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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I have a different type of question about lines floating around in my head. I have read much about which lines to use on which rods and which lines to use once we "master" spey casting to reach max distance. What I am wondering about are which lines are best at catching fish? I figure there are 2 threads worth here, one for summer floating setups and one for tip work in the winter. I get that in the winter getting down to the fish is the goal. To this end what what lines mend and sink "best" for fishing in the winter? The fish that I am after probably aren't out there 100', what I need is something that helps me present the fly in front of a fish. I understand that tips of the same type (ie 6) will sink differently at various line ratings. EG a 11 wt type 6 sinks differently than a 6 wt type 6 tip. What are the toughts of the group for putting the fly in front of a fish in the winter? I figure that while I can cast a mid spey with tips I don't have the control of the fly that I do when I use a windcutter, or better yet a shorter and heavier configuration. Don't get me wrong I am interested in learning to cast a XLT or grand spey but what I really want to do is hook fish. So I would like to gain the wisdom of the group about spey lines from a fishing perspective instead of a casting point of view. Thoughts?

Paul
 

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Dana,

Thanks, that was a nice read. Certainly one side of the fence. I have been at this for a year or two and managend to "luck" into a fish or three. I have lines that may qualify as shooting heads I suppose, as well as mid speys and windcutters. They all are different to cast. I guess I would like to settle in on a method/style and work towards perfecting it. I seem to fish for steelhead more in the winter than summer, hense the original post about lines that fish well deep. This summer I hope to fish for steelhead a bit more. A few less days with hoppers and droppers should make room for applying what I have been reading about greased line fishing...

It's all good, but a big grab is best..

Paul
 

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Another approach is to use a 10 or 11 weight 2-hander to get the extra sink rate of the bigger 10 and 11 weight tips. Until this year, I used a 10/11 Windcutter with upgrade or 10/1 MidSpey on my 16 ft 11 weight T&T for winter fishing. My 15 year old started using my old and no longer fished Sage 9140-4 with a 9/10 Windcutter this winter. I carry type 3, type 6, the new RIO type 8, and an 11 ft piece of 700 gr. Deep Water Express as tips for the 11 weight. And type 3, type 6, and the new RIO type 8 with the 9 weight.

You can use weighted flies, but I don't like the way they cast and I hang them up a lot more often than the haster tips. RIO also has a new intermediate section 2 for the Windcutter and MidSpey available this year that add 3 or so feet to the depth a tip will sink to. Also, you can use RIO TC14 for a very fast sinking tip, unfortunately, it is not all that available in most shops.

The use of sinking leaders with a fast sinking tip really gets you down into the stones as well.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the statement that you do not have the control with a midspey that you do with a WC. Just because you are using a longer belly line should not have a big impact if you are only casting 40 to 50'. You can attach 15' tips, 24' tips or even 30' shooting heads to a Midspey or a grand spey or a cut back xlt line and have the same control at short distances that you would a WC plus have the advantage of better control at longer casts if necessary due to better mending capabilities of the longer belly lines.

I do not see much disadvantage to the longer belly lines other than they may not shoot quite as well as a WC.
 
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