Skagit/Midbelly - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Skagit/Midbelly

I've been doing real good with my 13' Clearwater and Skagit heads but have just ordered a 15' 9/10 and a mid belly line for a trip north. Just wondered if the casts are relatively the same with just having a deeper D loop. Which casts are the same style and witch ones can't be used on the mid belly. Planning on taking a couple lessons but will practice little before I do. Thanks.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 07:20 PM
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Skagit/mid belly

Everything from the sweep to the forward stroke is going to be the same, the timing of your lift, ancor placemat and sweep will have to be quicker since you'll no longer be doing water born casts
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 09:12 PM
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I know some people on here use "midbelly" improperly to mean "longer than a short shooting head". For that rod a "midbelly" would be a line of maybe 60-70 feet. If this is what you meant then you should not to expect to pick it up as a simple extension of casting a skagit head. If the line is a long shooting head, not even a short belly, say 40 ft or so, you should have minimal problems casting it by simply extending what you already know. Otherwise I would not expect to try to pick it up and immediately have success. It may begin to seem like apples and oranges beyond a certain lenght. But it will be fun.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 01:44 AM
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Even with a 60-70 foot line, there's still no reason not to use the casts you may already know. Maybe it's not as traditional or something to cast a double spey with a 65' D-loop, but you can still do it. I mentioned this in a similar thread a week or so ago, but one thing that is helping me on my double-spey and snap-t casts (which is all I really know how to do, even using 60-70 foot lines) is to allow my arms to rise up and away from my body as I finish building the D-loop, right before I transition to the forward stroke. I kinda have to wait a little longer to let the loop form and turn around me, when compared to casting shorter fatter heads.

Also, when I bought my first line for the Clearwater, it was a 600-something grain Skagit head and a total beast compared to whatever dinosaur line my father-in-law was punishing me with at the time. And I still remember Poppy yelling to me as I walked out of his shop: "Stay off the gas!" because those things don't need much added speed to collect a bunch of energy. With the longer head, and coming from a shorter set-up, you may find you'll need to speed your tempo up a bit to keep the line moving.

But mostly, get out on the river and play around. See if you can figure it out by being creative and open-minded, trying a bunch of stuff that seems like it might work. When I first started kayaking, I had no clue what I was doing, or what I was "supposed" to do. But the joy of being on the water eventually led me to understand I had the freedom to try whatever seemed interesting, even if it ended in failure. There are things to learn from other people, but there are also things to learn from yourself. This "playing around, trying things", in my mind actually leads to as much learning as formal instruction, as long as it's done with some kind of focus. Early years are invaluable, because we can learn without the stress of having struggled over the same **** for what seems like ever. Later on, all that focused play will translate into intuition.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 11:53 AM
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I agree with Botsari - and to an extent with others - you can use all the same casts but your hand arm motions need to be a bit more aggressive. When Skagit casting my elbows almost never leave my sides and my top hand stays below the shoulder - I think with a longer line this would lead to issues - so you absolutely can use a circle or double - I was using these casts with an original 90' head xlt on a rod less than 13 feet but not with the same casting stroke.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 09:51 AM
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IMHO once you get above 60' in length you should just try and use T&G casts. Personally I only use 2 casts now...single and snake and have learned to cast with both right and left hand up. Sustained anchor casts with lengthy heads are a workout and really disturbs the water.

My 2 cents.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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After practicing a couple days of practicing that is what I am experiencing. Back out tomorrow Thanks
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Skagit/Midbelly

What kinds of tips can I use on the mid belly !0/11 with the 15' TFO 9/10. Thanks
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by POPPOP View Post
What kinds of tips can I use on the mid belly !0/11 with the 15' TFO 9/10. Thanks
You should post here the exact line and I'm sure you will get good advice. It does depend on the details. If using something like a vector balistic line, for example, or a delta, probably pretty light tips since the front ends are slender. If you decide you need heavier tips you can cut a certain lenght back, 12-15 feet, loop that as your floating tip, and then be able to use heavier tips. Or you can get something like a wa55 that is already set up that way. Anyway, there is a wealth of experience on here you can draw on.

For example, on a WA55 7/8 line I like using 9 wt rio replacement tips, 15' ones that I cut back to 13', weighing about 110 gr. Int, 3,6,8 ips. I can cast intruders with that, passably but only just so, but if I want to use t14 and t17 I will use a skagit head. I would consider myself at the lower ability end of the spectum with those lines and only started using the longer ones about 1 1/2 years ago. I know some experienced people who are very comfortable with more tip than that.

Im pretty sure you could do the same, more or less, for a 9/10 WA line by using 11wt tips. Also pretty sure the same tip for the 7/8 would work. I pretty much use them on the 8/9 and 9/10 wa55 lines when I am being lazy. Depending on your skill level you will find that beyond a certain weight and length things will stop being 'fun'.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well went to practice this morning and things are looking better. Delivery a little higher and consistency is helping. Line is RIO in touch 10/11 mid belly. Getting out about 58' of tip, 8' of orange indicator and 15 to 20' of running line on the good casts. Enjoying practice time. Some casts are good and some not so good.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 05:13 PM
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IMHO once you get above 60' in length you should just try and use T&G casts. Personally I only use 2 casts now...single and snake and have learned to cast with both right and left hand up. Sustained anchor casts with lengthy heads are a workout and really disturbs the water.
I don't totally disagree Preston but depending on conditions, a double and even a Snap T can still be a useful casts to have in your bag of tricks. In recent years, thanks to some advice from Kush, I've become quite adept at perry poking a FF70. While thought of as a Skagit tactic, the perry is quite effective with longer bellied lines.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 11:38 AM
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You're right Duggan. I should have mentioned most of my fishing conditions are wide open as I've migrated to rivers where I can use my 15-17 foot rods.

That said in the rare situations where I can't use a big single or snake I use the double and perry as my emergency casts. Doubles for tight banks and the perry for overhanging trees. The first time I realized the perry works well was with a 75' head, sinktip and 16' rod. Out of frustration with an overhanging tree I just kept 'poking' the line sideways under the branches to keep it from sinking and snagging on bottom and then tried a forward stroke only to realize I could get a good cast going. Then it dawned on me I was doing a overdone sidearm perry poke.

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I don't totally disagree Preston but depending on conditions, a double and even a Snap T can still be a useful casts to have in your bag of tricks. In recent years, thanks to some advice from Kush, I've become quite adept at perry poking a FF70. While thought of as a Skagit tactic, the perry is quite effective with longer bellied lines.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 01:43 PM
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Just a point in response to a comment made above, the Double Spey cast is very much a traditional cast being developed back in the days of greenheart rods, constant taper silk lines & gut casts.

It was developed with very long rods to cast with huge lengths of line beyond the rod tip as no line was shot on the cast, rather a constant length was cast & fished (swung) before stepping down & re-casting.

So you should not have a problem with the Double Spey on a 15 ft rod with a Mid Spey head. I would learn the Single Spey - once learned it rather helps with everything else & when you want to reach out it is one of the most powerful casts.

If you can do each with either hand up then great, if not then try to learn the cache handed versions so you can deal with an adverse wind off either bank.

You can do waterborne casts but remember you will need to put more energy into the D loop to hold more line in the air & avoid having too much of an anchor so that you can't break the water-grip when you make the cast.

It's great fun learning though, but for safety's sake when trying new casts don't use a hook to start with, just tie a paper clip on or similar to substitute for the fly & avoid the tippet cracking. It may save an embarrassing trip to have a hook removed from your' anatomy.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 03:45 PM
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Hi Tyke,
Nothing new in shooting heads either, fishing a long line is Scotland developed from fishing a short line, Silk fly lines were hugely expensive around 1900 and the rods used by most were not capable of casting the distances we think of child's play now.
I was fishing the Gruinard river yesterday, and it was easy to fish a mid belly line, if you ever catch running line up in Heather..... it will soon make you fish with as little shooting line as possible, it is amazing the tight places you can fish with mid to full belly line and a single or double spey cast,something i think people forget in the rush to use a shooting head system.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 06:09 PM
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I tried out the Vector for the first time this weekend on my buddy's Echo 3 13' 6" #8 after casting the Delta for a long time on my TR. Great line and I performed all the casts I normally use with it, i.e. double spey, snap T, single spey, snake roll. My casting rhythm was just terrible this weekend, in that way it sometimes is when you are still a beginner, but once I found my sweet spots, the line performed well and was definitely a bit easier than the longer Delta.

Agree with Tyke. I'm still teaching myself to Single Spey, but there is no more satisfying and effortless cast when you do it right. I've just been doing drills on my local water, starting with throwing switch casts and gradually expanding my angle across the stream. I wish I could cast as well when I'm fishing as when I practice, but that's what practice is for!
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