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Spey Is The Way
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This is both a tackle and a technique question. I have been using the two handed rod for 10 years now and after trying everything, settled in with Scandi setups. I have a Delta that I have not really tried to learn how to cast.
Just looking for advice or anything I should be aware of when switching to a mid belly line after all those years of using Scandi heads. If it matters I am fishing Atlantic salmon, 13' to 13'6" 8 weight rods, full floating most of the time.
Or should I start with one of the new short head spey lines, like the Rio or Cortland have?
Thanks for any help.

Leo
 

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I started Spey casting over 20 year ago when a short line was 56-60 ft and beginners rod 14 ft.

The the longer heads casting style requires a longer stroke and some slightly different techniques wrt Scandi.

My suggestion is to study the RIO Products video by Simon Gawesworth, his basic style is very smooth and will get you into the longer line.

I have a set of the new RIO Short Head Spey lines and really like them on the 13'-13'6" rods. Much easier to cast than the 55'-65' heads. Your rod will probably like the
7/8 line @ 44ft 520gr or the 8/9 @ 46ft 580gr.

Regards,
FK
 

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Casting longer lines can be challenging at first but stick with it, it'll make you an all around better caster; and can be fun if you have the room. The Delta was the first line I ever learned to cast on a 13'6" 8wt. It is an excellent taper and unless it's a much older version ( the long belly) should have a head length of around 55' and cast like a charm as a dry line.

I'm sure there are many speypages members that can make much better casting technique suggestions then I could, so ill let them sound in.
 

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Meiser, Beulah, and OPST two handers; Scott & Orvis single handers. Danielsson and Orvis Reels
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A line 35 to 45 feet long

I'd suggest you get a used line in this range and use it to get the techniques down. Between Scandi and Mid-belly lines, the difference I've seen is in controlling the placement and stick of the longer belly. Start shorter and work up. The Nexcast FF 35, 40, or 45 series are good places to start. The 45 is what I'd suggest and you may end up there. It seems to be the best of both worlds, less stripping of line, but still a relatively short head to set down in the right place and way.
 

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The Delta Spey line you have is probably a 55' head, and with either a 13' or 13'6" rod you will have head-length to rod length ratio of either 4.2 or 4.0;

Thus, either rod should have no difficulty in managing the Delta, it's just a matter of altering your technique a little from your current Scandi casting.

A 55' head IS a short belly Spey; the mid-belly will range from ~60 to 74', and the long belly is >= 75'

....have a look at....[indeed most people could do with reading this!!]

http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Choosing-Fly-Gear/Choosing-the-Right-Spey-Fly-Line.html

where Simon Gawesworth (Speybro) gives what many would regard as the definitive dissertation on Spey lines....;)


Mike
 

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I would think the spey rods you have are too long for short-head spey lines.

If you call Rio they will give you advice on what mid-belly line to buy.

Randy
Why do you think that 13' and 13'6" rods are too LONG for casting short-head [~55'] Spey lines??
 

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I'd suggest you get a used line in this range and use it to get the techniques down. Between Scandi and Mid-belly lines, the difference I've seen is in controlling the placement and stick of the longer belly. Start shorter and work up. The Nexcast FF 35, 40, or 45 series are good places to start. The 45 is what I'd suggest and you may end up there. It seems to be the best of both worlds, less stripping of line, but still a relatively short head to set down in the right place and way.
A line 35' to 45' long is the very range of a Scandi head, which is what the OP wanted to change from.....:confused:
 

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Meiser, Beulah, and OPST two handers; Scott & Orvis single handers. Danielsson and Orvis Reels
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34' is the longest Airflo Scandi

Frankly, it seems strange to me to start calling 40 to 45' lines short or mid-belly. Why aren't just longer scandi heads? I've gotten pretty proficient with the Compact Scandi, but I had some trouble with the 55' head I jumped to. An intermediate step to a 45' line eased me through the transition.
 

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A 55 foot head on a 13.5 foot rod is fine and very manageable. Not too different from a scandi-head casting long leaders in terms of anchor sets: Strictly T -&- G or waterborne - keep the line alive during the cast.

Leaders versus poly/versi and lengths are the major factors that will effect how easily you adjust to a longer length. For an eight weight rod casting an eight weight Delta (full body beyond the tip-top) I would stay with tapered leaders straight from the tip and short 8 foot polyleaders with any sink to them. The casting stroke is longer and a wide hand grip should help.
 

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Hi Leo,

I worked this line thing backwards, I started with a 13' rod and 55' belly then advanced to 15' rods and 70' lines. Now I can cast a 45' Scandi Long off a 15' rod with no trouble or a 70'. Don't let the little things psych you out buddy. When you get right down to it, it's all the same casts just different timing and line placement. To start with you may want to be pulling the head into the guides pretty far until you get the feel of longer bellies. Once you have the timing and power dialed in you should be able to fling a 55' around as well as you can a Scandi now. If there seem to be more complications than what I make this sound like you may consider a 15' rod. On a 15' rod a 55' head fishes like a Scandi.

I hope that didn't further confuse the issue at hand.........

Ard
 

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Find the length of your head , mark it with permanent marker , keep that section outside your rod . Cast ! What could be simpler. No different than your scandi. It is actually easier. Is that delta the mint green color. If it is it should be ok. These are about 50-55 ft in length , I have a couple and they are a pleasure to cast. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Random thoughts based on a similar transition over the past few years.

What does "scandi" mean to you? To me it could mean anything from 28' to 42' in head length depending on who made it. Big variation. If you are used to the typical range of "compact" scandis in the low-30s, going to a 55' head will be something of a transition. As already suggested something like a NextCast 45 will smooth that gap.

The new Beulah "Aero Head" is a great bridge between short shooting heads and true mid-belly lines. 47 to 52' in the 7/8 or 8/9. The Delta is two generations of line design back and just not in the same class. In my opinion. Oh, that should get a reaction. :devil:

While the basic techniques and physics are the same, the longer the head, the longer casting technique and flaws are magnified. And so the more important it becomes to find not only a mentor, but, a mentor with a perspective that matches your needs. With ten years of experience, my guess is, either the things that are going wrong will be really obvious to you, and quickly fixed, or, totally not obvious and absolutely require a third perspective to even identify problems. With a short head, there are a lot of problems that, while they limit performance, you can get away with in many fishing situations, but are fatal with long heads. Overcoming those was -- well, still is -- the hardest thing for me. Also you want someone who can help can sort out the mess of conflicting information. For example we have pointers on this thread to two excellent long-line casters who have taken the time to write at length about their insights, much to the benefit of those of us not so gifted. But they have quite distinct, in fact in many aspects diametrically opposed, casting styles.
 

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Hooked4life
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Leo, just get some practice time in with the Delta. Keep in mind that it can be cast with some of the belly in the guides so there's no need to start off casting with the full length. A usable cast can be made with the rear taper at your top hand which leaves about 45' out of the guides.

The length of your rods are more than adequate for casting a 55' line. The old rule of thumb is a maximum line length of five times rod length which works out to 65' for a 13' rod. Your Delta is comfortably under that.

Remember that we need to slow down and broaden our casting motions when using a longer head.
 

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I suspect - I'm not totally sure - that with a 13'6" rod you would blow a lot of your anchors with a short-head line. Generally, the length of the head should be less than 3X the length of your spey rod.

I guess you could execute a lower lift and keep more line on the water before you begin your back swing, but IMHO, a caster is better off matching the length of his spey rod to the length of the head of the line. It just makes casting easier.

Having said that, you might be able to get by with a 15' polyleader added to the front of the Scandi line.

Randy
 

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Hi Leo,

I have the same rod that you are using, a T&T DH 1308-4. The Delta Spey and Delta Spey Long 8/9 lines can be cast without any problem.

I agree with Ard Stetts, Peter Charles and Pere regarding their advice about handling the transition from your scandi line casting. The important points are:

1) Start out by bringing the black AirFlo sleeve for the head marker within the guides and down to the reel. The casting should become easy. Gradually, you can start easing the marker out to the tip top. Sometimes I can shoot more line with the marker about 3' into the guides with my T&T. Eventually, you will be comfortable with the marker completely out of the guides. I am not sure if you are doing a single spey cast with touch and go, but these are entirely possible with the Delta and Delta Long 8/9 lines.

2) Adjusting your stroke and timing is very important. A suggestion would be to watch the development of your D loop (by turning your head) before coming forward with your power cast. This should give you an idea about how slow or fast your timing should be. You will find the proper timing to be very comfortable. Remember Poppy's sage advice of 'Keep your foot off the gas'.

I am not an expert and this is my 2 cents, for what its worth. Also, I have found that casting on a soccer field with a grass leader is a big help for practice when the flowing water is too far away. I have not added any yarn to the leader to help let me know when too much power is put into the forward cast (at the start). This is recommended by Al Buhr in his casting book and has worked for me. When the stroke is correct, you don't hear the rifle shot behind you.

Doug
 

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I suspect - I'm not totally sure - that with a 13'6" rod you would blow a lot of your anchors with a short-head line. Generally, the length of the head should be less than 3X the length of your spey rod.

I guess you could execute a lower lift and keep more line on the water before you begin your back swing, but IMHO, a caster is better off matching the length of his spey rod to the length of the head of the line. It just makes casting easier.

Having said that, you might be able to get by with a 15' polyleader added to the front of the Scandi line.

Randy
Being used to a scandi-head and moving up to short belly on the same rod though...

Bringing the anchor in close enough and keeping the line off the water are the usual problems encountered. Touch -n- go cast are where it's at. Line stick instead of blown anchors. This is the reason for bringing the back-taper down past the tip-top, as it has been suggested - not what I was taught from early on, not a practice that I do. So can't advocate especially with a short line for a couple of good reasons.
 
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