Dry Line Work - Scandi vs Mid Belly? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Dry Line Work - Scandi vs Mid Belly?

Now that I'm only mostly a newbie (as opposed to a total greenhorn), I think I'm ready to try moving on from my current Skagit setup. Or maybe I should say "adding to" the Skagit, because I do recognize its advantages, and I'm not going to give those up altogether.

Since most (95%+) of my fishing is done with a floating line, I like the idea of touch & go casting, as opposed to sustained anchor casting. There's an efficiency of motion as well as an aesthetic appeal there. I'm just not sure whether a Scandi or a mid belly line will best suit my needs.

I have done some homework, so I know that the Scandi is less challenging to pick up and doesn't require as large a D loop. Those are distinct advantages for me, because A) I am still kinda new to this, B) I will be using a 12 1/2 foot, 5 wt rod, and C) I fish in places where brush and trees grow up to the water's edge in many spots. If I understand correctly, distance is achieved by getting a shorter, heavier head moving in the right direction and with sufficient speed to pull a bunch of running line out behind it. The downside is that you have to strip in a bunch of that running line before you can start the pick up for the next cast. Thus, a loss of some of that economy of motion I was looking for.

I also know that mid and long belly lines are designed to be picked up and cast with much more line outside the rod tip. There isn't much shooting or stripping back in, right? The advantage is great economy of motion, and perhaps just as important, a high degree of super cool factor! I'm only half joking about that last bit....I fish a two hander because I enjoy the challenge and feel of the casting about as much as I do the actual fish hooking and playing. Mid and long belly lines seem like they would really deliver in that department. The downside is that the longer line is more difficult to pick up - especially with my short-ish trout/bass stick - and I'll need more room for a bigger D loop behind me. I'm also wondering if I will be able to get the distance with the mid or long belly that I could with a Scandi?

So, I know there are pros and cons to both, and ultimately, I'll have to decide where the balance lies for me. Is there anything that I don't have right, or that I'm not considering?

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 03:28 PM
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Scandi, because you can still do sustained anchor with one and your learning curve will be less steep. The AFS & airflo compact scandi lines are super forgiving.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 03:31 PM
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One more

I think you have it pretty well pegged as far as casting goes.

With regards to fishing you did not mention that with a long belly vs scandi there is a lot more line in the water on the swing that is subject to disturbance. As a result there is way more line control going on to counteract the currents on the line. With a scandi setup there is very little line on the water and I find there is virtually no issue with line control during the swing.

Having switched from Longs to Scandis over the last 10 years I have have lots of experience with both and they both still have their place

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 03:46 PM
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As a beginner with a short light rod, no, a long line won't match the distance possible with a short shooting head. Long lines are especially tough with a short light rod.

I find a 35' head fishes well on a 12'ish 5 wt, though most of my casts are only 5-50' with minimal shooting anyway. If you want to play it safe with a scandi head, you can always "dabble" in the longside using a cheap DT7F or DT8F off fleabay

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 04:13 PM
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I find that my 6 wt short belly is plenty long enough (~ 50') on my 12' 5/6 wt rod (CND Spey Tracker). A lot of the places I fish it I don't even get all the head or belly beyond the rod tip, so there's not much stripping to cast. I'm not the most informed on Scandi lines, but they don't seem to have near as fine a tip as a standard DT or short belly line. The Scandis look like a compromise rope in between standard fly lines and garden hose Skagit heads. You might like the idea of giving a standard DT a try. SA Air Cell Supremes are still available for $30, which I also play around with on my 5/6 wt.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 05:01 PM
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You may want to give the Airflo Rage line a try as well. I have one on a 12'6" 6wt with a 10ft polyleader and it cast like a dream.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 09:40 PM
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Give steve a call at sgs lines. Best thing i ever did, custom lines for your exact rod. You can find him on here. I was a skagit guy , and now enjoy the scandi.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:03 PM
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With a scandi you will not need a separate reel or spool. Just switch heads. Air Flo, SPG and other scandi line have a nice taper to them, a lot different that a skagit. Try a scandi and once you have that mastered you can try something longer.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 03:06 PM
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put a 15 foot tapered floating tip on your skagit line and you now have a scandi line or close to it- to do touch and go casts well you should likely lower your grain weight so if you do not already have a lighter skagit line then get a scandi but a floating tip is cheaper than a new line.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi straw View Post
Give steve a call at sgs lines. Best thing i ever did, custom lines for your exact rod. You can find him on here. I was a skagit guy , and now enjoy the scandi.
I agree with this statement; you will get a good line for the rod and intended purpose from "go". I've got three of his lines.

Scandi will require stripping unless you're only fishing with the head outside the rod tip. Nearly every pattern I fish is meant to imitate a fish, crustacean, or mollusk, so stripping the line in to work the fly is nearly always in my best interest. This said, I started casting underhand for many of the same reasons you mention in your initial post, and with a rod of similar length and grain window; I tried to do this with off-the-shelf AFS lines, and I had a hard time getting the patterns I fish to turn over (most are tied on 1 - 2" copper, brass, or aluminum tubes). The AFS taper is too long and fine for these sorts of patterns (for me), but it was fine for lighter, plastic tubes, and traditional patterns tied on size 6 - 10 low water irons. I switched to a lighter-grain Airflo Scandi Compact and had no problem casting those heavier tubes. For reference, I was using a 340-gr. AFS previously. The rod in question is a Zpey 12' Instinct, rated for 293 - 324 grains; the Airflo Scandi head is 300-gr. I use a 10' intermediate poly leader and add sections of 12-, 10-, and 8-lb. Maxima to bring the total leader length to ~18'; this is my general set up for all but the very heaviest tubes, which just get a few feet of 12-lb Maxima off the poly.

I'm switching over to the SGS Scandit lines as my budget permits, since they have the advantages of being custom-made for the rod in question and are available with tips of different densities.

Good luck!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick J View Post
put a 15 foot tapered floating tip on your skagit line and you now have a scandi line or close to it- to do touch and go casts well you should likely lower your grain weight so if you do not already have a lighter skagit line then get a scandi but a floating tip is cheaper than a new line.
This is basically the concept of the SGS Scandit line. It works very well and is a great experiment for you to try before investing in an entire head, as Rick suggests.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:52 PM
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I think you should just go with your gut. No matter which casting method you use, you will learn tricks to make it work for you. For example, if using a long belly in tight quarters, there are tricks for throwing back a smaller D loop. Being able to cast ambidextrously (depending on which side of the river you're on) would be a big advantage too when it comes to avoiding trees and stuff behind you. I currently love the scandi system, but I've been considering trying mid and long bellies for the purist factor. Like you said, spey casting is as much about enjoying the casting as it is about the actual fishing.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:20 PM
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As always

I the end it is for you to choose.
How do you want to make the next presentation that will catch your next Steelhead.

Investing in learning how to properly make all the casts with all the lines on all sides makes it really fun to go fishing. You have a HUGE palatte to choose from at that point

Riverside you make your decision and then play the hand

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 08:41 PM
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the fun factor comes in too, in a big way.
If you enjoy the kiss-n-go, why not get good at both? All that's involved is a stroke adjustment. (and years of pain, j/k)
seriously, go have some fun, get a little coaching, broaden your horizons!

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 11:29 PM
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Aldo, is this rod the 12' Anglers Roost rod with the extension you got from Mieser to make it 12'6? If so, I have the same rod. I believe SPG lines this rod at about 330 for Scandi at 31' - I've casted 375 grains on mine in a scandi and it handles it. My quesiton is what lines are you considering and what lines are available that this little rod can handle?

If fishing conditions allow, I have heard the CND, GPS 4/5 might be a nice line on this rod. I do not know.

The areas I fish usually have overgrown riparian areas and strong winds so I usually pitch a skagit head and a tip- or a short Scandi.

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