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JD
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a mess. Everyone knows it. It has been griped about all over the board, but no one seems to have come up with any answers as to how to remedy the problems so here goes. Open mouth, insert foot.:D

One of the problems I have encountered is that a Spey rod has a two or three line size designation. To me this is a clue that:
  • the rod was designed for a Windcutter type line
  • the rod designer thinks the rod will work with any of these size lines
    [/list=a]

    Then, when we start looking at lines we find weights, lengths all over the place. 'Nuff said.

    Even for one who has been around the Spey world for a few years, it can be confusing.

    So here is where I put my foot in my mouth.

    I'll probably get some flack on this but, I really don't think that a rod that was designed to cast a short belly line will do well (or as well) with a long belly line, and visa versa. Now. before all the rod builders jump on my butt, I will conceed that there may be some rods that will cast a heavy short belly line as well as a light long belly line reasonably well. But, give me a break here, 8/9/10 doesn't get it. We're probably talking in the range of at least 9/10/11 WC as opposed to 7/8 XLT or GS. So how do we know when we pick up a rod whether it was designed to load with a short stroke/short belly line, or a long stroke/long belly line?

    My answer to this is to begin with the line designations.

    Since we have found that a 9 wt (at least what we are calling a 9wt) short belly line has a lighter grain weight than (again, what we are calling) a 9 wt long belly line, rather than try to standardize these different line types by the weight of the first xx number of feet (which we know won't work) how about a different approach?

    If short belly lines were to have only single odd number designations. and long belly lines were to have only single even number designations, (or visa versa) we would then at least have a clue when we picked up a rod with, again a single size designation, as to what the manufacturer had in mind. Not only for grain weight, but what type of action, where, or how, the blank was designed to load with what type of line.

    If you want to go against the manufactures recommendations,,,hey,,,you pays youur money, and takes your chances. But at least you have a better idea where to start.

    This may not be the complete solution. And some may argue that they they lost a line size in between for short (or long) belly lines. So what? Do we really need a that many lines? Do we really have that now? :whoa:

    Comments welcome. Especially from the rod & line manufactures. ;)
 

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pays your money/takes your chances

couldn't be more tru!,,add in the various styles,,,i was told bye a ,,,,we'll call him a rod guru,,that `that rollcast thing,,that's the OLD way,like they did in england,a million years ago,heck,we overhead cast,that's the new way,,',,,and this after i'd specifically purchased a pair of two handers for,,yup,,,,no backasting,so after purchasing a line,off i went,struggling along,,,,,the line wt.s,,,yes;it's a mess,,and,,the various blanks/rods,,,might feel like `the same action/power' but,,,,dif. lines seem to work better with dif. rods,so,obviously even if one `expert' states this line for this rod;the next guy will `underline' the piece and shout out;i found a hot,or better setup,,so,don't forget the human factor,one guy's fast,the next sloooww,all i know is an 18 ft. rod loves a DT line,,,seems the backtaper on WF line is ALWAYS a `problem',so why not just use a longer rod/DT ?:smokin:
 

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cast,mend,stumble,swear..
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194 Posts
JD -

Before last friday, I'd agree with you regarding rods designed and competent in casting certain types of lines and those lines only... but then i cast that old Airflow speycaster of skilly's (which i'm desperately in search of a copy of...) on my Sage 9140 greenie... never seen a rod cast a line so well... tight laser loops, the fully belly plus shooting an addition 10-20', on snake rolls, double and circle speys... as some have called it, that was a spot on match... and the 9140 is NOT known as a long belly line! infact, everyone rants/raves about its use on shorter, windcutter-esque lines. which it casts well... but a longer belly line, sitting at the 75' head length?? not supposed to happen...

Line size - 8/9...

I gave up a long time ago hoping for stardardization of ANYTHING in fly fishing. can't say i really want it now. has it been frustrating at times? hell yeah. but that's the price you pay, i guess... With spey rods/lines/etc., there is such a diversity of line makes and models, rod makes and models, casting styles, etc. further frustrated by the fact that such long heads are generally being cast.... i just don't know how you standardize all of that... and i don't think i want it standardized!!

think about how unique all of our casting styles, strokes, preferences are. standardize the whole mess, and a whole lot of us are gonna be left out in the cold, because some "standard" won't fit our preferences. would rather have the diversity of choices (and yes, the frustration at times of finding the parts and pieces that fit together and fit me), then the standards ho hum... in comparison, it's like the fit of a shotgun to a wingshooter. most american manufactures have gone to a VERY standard length of pull/stock length... that doesn't even come close to fitting my 6'4" frame... as a result, i much prefer european firearms, particularly o/u's, which have more variety in length of pull, drop at comb, drop at heal. took some time, but i found my "spot on match" in shotguns, and eventually i'll do the same with the spey rods.... an in the mean time, i'll enjoy the adventure (and frustration) of looking for it....

fortunately for me (i think...) i don't have a redhead, much less even a significant other that i have to justify that forest of graphite i'm acquiring as i search!!! :chuckle: :smokin: :smokin:
 

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JD
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Discussion Starter #4
Standardization

Feiger,

Didn't anyone ever tell you that rod is really an 8140? :hehe: Like I said, the rod may have been designed for a heavier, short belly line , but if a longer belly line fits your fancy, well, you pays your money and you takes your chances. :D

It's not that I'm pushing for, or in favor of, standardiztion so much as just something that is a little easier to decipher than what we have now. After I put that post up, I figured someone could come up with some magic logarithmic mathamatical forrmula for all of this stuff. And if they do, great.

For me, life is much simpler. I have enough rods to do what I want to do, (for now anyway) have figured out which lines I like on them, and have a few extra lines to experiment with. I also have my own ideas on rod lengths for different types of lines. But that's just my preferences.

No redheads either. But if the Hardy girl ever shows up on my doorstep (river),,:devil:
 

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cast,mend,stumble,swear..
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194 Posts
Not if....

The Hardy Girl show's up at my river/doorstep first!!! :devil: :devil: :smokin:

8140 certainly makes more sense, and no, no one's shared that with me... explains why people get frustrated by the rod tho... the 8/9/10 Windcutter tips line i use is certainly the max for it, and i suspect the 7/8/9 would be better... but i don't need to invest in ANOTHER line...

Hear you on your request. And it would be nice if finding the rod and line match would be easier... but to some degree, others have tried to help us in that search, mainly through the Speyclaves and events, and folks like speybum who offer opp's for folks to come out and readily demo rods and line combinations. next best thing to knowing for sure, and maybe even better, in that you also get to take into account your own personnal casting style/mechanics/etc. into that selection... I learned a ton at my first speyclave last year in Sandy... namely I really wanted a different rod, but that's another story....
 

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Jd, Bob Meiser will be coming up with an answer.

I don't want to steal Bob's thunder, but in the future, he will make finding lines that work for his rods a lot easier in the near future. He does a better job than most rod makers do at this time.

He will make it easier for us to find the right line for his rods.
Think line casting weight and not the mythical size stuff.

Peter and Bob Pauli have done a lot of work re line weight.

I see the good rod makers telling us the minimum grs to load a rod and the maximum grs. There is a small scale on the market now for less than $20 that will enable us to determine how much of a line meets the minimum or the maximum. If we know the range of a rod, we can take a line and measure the minimum and maximum grs and mark those weghts in the length of line required to load the line. Many of us do this now without the scale. When we find a sweet spot with X line with Y rod, we mark it.

Now we depend on each other help us with general and sometime specific help.
 

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In my opinion it's only a mess if you make it one.

All well designed rods will cast long and short bellied lines equally well. A rod that won't simply isn't designed well end of story.

All well designed rod will cast any line in the designated line weight and do it well. If a rod doesn't It's not well designed.

My point is buy a well designed and well built rod and there is no mess to clear up..

Frankly I think people are getting WAY WAY WAY overtechnical with all this. Way more than any manufacturer has the time to research. but an 8wt rod and put an 8wt line on it it's that simple.
manufacturers simply cannot cast every rod with every line. They RnD their rods then make recommendationd from that. Anything more is the responsibility of the consumer..
 

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here's a dumb question

why aren't there more,,,are there any??,,shootouts,?,heck every type of gun,car,boat,,,etc. magazine has shootouts,comparisons,of products in the same class,well, maybe i should be quiet,,after all ,,,once you have found ~the magic line~,,,it's your little secret,,,,if there was only one rod to cast then there wouldn,t be a `forum',,hey rob,,what's the deal on the 18 ft. burkie prototype that was used at Musto
 

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JD
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3,610 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
grain weights

Grampa Spey.


Peter and Bob Pauli have done a lot of work re line weight.

Are you referring to Peter_S_C & the casting weight model?
I have not seen the model yet. (can't get the file to open) But he has said that the model shows that it's not so much the grain weight as how the grains are distributed.

When I first got into Spey rods, I asked JIm Vincent why an accelerator line weighed more than than a windcutter line of the same designation. His answer was that when you cast a longer line, you need to load the rod deeper. And to do that you need more grain weight. At the time, I doubted his reasoning. But time has changed my mind.

All well designed rod will cast any line in the designated line weight and do it well. If a rod doesn't It's not well designed.
Well I new I would ruffle some feathers and shake some rod makers out of the bushes with that one. :D Good morning Rob. So do you guys also put a three number designation on your single hand rods? Does anyone else?

The Wulff Triangle Taper lines were (I think) the first to use this crazy multi number designation on their lines. They have since seen the error of their ways and changed to a single number designation.

And I can kind of see the reasoning in calling a double multi-tip line by a multi number designation. Because you can loop anything onto it and make it whatever you want. I don't agree with it. I think they should all have a single number designation based on what they are, as a full line, out of the box. What you do with them, how you loop them together, is your own business.

I was hoping, evidently in vain, that someone in the industry would offer some constructive criticism. Not just defend the status quo.
 

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JD Jones

It has been since 1956/57 since I had a physics course. Even though I got A's in the courses, I don't remember enough basic pyshics to do an analysis on Peter's and Bob's works. I will leave that to the engineers.

I think what will evolve will be the manufacturers who care about customer satisfaction will come out with the grain weight where their rods begin to load and eventually overload.

That will give us a range.

Umpqua now has a line weight scale to weigh a length of line and tell us how many grains are in that length for about $20. That will enable us to pull out a length of line, loop it on the little line scale to determing the grains in that length. Then, we can mark the beginning load spot and the ending spot. When we take the marked line to the water, we will have ranges for us to find a sweet spot on that line. Bench tests may eliminate even buying or trying to cast a line.

Re the comment re buying a one handed rod and selecting any line in the suggested weight category, I can't print my reply to that. I bought a lot of Sage, Loomis, T&T, Orvis and other single handed rods in the last decade before I hurt my shoulders and couldn't cast a single handed rod. I seldom bought a rod that would work for me with the recommended lines. Most of the newer rods for example if they were a 6 or 7 weight rod, needed an 8 to 9 weight line to load the rods. A few were too weak to properly lift sinking lines in the recommened weight. When I sold the rods to friends, I just gave them the lines and told them that they might work and might not.

The buyer beware and be satisfied with what we sell you is exactly why my wife now drives a Lexus. She had a Sable that went through 4 cooling systems in about 8 years. Of course every cooling system that blew up was just past warranty. A friend showed me the pages and pages of warnings of this problem that as an owner/consumer I was never made aware of. She works for an auto repair shop. When I saw those pages of $crew the buyer, we narrowed the new car choice down to a Lexus or Acura. She wanted the Lexus.

If the rod manufacturers don't want to make and sell Spey Rods, the smaller makers like Meiser, Anderson and others will will the gap quite well. I don't think that AST or Rio will be going out of business, and they will continue to come out with new Spey lines that are slicker and hopefully better in the hands of average Spey Casters.

Below is the link to the Umpqua line scale:

www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=36021&storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&parentCategory=3948&cat4=1113&shop_method=pp&feat=sdp120
 

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JD
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Discussion Starter #11
Umpqua line scale

Do you have one of these?. It looks like it only goes up to 30 grams which is only 463 grains. Not good enough to measure long lines.
 

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JD Jones

Good catch. You just saved me $20 bucks.

Looks like I/we need to contact Umpqua or some Spey guy can make one for the Spey Market.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hardy Girl...

That Hardy girl may be coming to Oregon to see you old boys but when she gets there she will be wearing a tee shirt that says Red Shed Fly Shop so she is stopping to see "Poppy" first.:smokin:


Roballen, Good post!
 

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loco alto!
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My point is buy a well designed and well built rod and there is no mess to clear up..

imagine a rod that loads equally well for a single caster with these lines:

SA XLT 8/9
Grandspey 7/8
Midspey 9/10
Windcutter 9/10/11
Triangle Taper 10/11

I see that as a big mess to clear up, unless you are prepared to market a rod as 7-8-9-10-11 and let the (sucker) consumer throw down $300 until they find a line that works. Maybe its the line makers that are more to blame than rod makers, but the two certainly go hand-in-hand, and marketing rods with 3 line ratings doesn't help matters - it only confuses it further.

Kudos to Peter, JD, and others who want a way out of this mess. Soduks to those who would blame the consumer for this mess.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Loco Alto...

I don't see anyone blaming the consumer for anything. I do think that sometimes the search gets more technical then it needs to be and I personally don't think there will ever be a system for choosing a spey rod/line combo off the shelf that works for every caster every time. The info that JD, Bob Pauli, Peter SC, and others have provided have been a great help but the only sure way to get a given rod/line combo that works for a caster is to try it on the water.

and let the (sucker) consumer throw down $300 until they find a line that works.
I almost take your statement above as a personal insult. I guarantee you that no consumer will ever waste money trying to find the right rod/line combo at my shop and I know there are a lot of other shops out there that have far more expertise then I have and demo tackle as well so the consumer gets their monies worth without obtaining a second mortgage. Any spey (fly) tackle retailer that can't or won't provide you that service doesn't deserve your dollars.

As to your complaint on the 3 line designation, in one of the long threads we've had on this subject, (I think it was the one started by Peter SC last year) someone from the UK gave an explaination for the 3 line designation. I have no idea if it was right but it made perfect sense to me. Take care, MJC
 

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Loco Alto

Bob Meiser has started addressing this with his new ocean rods.

Go to the link below and read the description of his biggest ocean rod, his S2h131212 rod. The last paragraph is the start towards by passing this line weight mess for two handed rods.

http://www.meiserflyrods.com/salt.html

The S2H131213 is a 4 pc. 13' ~ 12/13 wt. ~ Fast recovery tip action rod, designed specifically for two handed overhead deliveries and presentations from the beach. The primary application for the 13' 12/13 wt. is to deliver shooting head systems into the Striper surf, utilizing caster friendly two-handed overhead presentations. The ease with which this rod will throw mends over breaking waves, and un-plug large flies from surface tension makes it an ideal tool for the surf.

The lower grip has a long extension to cam shots into the wind, and will comfortably tuck under the arm for double hand fast retrieves. Also, the first stripper guide is high on the butt section to allow the reach required for the double fast retrieve. The rod components: Reel seats, strippers, running guides, and tip-top are Titanium for ultimate saltwater endurance. The lower grip is made of composite cork.

This is a no-nonsense, hard working, serious piece of graphite. "It is tip loading at 500 grains, and has enough butt reserve to deliver 1200 grains and beyond if needed." It will easily deliver heavy flies in excess of 100 ft. using two handed overhead presentations, and will defeat fish beyond 100 pounds.

==============================================

This rod is a 4 piece Spey Rod on steroids. However with this data, we have a base range of what the rod can do. All we need is a small and simple scale to weigh various lengths of a fly line, then mark a code for the weight like 500 grains, 850 grains, 1200 grains at the various lengths. Then, we can make adjustments on the water.
 

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loco alto!
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NJC

No insult at your shop intended. You've been helpful to me.

This is a poke at an industry that can't seem to acknowledge a real problem. When lines rated 7 thru 11 can load similarly on one rod for one caster, then somethings amiss.

I know that there have been several attempts to revise spey line AFTMA ratings, but from where I'm sitting that improvement is too slow coming, while new lines (and more confusion) hit the market every day.

There are very few shops that carry enough lines in stock to make selection an easy process. Some charge a rather high fee for testing a line with a Very limited window for making a final decision if you want to pay that money forward. My local shop carries virtually nothing for spey tackle, and won't demo things that they have to order. The local demand apparently isn't high enough, and I accept that reality. Its not their fault. That's why many of us mail order to get what we *think* we need (primarily thanks to the advice on this board) or seek out friends with lines to test - often trying to benefit from their misfortune.

Sorry if I ruffled your feathers, but the only people at all satisfied or complacent with the current spey line rating system seem to be involved in the industry one way or another. That's not a good sign, if you ask me.
 

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thoughts

Feiger;get a redhead!,,,,,,,,it's the headlength,no not the redhead~,,,the lines,,,this is why i stated once,why not just make a continuous line getting progressively thicker,then just cut what the rod can handle,splice to your running line,and that's it,overhead after that,this is what i've done to a couple DT's,and they WORK GREAT!,,,,,,,,HEY ROBALLEN,,,,,,,;ANY NEWS ON THE 18 FT> BURKIE ????
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Loco Alto...

You didn't ruffle my feathers, I'm tougher then that and I'm not complacent with the current line rating system. I just don't think there will ever be a "one size fits all" system for buying spey tackle without trying it on the water to see if it fits your style and ability. There are just to many varibles with caster styles and with all the great tackle that is available today.

There are lots of great rods on the market but I'm most familiar with CND. The CND Steelhead Specialist is a rod that will handle many different lines and line weights. It is rated 8/9 yet I have customers that swear it was made for the 7/8 Delta Long and others that think it is great with the 10/11 in the same line. There are lots of great choices in between including some long bellies. What kind of a line rating would YOU give a rod like that?

There are very few shops that carry enough lines in stock to make selection an easy process. Some charge a rather high fee for testing a line with a Very limited window for making a final decision if you want to pay that money forward.
When I had my line rental program going I did not have one person utilize it. If you bought a line from me the rental cost was almost zero. I finally discontinued it from lack of interest.
Take care, MJC
 

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just say no to bait
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115 Posts
It seems that rod flex patterns and line head design make for a complicated problem. [obvious] Throw in different casting styles and there is no easy answer.

Unfortunately we don't have a Red Shed mentallity in the tackle shops on the island. The best aid I've found is right here on this forum. If I were selling tackle I would referr all spey customers here first.

N I
 
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