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· Registered
202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After doing some reading I feel like I have a reasonable understanding of lines and how they are used. But some things are still a little vague. Spey lines seemed to be grouped into 4 categories. There are lot's of custom variations but if you go to your local fly shop you have 4 main groups to choose from.

1) Long belly lines. These are lines that have bellies from about 60' to as long as 100'. They include lines like the Airflo Delta Long, Rio MidSpey and Grand Spey and SA XLT. With these lines you are casting and swinging most of, or the whole belly, without stripping line.

2) Short belly lines. The belly on these lines are from about 50' to 60' long and include lines like the Airflo Delta, Rio WindCutter and SA Spey Short. You fish these lines a bit shorter and often will strip in some of the line and shoot it back out during the cast.

3) Scandinavian lines. These are short shooting head lines. Usually between 30' and 40'. These lines are well suited to underhand casting and you fish these lines by shooting a LOT of line during the cast.

4) Skagit lines. These are very short heavy shooting heads. Usually between 25' and 30'. They are used for throwing heavy flies and fishing deep. I think Rio makes the only commercial Skagit line. Not exactly sure how you cast these lines. (An abbreviated underhand cast?)

5) Ummm... Switch lines? Is this just 10'11' rodds that can take either a heavyish single hand line or a lightish spey line depending on whether you want to overhead cast or spey cast?

If anyone would like to expand on or correct any of the above please feel free...

Now that I've been casting a while I feel like I'd like to try some of these other line types. My issue is that I have a TFO 12'6" 6 wt rod. The Airflo Delta 6/7 that I have on it now matches it well. If I wanted a long belly line I assume I'd probably choose the SA XLT 6/7 line? I don't think there is a Scandinavian line available for this rod. The Rio Scandanavian 7/8 might work bit it may be too heavy? Should I try and make one? Any pointers on how? (I've been reading Dana's newsletters on underhand casting and want to give it a whirl. :D )

· Junkyard Spey
7,105 Posts
Hey Geoff...

By using Peter's line chart http://www.redshedflyshop.com/CASTINGWEIGHTCHART.html you can cross reference between the line you have now and a lot of the other commercial spey lines by finding lines that have the same or nearly the same casting weight. The closest long belly I can find to what you have now is the no longer available Airflo Traditional 7/8. I have one I will loan you if you want to play around.

As to making a line for underhand casting, you can underhand cast the line you have now but if you want to make a shooting head try a 9wt single hand line until you find the sweet spot, cut it there, install a loop or nail knot the head to some Slick Shooter or Amnesia and go for it. Before I cut the line I would also try an 8wt and maybe a 10 wt so you can find what is right for your casting style and ability. Your local fly shop should have some demo lines you can use.

For me a midlength line is a "long belly" on that rod. You might also look at some of the SA Steelhead Tapers. They work pretty good on some of the light two handers. Here are the line specs: http://www.redshedflyshop.com/SA-LINES.html

· Registered
215 Posts
In terms of grouping lines into categories, I think the 'Denver Standards' would be a good place to start, although they don't cover Skagit lines.


With a 12'6" rod, I wonder whether true long belly lines as defined at Denver are really relevant. I'd have thought that 65'-70' was about as much as most casters could comfortably handle, and you might do better to look at options in the mid-length range.

· loco alto!
3,295 Posts
how does fishing differ among the lines? there are some real gems in the archives

Long bellies cause casters to overcast the fish vs. long bellies allow casters to reach fish out of reach to others vs. long bellies don't work with tips vs they do vs. long bellies don't load well in close vs. the newest long belly design overcomes all shortcomings and will turn over large weighted flies within 20' vs. etc.

or Short bellies cause the caster to strip in all day when they could be fishing vs. short bellies cast more easily and consistently so there are fewer botched casts that take away from fishing as occurs with long bellies vs. short bellies keep getting that durn running line tangled in the stripping guide vs short bellies load both close in and shoot well across river vs. short bellies teach bad habits vs. most people learn on short bellies faster and then adjust their stroke when they try others lines vs. etc.

or: Mid bellies are useless and will go the way of disco vs mid bellies are used by more Speypages participants than any other type of line (see poll) vs. etc.

I mean, if you want to stir discussion, just choose your poison .. :D
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