Long belly line vs skagit - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Long belly line vs skagit

I remember reading some time ago in the forum that long belly lines would enabe a longer cast thatn skagits. I usually use a long belly(50-60ft) and find that truefor me. Can someone explain exactly why.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 11:59 AM
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Longer rods with long belly lines make bigger D-loops and use a longer casting stroke to cast further than a shorter switch rod loaded with a Skagit line.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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I would imagine though that the reverse may be true given certain
circumstances.
On a dry land stance with pre stripped line ready to shoot i could
imagine a skagit line being shot miles.

I have a 30ft sinking shooting head so I guess thats pretty close
to a skagit line. Just a big old DT line chopped about to drag the sea
bed on a couple of rips. Even in rubbish conditions this'll fire 4 rod
lengths including shooting line.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 02:13 PM
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The short answer

is because the tournament casters have found that to be true in practice. Typically the rod is the maximum allowed in that venue with a head length of 90 feet or so, though a Skagit system placed fairly high at San Francisco a year or two ago.

Part of it is the way the head flies and unrolls. Too short for the distance and the head unrolls and drops before the desired distance is obtained.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 02:45 PM
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[QUOTE=t_richerzhagen;212964Part of it is the way the head flies and unrolls. Too short for the distance and the head unrolls and drops before the desired distance is obtained.[/QUOTE]

As soon as the line unrolls completely, it will start to fall. (Lefty Krey) The skagit caster has to shoot more line to get the same distance as the long belly caster. The other part of it is the long skinny line is more aerodynamic than the short fat one.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 02:57 PM
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Yes, it is true that Scott O'Donnell used a "Skagit system" to finish in the top three at Spey-O-Rama a couple of years ago. He flung that sucker a long way, however, this was a 1500 gr 45'+ long chunk of (clothes)line on a 15' super stiff Sage rod - not exactly your typical Skagit set-up...

Scott is a true expert, even so he experienced some of the issues of distance casting with short lines... lots of stripping, in fact he had a very difficult time completing his casts within the 6 minute time limit... he was stripping like an out of control windmill. Then there are the tangles to deal with - I have enough trouble keeping my running line clear while I am casting a 100' head!

Tight lines - tyler.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 03:36 PM
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I m no long line expert. never used anything longer than a long Delta.I don't know about a lot of what has been said having anything to do with limiting distance of a Skagj cast. Except, the one thing I know for sure[I think the only thing] that limits my cast distance is the tangles that Kush mentioned.I don't want to mess with them when fishing. Fishing is about keeping the fly fishing as much as possible. It is a time in the water and properly swimming the right water thing. After about 18 strips with a Skagj head you get too many tangles unless things are perfect and you lose some of that required time in the water. But, I probably tend to cast too far a lot of the time and that restriction probably helps me way more than it hurts me!!!

Beau
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 04:12 PM
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Damn Beau, you got me by 6 strips. Usually if I try and shoot more than 12, it all goes to hell

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-05-2008, 06:05 PM
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Sinktip,12 strips is that sweet ,usual level needed on most large rivers and should only be exceeded to reach that special rock on the Deschutes or that special seam on river X,or...

Beau
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-06-2008, 06:06 PM
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I like being able to cast a long line, and I dislike the stripping and line management chores associated with short belly lines. For that reason, I'm usually equipped with a long belly line. (This is relative to the length of the rod. I've recently trimmed and tweaked a line that started out as a Cortland WF8F Distance Taper spey to fit my new Meiser 11' 7" 5/6/7. Looped for 10-15' sink tips, it measures 53.5' to the color change at the back taper. Its 465 grains, plus a typical sink tip, exactly fits the little rod. For that rod, it's a long-belly line.)

My mind keeps coming back to what George Kelson wrote in 1895: "What line a spey rod can lift, it can cast." Within that deceptively simple sentence is a profound truth.

After 13 years, I'm still a mediocre spey caster. But with my 15 1/2' or 16' rods, I can "lift" (from the downstream dangle to a good anchor point) about 90 feet of long-belly line, usually including a sink tip, whip it around in my usual double spey, and drive it out, more or less routinely. When I've done everything right - I can feel it mid-cast - I can shoot another 10-30 feet of running line. That's the simple virtue of long-lines, and rods long enough to handle them: once they're in motion, an easy longish cast is more or less assured.

Short-belly lines start out like gangbusters. But they're carrying a burden that increases with every foot of flight. And that running line burden is a lot of work I'd rather not do.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2008, 01:11 AM
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brookrain,

JD, Ted, and Kush concisely pointed out the phsysics of why the long-belly line is easier to cast long and they did so without getting too technical. Good on you three for doing so.

That said, I notice you mentioned you use a "long-belly" line with a belly of 50'-60'. By definition of the AAFTM spey line standards, lines with bellies of those lengths are short-belly spey lines. Long-belly line have bellies of 75' or more. Granted, a 50'-60' belly line is a lot more belly than a Skagit's under 40' belly, but it is still a short-belly line.

This is why it is necessary to be precise in the use of belly length terminology or those who do not know the belly length definition and those new to spey casting start to go on incorrect terminology This can and does lead to problems when they speak to experienced spey casters or when they are buying lines for themselves. For example: a new spey caster doesn't have a fly shop that has people knowledgeable about spey casting on staff or is going to mail order his lines. He sees long-belly lines being talked about, and goes out and buys a true long-belly line say a Scientific Anglers XLT (80'-105' belly depending on line wt) and it drives him nuts trying to move all that line with being a new and inexperienced spey caster. When in reality the person who wrote the original post was actually talking about using a short-belly line, which is a great choice for newcomers to spey casting. However, there is a world of difference between casting a short-belly like the Airflow Delta (55' belly) and a SA XLT's 90' belly.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2008, 10:21 AM
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Rod length

also makes a difference in what is a "long belly" line for a particular rod. For example a 75 foot belly on a 15 foot rod is 5 times the length of the rod. On a 11 foot rod the same ratio would be 55 feet in length and effectively a long belly line for that rod.

That does not speak to how the lines "fly", but it does indicate the skill needed to lift, place the anchor, and shoot a line. That takes a greater skill level with a long belly line.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-07-2008, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts on not using the "right " terminology.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 12:19 AM
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Russ? I think? If memory serves correctly? We've conversed before on the Spey Pages. I used to be gung ho on the long belly lines. XLT's & Grand Speys.

During the last couple of years I've switched over to the "dark side" Skagit lines. And, while I have my reasons, I still have a lot of respect for the long belly crowd. Which I define as over 75 ft ft minimum belly length. Or 5x rod length + a bit. And a true long belly affeciendo would not be caught dead with anything shorter than a 15 ft rod. ie: Ian Gordon at the Sandy Clave who pulled out a real "man's rod" An 18 footer. Eighteen x 5 being 90 feet. I think he said the belly on that line was 105 feet. Which he proceeded to pick up the whole of, and shoot another 30+ feet to the pocket just below the rock on the other side of the river.

Fantastic example of a Scottsman casting traditional style. Makes us all wish we had been taught by our Grandfathers from a very early age. Like the young lad at the end of Scott MacKenzie's video.

Good day to ya' Slangehevarh (sp)

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 11:15 AM
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Long Belly

I fish both XLT's and Skagit. I will take the XLT's any day for the pleasure of casting. I really prefer the old style XLT lines but I have both. I fish the Skagit when I have to go down with big weighted flies. For me there is no enjoyment in stripping in 40-50 feet of line every cast.

I will be able to fish later this week for the first time after back reconsrtution surgery and I will be fishing my 13'4" Loomis Metolius 5/6 with and XLT.

Skilly

Last edited by Skilly; 09-08-2008 at 09:24 PM.
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