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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 8
New to Spey...

Hello everyone. This is my first post here and I'm veeeeery new to spey. I'm a total noob with a ton of questions. Let me first start by telling you what I have and what I want to do. I live in Upstate NY and do mostly Ontatio trib fishing for Steelhead, Browns, and Salmon.

I have a TFO 12'6'' Lefty Pro Spey rod and I just won an Airflo Rage Compact in 480 grains over at So that's all I have, I know I need more. I've done a little research and I know as far as rigging goes, it should be something like this....

Backing---->Running Line---->Head---->Tip---->Leader---->Terminal

I'm sorry but I have so many questions so here we go.

1.How much backing should I use? Should I just get something like 30-50lb Dacron?

2. Running line. What should I use? I know some people just prefer mono, some not. What is the determining factor here in making this decision? Also, someone told me you can chop the head section off of a WF4 line and use that as a running line. True, not true?

3. Will that Airlo head be good for trib fishing?

4. Tips mystify me the most, some sink, some don't. What application requires the proper tips?

5. Leader preferences. For swinging, should I just use straight mono or some fancy tapered leader?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The ghetto/ wildcat creek
Posts: 367

how big is your reel.typically your reel dictates your backing capacity.30 lbs.gel spun gives you more than enough backing and strength,and it lasts forever.cabelas has it cheap.trout fishing you don't need much.steelhead your gonna more.75 to 200 yds.200 yds. is kinda crazy,because if a fish goes 50 60 or 100 yds. into your backing.. tip your hat and smile.goodluck.i believe airflo makes the best running line. miracle braid is awesome,and airflo compact skagit heads are the best, no pvc and it holds up better with far as tips are concerned some float and some sink,and everything in between.depends where you are fishing in the water column.floating line for top water action and sink tips for getting down to the fish.typically tips range from 6 to 15 can buy tungsten tips by the service roll and tie your own loops for a fraction of the cost of factory tips, and build custom lenghts to fit your needs.i believe the tungsten tips range from t-6 to t-20.t-6 sinks at a slower rate than personal favorite is a piece of t-11 10 to 15 ft. will get down 4 to 6 maybe 7 ft.deep.for leader you should buy your favorite mono and tie your own need to go big with expensive leader can buy 200yds of mono for the price of 30yds.of namebrand florocarbon.florocarbon is nice for low water and very clear conditions.i go with maxima green.6 to 12 pound mono.go online and look up the nail knot for your tip loops and use 15 lbs. mono for the loop connection. and look up the nonslip knot for your leader knots.keep asking questions and find a good fly shop around your area to reference.goodluck and push your bards down.your back,head will thank you

Last edited by chainsaw510; 11-03-2011 at 05:08 PM. Reason: corrections
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Salmon River NY
Posts: 660

If your fishing the SR,stop in at Malindas in Altmar.She will spend the time with you to get you set up.There is always a couple of regulars around that will help out if asked.


With the hollow cries of a loon echoing off the mountains,the mist rises from the water like a thousand ghostly spirits freed at last of their earthly torments.It is here that my life falls into focus.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 06:24 PM
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Location: Great Lakes
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As stated, how much backing you get depends upon the reel and line. Minimum length of backing I would want for the Great Lakes Tributaries is 150yards. Least expensive option being 30lb Dacron (Orvis or Scientific Anglers) and more expensive option being PowerPro 50lb or 65lb. I find 35lb GSP to be too small and not easy to handle. With the skagit head, running line, and backing considered: I would lean towards a 9wt or 10wt size reel.

Running lines is personal preference. I'm partial to the ones resembling a typical floating fly line (Rio, Scientific Anglers). While these can be made from other fly lines, the advantage to a manufactured running lines is the integrated loops and known line strength. If you don't mind the ridge texture, an Airflo running line is a good choice because it makes line care easier since the same dressing can be used on both the running line and head.

A skagit head is intended for sink tips, either manufactured or custom made from pieces of T-xx stock. I would start reading here: Then see what direction works the best for your application.

How the leaders work will be determined by the tips. A piece of T-xx stock with loops on both ends will attach to the line and serve at attachment for a leader. A production sink tip only needs a section of tippet (mono) attached to the end for attaching the fly.

Last edited by RustE; 11-03-2011 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Correction - See Next Post for Rage Compact Details
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 07:47 PM
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Location: Clearwater River, Peck, ID
Posts: 7,112
If you don't want to spend a lot on a reel the Echo Ion 8/10 or the TFO Prism 4.25 will work well on that rod. The Ion will easily hold 125yds of SA 30# Dacron backing and the TFO will hold 100yds of the same backing. I have never fished a GL trib but I fish a big river with big chromers and either of these reels with the above backing will routinely do the job. Some of the sponsors of this sight will give you the backing if you buy a reel from them.

The Rage Compact is for floating line fishing but it will handle sinking poly leaders and and lighter sinktips. I think a 480 skagit compact is right for your rod but I think the Rage would work better on your rod if it was a line size lighter.

Airflo Ridge running line is pretty good stuff. I like the 30# the best.

If you want to read up on the Rage look here. Add a www. in front to make it work.

Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp
FRSCA-Founding Member

How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 09:01 PM
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Location: great lakes tribs
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I should've copied and pasted wsender's post as mine over in the general forum! Pretty much asks the same thing I meant to! Well done. I'll keep watching this one for answers too.
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