Leaders vs Tips, & selection for a beginner? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Leaders vs Tips, & selection for a beginner?

Last trip to the Salmon River in NY had the fish not cooperating on the second day. Instead of ruthlessly barraging riffles with the endless plinks and plunks of lead, I decided to spend the majority of the day learning how to spey cast.

I received a bit of instruction on the double spey and circle c, and it was a ton of fun. Looking forward to my next trip so I can devote it wholly to the swing.

Can someone please explain to me the difference between Tips and leaders?

How I understand it-

Running line -> Head (skagit, scandi) -> tip (diff. ips sink rate, or floating?) -> Leader (recommended to use ~3-4' of 10-12lb maxima)

I think that's right. But both Airflo and Rio offer poly/versileaders which sink, as well as tips, further adding to the confusion of a beginner...

Basically, all I want to know is if I get running line and a head, what should I purchase next that'll allow me to get fishing effectively? Airflo/Rio tip selection? Or Poly/versileaders?

Thanks for helping to clear this up.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 04:33 PM
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The poly/versileaders are nothing more then light tips.

So it's running line, skagit/scandi/whatever head, floating tip/sinktip/poly-versileader tip, leader and or tippet.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 04:47 PM
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Generally, people will use polyleaders with scandi heads and sink tips (T-11, etc.)with skagit heads. Then there are line/tip systems where tips are made specifically for a particular line such as Guideline DDC Connect. Since you want to just get started right away and you'll be winter fishing, I'd recommend a skagit line and a several sink tips of various sink rates. The casts you've been working on will work with this setup.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 12:10 PM
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+1 to what Steel just said.




Fred Evans - White City, Oregon
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 02:28 PM
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tips

Someone who understands the ins & outs of tips, lines, heads, etc. could write a book on just that subject alone. Or, at least fill a good size chapter. All of the previous comments are good generalities, starting points. To give an example, Rio offers Powerflex Core Sinking Tapered (poly) Leaders built on both 12 & 24lb mono cores, in either 7 or 12 ft lengths, having (5) various sink rates between 1.5 & 7.0ips. What they neglect to print on the package is the grain weight of these little jewels.

So there are 5 sink rates times 2 different lengths times two different core strengths, which adds up to 20 different possibilities. And that 's just poly leaders. I happen to know, because I weighed one, that a 12ft 24lb 7.0ips Rio poly weighs 58 grains. That equates to almost 5gr/ft. Grains per foot is referred to as mass density in fly line lingo.

It takes mass to cast mass. Be it fly line, leader, or fly. And it wants to gradually decrease in mass all the way out to the fly. Otherwise, all of this casting energy flowing down the length of the line, hits a (speed) bump. The line speed slows down, the loop loses momentum and crashes before it completely unrolls.

Sometimes, with shorter casts and/or shorter leaders, you can power your way though the cast and get by with it. The trick is not to overload the (line) system.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGJ View Post
Last trip to the Salmon River in NY had the fish not cooperating on the second day. Instead of ruthlessly barraging riffles with the endless plinks and plunks of lead, I decided to spend the majority of the day learning how to spey cast.

I received a bit of instruction on the double spey and circle c, and it was a ton of fun. Looking forward to my next trip so I can devote it wholly to the swing.

Can someone please explain to me the difference between Tips and leaders?

How I understand it-

Running line -> Head (skagit, scandi) -> tip (diff. ips sink rate, or floating?) -> Leader (recommended to use ~3-4' of 10-12lb maxima)

I think that's right. But both Airflo and Rio offer poly/versileaders which sink, as well as tips, further adding to the confusion of a beginner...

Basically, all I want to know is if I get running line and a head, what should I purchase next that'll allow me to get fishing effectively? Airflo/Rio tip selection? Or Poly/versileaders?

Thanks for helping to clear this up.
My lady and I just got into the spey/switch thing, and we were very fortunate to be given some excellent advise. We were told about a fellow named Steve Godshall at Meiser Spey Rods. Steve is very knowledgeable about lines and builds custom kits designed for specific rods. He has a line, head, tip and leader system known as a "Scandit Kit" which allows you to mix and match the various components to meet most any fishing application. We've bought two of these kits so far, and are awaiting another for our newest switch rod acquisition.
One of the spey rods we bought came with running line, head and a tip, and we played around casting it. Then, I picked up a Scandit Kit from Steve, and it was like night and day. Rod performed much better. This line cast soooo much more smoothly. Would highly recommend this Scandit Shooting Head System as it eliminated a lot of the confusion for us. Simply Use the ELF running line (kit also comes with a Mendmaster running line), the floating Scandit Head, floating tip and a leader for floating/waking applications, or remove leader and tip, add appropriate sinking tip and leader to shooting head to fish deeper. Pretty straight forward. Below is a link to Meiser's Spey Shop page. Scandit kit is toward bottom of page. Contact info is also on website. Hope this helps...

FF

http://www.meiserflyrods.com/speyshop.php
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 08:04 PM
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What's in a name?

KGJ, your question is one of those useful ones that gets one thinking about fundamentals and definitions.

A fly line is primarily designed to provide mass in order to load the rod and propel the fly a considerable distance. It can be a floater, a sinker, or a combination line. It can be a single unit or a multi-piece system (running line/belly/tip). The tip is designed to present the fly at a certain depth relative to the surface: it floats, or sinks slightly, or sinks more, or sinks like a stone.

A leader's primary function is concealment: it visually separates the fly from the line and/or tip. A secondary function of the leader and the front elements of the line is to dissipate the line's momentum, allowing a gentle end to the cast. That's unimportant with heavy sink tips.

Clear poly "leaders" or "tips" are the most confusing, because they can be called by either name, and they perform all three of these functions, plus a fourth function: anchoring a touch-and-go cast. Nevertheless, they're useful at times.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 11:28 PM
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just to add to the confusion............


running line>skagit head>tip>shorter leader

skagit head needs a tip, sinking or floating. this tip, also needs a leader. but with a sink tip, leader should be very short, just 2-4.5 feet with tippet, just like a single handed sink tip. tip plus leader makes your anchor. poly's are generally not used with skagit system. skagit is a mack truck, it hauls a payload. big, heavy flies are very doable.

running line>scandi head>longer leader

scandi head has floating tip built in permanently. only needs leader, but a longer leader, just like a single handed floating line, except a LONG leader, roughly 1.5 times the rod length for mono. this is what makes your anchor. this leader can be mono, or a poly leader (sinking or floating.) poly leader generally does not need as much length as it grips the water more than mono (roughly just one rod length) like any leader tho, polys still need at least a short tippet. sink tips are generally not used with a scandi system. scandi is a ferrari, built for speed and handling, not a big payload. better for smaller lighter flies.


keep in mind, a sinking poly does not give you the depth that a sink tip potentially can, nor do they like big heavy flies.


while a broad generalization, when it was explained to me this way, it made sense, and is practically gospel in my book.


scandit system, is the leatherman of the group. a hybrid, like others have said.


there are also scandi's that have interchangeable tips. and a few scandis, and skagits that have integrated running line.


and dont forget about traditional lines, just like your single handed floater, just add leader and fly.


hope it helps, i remember the confusion. seems like yesterday.

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Last edited by matuka mike; 12-30-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the replies! Lots of good info here.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:28 PM
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One other thing of note

Scandi systems were designed for, and hence perform better with T&G type casts. And, as previously noted, normal to small flies. Skagit systems were designed for sustained anchor casts, heavy sink tips and the kind of flies you would be afraid to try casting with a single hand rod.

Properly set up for maximum performance, neither of these systems do very well when trying the "other" type of casts for which they were not designed. The Scandi does not have enough mass to load the rod with a sustained anchor cast. And the Skagit will feel very clunky when trying T&G casts.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 08:17 AM
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Do I need to use polyleader with Airflo Delta multi-tip line?
It's 15' multi-tip part itself is kind of taper.

how long polyleader should be in that case?
My rod is 13'6" CND Black Spey 8/9
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGJ View Post
Basically, all I want to know is if I get running line and a head, what should I purchase next that'll allow me to get fishing effectively? Airflo/Rio tip selection? Or Poly/versileaders?

Thanks for helping to clear this up.
Option #1) Rio Scandi short Versitip system or SGS custom

#2) Skagit head, 10' t8 or (appropriate MOW tip for the flows)

#3) Skagit head and replacement tip or tips from Rio Scandi Short Versitip system.

What Rod?

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

www.linespeedjedi.com
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. The only 2H stick I have right now is a Beulah 7/8 Classic Switch- matched it with the Tonic 425 and a set of light MOW tips.

Next purchase is going to be a ~13' 7wt... Window shopping right now, looking to see what bargains are around to be had. Might put up a WTB next week before the FF show.

Getting a set of MOW tips takes some of the guesswork out of it when pairing to the Tonic (some bargains around on them too). Will probably get a medium kit eventually to pair with the full spey, and also see how the switch rod likes them. I'll get the Rio Versileaders once I pick up a scandi head.

I figure I'll start off with skagit/waterborne anchor casts, then move on to the scandi T&G stuff. Looking forward to "mastering" new techniques.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:36 PM
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Thanks. The only 2H stick I have right now is a Beulah 7/8 Classic Switch- matched it with the Tonic 425 and a set of light MOW tips.
Your in great shape.

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

www.linespeedjedi.com
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreach71 View Post
Do I need to use polyleader with Airflo Delta multi-tip line?
It's 15' multi-tip part itself is kind of taper.

how long polyleader should be in that case?
My rod is 13'6" CND Black Spey 8/9
No you dont need a polyleader. When fishing the dry line tip just use a mono leader- 9' - 13' strait or tapered mono.

I guess you could use one if you wanted but its not really necessary.

When using a sink tip just a few feet of strait mono should work. Good luck.

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

www.linespeedjedi.com
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