New to Spey/Skagit casting question... - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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New to Spey/Skagit casting question...

I am brand new to Spey casting and am looking for some advice please. I have a 13’ 7 wt two hand rod with (hopefully) the correct Skagit set up. I also purchased an OPST Commando set up for my 9’ 5 wt single hand rod. Is it going to be easier to learn the casting methods on the single hand smaller rod and then progress to the two handed? Thanks in advance for any recommendations and advice! (moderators- my apologies if this isn’t in the correct forum).

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 03:03 PM
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I'd highly recommend to start by watching the Ashland Fly Shop spey casting videos with Jon: https://www.ashlandflyshop.com/blogs/casting-videos
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Bookmarked and will check them out, thanks for the link and quick response!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 08:04 PM
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Start with your 2 hander. Pay attention to stance and grip. And the Spey casting with Jon are great videos!

Travis Johnson also has a great little book (10-12 pages) that I think is dynamite

You’ll do great!
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 08:43 PM
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I agree with Yooper here, start with the two hand. That 7130 is the ideal place to start. It’s not that casting the OPST isn't easy, its that it is a special case and will not teach you as much of the universal language. Start with the two-hand and learn to do to a minimum proficiency all four casts (snap T, double, snake roll, single), and off your right and left shoulders, with a skagit and/or shortish scandi head first. That IMHO is the best place to start, and there will be the most significant coverage going down to short heads, or going up to more traditional style long heads. But focus on the setup you think you will need to fish. Once you get to the point of fishing with the rod you will get a lot of practice!

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input and suggestions, I really appreciate it! Interesting you recommend starting with the two hander. Had I not asked I probably would have started with the single hander thinking it would be easier but I get that technique and “feel” from the two hander would be better to learn with. Yooper, I will look for the book as well thanks! Is this process one I can learn on my own relatively easily through reading, videos and practice or should I bite the bullet and get some lessons/instruction?🤔

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2018, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
Thanks for the input and suggestions, I really appreciate it! Interesting you recommend starting with the two hander. Had I not asked I probably would have started with the single hander thinking it would be easier but I get that technique and “feel” from the two hander would be better to learn with. Yooper, I will look for the book as well thanks! Is this process one I can learn on my own relatively easily through reading, videos and practice or should I bite the bullet and get some lessons/instruction?🤔

As you get more experience you will get better at debugging your own casting difficulties, but nothing beats an independent, experienced set of eyes on you, and when you start off it can shave months or more off the learning curve. So if you can get some lessons it may be very helpful. An especicially good point might be where you have familiarized yourself with the casts, and tried them out a bit (couple of afternoons getting the basic geometry of the casts figured out a bit) before you are really comfortable and/or build much muscle memory on bad habits.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
Thanks for the input and suggestions, I really appreciate it! Interesting you recommend starting with the two hander. Had I not asked I probably would have started with the single hander thinking it would be easier but I get that technique and “feel” from the two hander would be better to learn with. Yooper, I will look for the book as well thanks! Is this process one I can learn on my own relatively easily through reading, videos and practice or should I bite the bullet and get some lessons/instruction?🤔
I agree with the advice given so far. As for your thinking that a single handler would be easier to learn the basics of Spey casting; it might well be slightly easier to learn some Spey casing with a single hand rod (especially Skagit casts). The bigger issue is that it will be far harder to apply those techniques from a single hand to a two handed rod that it would be to go the other way around. Then there’s the fun factor: a 13’ two handed rod is going to be a lot more dynamic and exciting to learn to Spey cast, you’ll be surprised by just how noticeable your results will be from slight adjustments in your technique.

Enjoy,
JB
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 02:38 AM
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Find a shop/instructor, and take a lesson with the 13' 7 wt. You will save time and avoid setting yourself up with bad habits the are hard to unlearn.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bladerunner View Post
Thanks for the input and suggestions, I really appreciate it! Interesting you recommend starting with the two hander. Had I not asked I probably would have started with the single hander thinking it would be easier but I get that technique and “feel” from the two hander would be better to learn with. Yooper, I will look for the book as well thanks! Is this process one I can learn on my own relatively easily through reading, videos and practice or should I bite the bullet and get some lessons/instruction?��
FlyFish USA has the book.

In regards to learning on your own vs lessons. My answer is both! You can definitely learn on your own, but eventually you’ll want to meet with an instructor as well.

I would start with the videos and Travis Johnson’s pamphlet. Get a feel for it for a couple months. Come back here and ask some questions. Then when you have a confidence factor building and are discovering what you like, hire a casting instructor and get all your money’s worth.

Just remember: slow and steady with these rods makes for good casts. When all else fails, loosen your grip, take a breath, and do it as slow as you can without stopping. Let the rod do ALL the work with these rods. Watch how Jon Hazel seems to be putting almost no effort into his casts. His arms aren’t moving a whole lot, and he never is trying to muscle it and ‘throw’ the line with his arms. Slow & smooth = power

Don’t worry about making mistakes, everyone does all the time regardless of skill level.

But definitely start with the 2-hander. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend starting with a switch rod. Always start with a 12’6” and above. Because as someone noted above, you could start with a singlehanded or even a switch rod and realize you can cast it pretty good, only to grab your Spey rod and discover you can’t. Start with the Spey rod, and you’ll be able to cast anything else
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Great points and info, thanks again Yooper-Fly! Already ordered Travis’ booklet, found it at All Waters Angling.

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”
― John Buchan
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 03:58 AM
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Mate, I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but you would probably find Rio's Modern Spey Casting double disc set invaluable when starting out and even more useful about a season down the track. Simon Gawsworth has put it all together very well. Its quite a few years old now but if you can find a copy it's well worth having in your reference library. My hot tip with the whole spey thing is 1) its nearly impossible to go too slow. 2) Use your whole body to cast and 3) Its closer to Tai Che. Yoga and Zen Mastery than it is to conventional casting. Slack is the Enemy
Cheers...Jimmy
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 11:15 AM
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My .02

I've been at this a while, from 15 footers & long belly lines to 12 foot & compact Skagits & everything in between. And like most, a good many years before that with single hand rods. About the only thing salvageable from single hand technique is, the line follows the rod tip & start slow, stop fast.

Keep in mind when hiring an instructor, Skagit casting is dependent on the sustained anchor. Scandi casting & long belly casting is a whole different ball game. A good line set up makes it a whole lot easier. For the 13ft 7wt rod, something in the range of 550 grains for the head, plus 100± grains for the sink tip. You can go heavier for the head without damaging your rod. Lighter means you have to put more muscle into it to feel good rod load. Not a good thing for beginners. The sink tip affords more "line stick" for your anchor.

Enjoy.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 01:44 PM
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Myth busting

For us Scandinavians there are Skagit lines but no Skagit casting because Snaps and Pokes were cast using shooting heads long time before Skagit become famous!

So called Scandi line is good when Touch&Go casting but it is great when Sustained Anchor casting because when leader is long it does not blow and water anchor energy loss is low.

Concept of "rod load" should be used carefully because if exaggerated it often leads to Tailing Loops!

When sinking tip sinks in water anchor it might decrease anchor blowing but lifting sunk line tip and fly also waste energy so it is not beneficial to Spey casting.

In this following 1/10 slow motion video link I cast two tips using the same 720gr Skagit belly. In front there is 15ft of T18 and then 2ft 50lbs mono and red Fox fluff. Above it is 15ft of 30lbs mono, then 2ft 50lbs mono and red fluff. I had built a mechanism which release both fluffs simultaneously but T18 tip makes it land to water faster and it also sinks the fluff like typical Skagit does. Mono leader lands delayed and somewhat stays afloat.

When forward cast begins the T18 makes anchor blow at least three feet and then fluff rise straight up where cast line pulls that moment. it is the tip mass which increase anchor blow!

Mono leader cause only few inches of anchor blow and fluff lifts 45 decrees to left where the line head was cast. Small anchor blow is because thin mono is light and its energy in line loop is low and D-loop is a line loop. Also thin line has relatively high water resistance against the energy it has.

Esa

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobione View Post
I'd highly recommend to start by watching the Ashland Fly Shop spey casting videos with Jon: https://www.ashlandflyshop.com/blogs/casting-videos
+1

You can check out Ashland Fly Shop's Youtube page as well. Might be most of the same offerings.
I took one lesson on grass and then hit the ground running. Watching Jon's casting instructions definitely helped worked out some kinks. I also like his knot tying vids.
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