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Hi all,
Wonderful forum, been an avid reader of posts for quite some time, but after reading about the awesome casts at the CLA fair, I had to
join to ask some questions. I've been trying to work out the logistics in my head for days. I'd only occasionally use a double hander, maybe once or twice a year and these would be overhead/roll casts so I wouldn't be over familiar with spey techniques.
Anyway, on to my questions,
Is the line the competitors use a special line, shooting head or something similar and what type of backing would they use ?
How much line do they shoot, ie do they have 20 yards outside the tip and shoot
30 ?
And finally, from what I read, the spey cast seems to get further distance than the standard overhead - Is this correct ?

Apologies, if the questions appear stupid but they have my head melted for days.
Best wishes,
Beaconbeige.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Although Way or someone who attended will probably chime in with better info, you might have noticed they are using rods up to 18ft (17'11") long, and most often lines whose head lengths are in the 100 ft range (e.g. XLT 105ft head). These are tremendous feats for sure.

In order to reach 59 yards (177 feet), assuming a perfectly straight leader of 15 feet and a head length of 105ft the caster must add 57 feet of running line to the cast, even more (let's say add 8ft to 65ft) to compensate for the 'squiggles'. We can subtract approx 18ft from this as that 18ft is already in the guides and is not shot off the tip.

So in the end approx 47 feet of running line is shot from the water/hand through the guides... behind over 100 ft of working belly! That is pretty damn amazing considering how much line is involved in the main casting movement.

Per your other question, overhead casting distances are almost double this when you include tournament casters like Simon G, the Rajeffs, Jerry Siem, etc into the equation. :Eyecrazy:
 

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Beaconbeige,
I am no expert by any means, but you may get some answers by looking up a thread (musto2004) by Willie Gunn, where he gave details of the rods and lines used in this particular competition.
Having said this, I understand it is permitted within boundaries, to customise lines by splicing etc.
I also understand, that the spey cast usually out-performs the overhead cast for distance.
Perhaps some of the experts will be able to shine further light on your question, as I for one would also be interested in learning how some of these mega-casts are achieved.
Also it might be a nice thread to start, where members could log achievements, (ie distances) with varying tackle, for others to use as a benchmark.
Peter
 

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The rules of the Musto competition were designed to stop the use of silly competition /pure casting lines that the overhead distance boys use in fields. The lines must float and be less than a certain diameter which basically means 11/12 max. The rods are also less than 18ft long.

The simple answer to your question is technique, excellent, close to perfect technique. To lift 105 ft 35yds of line form a d loop and a 30 degree direction change cast it out shooting another 57 ft /19yds,75ft/ 25yds, less the legnth of road is bloody difficult I've tried and failed.
 

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I agree with willie Gunn, perfect technique.

I was lucky enough to progress into this years final of the musto 2004 spey casting competion. I had a number of discussions with Scott regarding his outfit and it appears that his rod is a slightly beefed up version of the B&W Norway, with the fly line being a standard XLT (#9/10)spliced at around 35yds a more supple running line is then put in place of the XLT running line. The line is also treated with a hand spplied silicon type substance, reducing friction whilst the line goes through the rod rings. Perfectly within the rules.

I think Scott could have used any rod and line present in the final and still come out on top. He manages to load the rod with a tight, low > loop opposed to a large high D loop. This along with the possitioning of the line and pure talent, in my oppinion, enables such magnificent casts.

In practice, I saw Scott casting into the high 60s, very scary indeed!!!!

With regards to the overhead question. The winning distance of the salmon distance was 57.5 (i think?). This was using a standard 15ft Daiwa Altmor, and a standard WF fly line (looked to have a head of around 85ft. There is no doubt in my mind, that if competitiors were allowed to used there own outfits, i.e. similar to those used in the Musto final. Overhead distances in the high 60s would be achived, regular.

Gordon
 

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As Gordon said, Scott would likely have won no matter what line he was casting. He is that much better. Scott qualified with a 58 yard cast (I am quit esure it was longer than 58, as I watched the cast from the bridge and it was WAY behind the judge on the bank, who wasn't expecting to get draped in fly line!) using a prototype next generation XLT line that was 102 feet long (casting into a headwind!). As the finals were a bit downwind, Scott elected to use a stock 9/10 XLT which had been cleaned and dressed. Last year he started using SA's saltwater shooting line (braided mono core, 0.035") which is the finest shooting line I have yet tried, although a newer version in development seems to be marginally better (and was what he used to qualify with). It should also be noted that Scott is NOT 8 feet tall and built like Paul Bunyan!

I believe that Scott's mastery in casting cannot be understated. He is figuratively a giant among men; during the preliminaries, he cast a number of lines (Carron, XLT2 prototypes, stock XLTs), and cast them further than anyone else could or did, using a variety of rods. Even with with my relatively small and light 16' 9" rod, he cast about 52 yards, easily 4-5 yards better than my absolute best in those conditions immediately before. Aside from being a phenomenal caster, he is a truly wonderful gentleman, and a modest champion displaying the best of sportsmanship.

The salmon (two-handed overhead casting) was done with a stock 15 foot Alltmor Orator and I believe a Lochmor line, the belly of which felt to be about 70-75 feet long. Everyone had to ues the same set-up, although a couple of rods were broken during the qualifying sessions. All I know is that it took forever to strip the running line and backing back in. I fully agree with Gordon that if a long rod was used, the distances would have been profound. I think that we should note and congratulate Peter Anderson, who at age 79 led the qualifiers along with Brendan Begley with a cast of 50 yards, done into the wind!
 

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loco alto!
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spey_bubba said:
. I think that we should note and congratulate Peter Anderson, who at age 79 led the qualifiers along with Brendan Begley with a cast of 50 yards, done into the wind!
that is truly amazing...
 

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That`s for sure !

loco_alto said:
that is truly amazing...

And all the more amazing, bearing in mind that the gentleman who made those gracious comments, (Spey Bubba) actually won the competition.
Long may the day remain, where people can compete in events, with the willingness to share such as there is, with the element of respect that exists, and a subtle modesty which is unique.
 

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Hi Beaconbeige

I'll do my best to answer your questions below.

1. Is the line the competitors use a special line, shooting head or something similar and what type of backing would they use ?

2. How much line do they shoot, ie do they have 20 yards outside the tip and shoot
30 ?

3. And finally, from what I read, the spey cast seems to get further distance than the standard overhead - Is this correct ?



1. The lines used by the competitors have between 95 and 110 feet heads. All can be purchased “off the shelf” but most competitors then cut and add some form of shooting running line.
· I use 30lb Lureflash anti tangle mono. But, as this is no longer available, I am about to try Airflow MRM.
2. I have 95 feet of line from the tip of the rod, this is shorter, and lighter than most, but means it can be picked up and cast with a rod shorter than those we use at CLA. A general rule on head length would be - around five times the length of the rod + or – 10 feet depending on casters ability, controlling 100 feet of line in a D Loop is very difficult and takes a lot of practice.
3. In my opinion, the overhead, when properly cast, will have the edge over the Spey. Why? – In all casts, energy is transferred as so – from rod to line, times two.
· When Speycasting, energy is lost whilst pulling the line back off the water during the forward cast.
· In overhead, more lines speed is created during the back-cast; this energy is then transferred back into the rod during the forward cast.

There are however a couple of things you may wish to note regarding these long lines –

1. In a fishing context, there are not many places where one would need either rods, or lines of this length.
2. Speycasting was developed for casting in tight situations. High banks, over hanging trees and tall bank vegetation etc. Lots of room behind the caster is needed when casting long belly lines to their full potential.
3. It takes a very good caster to handle lines of this head length. The longer the head, the greater the need for perfection.
4. During the course of the year, I see some very good casters. Of all the casters I see, less than 5% would come close to properly casting these lines.

Yes, It’s nice to control and cast a long line, but my advice to anyone, other than the 5% who can already do it, is to perfect one’s own technique using a short line.
Only by doing this will we see the 5% increase to 25%. That would be real progress.

Ian Gordon

Keep the lift slow, and don't stop!
 

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Overhead distances

Hi Beacon,
The overhead distance tackle the others refered to for tournament casting uses a very powerful 17' rod with about a 1 inch butt section and a high density 1850 grain line with 6# running line. The only similarity in the tackle is they are both cast with two hands but the distance rods are certainly not spey rods. The world record is around 107yds. It's a beast for sure but they are fun to cast.
 

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Is there any video of any of these events/casts online yet? I though the video of Steve from a couple of years ago was interesting to watch. Any live content of these kinds of casters is always helpful.

-Chris
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
Gaelforce
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Hey Way, when are the next generation xlt`s going to be out?
 

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Swinger of Flies
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fisshman26 said:
Hey Way, when are the next generation xlt`s going to be out?

I concur with last question........Can you let any information out on these Gen2 XLT's? Please say that they are "LIGHTER?" All Kinds of New Toys.......Sa-Weeeeeet!!!!

Jay
 

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Hi Guys:

I've been working with Bruce Richards on modifying the XLT's so that they conform to the new Spey line weight standards. There isn't much that needs changing with the majority of the lines. I was going to kill two birds with one stone and make some minor modifications to the belly lengths, rear tapers and slight adjustments to the weights in a couple of the lines. The best performing lines (in my opinion) 7/8, 8/9, and 9/10 need not be changed much at all to conform to the single weight standards. I've been toying with some designs for the lighter weights (5-8) that have a shorter belly length commensurate with the shorter rods they will likely be used with.

As far as the line prototypes we've been playing with for ultimate distance, there is one line Steve came up with which shoots like nothing I have seen, but the terminal turnover is still presenting some significant design challenges. We are really pushing the envelope with regards to exploring new territory when asking a 95 foot belly line to shoot a cast of 160+ feet and still maintain the forgiving turnover of the original XLT's - when I designed the original XLT's, the intent was that one didn't have to shoot whilst fishing - the fact that they do shoot as far as they do still surprises me. Some of the prototypes are throwing consistently more than 150 feet of line with 16 foot rods, but I can't see this applying to fishing, except maybe on the Thompson, mainstem Skeena, and a couple of runs on the rivers I am familiar with in Russia. At this level of distance, matching up the belly length to the rod length becomes quite important. The distances reachable with stock XLT's is still amazing to me, considering where things were only a few years ago. Anyway, distance for distance's sake is different than fishing, but it helps to be able to get the fly where you want it.

This is a very busy time for SA, but the hope is that the new series will be out in the first half of 2005.
 
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