"Accuracy" of Spey rod line weight designations - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-30-2000, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,411
Originator: DanaDate: 3/30/2000 12:56 PM
Wandering through the posts on this board it is evident that we are all swinging different sticks. Is it common practice out there to overline Spey rods, or do you find that the manufacturer's line weight  designations suit the rod? In my case, with the Sages that I fish, I tend to overline all three a little (the 1015-4, the 10160-3, and the 7136-4), and I generally find that, the heavier the rod, the more likely I am to overline it (most of my lines for my 10 weight rods have sections of DT 12 in them, for example).
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-06-2000, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: Cousin JackDate: 4/6/2000 5:22 AM
There seems to be a lot of questions about the best line weights and spey rods (except the general feeling - with the exception of me - that Loomis rods are "for the birds") so let me tell my story.  After many years of steelheading with a Sage 896 RPL, a beautiful instrument but a lot of flailing around for the time the fly is in the water, I decided to try the spey.  So off I went to my local "Husky" (gas station + sports shop) to try out their rods (30% off at the time).  All they had was a Sage (can't remember which one) and a Loomis (GL3, 9/10).  Liked the feel, cast and cost of the Loomis so bought it for $205.  Had a hell of a time trying to figure out how to cast it but with the help of Mike Maxwell's book eventually developed a style of my own that got the fly out there and started catching steelhead - in fact more than I'd ever caught before per hour, with much less effort.  First tried a double taper, cut it up with sinking tips and such, but the line I had the best success with was a 10/11 Wulf triangle taper ( that's one weight above the rod specs).  Eventually I could pick up the 85' taper and lay it out with the delicacy of a dry fly presentation ( could shoot another 20' if necessary and mend 80' of line to modify the presentation).  I just love that line and the boil and leap of steelhead attacking flies in the surface film.  Last year, to "get down" to cold water fish, I bought a 10 Windcutter.  What a miserable line to cast.  Can only pick up 54' and casts like a spinning rod, shooting 20-40' and clunking to the end like a lead weight (not to mention the time spent dragging in running line).  Hate it!  So what's the answer?  Fish the surface film and to hell with the bottom huggers?  Fish the shallow riffles in winter?  Use weighted flies (ugh!)? Cut up my TT to accomodate sink tips (ugh!)?  Give up fishing by mid November? Or use the nymphing technique, which I have yet to master or succeed at?  The last seems the best alternative to me, but I'm going to have to work at it.  What do you all think?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-07-2000, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Originator: BrianDate: 4/7/2000 6:18 PM

Hey Dana et al,

The standards for determining line weights are not applicable to "spey" lines, so it seems it's really a matter of testing the rod with your own personal casting stroke and the lines of choice. 

Some people like a heavier/lighter line depending on how they cast.  Hell, if you spend time on any popular steelhead river you'll get to see a lot of different casting styles. 

Also, the "first 30'" rule for determining the number of grains in a flyline to determine it's Weight are not used for Spey lines.  There seems to be no standard - there are the SA Mastery Spey lines and Rio Accelerators that are much heavier than the Wulff TT Spey lines of the same Weight (and with the same taper length).  Even lighter than these are the Cortland WF Spey lines.  A Cortland 10/11 barely loads my Sage 8150, while the TT Spey 8/9 is perfect and the Mastery 8/9 seriously overloads the rod.

It's a real drag, but the only way you can determine if you'll really like the line on your rod is to take it out and cast it.  IMNSHO, overlining a rod depends on the caster and the brand of line as much as it does the designation on the rod.

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