Any recommendations for lines that work well for speycasting with singlehanded rods? Specifically, sage 9ft 8wt SLT and a sage 10ft 8wt XP. Principle use will be summer steelheading with a floating line on small to medium Oregon and Washington waters.
Have you tried using the lines you have now? While I'm not very good at it (I don't practice) I spey cast alright with my WF6F trout line on a 9'-6wt. I think any of the steelhead tapers sized for your rod and casting style would work, also the Airflo Delta and Rio WindCutter single hand lines.
Second to what Rob Allen has said, DT or the steelhead tapers that 3M or the Atlantic Salmon tape that RIO makes. You can use a regular WF. without the control that a DT or SH Taper gives you.
I find that all the major manufactures lines work well for single handed spey fishing but my preference is for lines with belly lengths of 38 to 45 feet. The rods I use are Sage 796 RPII, 9100 RPII, and SLT 7100 all of these rods perform well with a variety of lines including lines with tips. I found that my 796 XP cast fine when casting in a straight line but did not do well for me when performing change of direction casts(spey casts).
My vote would be for the airflo Delta. If you are going to be speycasting only you might want to go up one line size than the line rate# on your rod as doing the spey requires a bit more weight. My 2cents.
I think the greatest versatility with single hand Spey casting can be acheived with the SA XXD lines; I find the Steelhead taper a bit too blunt and short. One can certainly use just about any line, but the longer belly tapers seem to work better.
Practiced with a Rio Steelhead Atlantic Salmon 8wt today down at the Long Beach Casting Club. It has a head lenght of 66 ft. It has a very positive turnover (for those heavily weighted stonefly nymphs on the Rogue). However I bet the SLT 9ft 8wt would have done better with a 7wt version of this line.
Most of the conventional longer bellied advanced grain weight forward lines available will single hand spey very well....Most important...Like Rob said is to haul the shot for that extra kick.
Heavily weighted bugs are the norm for lot's of guys on the Upper Rogue....And suprizingly there are actually very few two handers, with the majority of the guys still perfering the 9' to 10' something rods for high sticking and indy fishing the abrupt slots which are typical of bottom contour for this river.
This type of detailing is especially important when the Upper River fish hold tight to the walls and bottoms of these slots with the cold water releases from Lost Creek from August through Oct.
Choosing a line with the ability to generate distance, and turn over these heavy bugs is very important, but what is of equal importance is to have a belly long enough, and a running line of sufficient dia. to mend the high stick/indy drift while using these shorter rods.
The Rio Salmon Steelhead taper is great in both regards, but I think that the new Airflow Delta taper gives a better "Kick" to the haul, the belly length at 46 ft. is perfect for the shorter rods, and the running line dia. will effortlessly dump mends into the desending/downstream drift.
The Airflow will present well, but most importantly it will fish well.
....Also, consider two hands to throw mends from your fighting butt, and to use the same for water hauling the weighted flies right back into the top of the slot from the end of your drift with one single motion.
At the end of the day when the the Oct Caddis game begins, loop on a 10' floating or intermediate Steelhead Poly leader to the Delta Taper, and you'll have a sweet 56' dryline belly for single hand spey skating/greaselining.
Good combo to consider for the switcher style rods and Trouty Speys as well.
but with my 690-3 Sage SP, I've really come to like a 6 weight DT that i have for the rod. it's the peach Cortland 444 floating... This is given that I've really only been speying with it for a couple outings this summer, most as "tune-up" for the real thing, but can see my self using this technique more and more for swinging streamers, caddis emergers and soft hackles for trout in tight confines (the Deschutes anyone???). I've tried it a bit with weighter nymphs and indicators, and so far, all i've gotten are windknots and tangles, leading to profanities and temper tantrums... not so cool. but that may have more to do with my technique... a couple years ago, i played the single handed spey game with my 8 weight sage RPL 896-4, using an 8 weight Scientific Angler's steelhead taper. This, of course, was before i had ANY idea what the hell I was doing, and was merely trying to imitate the doublehanders i saw on the river - and doing it very badly... But everynow and then, it would click and fly out there (pun intended), but damned if i new what I did right at the time, rarely repeated the performance. The point being, the Steelhead Taper, with the longer belly, worked well when i did it right, and turn the fly over well, to. Going to play a bit more with it this year, now that I have a better idea of what the hell I'm doing with spey casts... Sounds like the XXD is a comperable mix, and may be a spot better. It's my next line for the 6 weight, hopefully the results will be similar to Spey Bubba's....
I prefer the Rio Steelhead/Salmon line to the SA Steelhead Taper when we are speaking of a smooth single-hand Spey casting line. I do find that the SA has a more aggresive front taper which aids in turning over larger bugs, into the wind etc.
However, I have yet to give the line I try, but those I have talked to believe that the new and improved SA Nymph Taper is the cat's meow for single-handed Spey casting. According to the powers that be at SA, the Nymph Taper was designed with single-handed Spey casting in mind.
I'll be curious to hear your impressions of SA's Nymph line... just read their website description, very intriguing... Am still looking at the XXD, because I need a dual purpose floater, nymphs and dries... but the description of the Nymph line... who knows!!
Also, thanks for the hook up on the alaska guide service. as luck would have it, they have openings on the desired days, will be hooking up with them. Thanks man!!!!
I agree 100%, line makes great indy line for single hand or double handed rods. That blunt tip will crank over anything. I have inadverantly sent small planters and chubs sailing 70ft through the air on it before.
My all time favorite floating lines for single handed rods are the original Wulff TT lines. They shoot like crazy and you can spey cast them easily. I do not like their longer taper steelhead lines. I really have not had a problem with mending the finer running line when steelhead fishing - use this line on the N Umpqua alot unless I am using a two hander
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