Matching lines to rod weights?? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Matching lines to rod weights??

Aside from refering to manufacturers websites for line reccomendations,are there any general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing a properly matched line to any given rod?

First of all,let me just back up for a minute with a bit of background about myself:
I've been avidly fishing single handers for close to 25 years now,but I am a complete novice to this two-handed casting game.I've had an interest in switch and spey rods and have been lurking around the Speypages for a cpl years now,but only just recently purchased my first "new to me" complete two-hander outfit from a local flyfishing forum classified.What I have is an 11'6" Beulah 6/7 Classic Spey rod,that came with an Amundson 9/10 reel,Airflo running line,Airflo compact Skagit 420,and Airflo compact Scandi 420.Now I had assumed this was a well matched,balanced outfit,but since buying it and having spoken with a cpl of very experienced speycasters,both in person and on another cpl of FF forums that i frequent,both of them suggested that the Skagit line is likely a good match for this rod,but I'm way too heavy on the Scandi and should be looking for a Scandi line closer to 360gr,maybe even 330 or 390?
So that said,my question is....is there a rule of thumb or formula of sorts for choosing different styles of lines to match a given rod?For instance,assuming the 420 Skagit is indeed ideal for my 6/7 weight rod,does that mean i should be looking for 60-70grs/stated rod weight in a compact Skagit?Likewise,if a 360gr Scandi is what i need,can I assume that means 50-60grs X 6/7 is correct for a Scandi line?
Also.....could I theoretically apply these formulae to matching lines to rods should I.....OK.....when I inevitably buy future two-handers.....cuz as you all know,this shiite is addictive.
For instance,if I were to buy a 9/10 rod and wanted to line it with a Scandi,would I use 50-60grs as a guideline and be looking for a 500-540 gr Scandi line,or maybe a 600-630 Skagit?
Also,would a longer rod,say a 14' 6/7 for instance,change the equation any/not at all/significantly?
Now I'm sure I could always just refer to mfr reccomendations in the future,but i'm the type of person that always has to question and know the "why" in everything like this,whether it's arrow spines or powder charges or whatever...why this line weight and not that one?That,and I hope that sometime in the distant future I'll know enough about spey casting that when some newb shows me his new rod,i'll be able to make a line reccomendation to him based on personal knowledge in regards to the science and physics of the sport and not by simply googling it or going by what some spey line R&D guy figured out on his own and reccomends.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by grinr View Post
Also,would a longer rod,say a 14' 6/7 for instance,change the equation any/not at all/significantly?
Now I'm sure I could always just refer to mfr reccomendations in the future,but i'm the type of person that always has to question and know the "why" in everything like this,whether it's arrow spines or powder charges or whatever...why this line weight and not that one?That,and I hope that sometime in the distant future I'll know enough about spey casting that when some newb shows me his new rod,i'll be able to make a line reccomendation to him based on personal knowledge in regards to the science and physics of the sport and not by simply googling it or going by what some spey line R&D guy figured out on his own and reccomends.
In short answer from me, yes. You can rely on the manufacturer's recommendations and use it as a starting point... go from there to fine tuning the line as your "feel" and experience expands. It is not a bad idea to try other's suggestions/recommendations and to see what they are talking about... But don't get caught up on that, even they are "famous"... As Poppy's wise saying.... you are the ONE cast and fish, whatever works for you is way more important than what others have to says... The rule of thumb principle is just a starting point, it doesn't always true in the spey world though, and in my humble opinion, this is the fun part of spey fishing. You literally have unlimited ways to fish... just to be creative and enjoy the processes.

For the "why" part, it will take longer to understand how the principle work... but if you are interested in this part, building your own line is the fastest way to go... you will soon understand "why" some line configurations will require lighter weight to load a rod, and some will need more weight to proper load the very same rod... In general, longer rod 13'6 and above, are more forgiving in grain weight than shorter rods (12'6 and below...)

Ed Ward suggested you should build 3 lines (skagit heads) for any rod, the reason is to cope with different fly weights and casting conditions you will encounter. I think this is the most wise suggestion I have got over years.

be creative and be experimenting is what I have to suggest... Al Buhr's books are great to have BTW

Mark

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 11:54 PM
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Follow the manufacturers recommendations

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 11:55 PM
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Your from alberta? If theres a wholesale sports near by they have rio scandi and
Skagit loaner kits to test your rod, atleast then your not buying a bunch of lines you'll never use. Cheers, Ed
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 02:12 AM
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Bob Meiser recently helped us with this very question. He suggested that a starting point for choosing a Skagit head would be +25 or +50 grains above the bottom of the grain window for a rod, and a Scandi head would be at 0 or +25 grains above the bottom. Your Beulah Classic 11’6” 6/7 seems to have a window bottom of about 400 grains, (from the Beulah website and the power of a high school education) but I couldn’t find an exact grain range for that model. And if I am wrong about this number, I am sure the Viking hordes will be climbing over themselves in an absolute frenzy to correct me. So you would be looking at an Airflo Skagit of 425 or 450 (actual weights of 420 or 450) and an Airflo Scandi of 400 or 425 (actual weights of 390 or 420). If you are a fan of Airflo (I like them), it would seem that your outfit is as advertised – quite well matched and balanced. You are just going to have to fish this setup to find out if it does fit you well - not a bad thing. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, drop me a PM. Glad to help even in small ways.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roballen View Post
Follow the manufacturers recommendations
This is good advice. Keep it simple in the beginning, you don't need a bunch of lines, just one that correctly fits your rod. You said you are a novice, so don't make it complicated, that will come soon enough, learn fundamentals and basic casting tech. before you get too stirred up about equipment. Turning equipment mole hills into mountains will only frustrate you until you have spent a bunch of time casting and learning to do so well. Really, KEEP IT SIMPLE AS A NOVICE .

Last edited by LONGSTIX; 08-30-2012 at 12:42 AM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:56 PM
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Matching Lines

And go to Fish Tales for Spey advice, & they have the Rio & Airflo kits.

Bob
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the advice,suggestions,and explanations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastrider View Post
Your from alberta? If theres a wholesale sports near by they have rio scandi and
Skagit loaner kits to test your rod, atleast then your not buying a bunch of lines you'll never use. Cheers, Ed
Wow,that's good to know!Yes,I live in Calgary,less than 10 minutes away from Wholesale Sports.

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Originally Posted by JDANGLER View Post
And go to Fish Tales for Spey advice, & they have the Rio & Airflo kits.
....and I live just over 5 minutes from Fish Tales,it's probly the fly shop that I visit most often in CGY.

In addition to these "loaner kits",I've also met a speyaholic on the local FF forum that has offered to take me out on the Bow for some casting instruction.He currently owns 30 spey rods give or take(?),and has dozens of lines,so should be no problem tuning me in with a proper line to get me started right. Unfortunately,we weren't able to get together before my trip back east,so my total experience with the two-hander thus far consists of one 8hr day of trial and error self-teaching on the Bow,a few hours trying for Stripers here in a tidal river,and countless hours watching U-tube vids.

I'm actually still in NB at the moment,been here 3 weeks,but heading back to CGY this weekend.Aside from lotsa good times with family and friends,this trip has been a total bust as far as fishing goes.Was planning to spend a week or so on Miramichi salmon fishing at our family camp,but it's been brutally hot and low water,and for all intents and purposes pretty much closed to angling the entire time i've been here with no rain in the foreseeable future.
......and there are vitually no Herring in the Bay of Fundy yet this summer,the industry is panicing,which means there are no Stripers following them,which means the few hours I spent at a favorite old striper hole last week was a total waste of time,other than a bit more casting practice.So needless to say,as far as the fishing goes,it's been a VERY dissapointing trip,and I actually can't wait to get back to CGY,swing some BRBs,and feel a tug again.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 06:20 PM
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It's worth noting too...

that Skagit and Scandi weights will differ due to fundamental differences in how they're intended to be cast.

Skagit heads are typically used for sustained anchor casts, where the D-loop is formed using the weight of the head plus the resistance of the tip and leader, which are stuck to the water.
Scandi heads are typically used for airborne anchor casts, where the D-loop is formed against the weight of the head, the leader, and the fly.
The suggested weights are different because with Skagit, the head needs more mass to pull the tip, leader, and fly off the water. With Scandi, those things are in the air, helping load the rod.

"I was spey casting for sure. Everything else I'm unsure about." ~Mumbles
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:41 PM
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That lot is close to being the most intelligent piece of writing on DH rods
since man discovered that trout ate flies. Real Flies.
Cheers Max.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 04:29 PM
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This is a good thread. I like the "keep it simple" mantra. It is fun though to pick up several second-hand heads/lines of different weights and tapers for a rod and feel the differences. Figure out what feels right for you.

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Originally Posted by Elvez View Post
Scandi heads are typically used for airborne anchor casts, where the D-loop is formed against the weight of the head, the leader, and the fly.
When I started out with my first 2 hander (not that long ago) I was under the impression that scandis were only for single spey casts and wouldn't perform with a sustained anchor skagit style casts. I was wrong and never asked anyone about it. Now I use sustained anchors with my scandis a lot, which is nice because my single spey is still rubbish.

Have fun with it.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvez View Post
that Skagit and Scandi weights will differ due to fundamental differences in how they're intended to be cast.

Skagit heads are typically used for sustained anchor casts, where the D-loop is formed using the weight of the head plus the resistance of the tip and leader, which are stuck to the water.
Scandi heads are typically used for airborne anchor casts, where the D-loop is formed against the weight of the head, the leader, and the fly.
The suggested weights are different because with Skagit, the head needs more mass to pull the tip, leader, and fly off the water. With Scandi, those things are in the air, helping load the rod.
+1 to what Elvez just said. Two very different set ups for casting. Skagit's are normally used with a sink tip of some sort (regular/T this or that). Scandi's are a dry line leader (for lack of a better term) and the lighter mass of a sinking poly.

Or to put it another way, with a Skagit and sink tip, you let/WANT that sink tip sink, and I do mean sink, after you've set up your anchor point. With a Scandi/sinking poly it's a touch and go anchor placement. You do not want the tip to 'sink.' (Or as little as possible.)
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 02:42 AM
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My 2 cents...

Quote:
I hope that sometime in the distant future I'll know enough about spey casting that when some newb shows me his new rod,i'll be able to make a line reccomendation to him based on personal knowledge in regards to the science and physics of the sport and not by simply googling it or going by what some spey line R&D guy figured out on his own and reccomends.
Maybe you'll be able to tell the newb what lines will work on his rod for "you" but maybe those line recommendations won't work for him since not everyone casts with the same ability, casts in the same style, has the same physical shape, or has the same personal belief as to what makes a workable combination.

The closest thing I've seen to a rule of thumb is using the grain window, skagits near the top, scandi near the middle, overhead near the bottom and there is plenty of room with this rule for lots of different opinions.

So far to me the very best method to get a good matchup is to use the line charts to get close, then cast a couple different sizes (maybe 3 sizes for heads) and pick the one that feels the best for "you".

There's lots of guys that can make the recommendations to newbs like you aspire to but they mostly got that info through trial and error and not using a rule of thumb.

Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp
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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 #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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When I started out with my first 2 hander (not that long ago) I was under the impression that scandis were only for single spey casts and wouldn't perform with a sustained anchor skagit style casts. I was wrong and never asked anyone about it. Now I use sustained anchors with my scandis a lot, which is nice because my single spey is still rubbish.

Have fun with it.
Funny you should mention that,I've found myself these last few days being forced by the wind and/or riverbank to experiment/teach myself what I believe(?) are more Skagit style/sustained anchor casts with my Scandi head,and in my humble,inexperienced opinion,it seems to work just fine,maybe because I just don't know any better,lol?Right or wrong,I'm feeling pretty good about the distance I'm achieving at this stage,matching the max distances that it's taken me over 2 decades to reach with single handers and lightweight flies,and easily exceeding any distance I've ever reached with sink tips and larger streamers.I'm pretty sure there must be a silly grin on my face when I get in "the zone" and casts are coming together for me well, bombing big streamers farther than I have ever been able to with SH,and the running line snaps tight to the reel,pulling a bit of drag,begging for more.
I'd guess I've effectively tripled my two-handed casting experience this weekend with 16-18hrs(?) casting over the last 3 days,and actually just tried the Skagit head for the first time last night.Fortunately,I didn't have anybody to tell me I was using the Scandi "wrong",therefore I already had bit of a grasp on sustained anchor Skagit casts,so the transition was fairly simple?
As fun as all this casting has been,and being quite pleased with my progress,the Bow R. has been pretty stingy in giving up fish to streamers these last few days with only 1/2 dozen to the hand,so I think I'll take a break from this newfound addiction and head for the hills today for some dryfly cutty action......then again,the bullies that live in those same mountain streams sure do like BIG streamers,so I'd best be bringn the Spey rod along as well.....just in case?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:44 PM
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I've found myself these last few days being forced by the wind and/or riverbank to experiment/teach myself what I believe(?) are more Skagit style/sustained anchor casts with my Scandi head,and in my humble,inexperienced opinion,it seems to work just fine,maybe because I just don't know any better,lol?
I'm in a similar boat. I have a scandi head on my switch rod, and cast it using double-spey and circle-c casts, because right now that's all I know how to do. I guess I wasn't so much trying to say that certain casts wouldn't work with certain heads, or that any one way was wrong. I've only been at this a very short time, and wouldn't go telling people what's right or wrong anyway. I was just trying to explain the reason the two lines use such different weights for the same rod.

"I was spey casting for sure. Everything else I'm unsure about." ~Mumbles
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