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Discussion Starter #1
After roaring at near-flood stage last week, the Skagit River above the Sauk was down and beautifully clear. A good day to enjoy nature's peace in the last hours of peacetime, and to try a new line.
I'm firmly in the pick-up-and-recast wing of the party, so I grabbed up the first Rio GrandSpey to appear in Bellingham. I found, however, that that line has problems, which even Jim Vincent admits to. It's a fine long-belly design that turns over nicely along its length. But for better or worse, it features magnum-force mass and momentum.
My current big river favorite is a 16-foot Daiwa Alltmor, which is happy with a DT11F spey line or a custom 11/12 long-belly. The 10/11 GrandSpey, at 1500 grains, is heavier than either. I consider it a 12-weight for practical purposes (it works fine on my 15-foot Thomas & Thomas, which requires a 12-weight line). The 10/11 GrandSpey strains the Alltmor, and me. For experts like Simon Gawesworth and flytyer, I'm sure it's a great line.
But this thread is about the GrandSpey's replacement, the brand-new Airflo Delta Spey Traditional. According to Airflo's spec sheet, the 10/11 Traditional has an 87-foot taper (which includes a .5' tip, a 40' front taper, and a 6.5' rear taper). It weighs 900 grains. It's belly length seems about perfect for my casting ability (This is Airflo's third WF spey line; the 10/11 Delta has a 56.5' belly: and the Delta Long is 67'.)
The Traditional's color is like 444 peach with a suntan. It feels quite slick and has no tendency to kink, either off the reel or in the water. On the Redington AS 13/14 from which I'd removed the 140' GrandSpey, the 120' Traditional with the same backing used about 1/2" less radius.
The line threw tight loops (when I did), and turned over at the end with joyful emphasis, handling a heavy bead-chain-eyed Comet like a #14 Adams. Hampered by a newly arthritic shoulder, my maximum distance was around 90 feet, plus a 15-foot leader. (most of the rear taper was into the rod guides). It also performed well at half that distance. The Traditional loads my Alltmor nicely, without the strain and the ponderous feel of the GrandSpey. For a big-river floating line, it's everything I could hope for. Skating big dries on the Thompson? Oh, yeah!
If anyone thinks I'm being unfair to the GrandSpey - you'll find it in the For Sale by Owner section below.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I had “a little something” to do with the Traditional, and I’m glad you like it, Mac. Let me share a little bit of the thinking behind the line:

I was involved in the original discussions about the line (over a year ago Tim Rajeff asked me if I would be interested in helping him design a longer belly Spey line), consultation during the design process, as well as prototype field testing and final proving. All of the magic with the taper itself was Tim of course, and it was great to already have a workable model for what we were after in place in the Delta Long. When Tim asked me my thoughts about the profile design for the new line, I said “just take the Delta Long and make it 15ft or 20ft longer!” The Deltas already turned over great and we wanted to retain those characteristics in the new line (humorous historical note: Tim coined the early working name for the line "Delta Long Stretch").

I think the comparisons between the Traditional and the GrandSpey are a little like the old “apples to oranges” thing. When Tim Rajeff and I talked about the Traditional we agreed that there wasn’t any point in trying to do what RIO and SA had already done. However, we observed that long belly Spey lines (I call the GrandSpey and XLT “extended belly Spey lines”) such as the Accelerator and Mastery Spey with head lengths in the 70ft and 80ft ranges were either being phased out or hadn’t been upgraded since their introduction. It seemed to us that the long belly Spey line was the perfect area to explore, and the perfect complement to the other Delta Taper lines, so that became the focus.

I think it’s cool that you immediately thought of the Thompson, Mac: being my home water, the Thompson heavily influenced my thinking for it was of course the place where I wanted to use the line! I use flies sized from 3/0 through 8 on my 9/10 and 10/11 lines on the Thompson, and often have to cast these into a nasty headwind, so a line with good turnover characterisitcs was important.

And yes, you will soon be seeing an Airflo banner here at the Forum! :)
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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I agree!

I got a chance to throw the 9/10 last weekend on the cow and loved it. I threw it on both my T&T 1409 and a CND custom 15' 10/11 I have on loan(awesome rod).

I have really only been casting since December but was able to throw the whole belly with ease. The line turned over easily and I actually looked like I knew what I was doing out there. For the hell of it I put on a 2/0 hook and still had no problems with turnover.

It also cast well at short distances and will definitely be my new summer line. Airflo definitely has a winner.

-sean
 

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Data on Traditional Line?

NM,

Where did you get your hands on the specifications? I have not been able to find specifications, can you give us a link?
 

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Mac - below are Rio's GS head lengths & weights

Grand Spey 7/8 Float 80.0 ft 900 grains

Grand Spey 8/9 Tips 90.0 ft 1155 grains
Grand Spey 8/9 Float 90.0 ft 1100 gr

Grand Spey 9/10 Tips 97.0 ft 1332 gr
Grand Spey 9/10 Float 95.0 ft 1300 gr

If 900 grains loaded your rod well, perhaps a GS 7/8 or 8/9 is better matched.

Bob
 

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sorry I forgot the biggun.

Here is complete list of Rio GS head weights and lengths:
Grand Spey 7/8 Float 80.0 ft 900

Grand Spey 8/9 Tips 90.0 ft 1155 grains
Grand Spey 8/9 Float 90.0 ft 1100

Grand Spey 9/10 Tips 97.0 ft 1332
Grand Spey 9/10 Float 95.0 ft 1300

Grand Spey 10/11 Tips 100.0 ft 1500
Grand Spey 10/11 Float 100.0 ft 1500
 

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No Plugin

Thanks Sean,
I had been at the Airflo website with Netscape and Mozilla web browsers, which did not bother to tell me that I needed a flash plugin to see anything.
 

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A Few Thoughts

Dana - I didn't know you had a hand in the design of the Trad??!!

Outstanding job, bro! I tried the 8/9 at the Fall City Clave with the CND 14' 9wt and loved it for all the reasons mentioned. Good choice in length and turns over like a demon (unlike another oft-mentioned long belly speyline). I've gotta get one for my Sage 15' 8wt.

Bob also made a good point. You can't rely on the line wts because the manufacturers (Rio, SI, Cortland) have very different opinions of what constitutes the "correct" rod wt / line grains relationship.

Look at the total grains of the line and the length of the head and compare to other lines of similar length that you're familiar with to find the correct wt for your rod. Additionally, Rio's website offers Simon's recommendations for beginning and expert casters to further assist this process.

Happy Cast'n!

DS
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Yeah no plugin...

Beyond me why you would create a flash only entry point to a website. I only have linux so I cannot see it either. No respect I tell ya :).

Here are some specs I posted in a thread a couple months ago. Not sure how much they have changed cause the line was not out then. Do not have the grain weights per line though but I can tell you this is no airflo long delta. Looks like airflo has the line weights better matched this time (at least with the 8/9 and 9/10 I have cast).

Tip Front Belly Rear Running
.5 ft. 38 ft. 40 ft. 5.5 ft. 41 ft

This only lists the full length as 84 feet so if someone can get into the flylines site and can post the new specs that would rock.

-sean
 

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Dana

I copied the Rajeff Sports website re Airflo spey line specs into MS Excel. I am emailing it to you for posting on this site as a link. The Excel sheet is much easier to read than the web version where columns are superimposed [on my computer].

This is the same idea as the Rio thing for "speyaholics only" I posted about a month ago.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
GrandSpey and Airflo Traditional dimentional differences

For technophiles only:

Traditional GrandSpey

tip .052" .047"
3' .052 .061
5' .053 .064
10 .055 .073
15' .059 .080
20' .062 .080
30' .069 .085
40' .078 .086
80' .077 .094
90' .056 .088
100' .050" .047"

Again, these are both rated as 10/11 lines, but of 900 and 1500 grains respectively.
This present situation of creative anarchy in spey line design is a Libertarian's dream, and better for us consumers. If this process fell under the control of industry or govt. committees, this explosion of new designs would dry up. So what if we have to buy an extra line or two?
:devil:
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I got to cast the Airflow Traditional at the Fall City clave on both the CND 14 ft and the Winston Derek Brown 8/9. I liked the line on the CND but felt it was too light on the Derek Brown. The Derek Brown 8/9 felt just wonderful with the 8/9 GrandSpey when I cast it at the Carnation mini clave in January. O sispect the 8/9 Derek Brown would be very happy with the 9/10 Traditioanl.

I did like the line though. Although I would not use it for a sink tip or interchangeable tip line because of the long front taper. It would be a nice line for dry fly and grease line fishing.

Mac,

I would use the 9/10 GrandSpey on the Daiwa 16 ft rod, which I see as more of a 10 weight than an 11 weight. The 10/11 GrandSpey would overload the Daiwa pretty badly. The Aiflow Traditional 10/11 would be a far better match for the Daiwa, as you have found. As you said, the 10/11 GrandSpey works fine on you T&T 1511 but it overloads the Daiwa.

I also am glad that there is no one trying to regulate what constitutes a spey line. The innovation we are seeing in spey line design is nothing short of wonderful.
 

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JD
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Nooksack Mac

any comparison betweeen grand spey, delta traditional and S.A XLT length, feet, grain wts?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
J.D.:

SciAng now has a 10/11 XLT, and according to their catalog, it's 140' long and has a 105' head, which would make its head slightly longer than the 10/11 GrandSpey, which is also 140' overall. The catalog doesn't list grain weights for their lines. I suspect that pound for pound, the XLT falls between the other two lines. Perhaps someone at www.scientificanglers.com could be persuaded to say.
 

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Speyladdie
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Dana.
Last week I was talking to Tim about the new Traditional.He was telling me he had just sent you one.Tim mentioned when he was trying the line with various casters they came to the conclusion that if you cut off 2 feet from the front taper it would turn over much better.
I received my line and cut the the 2 feet off.It casts like a dream.
Dana,any comments.What if any thing have you done with your line?.
Spey laddie. :smokin:
 

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Re: J.D.:

Mac -

As you know, we ask that direct links to non-sponsors be followed-up by an email to the business, in this case SA, to ask that they consider sponsorship. Certainly their lines have received a lot of support from this group, and we would love to have them as a sponsor.

In fact, if they become sponsors, they become part of the community and we welcome their participation in the forums!

Pls cc: [email protected], one of the moderators will follow up and if the sponsorship comes through as a result of your initial suggestion you'll get a fly line (up to $50 retail). This applies to the first successful member-sponsor referral, and the moderators are currently discussing incentives for multiple referrals that succeed of much greater value.

I hope you agree this is a good way to show our respect to the businesses who do support us, while allowing such links to be placed in the forum provided the poster meets the obligations.

An alternative would be to unilaterally prohibit links, which no one wants. But to allow non-sponsor plugs and direct links is sure disrespectful to those who actually support us.

Thanks and we'll look for the email!

Nooksack Mac said:
SciAng now has a 10/11 XLT, and according to their catalog, it's 140' long and has a 105' head, which would make its head slightly longer than the 10/11 GrandSpey, which is also 140' overall. The catalog doesn't list grain weights for their lines. I suspect that pound for pound, the XLT falls between the other two lines. Perhaps someone at www.scientificanglers.com could be persuaded to say.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Neil,

we cut 2ft off the front end of the 9/10 at the Spey Clave last month after testing with several casters, but left the 10/11 stock and had a bunch of other fellows throw it around. The 9/10 did seem a little better for most people missing 2ft, but the 10/11 seemed fine. I have left my 10/11 stock and am quite happy with it so far; the rest of my lines got "stolen" out of my room at the Seattle Show and I am awaiting replacements. That will teach me to share a room with a bunch of other spey nuts! :chuckle:
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Peter:

Understand: I'm no Authority on Airflo lines. This Traditional is the first one I've owned. I'm just referring to the 2003 catalog and spey line spec sheet.
Apparently, all their spey lines are available in multi-tip versions. The tips for the other lines ("no data for Traditional spey lines") are 15' long, and for a given line size, all have the same weight (120 gr. for the 10/11). For the three spey lines, the tips are floating, Fast Sink and Super Fast Sink. (The spec sheet, dated Jan. l '03, says four tips "made with the industry's only non'hinging polyurethane loop system.")
I wasn't trying to shoot line, but I seem to remember that on some of my longer attempts, the line sort of shot itself for 10-15 feet. It cast nicely with 2/3 of the head out, and at longer and shorter distances.
The AS 13-14 should hold this line and most of that backing, perhaps not the whole 250 yards. That's just a guess, mind.
 
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