Spey Pages banner

What is the most common type of spey line you fish with ?

  • Short Belly (WC, Delta, SA Short)

    Votes: 48 28.4%
  • Midbelly (Midspey, Delta Long)

    Votes: 58 34.3%
  • Long Belly (XLT, GS, Delta Traditional)

    Votes: 32 18.9%
  • Scandanavian Heads

    Votes: 12 7.1%
  • Skagit Lines

    Votes: 19 11.2%
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are always a lot of differnt opinions on short belly lines vs. long belly lines. I'm curious what people use the majority of the time. I know there are quite a few who will use different head lengths at different times but whats on your reel most often when you are fishning ?

Gillie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I for one am not big on experimenting, 1. i can rarely afford to buy a new spey line when they cost between 70 and 150 bucks 2. I just want to fish and what i have works well for me.

on my 7wt i throw a mid spey
on my 8 i throw an xlt for a floater and a windcutter for tips
on my 9 I throw a windcutter and use it only for tips.
when my xlt's wear out i am going back to double tapers as they cast nearly as well at the distances i fish ( 110 feet and under) usually less than 80.
 

·
Junkyard Spey
Joined
·
7,114 Posts
Belly Size???

Lately you guys seem to be having more polls then the politicians :Eyecrazy:

Personally I like 49" cause that's how big I am now and I don't think I'm gonna shrink till I go to the big spey shop in the sky. Also it does make a nice stop for the butt cap. :whoa:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
First Salvo...

Nice touch of humor MJC.

This is one of those debates that is always interesting to revisit from time to time. One of the things that I love about steelheading/fishing with doublehanders is the opportunity for experimentation. This winter I have been playing around with just how "short" I could go and still be able to make "real" casts. The prior few years I had been using head lengths that were on the longer side of the Skagit casting spectrum for the added distance capability, which I found that I was rarely utilizing - and this rarely used capability was made available at the expense of close-in fishing capabilities. Three aspects I wanted to check out about going "shorter". 1 - being able to fish in tighter fishing environments. 2 - increasing the capability to "strip" at the end of the swing. 3 - making shorter distances feel more like "fishing and casting" rather than "dapping".

Well, I have had loads of fun seeing just how "tight" I could get into trees and highbanks. It really does bring a gleam to my eye when I can jack out a high line speed cast with a T-14 tip 75' using only a rod length of room behind me. But, I don't expect this attribute of shorter lines to pay off until water temps increase to a point where steelhead will move longer distances to take a fly (highbanks usually involve deeper holding water).On the other hand, the last two objectives - stripping and fishing closer - has doubled the number of winter steelies that I have hooked so far this year and at least doubled the number of Dollies that I have encountered. So, make mine short!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Short

Hello Beau,
Would you believe 31' on the 13' 9" Dredger. Takes a little getting used to... have to really cut back on power during the sweep, but man oh man does it FLY with just a touch of a casting stroke. One of the reasons that I couldn't do this before was the lack of material heavy enough to condense the weight into a head that short. I was given some floating stock that weighs 23 grains per foot recently, which enabled the making of the real short line.

Before doing the 13' 9" Dredger I had made up a very short line for the 12' 9" 6/7 Dredger (using 14 weight floating stock), and found that I could then throw 12' t-14 tips on that little, light stick. No more needing to use "big" rods when chasing small fish with sunk line tactics! Chasing Alaskan or Russian trout this coming summer (wherever I end up) is going to be a blast with that setup.

The one thing I've been finding out this year is that the weight of the line is what means the most in Skagit casting. Once you determine what weight is ideal for a particular rod, then you can build any length of head (within this casting style's parameters) and as long as it is the required weight it will cast great. Even taper doesn't really seem to make a heck of a lot of difference. I built 4 different lines for the 13' 9" from 31' to 40', all weighed within 5 or 6 grains of eachother, but they each had a different taper configuration, yet they all cast pretty much the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Riveraddict,
As you and Loomis figure out head weights for the Dredger series will you share them with us :D :D .

Gillie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Peter i think you are onto something there.. that being that all types of lines have areas whre they excel. Riveraddict mentions really short lines for fishing in close with tips in the winter. A specialized line and method for specialized fishing conditions.

take a guy on the North Umpqa Skating flies it's nice to have the long head so you can make long casts at a high downstream angle so you can get a really nice controlled skate across many different currents..

in short you can do a head gasket on your car with just a crecent wrench but it's a lot more efficient, and enjoyable if you have all the appropriate toold...
 

·
Indicators Anonymous
Joined
·
846 Posts
If I was limited to one length for all my fishing, 12 months out of the year, short casts to long casts, wind, no wind, tight quarters, open bars etc. etc., the length of line would be a shorter head (Windcutter or SA Short Head). The reason I didn't go with an even shorter head ala Skagit/Scand. is because come late summer/fall, there are some reasons I fish where it really is necassary to cast a fair distance and I think the Winducutter/Short Head allows me to achieve the distance a little more consistently with a little less stripping.

On a side note, there was a period of time where short heads, and Windcutters in particular, recieved a bad rap because many people labeled them as a 'bad habit creator' for beginers. Over time, I have found that label to be a little harsh and believe that it takes plenty of skill to cast a Windcutter/Short Head/etc. 90' when you consider all that is involved such as rod stop, managing coils of running line etc. If someone who has never picked up a longer belly line can effectively cast a shorter head far enough, with an adjustment in timing and lift and such, that caster will have the skills to cast a longer belly or long belly line just as far as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,736 Posts
I never use a mid belly any more and switch betewen xlt's and either WC or Deltas. For floating I almost always use xlt's. For tips I will use either xlt's or short belly lines depending on water conditions, typical length of cast and amount of room available to form d loops.

Often I will have a rod set up with an xlt and one with a Delta with tips.

I see no reason to use a mid belly any more - can't do anything with one taht I can't do as well with an xlt
 

·
loco alto!
Joined
·
3,109 Posts
I agree with diversity in approaches. The different rivers I fish demand different approaches. I enjoy long-bellies the most, but I don't use them as much as I'd like, because many of my rivers simply lack the back cast room needed to work an XLT to its full effect. My 3 spey reels have 2-3 spools each, for short, mid, and long bellies. They all get used in real fishing conditions. Yet, I rarely swap spools mid-day unless the wind kicks up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
I fish them all! Each is the proper tool for a specific job as roballen stated. A lot of the fun of spey casting and fishing for me is the varied situations that we find steelhead in from fast narrow rivers to broad even flowing giants. Figuring out the perfect set up for each river is good fun whether it be a 15' rod and a long belly or a 13' rod and a Skagit line or something in the middle.

I am with Sparkey, if I HAD to choose only one it would be a Windcutter.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,736 Posts
Ed - you indicate that you are using the same grain weight but varying the length. It seems that in most spey lines that longer lines weigh more than shorter lines and yet you don't overload the rod - a WC/Delta will weigh less than a Midspey/Long Delta will weigh less than an xlt/GS in the same line wight class.

I am assuming when you say your lines weigh the same you are not talking grains per foot, you are talking about overall weight? So you would not make a 40 foot head out of the same material as the 31 foot head for the same rod?

Finally I assume your head length does not include the sink tip length which will vary?

Best regards,
Rick J
 

·
#&%*@^# Caster
Joined
·
3,058 Posts
I guess I would be in the almost long belly crowd. 75' Carron cut for tips would work for 90% of the fishing I do.

-sean
 

·
Pullin' Thread
Joined
·
4,694 Posts
I use a long-belly almost exclusively unless I'm fishing for coho, then I use a Windcutter because it is necessary to strip the fly back to entice them. The Windcutter is easier to cast back out to 80' after being stripped into to 45'-50' and shooting running line than it is to try and cast 35' of a long-belly's belly to get back out to 80'.
 

·
Speyshop's Speybum
Joined
·
462 Posts
Long Belly

I would have to say I like to fish a long belly.
I prefer to bracket and pick my casting zone so long belly will lend it self to my style of fishing better that a short or mid will.
But a lot of the time I fish water that doses lend itself to a long belly and so I opt out for whichever Shortbelly is the latest rage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I normally use a 65' - 75' belly/head, but have found this difficult to cast with in two cases:

  1. When I am tight to the bank in high water and cannot get enough room to form a large D Loop
  2. When I am using long winged, weighted, water logged flies(templedogs or similar), or a heavy sinktip

After fishing the Tay at the weekend with templedogs and a heavy sinktip, and reading a magazine article about using shooting head type lines of around 45' to fish these flies, I've decided that I also need to make up some shooting heads to attach to running line.

As has been stated before in this thread, there are uses for all different lengths of belly. I think we would all agree that the longer belly lines offer the angler the option of using a classic spey casting style, but, we have realised that there are advantages to shorter, heavier lines(per foot). Let's not make life difficult for ourselves; use whatever line suits the conditions(water height, wading depth, wind strength/direction, casting space, casting distance, delicacy required, flies being used, etc., etc., etc.).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
Last Summer/Fall - MidSpey and WC w/up grade

Gillie said:
There are always a lot of differnt opinions on short belly lines vs. long belly lines. I'm curious what people use the majority of the time. I know there are quite a few who will use different head lengths at different times but whats on your reel most often when you are fishning ?

Gillie
As I posted before, last May I bought my Sage 6126 and went to the MS 7/8 and WC 678 w/the upgrade for windy conditions for the Summer/Early Fall. I caught more fish in the first month with those lines than the previous year with long belly lines. The reason was simple, I was fishing as well as casting with the MS and WC w/upgrade. With the long lines, I had a lot fun casting and not many fish.

This year if the damn rains and heavy river flows ever stop, I will be using my Skagits with my 6126, 7136, and 7141, when sinktips are the answer to getting where the fish are. The Mid Spey and WC w/up grade will be in my pack or bag on a spare spool if there is a hatch or intermediate stuff is going on. The GS will be there when I go to the Yuba, Parts of the American and Rogue, when the action is out there past the Skagit or MS. Most of the time the summer/fall waters I fish don't require a 7141 and a GS line.

My grandfather was a master carpenter, and he lived by a basic rule: "All ways use the right tool for the job you are doing. The wrong tool can cause problems."
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top