Spey Pages banner

Dan's Great Lake's Ladder Rig

3793 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  dansteelieman
I wanted to stress this a little more, and see if you guys think this is worth a try. I use it often in my home waters of the Great Lakes. Check it out....

The ladder spey system I created is unique. I have never seen anyone doing it, and I made it up last winter. I put some ideas together and firgued out how I could get down, yet not snag up or drag bottom and get my patterns to drift naturally. I finally fooled around and found a way to do this while using traditonal sink tip methods.

With this ladder rig, you will want athin diamter running line since it cuts through the water the cleanest. Make sure to get a floating running line, an intermediate line tends to sag and can create a bow. You can also use a floating flyline with a mono or factory loop, which I prefer to use when I need alot of punch.

Now, you must add the ladder system. I prefer buying the 3ft. and 6ft. sink tips in different sinking rates. You can do it with shooting heads cut into sections, but with pre-made heads, you can buy them as you need them and you will know the sink rate in IPS. I will buy mini heads in 6ft. sections with one of each of the following:

1) A sink rate of 1.5 IPS(often an intermediate line)
2) A sink rate of 2-3 IPS,
3) A sink rate of 3-5 IPS.

The first tip is looped to your flyline(1.5 IPS). You then get a 1'-2' section of 20lb mono or braid and make two loops on each end. Each is looped to another tip. From that loop you have the second head(2-3 IPS) with a section of mono follwoing in the same length. You then will loop your last head on (3-5 IPS). Lastly, tie on your leader, usually 4-6ft from there patterns. I usually run two nymphs or an egg and a nymph combination. Remember to expirement. Oh yeah, to prevent hinging, try to use loops that are smaller or treat them with epoxy or laquer to keep them smooth. You can also tie the mono directly to the heads if desired, but it makes changing them difficult.

For example, if you use this on a 7/8 wt rod, this is how you should set it up. Use a 7wt. head with a sink rate of 1.5 IPS or class II sink tip. Then a 7wt head with a sink rate of 2-3 IPS or a class III or IV sinkl tip. Lastly use an larger, more powerful 8wt head with a 3-5 IPS or a class V or VI sink tip. You can also cut this down as well.....the reason is your shortest head(3' with an 3-5 IPS) will be like the bullet taper that gets you down quickest. Then your leader is dropped from here. Also, questions about hinging might come up or heads sinking at different rates. Well, if done correctly, each part will sink faster than the one before it, pulling it down yet, causing it to straighten out and get a direct connection. By tying each head directly to the mono/braid interval within the system, you insure you are getting most out of the rig.

Well hope this helps. Maybe one day this will become popular in the Great Lakes region. Let me know how it works. I will be out on my local rivers(Clinton, Huron, Piegon, and Mill Creek) using it once again. I wonder if anyone will see what I am doing and try to take my idea??? I hope not! :rolleyes:
See less See more
1 - 1 of 20 Posts

Dan...how much have you fished this rig. Not to shoot at your balloon, but 1) you've sort of (re)invented the density compensated tip. I don't think Rio or SA will steal your idea, though.

2) There are a couple of details missing from your explanation. First, going from lower to higher sink rates is okay, but what determines hinging is both mass and flex...
a) mono (any line for that matter) hinges if it is more flexible than the lines it's connecting. You should specify what size and brand of mono you're using with different tip weights.
b) You will have a hard time turning over higher mass tips at the end, as they will tend to collapse. My experience is that most company's shooting heads go up a little in weight as they go from F to I to 3 to (type) 6. A line turns over because the mass/length decreases along the taper as the energy decreases. The system will collapse unless you drop to smaller line weights or use very short tips. I haven't tried it, but you might be successful (for instance) using 9wt intermed., 8wt type 3, and 7wt type 6.

As another Michigan fisherman, and knowing the uneven current structures of most midwest streams/rivers, WHY is this setup better than a shorter tip of straight type 6? It seems to me that a longer head just puts you more at the mercy of drag.

Best wishes on your experiments. It's the tinkering that results in some good innovations. Keep it up!!
See less See more
1 - 1 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.