I preferred the 450gr (which is a bit heavier than the skagit I would use) over the 410gr.

For the last year or so I've fished the 6131 Onyx and until recently was using the same Aerohead. A few weeks ago I picked up a 450gr 50ft Vector XL and like it quite a lot. I think as the line gets longer the taper starts to matter more than the grain weight. For instance, I have trouble with the Aerohead turning over polyleaders but not with the Vector XL.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 05:58 PM
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I have the same experience with a 6126 platinum as underachiever. 390 scandi short, and a 450 aerohead. Your casting stroke will probably have to change to accommodate the longer head. I have only casted the aerohead on this rod once, so take this with a grain of salt, but the aerohead seemed to dampen the rod feel during casting for me. I'm not sure if it was caused by me (probably) poorly executing the longer stroke required, if 450 grains is just a little heavy for the rod, if it was line stretch, or if this is a common occurrence when casting longer lines. It just didn't give me the same feel that the 390 scandi short does. I'll have to put more time in with it. Please don't think that I'm beating up on the aerohead, I'm not. It casted just fine once I adjusted to it, which happened with just a few casts. Very quickly I was casting it without paying any attention to the extra length. Whether you're looking for less stripping, or more distance, this line is it. An easy transition from short heads.
Also, my understanding is that the aerohead isn't designed for polyleaders, just mono leaders. I may be wrong about that too though

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 06:02 PM
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I would start at the skagit weight and go from there. When you get into "belly" lines the taper/design matter more and weight is secondary at best. I find with mid and long bellies I prefer the heavier weights anyway. I usually go up at least a line size with most. For example I have a Nextcast FF70 10/11 for a 14' 9/10wt and it cast wonderfully. Same with a carron on a 15'er 9/10wt, it's a 10/11. Again it's a good match. Most of my lines/heads are at least one size up, some two.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 06:49 PM
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As a line gets longer it’s going to weigh more for the most part.....with that being said the trick is where this extra weight is on the taper of the line rather than trying to match grain ratings written on a rod. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times on longer lines taper is far more important than overall grain weight

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fisshman26 View Post
As a line gets longer its going to weigh more for the most part.....with that being said the trick is where this extra weight is on the taper of the line rather than trying to match grain ratings written on a rod. If Ive said it once Ive said it a thousand times on longer lines taper is far more important than overall grain weight
When new to the game, I too was puzzled by this phenomenon. It was explained to me thusly, "the longer lines being heavier overall will load the rod deeper down into the more powerful butt section". Where the different long belly lines differ, is how that extra weight is distributed along the length of the line. That distribution will effect not only how the line unrolls during the cast, but also the way it feels when you cast it. Volumes have been written on the subject. Ask a dozen guys, you'll likely get a dozen different answers. Everyone has their favorite lines. Make friends, swap lines, always be on the lookout for used lines. What didn't work for someone else, may be just the ticket for you.

Now if you really want to know, Al Buhr used to do a class/workshop on designing & building fly lines. It wasn't cheap, but it included his little book on the subject. Considering the price of multiple fly lines that may or may not end up not working for you, that investment becomes more balanced.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 12:27 PM
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When new to the game, I too was puzzled by this phenomenon. It was explained to me thusly, "the longer lines being heavier overall will load the rod deeper down into the more powerful butt section". Where the different long belly lines differ, is how that extra weight is distributed along the length of the line. That distribution will effect not only how the line unrolls during the cast, but also the way it feels when you cast it. Volumes have been written on the subject. Ask a dozen guys, you'll likely get a dozen different answers. Everyone has their favorite lines. Make friends, swap lines, always be on the lookout for used lines. What didn't work for someone else, may be just the ticket for you.

Now if you really want to know, Al Buhr used to do a class/workshop on designing & building fly lines. It wasn't cheap, but it included his little book on the subject. Considering the price of multiple fly lines that may or may not end up not working for you, that investment becomes more balanced.
Not sure if it is still available, but Poppy used to sell a splicing kit and a welding kit and both had everything necessary to get off and running. I bought both and they are great purchases. One of them included Buhr's book.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 12:46 PM
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Not sure if it is still available, but Poppy used to sell a splicing kit and a welding kit and both had everything necessary to get off and running. I bought both and they are great purchases. One of them included Buhr's book.
If you don't mind posting, what was your take on Al's little book? I had to read thru that book two or three times before it really started to sink in. But I put together several heads that cast really well. When I took Al's class, he noted the short rear taper I had spliced onto the back of my head & referred to it as a rudder.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 03:49 PM
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If you don't mind posting, what was your take on Al's little book? I had to read thru that book two or three times before it really started to sink in. But I put together several heads that cast really well. When I took Al's class, he noted the short rear taper I had spliced onto the back of my head & referred to it as a rudder.
Wow, I would love to take a class from him....

I have not looked at the book for several years. I got it ten or so years ago(?) I was first starting out in the two-hand game and remembering it was "dense" with information. I need to go back and take another look. Buhr is on another level in my mind, I still think his casting book is the most useful one out there for me. He was part of that group that was building their own lines, something most of us do not need to do today, and laying the groundwork for much of what we now take for granted. Also a great teacher.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2019, 05:48 PM
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Yeah, Al Buhr has definitely been around the block more than few times. When he talks, I listen to every word.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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