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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
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435 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys
I have been using a 370 grain scandi on my 5/6 weight, 12-6 ,TFO Deer Creek rod. I was finding it effortles to cast 80-90 feet, BUT like most guys I wanted more so I purchased a 420 airflo scandi to use on the TFO. You know, heavier line more distance. I didn't gain any more ease in casting and no more distance and the rod seamed to become sluggish. Now what I need to know is-- did I over do it with the 420 scandi or is it just me.
Next I want to try a scagit on this rod as I like big streamers. The rod is supposed to support a large grain window but as I just found out with the scandi line there is a sweet spot, so who is using what skagit line weight and how do you find the performance with the 5/6 weight, 12-6 TFO rod.
Bjay
 

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50 grains more on a light rod is a lot so it's no wonder you find the rod sluggish. In theory your casts should go farther but there's a whole bunch of other variables.

Instead of uplining your rod I would work on your technique if you already like the loading feel of the 370. Also, you could switch to a slicker shooting line (assuming you're not using something like Varivas already).

Also, if you like casting the Scandi you will likely NOT like casting the Skagit head. Especially if you use touch and go casts.

A very good compromise is an inbetween line like the Rage. It will carry decent grain tips and larger flies. Not dead chickens like a Skagit but close.

My 2 cents.
 

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BJay,

Jumping 50 grains with a Scandi head is a pretty radical increment ... I'd say that utilizing 15 to 20 grain increments (either +-) would be more constructive in finding correct Scandi head marriages ... Especially with a shorter, light duty 5/6 range rod.

I'm familiar with that rod, and would suggest Scandi heads in the 375 to 425 grain range with head lengths of 31/33 feet ... And if you are truly achieving an honest and consistent 90 feet with the 370, then I'd say you are doing quite well for a 12'6" 5/6 power rod !!!

Choosing a heavier grained Scandi shooting head will not necessarily assist you in achieving additional distance, in fact overall it may prove to be a detriment ...

... But adding additional head grain weight and shorting head length (within a calculated amount) will definitely assist you in punching more "Wind" distance, and give the rod the ability to carry heavier leaders/tips.

Skagits @ 22/23 feet and 425 to 475 grains would be fine for that rod ...
With 450 being a pretty happy place for most anglers.

Meiz
 

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Lines!

Bjay...

Kind of sounds like you have the answer.

Most 6wt. Spey rods: Scandi 360-390 + Leader
Most 7wt. Spey rods: Scandi 435-450 + Leader

420-425 Scandi is kind of a tweener size to fit light 7's for strong 6's.

The 420 is most likely hyper flexing the tip and slowing the action of the rod down enough that you don't like it.

No rod has a grain window for a given line style like what is printed on the side of your rod. Those are generally a light and heavy deal which does not really mean anything thing until you know....makes sense huh?

Example:

Low: 360 Scandi + 28 grain floating Poly leader =390 + or -
High: 425 Skagit + 140 grain 10' of T14 tip and tippet= 565 + or -

In the window there is no way you will want the low end for a Skagit or the high end for a Scand line...ie. a 520 or 525 Scandi would fit the window with a Poly leader but cast like crap.

If you like the 370 Scandi on your rod you would love our Beulah Tonic 425 Switch (short) version.

BB~
 

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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
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435 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys
I can easily do 80 ft off shore, rocky banks and all, I only need a small "D" loop to get the 80 ft, but, I need to get in the water for a 90 footer as I need the bigger "D" loop. With a proper set up 90 foot is easily done, but, at 90 feet it is like running up against a wall, that's it. I have actually done 100 ft but I need a slight breeze behind me and it now become work to get that distance and the casting pleasure disapears. It blows my mind every time I'm able to get in a 100 foot cast. I feel I should run down quick and buy a lottery ticket. I do a lot of casting.
I hope I have the same pleasure with a skagit line as I do with the scandi.
 

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You know, heavier line more distance.
It doesn't work like that. You want to throw a heavier line, get a heavier rod.

You want to add distance by mucking with your equipment, which at the end of the day is really the worst way to add distance, get a longer head, Beulah Aero or NextCast or Ballistic Vector, back it with Varivas. Though if you can really make a consistent 90ft cast, that is a mighty fine cast on a 12'6" 5/6.
 

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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
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435 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I don't know about the consistant part. If the fly is just the right size and the leader isn't too long I can do it, if the leader is too long I get a hell of a mess on the water, leader doesn't straighten out, or if my fly is to big, well it just doesn't work. But 80 ft. ,that's consistant no problem, but that's probably a normal cast for the average caster anyways. Along with 2 or 3 other guys I'm just learning and the only other guy in my area that I know that can do a nice cast is Bruce Kruk from Trail and I'm not even close to that league.
 

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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
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435 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So what you are saying is, if was to get a line with a longer head to match the rod I could get more distance? But am I then stuck to smaller flies to match the finer tips on a longer line?
Bjay
 

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So what you are saying is, if was to get a line with a longer head to match the rod I could get more distance? But am I then stuck to smaller flies to match the finer tips on a longer line?
Bjay
Yes and yes.

Line flies while it's unrolling. The longer the line, the longer it takes to unroll, covering more distance, the longer the cast possible.

Longer line of same line weight is less mass/ft. It takes mass to haul mass, so short heavy head, max grains/ft (skagit), big fly. Longer line, fewer grains/ft, smaller fly.
 

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A simple way to generate more line speed (distance) is to make your cast with 3-4 ft of running line outside the tip of the rod (overhang). I'm not sure if you already do this, but I find it works quite well for me with both Scandi and skagit heads.
 

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583 Posts
Extra heavy Spey Line

I was just out with my 16' B&W and a custom line made by a world class San Francisco competitive caster. Felt good except I kept getting my leader caught up in the branches of my sugar maple tree 300 yards in front of me. I was able to attach an 8 lb. down rigger weight, with a dead chicken glued to it, and got 200 more yards. However, it did start to feel a bit sluggish. So, I cut down said sugar maple, limbed it with my 24" chainsaw and cut it down to 50' long. Cast like a son of a *****! But now I'm under arrest for manslaughter as the weight crashed through a motorist's windshield and killed him dead.
 

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So what you are saying is, if was to get a line with a longer head to match the rod I could get more distance?
Yes, in theory, but, your technique has to be up to the line. And it is not a 1:1 proposition in terms of distance increase.

But 80 ft. ,that's consistant no problem, but that's probably a normal cast for the average caster anyways.
Well, judging by what I see on my local waters, I wouldn't be so sure the "average" caster can reach consistently and cleanly out to eighty feet with a 5/6 rod. By that I mean everything aligned, anchors straight and solid, tight well-formed loops, line and leader fully turn over above the water without any slack, curves, squiggles, or bounce-back, at least nine times out of ten. Under fishing conditions (wading to reasonable depth) with angle changes. Without clean, consistent casts you will have a lot of badly-presented flies and you might as well not have made the cast. Trying to win the "100-foot-lottery" is a great way to muck up your casting long-term.
 

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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
Joined
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435 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well-- I went back out to work on the 420 grain scandi again. Cast for 2 hours every which way I could, to try and get it to work. I finely got 80 feet with a 30 mile per hour wind behind me. Now maybe if I had Spey Hermit's down rigger weight ---you never know---. I guess I just blew a bunch of bucks on nice line that I will have to get rid of. O well. You don't know if you don't try.
I sure do appreciate the comments and help.
Bjay
 

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Heavy User May need Rehab
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231 Posts
Hey there Bjay, I too use a similar rod, 5126 to be precise. It sounds like you've already achieved that rods potential, I also hit a wall at around 90ft w/ my 5 wieght Spey, yes overhang helps and longer heads to get that extra punch. However, your not gunna get much more then that, also 90-100ft cast are further then most think, if your getting out to those distances that's great. I'd say keep working technique with other line combos until you find what you like most, if that doesn't do it for you step up to heavier rods. A line I find works very well is the Airflo Tactical steelhead #5, it's 37ft long and has a removable tip, hard to find but they are out there, and incredibly versatile for casting small flies and medium streamers w/ light tips. Anyway, good luck!
 

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Premium Member
Meiser, T&T, and OPST two handers; Scott, Orvis, & Winston SH. Danielsson and Hardy Reels
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1,061 Posts
Technique, Practice, and Lessons

These three are the keys for me to improve my casting, NOT the equipment. Creating a more "...dynamic" D-loop", the bullet-shaped ones will load the rod more effectively. Stopping the rod high will improve the shoot as you aren't robbing the rod of power. The other two are self evident, but lessons and then practice is the right order.

Several people have said it already, but long casts come from long rods with long heads. Have you watched "Spey to Z"? Way Yin makes very long casts with a 16' 10 wt rod and 100' long belly line. In the skagit segment it is pointed out the you can't throw skagit heads as far as that.

The thing I've finally, grudgingly, accepted is that I am an average caster at best and while I might like to throw long casts, there are just as many fish 30 to 50 feet from me as there are 120 feet away.
 
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