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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to purchase my first spey line(FINALLY) and have made up my mind to go with the Airflow Delta Spey.When I asked my local shop owner about where I should get the Delta Spey or the Long Delta Spey,I was told that the Long Delta would be too difficult for me to learn on and that I would have alot of trouble loading the rod.I thought I would get a few other opinions on this before making my purchase.I plan on buying a good video(Derek Brown,etc) and taking lessons as soon as my finances will allow it.If you were starting out all over again from scratch,which line would you choose and why?I really like the Airflow line's slickness and I can get a great deal on them compared to the other manufacturers lines.Just wondering if I should get the Delta or Long Delta and what differences I would find while learning to cast?Any advice would be greatly appreciated.I may be getting an opportunity to head up to the Skeena in a few weeks time to fish with a freind who often speys.It would be nice to at least get a line before then so I could at least try it out.I will be getting proper instruction(hopefully soon) to teach me the right way,but wouldn't mind at least getting some pointers from my freind and wetting a line.
 

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Quick question so the folks framilier with these lines

can get back with some good advice.

What rod will you be using; rod loading, length, configuration, etc., all play a huge part in line choice.
Fred
 

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Deltas vs long Deltas

I have the long Delta on my Scott 1287 and it casts like a dream. However, I believe that Airflo undergrains the heavier long deltas. The grain wts match the Delta grain wts for equivalent lines but spread the wt out over the longer head. I would highly recommend that you try a line before buying if possible if you go with the long delta or go up at least one line wt.

In my opinion, it depends on how good a caster you are with traditional rods in how quickly you can pick up and become proficient with a 2 hander - really the same principals apply. Once you get competent, you may quickly outgrow the shorter heads and want to use longer heads. The short heads can cause you to develop bad habits if you are not careful esspecially with longer, heavier wt rods as it is difficult to get the right amount of power and hand motion into the back cast and still get the line stick you need. Definitely get the Master Spey video and really watch Derek's hand and arm motions
 

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I was told that the Long Delta would be too difficult for me to learn on
I cast double taper lines for many years before I picked up a short belly line and IMHO you should learn on a longer belly line. It's easy enough to adapt your casting stroke to the short belly, but I don't think the reverse is true.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I would agree with Gordon that it is easier to adapt to a shorter belly line if you are used to long belly techniques than the other way around. For any beginning spey caster interested in "longer" line techniques the MidSpey length lines such as the RIO MidSpey, the Airflo Long Delta or the Cortland Spey Change-A-Tips are good starting lines (or forever lines for that matter). These lines give you the feel of long belly lines combined with enhanced shooting characteristics.

Tony, you might have already purchased your line, but if you haven't I'd hazard a guess that the Long Delta would be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Dana and Gordon.I assume that the correct line for my 14ft 9/10 rod would be the 9/10 Long Delta Spey?Or would I have to go up a line weight?
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I haven't cast the Adventure series of rods, but I have cast all of the Color Concept rods and the 9/10 Long Delta is a good match for the 14ft rods, whether green, yellow, blue or black. The 9/10 brings out the faster action of the rods. However, if you are a new caster you might consider stepping up a line weight. This will allow you to feel the flex of the rod a little better which might help you with your timing.
 

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Good call

I agree with Dana - you might want to consider the 10/11 Long Delta.

I've played with the Adventure series 14' 9/10wt and they are a very powerful fast-action rod. You definitely won't be overlined with it, and you might be seriously underlined with the 9/10.

My .02,

DS
 

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chrome-magnon man
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thanks for the note, DS!

As I said, I'm not familiar with the Adventure series. I think this was the rod line Loop had out before the Color Concept, and that was before my time.

Tony, take Doublespey's advice and go with the 10/11 Long Delta. Remember, when he offers his 2 cents he's talking American pennies, which are worth about 10 bucks up here! ( I know, an overused joke, but I couldn't resist... :rolleyes: )
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the great replies!I'll pick up a 10/11 on my way up north.Heading up to the Skeena/Nass system for a few weeks to chase some sockeye,steelies and those big Kalum chinook.Looking forward to trying the rod out(I have a freind who spey fishes to help me along a little) .I don't think I'll be tackling the Kalum brutes with flygear though.I'm too lazy to run a mile down the river after them!:hehe:
 

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I was thinking about buying a Spey set-up but all this talk about the lines,rods and reels scares the bejeebers out of me. I was going to buy a St Croix 13 fter, A St.Croix large arbor reel and I think some Rio Line Multi-tip. But after reading all the pros and cons on this type of fishing I think that it is scaring me away.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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This is a great thread, wish I had the benefit of it years back when I was starting out!

Not sure if this will help you but my personal path thru Spey forest would support almost everything that was said here.

I think it's a good idea to start with an affordable floating double taper first and then move to a Spey line once you get your stroke going and know which way you want to go. I did and it did wonders for me in terms of giving me a fast-track to basic skills and lots more fish due to major increase in river coverage and line control.

I started out by picking up a floating double taper at the start of the summer run and found ways to work a consistent 80 foot single and double spey, 60-70 from the left side, and caught a ton of fish swinging muddlers in fast water at dawn early in the summer and going with caddis patterns of all life phases by fall. The wind didn't matter as long as I had these four casts and as long as the fish were coming up all I needed was a long leader and a good fly in the right time of the day.

Essentially the line was "normalized" and I worked on casting and fishing for the summer and fall. I probably lacked some of the crispness that the Spey lines require, but there was absolutely no alienation with this thing called Spey fishing.

Then the rains came and the river rose. The fish were there alright, but the greaseline wasn't cutting it anymore. After cutting the DTF for tips and having some short-range success, I sought the wisdom of the Swallows Nest in Seattle and hooked up with Mike Kinney to build a short head system that could cast anything you ever needed to throw for sintips.

It was a big change from the DTF and took me a while to get the semi-underhand short stroke technique that the Kinney head likes, but soon I was converted and fishing the big rivers amidst ice floes and into the sweet budding cottonwoods of April getting my share of winter fish as well, from a November 6th chromer into a first February nate on a fly into April nates on the Sky and the Duc. It's an effortless cast, and can handle just about anything you can cut up for a tip, but the stripping of the line required between every cast can get a little old at times. Overall, life was good!

Then summer came again. Like Dana says, after a winter of heads I could not cast that DT to save my life. After making the adjustment back, I went back to the head - couldn't cast that either. At one point I couldn't cast either! Oh well, first season hijinks.

I finally got my middle-of-the-road act together thanks to the availability of well-thought out Spey line systems like Rio Windcutter, MidSpey, Accellerator, new Grand Spey (developed by hard-core fishermen for hard-core fishermen); the Airflo Deltas which cast like a dream, and the new SA continuous taper lines which brings energy transfer to a new level. We're lucky that we have great Spey lines to choose from!

I guess the point is, that first summer with the simple floating DT made a huge positive impact on me because it was easy and I caught more fish than a single hander due to coverage, line control and ability to fish where I couldn't before.

In summary, a less complicated and most forgiving line is best to learn on, and like all advanced casters the preference will shift to more technical tapers to fit more specific casting styles and preferences. I don't think anyone ever stops testing lines and learning new tricks. Even though there are no steelhead or salmon for hundreds of miles, I am stepping out shortly with Spey rod in hand to play around with a couple of new lines I bought this morning.

Best of luck with your Spey adventure,
Juro
 

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chrome-magnon man
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great post Juro!

Sort of a "back to my roots in Spey Land" kinda thing!

You're right--although we don't often talk about double tapers, that's where I started too (with an 11 weight SA Mastery DT Salmon). There's absolutely nothing wrong with DT lines, they are great learning tools, and they certainly load up a Spey rod with less guesswork than most of the specialty taper Spey lines.

In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if, once the Spey community gets past the "how far can I cast a two hander" thinking, more and more of us return to double taper lines, especially for those summer waters where 70ft is a long cast.
 

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Marvell Casting Chronicles?

Speyderman,

Is that photo under your handle your arch nemisis -" Dangerous Dec"?
 

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chrome-magnon man
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naw, just me...

...in my "Lawrence of Arabia" disguise. "Dangerous Dec" and I have since reconciled and will be appearing in a Marvel Team Up next spring. We're scheduled to take on a frightful fellow named Admiral Jetsled who is intent on outcasting us, beating us to our favorite first light runs, and generally stirring up trouble of the worst sort. I'm feeling optimistic about our chances though as two shooting heads should be able to foil the efforts of the nefarious Admiral, his evil henchman "Mario the Invisible" and their long belly lines. :D
 

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Airflo

It is my understanding the new ones have been changed. Mine is like yours. There has been some reported breakage at this connection - I think the old lines changed the core breaking strength?
 
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