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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am suffering from SSD (Serious Spey Deficiency).
Two of my pals and I fish the Muskegon River with regularity, on the off chance that we'll encounter a fish dumb enough or brave enough to eat a large fly in 34 degree water. We seemingly can only do so with either a type 6 or 8 15' head and a sink tip compensator or a 24' 300 gr. big boy. I am sure that some people, i.e. more accomplished casters/fishermen could do so with a standard 15' head, but that point is moot due to my inherent "confidence issues".
We typically fish from my boat, and I being a bit anal about our water coverage will always fish from the back (Anchor Duty) using a snap t or modified circle t.
I have been fairly successful with my 14' 9 wt sage (the 3 piece European I guess) and a 300 grain tip, with occasional problems with the downstream wind (no trips to the e.r. yet) which seemingly we always have. I have however enhanced the breathability of both my coat and waders with a 3/0 hook around a dozen times. My question is two part...
How can I deal with a downstream wind from the back of the boat making a fishable cast of around 80 to 100 ft. My snap/circle-t is fairly decent, but seemingly my d-loop gets blown right into me, causing this awkward looking hit/duck finish, or me looking like a fool wearing a winter coat in 60 degree weather with my hood up...Hey, it's protection.
Part two of the question is what rods in the 15' range have proven their worth for 300 gr. use. I bought the CND 15' 10/11 Custom for purposes of wade-in fishing at said river, however I cannot for the life of me throw a tight loop with the above setup. I have a WC 9/10/11 cut back 15' (the sage can throw it) a accelerator 9/10 cut back 15' (the sage can throw it) and a grand spey 9/10 (whoops! guess we'll chalk that up to an uninformed purchase.) None of these 3 lines with a 300gr. head cast well on the CND. (They will throw a decent loop on the Sage) The CND will pick as much line up, and allow me to swing back around to the firing position. Once there, I hit the cast stopping at 12-11 o'clock and the rod throws a huge loop, in which the bottom part lands on the water some 35' from me, and then unfurls the rest of the loop in unconvincing fashion with the fly landing last. I just had the opportunity to use my pal's new T&T 1409 and was duely impressed with its performance with the heavy stuff. I also cast earlier this year a Scott Alpha with the grandspey and a 300 gr. and had excellent loop control. Is the CND meant more for dryline work????
Sorry for the long post, but I had to put my demons to rest...
Thanks Fellas,

Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
1,771 Posts
If the wind is pushing the line into the end of the boat you're working from, a perry poke is about the only cast that will prevent the line from hitting you with any line/rod/cast including a single hander... unless your buddies allow you to overhand over the center of the deck! :eyecrazy:

A water load will work for overhand casting as well, but the longer the line in the air (even after the release of surface tension) the higher the risk.

As far as the differences you are experiencing between rods, I suspect an under-formed d-loop and/or a forward stroke that is not in-line with the top half of the d-loop, both of which can cause those symptoms. In other words, the loop is often opened up by the power stroke not going "right down the lane" but off to a side or hooking. By watching the d-loop over your shoulder, you should see the energized top portion that connects the rod tip to the wedge, which I call the "driver". When the lower half of the d-loop kisses the water lightly, and when the d-loop is fully formed the stroke must go 180 degrees from the d-loop driver to prevent opening of the forward cast. To tighten up the loop, pull with the bottom hand and drive with the top hand to finish.

If you have a good reverse snap or double, that cast throws a very tight loop. You just have to keep things in the lane as mentioned above. This will tell you if it's the rod or your stroke. Let the Milwaukee boys throw it and see what they say ;)

As far as comparisons with other rods in these situations, it could be that you're accustomed less gradual tapers with heavier butt sections. The 15' 10/11 CND is by no means a less powerful rod, but the power comes from different part of the rod. The benefit is that once you learn how to use it there is a great economy of motion and effort that comes from letting the rod do the work. You push the rod less, instead you get the load into it and let the rod push the wedge. Over the course of a long day it can make a huge difference.

I have no idea what you're actually doing but I'd concentrate on forming a clean, fully formed d-loop with the shape of an aircraft nose cone, the point slightly lower but pointing straight back, and the lower half just kissing (not grabbing) the water at a very shallow angle. Load the rod deep and stop to let the energy traverse the length of the blank and curl off the tip. Let the rod do the work.

There was a gentleman from British Columbia who was casting this rod and throwing some of the tightest, straightest and most powerful loops I'd seen at the Sandy River Clave in Oregon this spring. I think it's a matter of casting style and technique.

I have not messed around with heavy sinking compensators and tips but using the 10/11 85ft traditional it throws a laser loop for me well over 100' with very little effort. I'm curious to try your setup. When I get back from Denver I will try the rod with the WC 9/10/11 with the compensator and the 15' type 8.

Here's an idea... why don't you have someone videotape your casting, then I'm sure many of us could provide direct feedback?

13 Posts
Custom 15'

Hi Troutrgrate,

I feel very sorry about giving you such trouble and difficult time of casting with Custom Spey 15�f. Please let me try to find out the problem. Here is my thought.
First of all actually I have designed this rod for more of sinking line use, but it cast floating lines well too. On the centrally I could cast even type 4 full sinking DT line to handle 60�f to 70�f belly to cast out 100 to 120�f of full line on this model.
Naturally the shape of line loop is narrow and strong against wind with sink line.
However 300g of 15�f heavy sink-tip might be more difficult to handle than full sink line due to the balance of density between the floating-line part and sink tip.

Reading to your thread, you might be using too much effort & power for forward casting then loosing the load of line weight during the casting motions.
I find the secret of handling sinking line or sink tip line is that �gconcentrate on line lift and anchor (D loop) not to the forward cast.
1) Good straight line roll-up to the water.
2) Proper line lift.
3) Smooth anchor.
After this your launch position (Firing position), the rod tip will stop in behind you around 60 deg (2 o�fclock position). Important point is that not only straight back but 2 o�fclock in side way as well. (by holding rod tip on side way 2 o�fclock will help your D-loop and anchor stay away from you so you are more safe too).This rod tip position and line-end anchor should give you good load of line weight to the rod tip.
Then just give forward flick to the rod, please don�ft try to swing the rod with too much power! Windcutter has very short belly, so easy to handle the belly length. If everything goes smooth line will easily shoot out 100�f by doing above mentioned effortless casting.
Importance is that do not try to make the line �gloop�h by your cast, let rod tip to make it. CND Custom Spey rod is designed for rod to make the line loop. Keep line weight (load) on rod tip all the time during casting, (give rod tip bend all motion). Forward cast is just to flick gently after launch position. Rod will cast the line out for you.
Heavy sink tip line is more critical on timing due to the un-matching balance of line-belly but once you get good straight roll-up to the water, it�fs very easy handling line too.
Pease try easy slow casting motion. 100�f in Speycast is not much, so try minimum effort for it. Lot of time less effort gives you easy / safe & longer casting.

8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input fellas.
I will go out this week and try the advice above. I took my Sage out today, and felt like I was really working hard. I also am losing my anchor pretty badly on the old snap-t and circle-t. I know this because I hooked myself twice...
I did have enough sense to mash the barb down, thankfully!
I'll let you know, I think I'm going to try and get out on Thursday for some rudimentary casting... I'll see if I can get a video tape.

Thanks again fellas, and If anyone has any other tips for chucking 24' big boys, feel free to post, I'm currently in a state much like our NFL football team (the Lions)...We're REBUILDING ;)
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