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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I have the following blanks:
1) St Croix 42F1105.4 - 11' #5
2) Rainshadow IF 1307-4 - 13' #7
and will be building up DH rods in next couple of weeks.

Now I want lines for these but being a newbie (I am a single hander) it's not easy to select. I've been looking at Rio Scandi head for both but what weight do I need?
St Croix will also be used for single hand spey, if that requires different weight.
Thanks
dDerdol..
 

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Haven't fished either one myself, but Rio recommends the following:

For the Rainshadow #7: Steelhead Scandi - either the 385 (A) or 410 (B) grain; Scandi Short - either #6 (A) or #7 (B)

From the Rio website: The "A" rating is for more experienced casters, or for casters that like to cast off the tip of the rod. It is also a good choice for longer rods and wider rivers where the caster can carry the whole head length of the line outside the rod...The "B" rating is for less experienced casters, and for
casters that like to feel a deeper load in the rod. It is also a good choice for coping with tough winds, or using larger flies.


I didn't see a recommendation for the switch rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Aldo.
410 is for me.
I heard that the Rainshadow is best suited for scandi. Would it be suitable for skagit head? Or should I go with faster and shorter rod for the shorter skagit?

Any takers for the St Croix?
I know these are not the best (read popular) but I need to start with something cheap.
Rio has 280g as lightest.
May be I have no choice but go with 280g.
Any other option?
 

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I'm far from an expert in these matters, but generally speaking a faster/stiffer/"tip flex" rod is better suited for Scandi style (touch n' go) or overhead casting. A slower/"full flex" rod is better suited to Skagit (sustained anchor) casting. That doesn't mean that you can't do both with the same rod. Some rods, in fact, do both quite nicely.

I think a faster "Scandi" type rod would be better than a slower rod to handle double duty, especially if you line it with a Skagit line in the heavier range of that rod's "grain window" so that the rod will flex deeper into the mid-section and beyond. As a beginner, I found it much, much easier to learn Skagit style casts first, so that's an argument for adding a Skagit line to your kit.

To confuse things further, you can Skagit cast with a Scandi line, but a Skagit line is better suited to the job if you are fishing heavy sinking heads and/or large flies.

I have essentially no knowledge of switch rods and what is good or not so good for lines there. From what I have read, there is a diversity of opinion, depending on how you are going to use the rod. Rio, and other major line brands like Airflo (I think) make dedicated switch lines.

When in doubt, I would talk to an expert. Poppy at the Red Shed Fly Shop is a good resource and a world class nice guy. Steve Godschall (I think I spelled his name right) who posts on this board as SPG, works for a rod builder and makes his living matching custom lines to customer's rods. He could build you a line for about the same cost as buying off the shelf, and it will be "dialed in" to your particular rod.

Good luck, and welcome to the two handed game!
 

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Junkyard Spey
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There is no way to give you a concrete answer to your question of which line/head or which size will best work for you. It just doesn't work that way. The quickest way to figure it out is to get some demo heads from a local fly shop and try them out when you get your rods finished. If there are no heads available locally then I will send you a couple 3 sizes to try with no obligation but the return postage.

You have to start somewhere so you just as well jump in. Just know that as your ability improves the magic numbers will most likely change anyways.

Another thing you need to decide is if you want to use a scandi head or a skagit head. Flip flopping back and forth will do you no good. Pick one or the other and stay with it until you become proficient. If you can find someone to give you a lesson that will help a great deal and that person might have several heads that you can try as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. All good information.
@Aldo, it's good to know about the rod action and line and casting style. Since I fish small trout in lakes (80% of my time) scandi suits better. But I also fish saltwater so that's where skagit might fit better ...

@MJC, I know DH is no different to SH when it comes to line selection but I needed to know where to start. I don't know why DH rods were given AFTM numbers... That confuses hell out of newbies. I want scandi and that's what I am going to learn and stay with. I guess I have to finish the rods first and see who can help me.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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My advice is to forget about any single hand line designations, as you said that just gets confusing.

If one can beg, borrow, or steal a couple three demo lines then figuring out a match isn't to hard. You have to keep in mind that any line recommendations from others are just that, recommendations that may or may not work for you.

Use the numbers from RIO's Steelhead scandi section of their line chart.

For the Rainshadow use this chart: http://www.rioproducts.com/skin/summit/pdf/Old Spey Line Recommendations 2012.pdf and for the St Croix use this chart: http://www.rioproducts.com/skin/summit/pdf/2012_RIO_Spey_Line_Recs.pdf

If you can get some demo lines at little or no cost you can do some experimentation before you start down the path of dropping coin for what may or may not be the magic line.
 

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I have the IF1307 and found for a skagit short in 480-530 range loads great on this blank. As for my other spool I have lined it with SA's Spey Evolution 6/7 470gr for my dry line and LOVE IT.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks heaps.
All progressing well.
Spoke to a local tackle shop and they have a few demo lines ..
All is good.
 

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I am in the middle of building the IF 1307-4 and I ordered a Skagit and a Scandi head from Steve Godshall. He builds custom lines and was involved with the Rainshadow development so his lines are meant FOR that rod. His heads are well priced, made to order and usualy has them completed and shipped in 1 to 2 days. He also makes his own running lines. If you search his name on the forum you will find nothing but good things said about his lines and service. I have a couple of his lines for two Meiser rods I have and I absolutely Love them! I would really consider getting a line or lines from him!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am in the middle of building the IF 1307-4 and I ordered a Skagit and a Scandi head from Steve Godshall. He builds custom lines and was involved with the Rainshadow development so his lines are meant FOR that rod. His heads are well priced, made to order and usualy has them completed and shipped in 1 to 2 days. He also makes his own running lines. If you search his name on the forum you will find nothing but good things said about his lines and service. I have a couple of his lines for two Meiser rods I have and I absolutely Love them! I would really consider getting a line or lines from him!
That sounds good to me. Google search sent me to the Meiser site where he sells Steve's lines. The prices look good too. Will contact Steve soon. Thanks.
 
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