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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is Spey casting/fishing on the decline? Several people that I know, who were fishing two handers for the last eight or ten years, are now back to single handers. A close friend and excellent steelheader, tells me that he can't take the equipment hassle--what line with what rod etc..
Perhaps it's time the manufactures started putting out matched rod, reel, line combo's.
 

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Hi: I doubt that the American intrest in spey casting will decline since there will always be new recruits challenged by the technique. However I strongly suspect that many after they start catching fish on long double handed rods will find that if they fish without a buddy they will discover how awkward it is to land a fiesty fish with a long rod.
I think you will find that it is just for this reason that many who fish for Atlantic salmon prefer the single handed rod. Those that fish double handers are mainly those that can afford a guide,or fish with a buddy.
When we regularly killed our catch it was practical to use a tailing loop on your wading staff .You could reach well out and tail your fish while still holding the long rod.
However to land and release your fish from a long rod without beaching him can cause some problems.
It would be interesting to hear some some of ourlist experts deal with this problem.
 

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I'm certainly not an expert and I agree that landing a hot fish with the double hander can be hard to get the hang of. I am really interested to hear what methods others use.

Personally, I try and work myself into a position were the water gradually shallows up behind me to the shore. After I feel the fish is ready I will swim the fish around between me and the shore. Usually, but not always on the first pass, once the fish gets into 4 or so inches of water, it will roll onto its side. I've found it helpful to have 3-5' of coiled line held ready to drop once the fish tips onto its side. This slack line will take the tension off both your rod tip and the fish. It also gives you slack line to easliy and quickly slide the hook free for release. If you do it right, you never have to touch the fish at all. I have lost fish this way but for the most part it has worked well for me.

I will use this method even when fishing with a buddy as it just seems more noble than the buddy tail. If I lose them at my feet then so be it.
 

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Get me a fire hose!

BeBop, figuring it out was half the fun! To be honest, I would not flyfish for steelhead on big rivers like the Thompson or Skagit without a double hander. Even on smaller streams the fishing ability of the double handers is just too much to ignore - I hope this dowses some flames... If none were intended - then I hope everyboby switches back to single handers - that way I'll be the only one really covering the water!

Now as for landing fish, give me my 10160 over a single handed rod any day! I frequently hear about not being able to land fish with doublehanders so there must be something to it - but I just don't get it. Maybe if you are fishing in a boat a 14' rod would be a handicap, but on a river? The muscle of the big rods give a real measure of control that allows you to force the fish to a much greater extent than with a single hander. Duggan, when I prepare to land a fish I look to get downstream of it and lead it to a good spot As the fish approaches the spot I simply lower the rod give a good pull of slack to allow me to put the rod down and reach down and tail it. This seldom fails and is our prefered method, even when our buddies are at hand.

I don't know about fishing with a guide, but if I happen to win the Lotto one day - this is still how I will land my fish.
 

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who cares if you actually land the fish. all i want is the elegant 1st 95%. however i have no problem landing. if the fish is small [under 14#s] i often dont even move and bring them in thigh deep. simply lead them in on their side , get a hand on the leader, reach down with other hand and slip the hook out. dont even touch the fish.
would not think of abandoning the 2hander. have gone to a 13ftr however.dont see the need for the 15-18 ftrs. 2hdrs are too enjoyable, too effective in every way.i enjoy just making the miriad of casts in different situations, even if i never caught fish. it is an art form in itself, like i enjoy a artisticly played soccer match even without a score[ unlike most americans].
beau
 

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Be Bop
To answer your question, I think most of us look at spey fishing (long rods) as a fishing tool to be used when long casts are needed and back casts can't be made. This spring here in Southern Ontario was very wet, the river was tight to the bank, so back-casts were a problem. Had I not used a spey rod, I wouldn't have been able to cover some of the water I fished. Spey casting (fishing) if anything is just beginng, a rebirth. In the next few years your going to see new rods, lines, books and video's. I'm sure the manufacturers will get their acts together, with talking to Bruce Richards (S/A) he mentioned that they're working on a standard for line weights. This will certenly help the Rod builders in designing new products. Learning is fun, learning new techniques is even more fun. That's the great thing about our passion. We've come a long way from a worm and red and white plastic bobber.
Rick
 

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Bebop

I am a new spey caster but long time single hander (42 years) for trout, salmon, steelhead, etc.. Spey fishing is just catching on in the great lakes unlike the PNW where I started reading about it being used I think in the early 90s. So here I would say it is in a growth mode as more anglers see it used and learn of its benefits. Most fisherman here are still single handers. I agree that it appears matching spey line to properly cast the various spey rod models appears to be a major issue, which makes the sport more complex, than it already is.

Lasmithers

Your right about the higher difficulty in landing steelhead on the spey when fishing by yourself. I was fishing a 13 footer this spring and had 3 fish ready to be landed but found the extra length of the rod made it more difficult to execute the landing. Had I been with another angler they could have been landed. My single handers are all 9 footer so the extra 4 feet of rod complicated things for me. Using a 4 pound tippet also did not help me, since I was limited in the degree of pressure I could apply. All of these fish were around 10 lbs and were able to get into the log jam and break me off after the unsuccessful attempts at landing. Does not matter to me the river section I was fishing is no kill and it is all wild fish, they would have been released any way. I really found the spey technique very effective and will be converting to it for salmon and steelhead fly fishing. I am in the spey learning and growth mode. :cool:
 

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BeBop,

If you are going to release the fish sometimes I just give it enough slack for the hook to hopefully drop out of the fishes mouth (if I get lucky). Otherwise as Kush said learning is half the fun. I think one of the common themes of agreement will be the fish has to be ready, this doesn't mean exhausted, it means ready. I believe that on most steelhead if you lay the backbone into them they can become easily defeated. However, you will get that fish that will not give in and wont be landed.

You also need to used the proper equipment. When fishing my favorite waters up north for late summers I use a 17-20ft leader to 15-17 tippet.

andre
 

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Landing fish

I am curious about a common statement by several that they do not even need to touch the fish. I agree that a long rod allows one to put more pressure on a fish but still think most steelhead need some time to be revived and this requires some handling of them- generally by the tail and carefully underneath keeping tehm facing upstream in the current. This does not mean you take them out of the water.
 

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To touch or not to touch?

Rick,

I actually think that most fish don't need to be revived. Especially for winter fish, if the fish needs to be revived, it has probably been played too long.

One of the advantages of the long rod is the ability to really leverage the fish and get them in more quickly than with a single hander. For this reason I tend to go with stouter leader/tippet. I fish 13 pound Techtan for summer fish (except BC) and 17 pound Techtan for winter runs. The 13 is the same diameter as 8 pound Maxima and the 17 equates to 12 pound Maxima.

Now with summer fish and higher water temps, the need to revive is sometimes greater. Still usually the only fish I need to help along are those that managed to get into the fast water and thereby lengthened out the fight time. Of course the bigger the fish, the longer the fight so this plays in as well. But with most of our PNW summer runs, this is not an issue.

st
 

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All Wrong Again

Hi All.
How can Spey casting go out of fashion. You cannot fish alot of beats on the Spey ( river in Scotland) without spey casting overhead casting with a single handed rod is NOT an option. Once you can Spey casting overhead casting is second best.

Malcolm
 

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"ST" you mention a product, Iassume a leader material

that I've never heard of before.


"For this reason I tend to go with stouter leader/tippet. I fish 13 pound Techtan for summer fish (except BC) and 17 pound Techtan for winter runs. The 13 is the same diameter as 8 pound Maxima and the 17 equates to 12 pound Maxima"

As Maxima is usually my leader of choice, I may now have a better choice. Who puts this stuff out; not seen it at all locally.
Fred
 

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Hi As one would expect there are many ways of tackling the problem of landing fish on long double handed rods. There are however a couple of things I would never do.
The first is to lay a rod down while you are landing the fish. You can be almost certain that some helpful fella will rush up and try to assist you and the first thing he will do is step on your custom spey caster. Of course there is always the possability that the fish you thought was played out has lots of reserve energy and when you draw him into shallow water will start some aeorobatics and go swimming off towing your rod behind him.
I agree with Kush that fish should be landed in water that is at least 1 foot deep since the fish will feel less threatened in deeper water and be less prone to thrash. It is important in this day of barbless hooks to take a turn of leader around your hand. Then if the fly pops out a loaded rod will not drive the hook into your hand when the leader slips through your fingers.
 

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Techtan ???

Yes I was wondering about Techtan also is that a brand of fluorcarbon ?

Not hard of that one before.
 

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"LA," very cool idea!!!

Never thought of that, but I've stuck more than one hook point in my hand in the landing/releasing process. Sooo simple a solution!
Dah Fred!:rolleyes:
 

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damyl tectan Found this on another board: bless Google :>)

Damyl Tectan


Subject: Damyl Tectan
Posted by: Fishes with Black Dog on Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 13:26:18:

Body of Message:

Steel Ted turned me on to some fine tippet material called Damyl Tectan, available through Cabela's (when it's not on back order). This stuff has a high strength to diameter ratio (6.9 lb. knot strength is only .007" diameter), it's pretty abrasion resistant, and it's relatively cheap (about $9 for a 200 m spool). I was using 5lb. Maxima Ultragreen, but the 6.9 lb. Tectan has a thinner diameter. Give it a shot if you're not happy with your material.

Take care,
Black Dog

In Reply to: Damyl Tectan
Posted by: Fishes with Black Dog on Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 13:26:18:

Body of Message:

Thanks for the nod Dog,the stuff flat-out RULES! I even gave up using flouro w/ this stuff.It is super slick and generates a lot of heat when cinching a knot so always spit or wet the knot before pulling it tight.200mtrs of line lasts me half a season(in.oo9,.oo8 and.007) and I store my unused potion in a ziplock kept in the a cool, dark cabinet, to keep it from drying out and being deteriorated by ozone( I do this for all mono).Ted



DAMYL



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Subject: DAMYL
Posted by: PIERRE'S APPRENTICE on Monday, March 19, 2001 at 17:38:21:

In Reply to: damyl tectan
Posted by: poughkeepsie joe on Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 13:48:46:

Body of Message:

I used this stuff for a long time, especialy as leader
but I doubt its line strength claims, I used the 13.1#
.010" dia or the equivilent to 8# triline XL and found that I could count on it for about 10# only a 2# increase over what its dia. would otherwise suggest. Its not real cheap either in that the 1000 yd spool costs $34.99+ shipping so you can't get any real savings even if you buy in bulk like you can with MAXIMA. 8# Maxima 3000 yd $39.99


Same Problem...



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Subject: Same Problem...
Posted by: caddis on Tuesday, March 20, 2001 at 08:52:21:

In Reply to: DAMYL
Posted by: PIERRE'S APPRENTICE on Monday, March 19, 2001 at 17:38:21:

Body of Message:

I had the same problem with Techtan. I tried their 10lb( or maybe it was 12lb, anyway I recall it was about the same diameter as Maxima 6lb) this fall and it seemed to break quite a bit. If I had to make a comparison it broke at about the same amount of pressure that Maxima 4lb would break.

I always fish with straight Maxima 4lb and Maxima 4lb leader, but this weekend I spooled up with some Techtan 6.9lb(I think) and used it as a main line and then Maxima as a leader. I think the 6.9lb is the same diameter as 4lb so I figured what the heck. It seemed to hold up pretty well, went 3/4 on Sat. and 2/2 on sunday. As a main line it seems to hold up a little better then the Maxima 4lb. I don't think that I would trust it as a leader though.
 

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Maxima vs Tectan (or replace with any other brand of mono for that matter)

If it isn't broken, DONT fix it!!!!

Hence, I will use nothing but Maxima unless a situation calls for flourocarbon.
 

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Techtan

Started using this stuff some years ago combat fishing chums. At the time I had picked up a spool of Rio Powerflex in 13.1#. I was breaking off 2/3 of the dogs I hooked. A buddy was fishing with me and he didn't seem to be breaking off many at all. I asked him what he was using and he said 13# Techtan. His dad was retired and spent his summers fishing the lakes around Glacier National Park. Apparently he and all his buddies were sold on the stuff. Long story short, he gave me a 4' foot section and I stopped breaking dogs off.

Wasn't long till I started using it for all my fishing. In a head to head comparison with Maxima, I don't know. I've never been a big Maxima fan as I find it to stiff for my liking. It is strong stuff though with a breaking weight most likely higher than the listed poundage.

Wasn't trying to convert anyone, just saying it has worked well for me. As for FC, been there, done that, no desire to go back.

st
 

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I guess Speycasting isn't in iminent danger...

I'm starting to feel like something of a good ol' boy, but we tend to make simple things complicated. Now if you like a particular material for steelhead leaders, the fact that you like is the only important factor. The steelhead certainly don't give a hoot. I use 15lb Maxima, I do not find it a major problem to hook fish. Dana likes flurocarbon, we fish together, we both hook about the same number of fish. I believe that if I could get the end of my flyline through the eye of the hook that I could still hook fish!

Steelhead are not leader shy - at least not as leader shy as a lot of fisherman - and that is fine. If you feel you need expensive, thin, invisible leaders to catch steelhead - then you probably do. It's no big deal really, I know how poorly I fish when I don't believe in the fly on the end of my line, so why should it be any different for the leader one uses. So, if you think changing to tectan, flurocarbon, or piano wire is what you need to get fish - go for it - the fish won't care.
 
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