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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
R J Ruwe
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Skagit and Snohomish rivers
Posts: 260

I have been making fishing rods for 40 years and have made a half dozen Spey Rods for customers to their specs. I am now making one for myself, and pose the following question to all of you expert Spey casters.

Do you have to buy specialized fly lines for these rods, or can standard Weight Forward lines be used? I am in mid process of building 3 rods for myself and just want to know if I have to buy these expensive Skagit or Scandia lines for the rods. All replies will be appreciated. Thanks, Randy
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 09:22 PM
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Location: New Brunswick
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Scandi and Skagit heads aren't too expensive. $30 used on here all the time. That being said, depending on what rods you're planning on using, you could just go with a midbelly which could meet most of your fishing requirements
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 11:05 PM
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Location: Santiam
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Only if you want to punish yourself

Dwight Klemin and Al Buhr, both with all the credentials and experience needed to make their recommendations legit recommend using a double taper line FOR THEIR THCI CANDIDATES-- i.e. a big old single handed line IN ORDER TO MAKE IT MUY VERY DIFFICULT AND REQUIRE THAT CASTS BE DONE JUST SO.

If you can find a weight forward that has enough head weight -- say 550 grains if you are building an 8 wt, you could try it, but remember single hand system measures the weight for the first 30' of the line. Spey lines are weighted at 40, 55, 65 or 80, depending on shooting head, short, mid, or long belly. If you have a typical single handed weight forward line you will find that the overhang you will naturally try is way too long and you will be very frustrated.

Although some would say it is easiest to get fishing with a shooting head system -- like a Skagit for use with sink tips and heavy flies, or a Scandi head for floating delicate stuff, if you are going to learn to cast well you should learn with a short belly line -- about 55' for rods 12'6" to 14'.

Get a lesson or two. Wow, what a difference it will make.


"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." John Buchan
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 01:10 PM
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Location: Salmon River Idaho
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I've been casting with a single handed fly rod for maybe forty years. Although I'm not a bonafide instructor, I could spend twenty to thirty minutes on my lawn with a newbie and a single handed rod and then we could go fish.

I've been Spey casting for four years (and living on a steelhead river) and find it a much larger learning curve than overhead casting. For one to attempt to learn using a line that isn't meant to be cast on a Spey rod may bring the frustration level to a point you don't want to be at.

With four years of double-handed casting, I'm not the guru to answer this question, but I'm glad I learned on a rod that had a matched line. I'll be curious to follow this thread.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:43 PM
dutch cornelis
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: danmark/norway/bc
Posts: 370
Randy its diverend wath you like doing, trout or salmon,for trout /steelhead is WF good .
with nice airflo leathers dry or sink etc.
Salmon is other, salmon ar on the bottum of the river, sometime you most fishing deeper
than you most have sinktip lines, or some heavy sink leadres on your line.
the fly most go down for salmon, so your fly most sometime little heavy, diverend how deep is the water.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:59 PM
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Location: Sweden
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I'm with you there. I mainly fish sinking or heavy sinktips lines to my salmon fishing both in Norway and Sweden. Mainly is that myself has more contact with fish and they has been bigger fish as well when i'm going deep. Fished last year with a DDC Connect intermediate belly with a sink 1/2 tip a big fly on a really warm river in northern Sweden. I got two chromer baltic salmon weighing 21 and 26 pound. I think if I didn't fish deep I would never gotten contact with these lovely fishes.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 03:42 PM
Anglish spoken here
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Swedish Norwegian
Posts: 531
Hello.. I´ve been using ordinary WF lines on my light graphite 12´rod,and also on my older split bamboo rods. Comparing to modern Spey lines,I DO NOT want to go back. Randy,find yourself a secondhand line here,or elsewhere,if you´re on a budget. You´ll thank yourself... Yours borano20
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 05:12 PM
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Location: North East
Posts: 141
Understanding Spey lines

Try Simon's latest publication, great place to start, there is link on the page to it..... Understanding Spey lines

Like someone already mentioned single hand lines are measured for weight using the first 30', if you know the weight per foot of a double taper you can get a line that will work for you without spending a fortune, watch the big auction site or this site for used lines. You can also find compatibility charts for rods and lines on RIO's and Echo/Airflo sites if you plan on getting a Skagit, Scandi, Short belly, etc. . I would beg borrow or steal a copy of Al Buhr's book, HOW TO DESIGN FLY LINES.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
R J Ruwe
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Skagit and Snohomish rivers
Posts: 260
Thanks for the link. I printed it out and will read and study it tonight.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 07:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Idaho/Montana/BC
Posts: 140
I build custom 2 handed rods also and usually order my blanks from Bob Meiser with a custom SGS line to match the blank. These are made by Steve Godshall and are no more expensive than an off the shelf line and they are matched specifically to the blank according to the desired usage by the client.
Hope this helps....
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