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Discussion Starter #1
About a year ago Simon sent me a GS 7/8 to test with my Sage 7141 in N California and a trip to the Rogue.

I feel in love with it and bought a GS 7/8 with tips. When, I got my new ARC 1409, it became my favorite line with that rod.

The Grand Spey is a rocket launcher and a ball to cast.

However, looking back on it, my strikes and actual fish caught with the Grand Spey in number versus the Mid Spey have dropped like a rock.

That has been driven home in Spades the past 6 or so weeks with my new Sage 6126. My favorite line with the 6126 has been my old MS 7/8 with tips and then my old W/C 678 with the upgrade and tips when high winds are blowing.

I have probably caught more fish and had more strikes in these past few weeks than the nearly one year of using the Grand Spey. The number one line re actual strikes and fish with the 6126 is my Mid Spey.

This was really driven home last Tuesday when I returned from the Napa River after a great afternoon early evening of catching Striper Schoolies. When I told my wife my results, she said, "That new rod must be making a real difference."

I don't think that it is just the rod.

I have no doubts that the shorter rod enables me to work closer than the longer rods with the GS. However, I'm catching fish out to the color change on the reel with the MS line. One possible difference re Shad fishing is that I use the tip compensator with the MS and WC and can't use one with the Grand Spey. So my flies are getting deeper with the tip compensator.

However, I'm catching fish out as far as I can cast with my floating or intermediate tip with the MS line.

It can't be the leaders, tippets and flies as I'm using the same furled leaders, Rio Bonefish leaders with a perfection loop for the tippet. The tippets are Maxima and Seagaur, and the flies are the same ones tied years ago. I'm using the same knots I have used for years.

One other advantage is a 3 to 5 # fish puts up more of a battle with the MS. When even a 5#er hits a fly with the Grand Spey, it gets very tired very quickly dragging that big line around.

Am I doing something wrong with the Grand Spey, or are they less fish efficient in the hands of someone like me, the non expert?

Along this line of thought, many very efficient Spey Fishers like Bob Pauli still use the Wind Cutters as their main fly lines.

I would appreciate your comments on this. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm very comfortable with the Grand Spey. Towards, the end of the day, I know that I have been casting a long heavy line.

The fish strikes come through out the day with MS sometimes from the first few casts to when I decide to quite.
 

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Grampa

I guess the only cure would be to give me the Grand Spey. Other than that I am sure it will jinx you even worse each day you keep it. :rolleyes:

Skilly
 

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So true

Up here in the northern Puget Sound region the Wincutter and Skagit Heads catch most of the winter fish. The cast is more controled and the fish are caught within 60 nd 70 feet. It is just too easy to let the cast sail with the longer heads. We fish the seams and pockets and keep out of the heavy water. It is difficult to get the fly down in the heavy water. In fact I know of no fishermen who can consistently catch winter Steelhead with a long head. It is too difficuly to fish that close. Jerry
 

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Grampa Spey

Last summer I started playing with MS 7/8 (560 grains) then I found out I like MS 6/7 (490 grains) better on 6126. Have you tried MS 6/7 on your 6126?

I just notice the grain weight of the GS 7/8 900 grains!
:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"It is just too easy to let the cast sail with the longer heads. "

I'm guilty of that while having fun letting the GS just fly out there.

" It is difficult to get the fly down in the heavy water."

I proved that this past winter on the Russian River with high and heavy water. I was testing Bob Meiser's surf rod with the Rio Striper 26 DC 350 grain head. With Meise's rod and the Rio Striper, I was getting down and bouncing off the bottom in a few seconds.

With the Grand Spey and type 8 sinking tip and my ARC 1409 or Sage 7141, I was all most to the end of my line cast before my fly even started to tick the bottom after a cast. Only God knows how fast it was going then. Which is why I had Bob make me a Spey tip for that rod to help get the fastsinking Rio Stripper lines down and hitting the bottom with the fly. That rod and a fast sinking line will probably become my heavy water combo.


" In fact I know of no fishermen who can consistently catch winter Steelhead with a long head. It is too difficult to fish that close. "

Thanks for your response. A lot of what you posted in your reply has been going through my mind since Tuesday and probably before then.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"Just thought of something -- if you have more line out with the GS and you're swinging the same way as you would with the MS, then the fly is moving faster. You may be going too quick for them."

I'm not an engineer nor a physicist; however that has crossed my mind.

The wider and longer diameter of the body in the water may be like a bigger sail in the wind and really pick up speed in spite of mends in the water. I'm sure that the wider and long body does prevent the fly from getting deep, particuliarly w/o a tip compensator.

Also, I have noticed that less fish hook themselves with the GS versus the MS or the WC with the floating, intermediate or sinking tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"I guess the only cure would be to give me the Grand Spey. Other than that I am sure it will jinx you even worse each day you keep it. "

I'll keep it for now. As Simon noted in Marin at the casting duck pond this year, "We don't really Spey fish to catch fish!"

When you are really in the groove casting, a damn fish comes up, strikes your fly, then hooks itself and then doesn't release itself. Then, you have to reel it, land it, grab it, take the hook out, make sure it is alive, wash your hands, and restrip your line to get back to casting. Three or four fish can run an afternoon of casting.
 

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Grandpa Spey,

Remember that the color change on the MS is 65' from the tip, so with your 12'6" rod that means you have about 55' of line out past the rod tip. Your 7/8 GS has its color change 80' from the tip, which means with your 14' rod you have about 69' of line out past the rod tip.

Also, keep in mind that you realistically add 70% of the rod length to your fishing distance. This means that the MS is fishing about 63' + leader length from where you are standing (55' of line out the rod tip + 8' of rod length + leader). The GS is fishing about 78' + leader length fropm where you are standing (69' of line out the rod tip + 9' of rod length + leader length).

In other words, if you are finding more fish when you have the color change of the MS in your hands, you are fishing 15' closer (78'-63'=15') with the MS than with the GS. Therefore, you are probably casting furthur than where the fish are holding with the GS and that is why you are hooking more fish with the MS.

As anyone knows who has been reading the forums for a while, I have a very strong preference for the extended-belly lines like the GS and the XLT. They are not a hinderance to fishing close in and they allow you to fish out to 90-110' without stripping line between casts. I have not found the extended belly lines to be a problem for making casts from 25' out to over 100'. It really is a matter of preference as to whether someone fishes a head (Skagit line, RIO Scandanavian, Loop Adapted), a short-belly (Windcutter, Delta Spey, SA Short), mid-belly (MidSpey, Long Delta), long-belly (Accelerator, Airflow Traditional, SA Mastery Spey), or extended-belly (GrandSpey, SA XLT) most of the time. Each belly length has advantages and disadvantages, which your become familiar with and compendate through either technique, casting distance, or water type you fish.

Which belly length is best? It depends almost exclusively on the person casting and his preferences, just like with single-hand rods and lines. Which belly length is the most work to cast and fish all day, they all are because each has its need for increased power added to the cast. The Skagit type lines excell with heavily weighted flies and heavy tips; the extended belly lines excell with long casts, while providing little or no stripping to do so while handling very much like a mid-belly line in the 55'-75' distances and like the short-belly lines in the 40'-55' distance; the mid-belly lines work great in the 50'-80' distance and on rods shorter than 15'; the short-belly lines help beginners get out to a working distance of 50'-60' and when fishing in tight quarters.

Before someone criticizes, a good spey caster can cast 100'+ with any of the lines, whether Skagit/Scandanavian style, short-belly, mid-belly, long-belly, or extended-belly. The shorter the belly the more running line needs to be shot on long casts and the more stripping and time is required between each cast when casting over 80'.
 
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