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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...so, the "rule" was 3 to 3 1/2 times rod length. Then, for those that have been faithful Speypage perusers, you saw that I put forth over the last year or so that I had taken the bottom end of that line length ratio down to 2 1/4 times rod length. Well, before I present my newest findings, let me explain the "why" of the upper length limit.

The upper limit of 3 1/2 times rod length has to do with how efficiently the line can be picked up and then repositioned back onto the water for the anchoring stage of the cast. The C-Spey is no problem - it's aerialized Pickup "automatically" puts just about any length of line back onto the water in a castable position. It's the Perry Poke and Skagit Double that have determined that upper 3 1/2 limit because they both require an actual, calculated judgement of how far to "drag" the line, along with how much power to use when dragging to get the line into the correct placement. 3 1/2 times the rod length is about as long a line as can be consistently and efficiently dragged into a optimum placement for casting when using the "drag approach".

Now then, the bottom end of that spectrum is determined by how short can the line be before it will not hold anchor long enough to allow for the formation of the forward cast. That bottom figure used to be 3 times rod length, then I played around with varying line combos to be able to drop it to 2 1/4. My most recent experimentation has now brought it down even more - just over 2 times rod length. What has now become very evident to me is that the amount of "holdback" resistance displayed by whatever it is you are trying to pull out of the water has as much effect on the length of line that can be used as does the actual length of line. For example, floating line with a small fly has little holdback in the water and therefore either, 1 - a longer length of line (increase of holdback resistance) or, 2 - a lighter line (reduction of forward momentum), or 3 - combo of both needs to be used to balance the relationship of holdback with forward momentum. On the other hand, a heavy sinktip and/or big fly has a high degree of holdback, therefore a shorter line can be used to reduce the amount of line that touches the water during the casting process, thus reducing holdback. Or, a heavier belly can be employed to increase the forward momentum in order to override the increased holdback. Or, a combo of both can be used. Clear as mud?!

Here's my latest: Loomis 12' 9" 6/7 Dredger, a rod that is comparable in power rating to most other manufacturer's sixes, even some five's. Belly used - 18'6" @ 398 grains. Tip used - 8' of T-17 @ 140 grains! Fly used - weighted 4" string leech! That's right... T-17 and a weighted fly on that rod! The ratio of rod length to line length is just a hair over 2. This circumstance means that the capabilities of very light Spey's or Switches can be upped to include even larger and/or heavier flies, tips in the pursuit of smaller species of fish. Minnow-eating trout, white bass, black bass, beware!
 

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Crystal clear.

Thanks Ed. You explain the tradeoffs very clearly. I'm still using the short line I built a couple of years ago for my 11'6" 5/6/7 Meiser: 15' from a Rio 500 Skagit line and up to 11' of T-14 (total 26'). These short setups are fun to cast very accurate and easy to cast in any conditions. On smaller rivers with brushy banks it's cool to be able to pop the fly and tip into a tight spot and fish small pockets and runs with precision.

Any idea whether/how much sink rate affects holdback? All of my tips are T-14 these days, but it's tempting to play with intermediate or type-3 sink material to keep some more holdback instead of going to short lengths of T-14. My guess would be that subsurface tips of the same mass would have the same holdback whether they're intermediate or fast sink like T-14.

Carl
 

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OK, I'll bite (I should be running out the door...)

I fish that same 6/7 Dredger with a Rio 450 skag and various lengths of T 14. Like it alot. No, love it! I think the only time I would like something different is when casting out to that snag or rock that has faster current between me and it and therefore I'm being dragged away from my target sooner. My remedy has been a series of upstream mends to stay in the game longer. Is this what you are referring to? By working with a shorter head / line that is attached to a thin running line has less drag?
I'm guessing I'm missing something...what are all the advantages?
 

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Bait/spin fishing?

I´m by no means an expert skagit caster/creator like Ed Ward, I have only dabbled with the style but have found it very useful for early spring/late september fishing for big searun browntrouts here in Sweden.

I remember a time when using shootingheads were frowned upon here in Sweden, by the majority of fisherman who used longbelly lines. Since then a lot of water have passed under the bridge and the situation is now the reversed one:chuckle:

I love the northamerican approach to fishing - getting the job done - in an innovative way, drawing on past experiences, but ultimately finding a method that catches fish!

So I don´t want to be the person who Cries Wolf, but I guess I am, bit isn´t this type of set up dangerously close to spinning and not really flyfishing?

that again raises another question, I know, as long as you´re using a flyrod and flyline it´s flyfishing right?!

Curious
Jonas
 

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Carl

You may have answered my question. What's on the back end of that Rio 500?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll provide...

...more in-depth responses when I return from being up on the river for the next few days.

Quick response to the "spinning" deal - flycasting involves casting the weight of the line... that's the basic premise. Secondly, in my opinion, what must be added to this is that it does in fact form a casting "loop", otherwise a 500 grain "line" of only a couple of feet in length could easily be "cast" in the same manner as "lures".
 

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Oops...

So I don´t want to be the person who Cries Wolf, but I guess I am, bit isn´t this type of set up dangerously close to spinning and not really flyfishing?

that again raises another question, I know, as long as you´re using a flyrod and flyline it´s flyfishing right?!

Curious
Jonas
Actually, baitcasting. The answer is that yes, indeed it is 'fly fishing' in a sense, but it certainly blurs things as lines get shorter and shorter and flies get bigger and bigger, and sink tips heavier and shorter with more vertical presentation.

I have a whole post on this topic on my blog Classicangler.blogspot.com
 

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Actually, baitcasting. The answer is that yes, indeed it is 'fly fishing' in a sense, but it certainly blurs things as lines get shorter and shorter and flies get bigger and bigger, and sink tips heavier and shorter with more vertical presentation.

I have a whole post on this topic on my blog Classicangler.blogspot.com
Interesting reading - makes you wonder:lildevl:


Anyway, I´m intrigued by the whole deal and, thanks to various northamerican anglers, has gotten me to thinking about flyfishing ways that I´d never dreamt of before:rolleyes:

I´m a gentle spltcane rodmaker who likes a relaxed fishing style.

cheers,
Jonas
 

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If I could find a roll of 30gr/ft level skagit belly I'd be off and running...
 

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I have to admit that I like geekin' out on line configurations. My basic approach right now is simply to lengthen my tip & tippet as my fly has less water grab. 7' tip + 2' tippet, up to 15' tip and 5+' tippet. I feel like the longer line not only makes up for lost anchor material, but also deepens the d-loop, lowering the angle of pull on the anchor, meaning it's more through the surface of the water than up and out of it. This could easily be my imagination, though.

Edit: I also wanted to chime in with a thanks, Ed. The 2.25x rod length guidance opened the door to me playing with tip length. Tuning these setups to the fly is pretty sweet. When you want to tell us about your dredger 7/8 & 8/9 experiments, I'll be taking notes.
 

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RA,
All anglers benefit from your work. Pushing the limits [long, short, heavy, light,...] and publishing the information is how others learn the elements involved in arriving at an outfit balanced 'just right' for their application and style.

Many thanks.
 

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For Sixrivers,

Like Bob just wrote, I've learned an awful lot reading what Riveraddict has written. He's done more tinkering and testing with Skagits than anyone else I'm aware of, and it's based on what fishes effectively and not what sells some company's product.

I generally use the thinner Monic running line, which is a coated braid, when it's cold. After reading Riveraddict's suggestion to use mono on lines with total weight less than 500 grains, I tried that too and agree there's a big gain in shooting. Once it warms up some I use mono running line.

Even with my 15' belly, I'm casting from a waterborne anchor with a D-loop, so to those who were discussing where fly fishing ends, I'm content with what I'm doing. When designing my line it was important to me that it cast smoothly and turn over effectively...it does.

Thanks again Riveraddict.

SpeySpaz, that line exists.

Carl
 

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I agree with that Carl

I've read alot of Ed's stuff as well. Just haven't experimented as much as I would like. Probably due to fishing the 450 Rio straight out of the box with satisfactory results. It's a personality thing:) I just replaced my old 450 with another so I now have something to play with. Hence the questions.
 

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It's in the archives if you're curious.

At one time I posted what I did under something like short trout spey skagit line. I did a bunch of math to get the weights and lengths the way I wanted for my 11'7" Meiser 5/6/7, but the materials in the end were 15' from the belly of a Rio Skagit 500 and various pieces of T-14 and 14 gr/ft floating line as cheaters. I spliced the T-14 and cheaters to make 11' total length tips, one with 11' of T-14, one with 8', and one with 5'.

There's lots written about line design in old posts. The key is to have a good idea of the purpose of the line. For me it was to see how short I could go to fish in tight spaces. I started with an idea of what depth I wanted to fish, overall weight target and overall length target, and went from there.

Good luck, but I've gotta warn you that the tinkering can become a hobby all its own.

Carl
 

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Got busy doing other things...I'll go back into the archives over the weekend. Good thread.
 

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Carl, isn't 30 gr/ft something like a 750/800 skagit?:Eyecrazy:
where can I get some? I want to do some tinkering myself.:saevilw:
evil line nerd fun.
 

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level spey line on the bay

I noticed some rolls of green level 14 and 16wt line made by rio on the bay. Look under spey lines and it should pop up. I don't know what grainage that is but it could be in the ballpark.


Just looked at it, the level 16wt line is .099 diam and 20.90 gpf

Mark
 

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Speyspaz.. if memory serves right check out River Run Anglers... they are a site sponsor. I think that they carried a bunch of level floating bulk line for sale.... all sorts of sizes.
john
 

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One of the key items Ed is suggesting about going to a shorter skagit line is it allows targeting your species with a lighter rod.

The thing that more easily allows one to turn over heavy sink tips such as T-14 and now T-17 as well as heavy flies is not overall grain weight of the line but grain weight per foot.

Looking at the original skagit lines, two typical good winter lines would be the 550 for typical casting (probably requiring a standard two handed 7 wt rod) and maybe the 650 for even heavier stuff (maybe an 8 wt or even a 9 wt two hander).

Compare these lines with the short skagits. The 550 is around 20 grains/ft and the 650 is around 24 grains/ft.

The short skagit 425 is around 21 grains/ft and the 475 short is around 24 grains/ft. You can pretty easily cast the 425 on a 5 wt and the 475 on a 6 wt allowing you to pretty much cast the same tips and flies on a rod that is 2 weights less than what you could accomplish with a standard skagit setup.

The other huge benefit of the shorter lines is ease of casting and casting in tighter situations. A few weeks ago, Mike MCCune put on a demonstration on the American for Kiene's Fly Shop using the short skagits. He demonstrated a cast that is hands down the easiest spey cast I have ever used requiring almost no effort. It was a cack handed double spey that rested on his shoulder and stayed high (for river left) but also works very well as a standard double spey for river right. I posted a video of it in a previous post but am posting it here as well - it is truly almost effortless!!

 

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Ahlbin -

If I put a fast sinking tip and a heavy fly on a long belly line, would you say this is getting close to spin fishing? The big difference is I would need an 8 or 9 wt rod to accomplish with a long belly what I can accomplish with a 5 or 6 wt rod and a skagit short.

Would you classify a 30' shooting head (maybe even lead core) on a single handed rod similar to spin fishing? A skagit short at around 20+ feet and a 10' tip is close to the same length as a standard shooting head. Would you classify targeting large deep sea species using flies approaching 8" as similar to spin fishing? If not, I don't see any similarities between skagit casting and spin fishing but alot of similarities to the various fly casting scenarios I mentioned
 
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