Rookie needing the BASICS. - Spey Pages
  • 1 Post By Reel_Idaho
  • 4 Post By fishinfool
  • 2 Post By Hardyreels
  • 1 Post By JDJones
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Rookie needing the BASICS.

I tried looking for a thread that would answer my questions but I find this forum difficult to navigate. The Starter section shows a bunch of threads but when I enter it I see nothing but a few stickies... Odd... ANYWAYS!

I got a killer deal on a 6wt TFO Deer Creek Switch rod and It should be here soon. I live in Southwest Idaho and fish mainly trout. Steelhead and fall run Chinook are on there way here and I want to tackle them on a 2 handed rod. While the 6wt is a little light for those fish I am hoping to give the switch rod a go and see how I like the 2 handed stuff before getting a decent spey set up. I am brand new to the switch world and find myself empty handed looking for information on how these new pieces and parts are involved... shooting heads, sink tips... yadda yadda... I can find a million and 7 videos on casting tips, but nothing for the REAL basic stuff. I am not expecting anyone to type out a full "Switch fishing for dummies" but if you could point me in a direction to start my reading and homework so I know what else to get to be fishing ASAP with my new switch set up.

Thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 05:55 AM
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If it is not too far, go see Poppy at the Red Shed in Peck. He will have all you need to get started and will help you with making all the right choices. It too far, email or give him a call. Best person in the world to help newbs.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:34 AM
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Reel: to suit taste & pocket; don't worry re. "balance"; large enough to accommodate the line(s) & running lines you will be using, and enough backing for the fish/fishing situation.

Lines: 400-450 grains Skagit short, or Scandi (or 'Rage') 330-360 grains, or Scandi Short VT #6

Running line: keep it simple - 70' Berkley 'Big Game' mono, solar green, 40lb

Tips: on the Skagit set-up 10-12' of tip up to 150 grains; on the Scandi, either stepped long leader (~12-15'), or 10' polyleader plus 4-5' tippet

Leaders: to suit conditions & flies to be used


If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles (spey rods). Doug Larson

Take only photographs, retain only memories, leave only a good impression of yourself, perhaps just footprints.

Your lines, your rivers, your way!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 04:54 PM
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Welcome to the group,

I won't try to help with lines and leaders but as for species; depending on how large the Kings run there........... I fished a lot with an 11'6" seven weight this season. During June I landed a 42 pound king with that rod and a 15 pound tippet. I would not do it again because it took too long. If the fish are in the 12 - 20 pound range you should be able to handle them but a heavier rod makes quick work of them.

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Kill the hens you kill the river.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 12:29 PM
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Advice from one who went (and is still going) through it....(my 2 cents, found under a couch cushion)

Make sure you get your first 2H rod and line *balanced*, then forget about it for a while - seriously, enjoy the short period when you are not addicted! Knowing THAT will take away one important variable - that yes, your crappy casting is in fact YOUR fault. :-) The folks on here are fantastic for that. Much better than most shop owners - poppy excepted of course. He is awesome. Even if he is a long drive, make a point to visit him and take his advice.


(1) get one video that covers all the basics. I like "RIO's Modern Spey Casting" a lot. All the very basic stuff starting from scratch is in there, including fixing problems, and you will be able to return to it over and over again as a refresh, and for more advanced things later. Instant gratification when you have questions, and way cheaper than an instructor. All from one of the best instructors and casters there is.

(2) Seriously consider supplementing your initial learning with a few lessons. A lot of times before you train your head to be aware of such things, you really can't see what you are doing, and just a pair of experienced eyes on you will shave months off the learning curve. Group lessons/intros are fairly common, reasonably priced and can be fun.

Fishing: (this may seem like a weird one, but stick with me)

You make already know some of this stuff, but I REALLY like "Lani Waller's Steelhead Legacy", a DVD. Yes, this is about Steelhead fishing specifically, and yes the really valuable 3 hour first disk is both 30 years old, and and there is no double-hand rod visible anywhere (this was 1985). However, he manages to cover very clearly and succinctly most of the FISHING problems and methods that are especially wonderfully solved using a spey/switch rod. So much cheaper and quicker to get this fundamental information this way. I feel like in this case the absence of 2-handed rod is actually a bonus as it isolates and serves to highlight the fishing techniques (which are the same) from the equipment. There are loads of other ways to learn this stuff, but this covers the core of almost everything, and very succinctly - even greased line, waking and the riffle hitch at the end, and he connects them all with specific fishing situations. Plus, you know... Steelhead porn - lots of actual fish caught using the basic techniques, with the intervening "1000 casts" edited out of course.

Good luck.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 07:12 PM
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Welcome to the two hand world of fly fishing

It is very easy to get sucked into too much information & come away more confused than when you started. There is just so much out there. Call Poppy @ the Red Shed first!!!! Tell him what equipment you have & what your home waters are & go from there. That will narrow down the line choices and casting style,,,,to a degree, enough to get you started. Video's are a great help but, don't get hung up on any one casting style, or overwhelmed by the variety of styles (& opinions), there is plenty of time for that later.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 11:55 AM
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A very basic set-up on that switch rod would be an integrated line and a tapered leader. Royal Wulff Ambush 7WF comes right to mind. Maybe and 8WF. This will get you through until winter sets in. Maybe a sinking leader or two - 10 or 12 feet - 80 to 100 grains for when you feel you'd like to sink the fly deep down.

If you fish the Clearwater you may want a longer rod 13 feet or more in length with line to match. A WA45 is a very versatile line. Its the scandi-skagit-fullfloater all in one simple package that does away with the whole scandi grains -vs- skagit grains craziness. It's unfortunate the WA45 is a head only and to complicate things - you'll need to choose a running line of some sort...

Call or visit the Red Shed to find what you will need there.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 12:46 PM
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Not to anti-recommend my favorite line, but you think maybe a WA35 first for a beginner?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 08:59 PM
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excellent advise from all. The first thing I would do is visit Poppy at the Red shed to try different lines. Your set up needs to be balanced or you will struggle. You need to cast these lines on the river obviously. Second thing I would do is invest in some instruction, a couple hours worth will get you going in the right direction. Start with a slightly longer line, a forty five foot head will cast just fine off your switch rod and it will teach you solid technique.

Brian Styskal

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 12:06 AM
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You've probably noticed a "trend" here. Poppy will get you all set up and is a wealth of knowledge. Heck of a guy to boot...
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Botsari View Post
Not to anti-recommend my favorite line, but you think maybe a WA35 first for a beginner?
Botsari, if you're asking me - that is a NC45 for a "future 13 or 14 footer." I wasn't clear enough there. A beginner can learn on a short line just as well as with a mid-belly. I started casting mid and long-bellies side-by-side for several seasons before casting lines under 40 feet, and I struggled to keep from pulling anchors at first. But, yes: NC 35, 45, or 55 either way.

- Over here Im thinking the NC 35 would be another option for the DC switch. Better than on a 13 footer. But I favor longer lines and tend to recommend them too...
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