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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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New to Spey and need help

Hello All,
I've just purchased the component's to build my first spey rod. I hope to use it for Great lakes Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass, and maybe American Shad. The blank manufacturer (Baston) suggested a 12'-6" 7/8. After recieving the blank I would say that is of med action as it seems to flex through the top 1/2 of it's lenght. I hope to be able to use my Orvis Mach 4 as a reel (10wt w/ 175yds 30# 250yds w/ gel- spun).

The rod manufacturer also suggested Rio's windcutter line 7/8/9. Does this sound right? I am not planning to do much if any overhand casting. Also if the Rio WC is correct
would you suggest the multi tip or floating?

Also, is this rod way to small for the occassional GL King?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 11:07 PM
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In my opinion, Batson continues to specify lines that are too light. The suggested line weight will work and you will be casting off of the tip. A line in the 600 grain range will give you a deeper load, and what I think, is better performance. If you are going to fish primarily tips, I would go with the RIO Skagit. The rod is indeed beefy enough to handle Kings.
Your reel may be an issue regardless of line choice. Nothing sucks up spool space like Spey lines.
Good Luck with the project and welcome to the addiction,
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 01:31 AM
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it is. You will want to build a lighter rod for the smallmouth and shad. If the rod handles a 600 grain Skagit, it will be too much for the little guys. The Skagit lines are easier than most to get to fishing competence with. You will also find that instruction, if you are new to spey casting, will be a big benefit. There are Board members in your area that can help.

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Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes. Joann C. Gutin
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 11:57 AM
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My answer of yesterday was rushed and incomplete.. As I fish the West Coast, I have no personal knowledge of your rivers. From what little information I have, casting distance is relatively short and usually with tips. If that is correct, is believe a RIO Skagit 550 grain with tips is the way to go. If you want to learn with a moderate length line, I would suggest a Rio WC 8/9/10 with tips. Also take a look the new Airflo lines. See if a local shop or a friend can loan you a line AND YES lessons are the best way to start. As you are new to this game you probably do not have a set of tips just laying around ready for use. If that is the case, and you want to use a short belly system, buy the WC 11/12/13 with tips. Use just the main belly of the line and the tips. Leave out what RIO refers to as tip 2, which is a floating section placed between the main belly and the sink tip. If you choose to go with a full floater, keep it in the 600 to 650 grain range and a belly of 55' or less. Anything longer on a 12' 6" rod will be a pain. This may be too much information at once, and believe me, everyone will have an opinion, many of which will differ substantially from mine.
Get the guide spacing directly from Batson. The correct formula should include 3 stripper guides, they were off on their first two recommendations.

The rod will be great for Steelhead and salmon, but as Ted advised, overkill for smallies and shad. The 11' 6" Forecast from Batson would be the ticket, especially in view of the price. I have built and fished both. The 11' 6" is one of my favorite rods. It is not for kings, but smaller species including steelies in the 10 to 12 pound class are great fun on the small rod.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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first thanks so much for getting back to me!
I think your right about casting distance I don't see having to make a cast much over 45' in the streams I fish now. I heard from someone else that the Baston's need at least a line weight heavier line. I see the Sagits' head is
27' with a 15' tip that gives me 42' without the leader. Does that sound correct? Your also right I do not have a set of tips laying around wish I did. From what I can tell from Rio's site the WC has a body of 20' and if I leave out section 2 with the 16' tip that would give me about 36' w/ out leader.Would I be corect to asssume this would be better for shorter casting distances? At least I'll see the running portion of the line from time to time. But you suggest the 11/12/13 for this Rod? I assume to be able to load the rod correctly with a short head.

I think your right about lesson's unfortunetly the fly shops in my area don't seem to know much about spey. I read Rio's mondern spey cd's are a good primer or if any one in my area is available for lessons certainly PM me I live in the ABE area on eastern,PA.
Thanks for all the info keep it coming :-)

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 03:18 PM
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I agree those rods need to be uplined one size to load properly. If you can afford a WC VersiTip that is most certainly the way to go. If you are planning to remove the center section then you may need to up line 2 sizes as JD suggests. If you do remove the center section of the WC you will have a skagit length head so again as JD suggested a skagit line might be a good choice.

You might also look at the new Monic "Red Stripe" short spey lines. They have a short compact head and come with a looped floating tip. They retail for $100.00 and when bought from the Red Shed include 15' of T-8 and 15' of T-14 sintip.

Everyone is different in stature, ability, and personal whim so it is hard for us to recommend something that "will work for you". Why don't you get that rod built and when you are ready to cast it let me know and I will send you a demo line for a test drive. That way you will have some idea if you need to go lighter or heavier. There is no obligation for this but the return postage.

There are quite a few GL's "spey heads" around. If you can find one you most likely can get some pointers to shorten your learning curve. Have fun!

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How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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That is a generous offer MJC.
I think I will take you up on it.
Karry is sending me the guide spacing for the blank so I hope to get it started soon.You know I got started building rods after spending an afternoon fishing with an older gentelman in the Salmon River we were both trying to avoid the crowds and spent the day sharing the same run. We exchanged adresses and such and I kind of figured that would be the end of it. Two weeks later he sent me a home made spline finder. It's about 30 or so rods later and I have passed it on and made my own.
So, return postage no problem w/ insurance! :-) I would be more than happy to cover your postage as well.

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