Traditional Spey line question - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Traditional Spey line question

I purchased an outfit that came pre-spooled with an SA Mid Belly integrated line. I have since re-spooled with a Skagit set up. My question is, the mid belly line was marketed as "great for indicator fishing" and I want to know if it will work for swinging surface flies or at least higher in the water column (ie: Deschutes)
Or ... simply go with a scandi head for my current set up ?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 10:14 PM
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Which line specifically? If it is a spey style mid-belly (and the word wasnt being use by the salesperson, um..”loosely”) then it was designed with swinging in mind. Hold on to it and if the bug continues at some point you may want to learn to cast it - though some of the people on here learned to spey cast with a longer line probably not the easierst place to start. But it can be very rewarding. Typically you would take the time to do so either because you like the challenge, or you want to swing more efficiently without having to strip so much running line all day, or both. You could definetly use that line on the Deschutes, a good river to fish the “dry line” style as the Steelhead are known to be aggressive, especially when the water is clear, and go out of their way to come up near the surface for a swung fly. You would for example put a long tapered leader with a fly at the end on that line that can be weighted, or unweighted with a heavy or light hook - same as with a scandi, but with a much longer head. The lines can even be used with light tips. A lot of people feel that this style is the most aesthetically pleasing way to fish with a spey rod - where workable. But if you are a true fanatic you just MAKE it work.

As for indicator fishing with a spey rod - eek!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thx botsari. My goal was always to learn to Spey cast and swing. I’ve been on the water a ton in the last 2 months and I am fishing not just flailing anymore. I’m just hoping, from what I’ve read, that a scandi setup might be easier to cast.

" Fishing is about much more than what one does or does not catch. "
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by alhhaois View Post
Thx botsari. My goal was always to learn to Spey cast and swing. I’ve been on the water a ton in the last 2 months and I am fishing not just flailing anymore. I’m just hoping, from what I’ve read, that a scandi setup might be easier to cast.
Then YES, try out a SCANDI ( maybe something like an airflo scandi compact) approximaly 2.5 times the lenght of the rod with a tapered leader another rod lenght or more. NO, do not mess with a short belly line (5-6 times the lenght of the rod) just yet - different animal entirely.

Scandi are NOT easier to cast, but you may enjoy them more, which make amount to the same thing. It’s a “boxers of briefs?” Type question you will have to answer yourself.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 03:37 PM
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If you're talking about the SA Spey Evolution, then yeah you could use it for dry line swinging. Really the only requirement for dry line swinging is a floating line. Sure, some lines may be better than others but if the line floats you can do it.

I had an SA Spey Evolution for a bit and I didn't care for it much. It was probably a combo of my skills not being up to the task as well as it not being the best match for the rod I was using it with.

If you're wondering if a scandi is easier to cast than your skagit setup, I'd say "maybe". It may feel like less effort because people usually fish tips/heavy flies with a skagit head and they generally feel heavier because of it. My own personal experience was that the transition from a skagit to a scandi wasn't very difficult and I find fishing a scandi to be very effortless now (so long as I don't use heavy poly leaders/tips or flies).
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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a scandi is easier to cast than your skagit setup, I'd say "maybe"
I'll take the maybe ! From where I am now with the skagit/T11/weighted fly, i'm hoping for easier. I refer to my go-to cast as a Circle Splash ! I know I will need to refine things when fishing in low/clear water this summer.
It is, in fact, the Spey Evolution line that I have. And on my 12'6" 7/8, even though it came rigged with that line, I think I might just try my single spey casting on a 14' footer at the Sandy Spey Clave.

Thanks UA

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 01:34 AM
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Typical shooting head here in Scandinavia is easier to cast than typical Skagit shooting head because long and thin mono leader makes excellent water anchor which does not "blow" but lifts to line loop easy. All susteined anchor and touch&go casts are easier and overhead casts too when the leader is shorter. When oval casting there is least difference but because Scandi head weight decrease smoothly line loops come smooth.

It seems many in NA use some kind of sinking tip with Scandi head and sacrifice casting ease when the line tip weight increase and head lengthens and sacrifice fishing depth too because light tip is poor to sink the fly.

Scandi tube fly can have a one, two even three cone head and metal tube or metal body and it sinks faster than any fly line when leader is long and thin mono. When there comes a need to fish very deep we might cast a shooting head which is heavy and dense and made shortening from "grain" lines which come up to 850gr/30ft. Later multi sink shooting heads have gained favor.

Esa
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Botsari View Post
Then YES, try out a SCANDI ( maybe something like an airflo scandi compact) approximaly 2.5 times the lenght of the rod with a tapered leader another rod lenght or more. NO, do not mess with a short belly line (5-6 times the lenght of the rod) just yet - different animal entirely.

Scandi are NOT easier to cast, but you may enjoy them more, which make amount to the same thing. It’s a “boxers of briefs?” Type question you will have to answer yourself.
Personally I go by how AFFTA has categorized speylines - by total length of taper. Heads>50', short, medium, and long bellies.


Others go by the amount of line beyond the tip - heads , 3X, 4X, and 5x( short, mid, and long bellies) (easy, medium and difficult.)

Also, lines are generally easier to cast when you are not casting sinktips and or large weighted flies.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fish0n4evr View Post
Personally I go by how AFFTA has categorized speylines - by total length of taper. Heads>50', short, medium, and long bellies.


Others go by the amount of line beyond the tip - heads , 3X, 4X, and 5x( short, mid, and long bellies) (easy, medium and difficult.)

Also, lines are generally easier to cast when you are not casting sinktips and or large weighted flies.
Me too - up to 4x = short belly,4- 5x mid belly, longer still = long belly. But seems like I have to include a scale like that nowadays since a lot people have heard the words but use the terms incorrectly, such as long belly = longer than a scandi compact. Even Beulah referred to their aerohead line as a “mid belly” when it is more of short short belly on most rods by the old timey classifications.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 02:50 PM
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I'm still not clear on the reasoning behind the aerohead as a mid belly. I do know Beulah's longest rod is only fourteen, the recommended aerohead is only 3 times that length, and the longest ( their heaviest) line offering is 62 feet.

Affta is considerably more clear-cut and straightforward one way or the other.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 05:23 AM
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A traditional Spey line once we move into modern materials and away from silk lines would have been a Double Taper of 30yds +,probably more like 35yds and even up to 40yds.Beleive you me these would take some skill to master and consistently cast-especially the sinking types!.
Next development were the long belly weight forwards, markedly easier to cast, but in essence the fore runners to modern Spey profile lines.
Spey lines as we know them today would have begun as a simple single length option which over time has developed into short/mid/long options and a few others besides.
Shooting heads- a relatively modern development(as far as fishing go's!) come in all sorts of lengths from the ultra short single handed lengths up to specialist 18+ yd items.
Now,this includes Skagit heads(yup they can be a shooting head),but the real short heads can be a pain to cast as you dont have enough line to get consistent anchor, moving into the std. length of shooting head we arrive at the lines that are easiest to cast of all.It matters not one jot what the label says on the tin, what formula one applies for length /weight ratio, but the std. shooting head is far easier to cast for all users of a double handed rod, easiest to master and easiest to progress with.As for a "Scandi" line being hard to cast with, well sorry thats absolute ROT!,a "Scandi" head is simply another label on a box, its a shooting head pure n simple.Of all the Salmon lines one could line up and cast from any double hander, the modern shooting head in a std. length will give consistent results to any would be or experienced caster quicker, easier and much more predictably.
The longer the length of line that has to be managed from lift, sweep,anchor,cast then the harder the task becomes and the more experience and skill play a part and the more time it will take in learning the craft.
I've only had a Salmon rod in my hands the thick end of 40yrs,I don't know it all by any means, but give me a novice and a Salmon river and I'll steer them down the path of a shooting head every single time.Come on Botsari,you of all people should recognise the shooting head path is the easiest to tread by far over the more general range of applications(specialist applications not withstanding).
Happy casting,Yorkie.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 10:18 PM
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Started with a 16 ft Sage many years back and a double taper. If I could think of it, I could come up with a way to make it work no matter the confines. Pick it up and put it back out with no retrieves needed. Needless to say, I have a serious aversion to stripping in line between casts. If I wanted to do that, I'd go back to spinning or bait casting setups.

Went to a Skagit "system" later for some winter fish, as a guide insisted one would need any and all of the 4 heads during the day to fish effectively. I can make that work just fine with the exception of the lost ability to mend line all the way to the fly. With the double taper, I could mend and actually put the fly back up and through the same water 3 or 4 times on a single cast.

Recent history finds me sticking to the Skagit. It cost about $125.00, and at that price I will wear that sucker out before it comes off the reel. When that happens, I'll go back to the double taper and see if I can find a dedicated sink tip as well, probably having to go to Europe for that. A couple years back, I hit every shop I passed looking for a dedicated sink tip of Spey dimensions. In two shops I got comments of "why would one want hinder himself that way?" That had me exiting without a word as anything I might have subsequently uttered would not have been pleasant. I think we took a big step backward when the entire industry moved to shooting systems and all manner of loops, heads, and extensions. Get out for some cold weather fishing, and I have hell getting iced up loops through the guides on my rods. Maybe I should rip off the guides and get some of those giant surf casting rings to get past that issue.

Today's line issues really make me truly appreciate the various Claves. One can try a variety of products without having to invest 2-days of pay. Just my rant for the moment.

Good luck out there,
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 11:16 AM
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Come on Botsari,you of all people should recognise the shooting head path is the easiest to tread by far over the more general range of applications(specialist applications not withstanding).
Happy casting,Yorkie.
Yorkie, I think you read me exactly backwards there! No worries, as I have done the same myself more than once, and karmically I probably deserve at least one more of these.

I was responding to the the OP who has been using a skagit. Whether he was having actual trouble, or just wanted to see if there is something easier I don’t know, but he had was he said was a midbelly line, and was asking if this was possibly something that would make his life easier. If you go back you will see that I specifically recomended AGAINST the midbelly as probably NOT an immediate solution to his disfactision with the skagit head. I specifically recomended (and recommend) that he DOES try the skagit compact. So “the scandi is not easier” part in my second post referred to the original discussion line, something like “would a scandi be easier than my current skagit”. I wish I had been a little more specific about what I meant by saying a scandi is not easier than a skagit head (i.e. requires a bit more finesse, and has a bit narrower margin of error) - instead of saying “you may enjoy it more which may be the same thing” I probably should have expanded:

it’s not easier to learn than a skagit, but once you do the ease and grace of casting may make you like it much more. I think what many people might feel as a “difficulty” in this area, especially after using a skagit for a long time, is just the relative feeling of work. If that is you, and you CAN effectively fish a scandi head to your fish, then THAT feeling of unnecessary work will get cured by the scandi head, and you may not want to use a skagit head again, or at least grumble when you are forced to go back at times when you need to use a heavier tip”.

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