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Discussion Starter #1
Still new to the two handed game and have only used skagit and scandi lines so far. I'm interesting in looking at a longer belly line. I understand they are harder to cast and learn, so I'm looking for some feedback as to a good place to start?

Should I start with a mid belly, something like and Airflo delta? I'm using an echo DH2 7130.

Thanks
 

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I wish I had got into the long belly game earlier. The Nextcast lines are great. I went from scandi's and a rage to the 75 and the transition has been a challenge but a good one.
 

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I am transitioning starting with short bellies, 52' plus. With the challenge I have encountered, I don't think I would have wanted to start with a mid-belly. However, a good instructor would make the difference IMO.
 

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The biggest misconception about fishing with Spey lines (however long the belly is) is that you 'have' to cast the whole head length [to get the 'best' out of the rod].

For those of us dinosaurs who learnt how to fly fish before the short shooting heads & certainly the ultra-short Skagit heads were ever conceived, we started with 105 to 120' double taper lines which actually don't have a "head" length, and we just learned to cast with sufficient of the line out of the tip-top ring which we felt we could manage (and depending on the river width), and shot the rest of the line as needed. Funny enough, those rods didn't actually 'demand' a certain specified length of line out in order to load the rod for casting - if you needed to cast 10 yards, fine; if it was 20 yards, also fine, if it was 30 yards, still fine......you just had to alter the timing of the D loop formation depending on the amount of line you were loading the rod with.

It was only some decades later that most fly lines became weight-forward, which then brought in the concept of the bulk of weight of the fly line being in the weight forward 'head' section, the remainder of the line being the running line.

The advantage of the weight-forward concept is that the caster can use a more manageable length of line out of the tip top ring, and shoot the rest of the line as needed for distance, and casting is more 'efficient' (aka easier).

Most of the modern short-belly, mid-belly and even long-belly 'Spey' lines have head lengths under 95'; competition casting 'Spey' lines may have head lengths to 105' or more.

With the concept of concentrating most of the casting weight of the fly line in a shorter section of the line (ie weight-forward) already established, other innovators (Scandinavian & others) played around to develop even shorter heads (Scandi heads), and even later to the game came the ultra-short Skagit heads (originally just ~27'). With each development and innovation, it was discovered that shorter heads are indeed easier & easier to cast, bringing a substantial boost to the numbers of fishermen who could get out on the water and be fly fishing with a short learning curve, in a short period of time.

Going back to the OP, getting into using a mid-belly 'Spey' line from the shorter head systems is fairly straight-forward, and probably the Airflo Delta is as good a place to start as any; just start out with casting less than the full head, get the feel, practice & more practice will allow you to cast more of the head, most of the head, all of the head, and even shoot some line. Baby steps......it's NOT rocket science, nor should it be....

Some of us dinosaurs still use double taper lines (sometimes) ;)

Good fortune with your continued journey....


Mike
 
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Good post Mike :)
Mike did touch on the subject of the salmon DT line . I found this style line to be an excellent tool for learning . Though they are not easy to cast , you must be in tune with both rod and line . The DT will refine your timing for sure .
Now days I find them a joy to both cast and fish .... very relaxing :)


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Mike!

Thanks Mike - great tips...


The biggest misconception about fishing with Spey lines (however long the belly is) is that you 'have' to cast the whole head length [to get the 'best' out of the rod].

For those of us dinosaurs who learnt how to fly fish before the short shooting heads & certainly the ultra-short Skagit heads were ever conceived, we started with 105 to 120' double taper lines which actually don't have a "head" length, and we just learned to cast with sufficient of the line out of the tip-top ring which we felt we could manage (and depending on the river width), and shot the rest of the line as needed. Funny enough, those rods didn't actually 'demand' a certain specified length of line out in order to load the rod for casting - if you needed to cast 10 yards, fine; if it was 20 yards, also fine, if it was 30 yards, still fine......you just had to alter the timing of the D loop formation depending on the amount of line you were loading the rod with.

It was only some decades later that most fly lines became weight-forward, which then brought in the concept of the bulk of weight of the fly line being in the weight forward 'head' section, the remainder of the line being the running line.

The advantage of the weight-forward concept is that the caster can use a more manageable length of line out of the tip top ring, and shoot the rest of the line as needed for distance, and casting is more 'efficient' (aka easier).

Most of the modern short-belly, mid-belly and even long-belly 'Spey' lines have head lengths under 95'; competition casting 'Spey' lines may have head lengths to 105' or more.

With the concept of concentrating most of the casting weight of the fly line in a shorter section of the line (ie weight-forward) already established, other innovators (Scandinavian & others) played around to develop even shorter heads (Scandi heads), and even later to the game came the ultra-short Skagit heads (originally just ~27'). With each development and innovation, it was discovered that shorter heads are indeed easier & easier to cast, bringing a substantial boost to the numbers of fishermen who could get out on the water and be fly fishing with a short learning curve, in a short period of time.

Going back to the OP, getting into using a mid-belly 'Spey' line from the shorter head systems is fairly straight-forward, and probably the Airflo Delta is as good a place to start as any; just start out with casting less than the full head, get the feel, practice & more practice will allow you to cast more of the head, most of the head, all of the head, and even shoot some line. Baby steps......it's NOT rocket science, nor should it be....

Some of us dinosaurs still use double taper lines (sometimes) ;)

Good fortune with your continued journey....


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know that traditional longer belly lines were used on much longer rods in the past. Is my 13' rod too short to get into the mid or longer belly game?

Also, are you fishing tips (like skagit) off these lines, or poly leaders (like scandi)?
 

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Start with a scandi-spey hybrid- nextcast 45'. Once you get used to it go to the nextcast 55'. Which is going to be long for a 13' rod, with good technique they are quite enjoyable. Save the longer heads for 14' and longer sticks.
 

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A 13' rod is not too short at all .
The length of belly is a direct ratio of the rod length .
For a mid-belly line , go 5 times your rod length , so 65' . But you can go shorter .
If you wish to fish tips , there are a few manufacturers that have the multi-tip options . Nextcast makes the Winter Authority , which is a "tips" version of the Fall Favorite . If you can find an older version of the multi-tip Airflo Delta Long your in business . Lots of info on cutting Delta lines here in the Tackle forum , just use the search function . I'm not to familiar with the new Airflo Delta II lines , they are on my radar for sure . I like the idea of having a mid-belly line as a head version like the Nextcast Winter Authority and Delta II . This way you can swap lines easily even on the river without having to change spools or reels .


Mike
 

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Gr8,

For what it's worth, regarding the Delta II, I had a conversation with Tim Rajeff a couple of weeks ago about cutting my Delta II 7/8 for tips and he said 15'...and add T tips of your choice that match the cut off floater by weight. Got some very similar advice from Steve Godshall regarding Vectors. Steve said cut at 0.60", which on my Vector 8/9 came out to 15.75'.

Additionally, when I asked Tim about the differences between Delta and Delta II he said that they were pretty much a cross (splitting the difference) between the old Delta and Delta long. Not hardly any change in the taper, just length and weights. If you look at the lengths and weights of the Delta and Delta II you can see that the 7/8's are very similar and the Delta II gets proportionately longer (incrementally closer to the Delta Long) as the weights increase.

I own both Delta (mint green) and Delta II's and can say that they cast very much the same. I also much prefer the color contrast of the Delta II. Even with the black sleeve I found it a PIA to get the head back to the same place with the old Delta. Just couldn't see the sleeve very well. I've heard non-stop pissing and moaning on SP about the demise of the old Delta and hoarding the old ones because the new ones would never work as well. Funny thing is that few if any of these folks have ever cast the new ones! As for me, I have cast and own them both and I'll take the new ones. And by the way, the Delta II 7/8 works pretty well with 13' of T7 looped on the end. As Gary Anderson says "all good things".

Hope my ramble is of use to someone.

CT
 

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Cowboy , that is good news for me .
I've been quite interested in the Delta II's ever since they have been offered but have yet to pull the trigger . Have you tried poly's on the uncut version ??
Have you weighed the 15' cut off section of the Delta II ??


Mike
 

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You have to remember you need more room for your dloop with the longer belly lines so if your backed up against the bank its going to be tougher. If the river is big it can save you alot of stripping.
 

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it is important to take in account the length of the rod.don't quote me on this but I believe long belly ,mid belly ,short belly lines where names given base on a 15 ft rod or as long belly is 5x the length of the rod mid belly 4 times the length of the rod and short 3x rod length . so for your rod 13x5= 65 ft will be a long belly line . 13x4=52 will be your mid belly .13x3=39 is your short belly. my choice been one of those dinosaurs that Speyducer mention:chuckle: will be a double taper or a grand spey line , that can be fish at any length .Or just go and fish it ,forget about belly and how many feet you are casting that mere fact can be intimidating for some and affect your casting ability .cast it as you nee it and progressively work your way out, the length of the line .you can even shoot small amount of line if needed .and don't forget have fun that is what is all about.;)
 

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Gr8,

I used an AF 10' Int poly on it briefly. Worked Ok but I liked mono better. I think a good caster could make a reasonably weighted poly work just fine. The 7/8 Delta and Delta II are almost identical, only a 1' difference in length and similar taper. The cut 15' tip weighed 105 gr.

CT
 

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Gr8,

I used an AF 10' Int poly on it briefly. Worked Ok but I liked mono better. I think a good caster could make a reasonably weighted poly work just fine. The 7/8 Delta and Delta II are almost identical, only a 1' difference in length and similar taper. The cut 15' tip weighed 105 gr.

CT
Thanks for the info :)


Mike
 

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Having recently made the transition to mid belly lines, here are two things I learned that really made a difference.

1. For my first attempt with a Mid-belly (Delta-Spey with tips), I tied on a medium sized intruder with dumbbell eyes, and the heaviest of the three sink tips. Total disaster! The mid-bellies don't have enough mass at the tip to roll that set-up out of the water. After quite some frustration, and not a single reasonable cast, I switched to the floating tip and a traditional steel head fly (#3 hook) and was much less frustrated. I have since returned to the heavier tips as conditions dictate, but now recognize that mid-belly lines were not designed for big, heavy flies - a Skagit line is a much better choice.

2. At the 2014 Spey Nation on the Salmon River, I test cast a Beulah Onyx with a mid-belly line. I had not really attained any proficiency with a mid belly line yet, although I was making progress. Andrew Moy of Tight-Lines Fly Shop was repping Beulah, and took pity on me. He showed me how I should be rotating my body on the "back-cast". That simple technique improved my casting almost instantly. For me, it helps me load the rod more fully, form a better D-Loop, and set up for a smooth forward stroke with a better application of bottom hand power.

Net result of those two tips is that I have not cast a skagit or scandi line since, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Hope this helps,

Jim
 

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Dt

As has been mentioned a few times, DT's are good fishing lines (my interpretation). I wish I'd started with DT's. Maybe tougher to learn to cast but if you get them figured out your good to go for any line out there. I think they're even better if you've been using single hand rods for plenty of years. Spey casting is different and the load isn't automatic like it is with a single hander and overhead casting. Lot's of little nuances like anchor positioning, D-loop setup, feel for what's happening...when to release etc. With longer bellies it's all about feel. It gets pretty automatic if you use the same rod/line setup every time but it's much more interesting and rewarding if you switch it up often. That's why a DT is better for learning in my estimation, but it will take longer.

Try a DT one or two, maybe 3 sizes heavier than your rod rating. Heavier will be better for short casting and lighter for getting out there. What these lines do is take your mind off the head/running line connection and allow you to cast whatever you have out and learn from it. If you don't have to get the entire head outside the tip then you can fish everywhere reachable without consideration of the head. Find the sweet spot for the rod and line and your set to go. DT's do shoot but not like running line. DT's also mend extremely well.

I've been casting Delta's on 12 to 13' rods for the last decade and a couple times in there I've ended up with a DT, once to help a friend line a rod and once because I wanted to see how a CND Skagit Specialist would deal with 10wt DT. I was surprised both times at how well they cast. Still have a number of old DT's and think I'll be using them more in the near future, even with sink tips. It's all about technique,..what we'll all be working on the rest of our speycasting lives.
 

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I just started using Deltas multi tips and I must admit, it is tough but very satisfying when things start to work the way you want. Cant forget the practicality of the design too. No body wants to fish a long line that will only pick up mono leader and unweighted fly for deep winter fish. Unless you pick your water VERY carefully. I dont so I need a line that is enjoyable to cast but will turn over tips when needed.

We just cameback from a two day trip where water temps dropped significantly due to melting snow and so the key was to sink the big fly down and keep it there. Sink tips are in order in this 10' water. Shorter the belly you have the easier it will be to cast those tips.

So far my all year round choice is multi tip short old delta, with long delta version being much harder to cast tips. Next line ill be trying is Vision Slide that is even shorter than old deltas.

Skagit is an awesome work horse for this, but since we all have room to advance, minimizing the learning curve and use that knowledge within regularity is in order. Short belly multi tip lines are probably what ill end up fishing for most of my steelheading. Practical and sexy.
 

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Having recently made the transition to mid belly lines, here are two things I learned that really made a difference.

1. For my first attempt with a Mid-belly (Delta-Spey with tips), I tied on a medium sized intruder with dumbbell eyes, and the heaviest of the three sink tips. Total disaster! The mid-bellies don't have enough mass at the tip to roll that set-up out of the water. After quite some frustration, and not a single reasonable cast, I switched to the floating tip and a traditional steel head fly (#3 hook) and was much less frustrated. I have since returned to the heavier tips as conditions dictate, but now recognize that mid-belly lines were not designed for big, heavy flies - a Skagit line is a much better choice.

Jim
Jim. Your right when you say that such lines are not designed for chucking large weighed intruders with heavy sink tips (T20?). After all that's why skagit lines were developed in the first place. That said, a weighed intruder with a shorter length of lighter sink tip (T8?) can be casted with mid belly lines like the Nextcast WAs. You should try a rod with with stiffer tip (not the fast action rods that most manufacturers currently produce). Make a whole lot of difference IMHO...
 

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I to are looking at long belly lines I have a question. Are all casts touch and go i.e. snake rolls or single spey or is a double spey possible with these long lines.
Thanks
 
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