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loco alto!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have mid belly lines gone the way of disco, and prognosticated on these pages a few years ago? They're often recommended to beginners who want to "reach out a little more."

Have you stuck with them, or burned them in a spey-pyre along with your 8-tracks?

(PS - a long belly with only 65' of overhang is effectively a mid-belly)
 

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burn baby burn :saevilw: and I never even owned one. it's short or long and nothing in between :lildevl:
Mike
 

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Here we go again!
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Mid length bellies

I actually like them and use them, but like other lines I use them to match certain conditions. When fishing in slower summer and fall flows where casts need to be 60 to 90 feet in water that can run 4 to 8 feet deep I like to fish with small to medium sized lightly weighted flies and use sink tips, so the Airflo Delta long or Rio Midspey works well for me. I really would prefer to fish a long belly floater, but here fish rarely will come up several feet and take a fly so even in summer if there's any depth to the water you need to go with sink tips. I do like fishing weighed tubes on a floating short head like a Delta, with a long leader, but for fishing a standard spey fly or shumakov tube fly it's easier to go with a mid belly and tips.

Where I see a lack of need for the mid bellies is in the floater. If a fly can be cast on a long belly then that's what I'd use, if it's too larger or heavy for a long belly then the mid belly likely isn't going to carry it either and you'll need a bulkier short head line. The sink tips on the mid belly do seem to make carrying something like a small Shumakov tube or beadhead easier than it would be with the floater.
 

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Very interesting thread. My experience is too limited to really add much except that I enjoy casting the mids the most but the rivers that I fish the most often call out for short. :eek:

- David
 

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I've got a number of them but have not used them in the last 2 years. Long bellies can do anything a mid belly can do including throwing tips - justbecause it is a long belly does not mean you have to be casting the whole belly!! For winter and big flies, short bellies, especially skagit lines can't be beat. Seems teh mid belly is a line that can't do what a short belly can do and can't do what a long belly can do as well. If you are fishing water that never needs casts in excess of 70 or 80 feet, a mid belly might make sense
 

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I don't fish a mid-belly much, but that's just because I like my long belly better, not that I can take advantage of it most of the time. A mid-spey is good for an 85 to 90-foot cast without shooting, if you figure from hand to fly. So, I mid-spey will certainly cover most fishing distances adequately, especially if one shoots line for the occasions when longer casts are necessary.

My thinking is that there hasn't been much development effort on the mid-length lines lately. The long lines had their day, now it's the short lines heyday. Perhaps with some new development the mid-bellys will make a comeback as a good all-around line for spring, summer, and fall, and as a line that doesn't take as much space on the spool and so would be a good match for lighter weight rods with smaller reels. It makes sense, but I'm not holding my breath

--Bill
 

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Mr. Mom
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Mids are very comfortable to use all day in larger weights than longs. I like them both, but 3 days of a 9/10 XLT can be a bit much. Having a midspey around to change to can save alot of shoulder pain.
 

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Mid Spey lines are very ergonomic for an old man

Mid Spey lines are very ergonomic for an old man and handle many of the waters I fish after the higher winter flows.

This was driven home to me in spades two shad seasons ago. I had a Grand Spey 7/8 with tips that I used with my Sage 7141, a Meiser 13' 6" rod and a 9 wt 14' rod which I don't own any more.

To handle the Grand Spey I needed my Loop 4. The combined weight of the rod, the Loop 4 and the Grand Spey took its ergonomic toll after about an hour. Also on the American River, with my shad fishing about 10 to 20 % of the shad are caught as the weighted tip sinks down after the fly hits the water. Most of my shad are caught by stripping in the line. Most of the shad areas required casts from 50 to about 65'. A 3 pound shad dragging the Grand Spey plus the heavy fish rods really wasn't much of a challenge.

Then, I went to the Russian River with my 7141 and my Grand Spey. The river flow was low only required casts up to about 50-55', and most of the shad lanes were at most only 40-45' out.

At that point I ordered my Sage 6126-3. The Midspey 7/8 with tips fit perfectly on smaller and lighter reels. I took this rig to the American River and had some of the best Shad Fishing I have ever had for the season. The fish were taken in lanes 50 to 65' with the type 8 tip. Even 3# shad put up a decent fight because they weren't hauling around the GS. I met my son a couple of times. He had his venerable Sage 9140 with his WC and tips. I had bought him a type 8 tip because his WC system was the old one without the type 8. He was casting at first 80 to 90' out and not really getting anything until he got into the 50 to 65' lanes. We were fishing the same lanes, and I was using about half the ergonomic effort to get there.

Later, I took my 6126-3 to the Russian River for Shad fishing, and it was too much rod for a lot of the water. This year I will be using my Sage 5120 and the Outbound WF 10 weight with and without the Rio sinking leader/tips. The current slows down in May/June to a rate where a long leader is all that is needed to get the weight shad flies down to where the Shad are.

This Shad season on the American, at first I will be using my Skagit 450 and my 6126, and maybe the 5120 and the OB WF 10. It depends on how far out they are and other factors.

I have the MS 6/7 Floater. With a Rio 15' Steelhead leader, a couple of feet of tippit, I have used dry flies and intermediates down to size 20 with good results on the Deschutes, upper and lower Rogue for half pounders, the Chetco for cuts, the lower Yuba, the American and parts of Putah Creek with my 7136 and 6126 when there isn't a lot of wind. In my hands, my MS' lines :mad: are not that great with strong winds.
 

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Mid belly lines are just another tool for us to use or to meet conditions as Moose stated. If on a particular river you rarely need more cast then 100' foot to fly and more common are 70 -90' then why bother with a long belly. Sure you can do it but I would rather not have the fat part of the line in the rod all day a working with less then optimal grains out side the rod for "easy" casting. However, if the range on a river is 60-130' then a LB makes sense.

I also agree with philster. If you are getting tired or the wind kicks up switching from a LB to a mid length can make life easy. The casts are back to chip shots and when you are working easy then it is easier to control loops and turn the fly over in a wind.

i believe what are going to become obsolete are the 55' belly lines. Between Skagit or Scandinavian heads, mids and longs the short is left out in the cold. Which is funny as it was the bread and butter in the PNW for so long.

Greg
 

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I wouldn't play taps yet for them. I agree with Greg that depending on where you are fishing they can be a great line. For 12 and 13 foot 6 and 7 weight rods fished full floater, I have never had a need for a true long belly. The mid-bellies (Midspey and Delta Long and CND lines in the lower weights) are perfect. For tips work, as long as you are not fishing large rivers, they are also well matched. When cutback, the midspeys, delta longs, and the jetstreams work quite well.
 

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I fish most of the time with 65' heads, and find them comfortable to use all day. With the entire head outside the tip ring, you probably have about 90' from reel to fly (say 12' of leader, 65' of line and 14' of rod) even before you shoot any line. So I'm a little puzzled that Moose says mid-belly lines are the appropriate tool for fishing at 60'-90' ranges, unless he's only measuring line ouside the rod tip rather than from reel to fly. As Greg P says, what is the point of having a line (of whatever head length) if a significant amount of the head remains inside the tip ring or if you have to chop off a portion of the front taper - why not just use a shorter head line?

On top of that 90'-odd from reel to fly, it shouldn't be hard to shoot at least another 15' or so, and this isn't an unmanageable amount of running line entailing endless stripping between casts and risking tangles. Although there are no doubt a few places where a really long cast is worthwhile, 35 yards is enough just about anywhere I fish (and, let's not forget, that would have been regarded as a very long cast even 15 years ago). These days you'll probably hear at least as many Scottish gillies suggesting that people cast too far as expressing concern that the water isn't being covered adequately. Sometimes I can't help feeling that casting has become more important, to some people, than real, practical fishing.
 

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Here we go again!
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Gardner, I say 60 - 90 feet because I don't begin fishing with the whole head out, but I feel that about 1/2 of that head needs to be out to be casting the line rather than just flipping it out.

GPearson, if you like fishing 1" brass tubes in water 1-4 feet deep, that 55 foot head with 17-20 foot Chameleon leader makes doing so a lot more fun than using a sinking tip line. The abrupt taper of the Delta seems to work better than others. Going to a skagit line just because the midspey would be burdened with this fly would be unnecessarily extreme as far as grains needed to carry the fly. I see the standerd 50-55 foot heads as a natural progression in belly length that shouldn't be eliminated.

I've yet to cast a long belly with tips other than the old Grandspey. I didn't care much for it.
 

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Hey Moose,

I think the Scandinavian shooting heads at 40-50' with 20' leader accomplish the task you mention very well and yet are capable of greater distance if needed.

Being a line nut, I don't think any line should go away but i think the one that might get pinched is the short as others gain popularity.

Greg
 

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JD
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MidSpey line

Several years ago I bought a MidSpey 9/10 tips line for my Sage 9150-4. It has seen very little use & I could be talked out of it fairly easily if anyone wants it.

That pretty much says it all for me and MidSpeys.
 

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Sounds like my WC 5/6 which I sold last year.

JDJones said:
Several years ago I bought a MidSpey 9/10 tips line for my Sage 9150-4. It has seen very little use & I could be talked out of it fairly easily if anyone wants it.

That pretty much says it all for me and MidSpeys.
A smart fisher figured out after a couple of my posts complaining about how worthless the WC 5/6 :mad: was in my inept hands, made me an offer, I couldn't refuse.

I hope that he is as happy with it as I am happy without it! :chuckle:

Hopefully someone will make you an offer, you can't refuse! ;)
 

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Hey!!! Don't forget about us!!

.............here in the Midwest,we don't have a lot of places where we have unlimited backcast room. We might start out on a run tight to the bank,with trees,branches,bushes,etc.,less than a rod length behind us,and then have areas where there is a lot of room behind you futhter down the run. I was fishing a 55' line(including a 15' tip),and just added a 6' section to load some faster rods. By removing the short piece,I can fish this one line from just off the rod tip out to 110' with any of my 13' to 14' 8 to 9 wt rods standing in water up to 3' deep. It casts everything from a floating tip,to an Airflo Custom Cut that weighs 470 grains and sinks 12'' a second. It makes life very simple.
 

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fly on little wing
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don't dis the mid-bellies disco Steve

they work great on my 13' and 14' rods.

i think the blind faith song "do what you like" is more appropriate.

Gary
 

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loco alto!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’m not discounting them at all, just asked an open question in keeping with my habit of encouraging postings on random topics, to liven things up, and give me something new to read. If anyone cares, the prediction that mid lines would “go the way of disco and be confined to small areas of Europe” (something like that) was part of an entertaining thread started by Scott O’Donnell a few years ago. You can find it by searching the archives for disco.

Though I use a full spectrum of lines, I recently “did the math” and realized that I probably spend more hours with a midbelly (or a "fake" long-rear-taper longbelly) than all other lines combined. The reasons include most of the ones given by others: in summer they’re nice on 13-14’ rods when backcast room is variably open or tight, and in winter to fish tips efficiently by lift-n-cast over long days. I reserve longbelly lines for when there’s a promise of floating lines on big open water, short heads for when the wind really howls, and skagit lines for tight winter quarters ... but mids get fished more

I was never a fan of disco, but have wondered whether I'm due for a move to an isolated area of Europe. Seems like some of you are coming along :chuckle:
 

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...............Voodoofly,wow....Blind Faith,let's see...Eric Clapton,Ginger Baker,Steve Winwood.....wasn't there someone else in the group? Man I was pretty crazy back then,probably why I can't remember if anyone else was in the group. But that song,"Do What You Like'',that was and is an incredible jam!! :smokin:
 

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cast,mend,stumble,swear..
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long live the mid-belly....

for my Burkie 9139 and Sage 9140, I love a Delta Long 8/9 for my dry line work. Smooth, effortless, won't wear you out after a week's worth of fishing, long enough belly to cover a lot of water w/ minimal amount of line shooting, yet can reach out there if you need to. w/ the 65' head, 14-16' of leader, and a rod length's shooting line, 100' of water covered easy. takes care of my needs on the deschutes, and other similar waters. Still my favorite for dry lining!!
have tried to cast a few long bellies, and for my needs, to much work, and to much room needed for D-loop formation. Short belly and shooting heads ~ stripping in 30-40' of shooting line after ever cast gets old...........
 
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