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Discussion Starter #1
going to buy a spey line for my 14 ft 6 9/10 lamiglas. not sure if i should get a multi tip windcutter or airflo delta long. heard that the windcutter is a easier line to learn with. not sure if i should get a multi tip or just a floating line and add poly leaders if i want to get the line down. any suggestions would be appreciated:(
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Get either the Long Delta or MidSpey multi-tip line instead of the Windcutter to learn on. The mid-belly lines have 65 ft bellies and this extra 10 ft of belly over the Windcutter or other short-belly lines means you have to develop good technique to cast the whole belly. And in the long run, you are better off with learning how to cast the mid-belly lines well because they help you to avoid developing bad casting habits.

The multi-tip lines are far more versitile than the polyleaders and the sinktips will allow you to fish deeper than the polyleaders.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Which Line...

I also vote for a Delta Long or a MidSpey. As to the sink tip lines I think you would be better off starting with a floater and adding poly sinking leaders if you want to get down. Everyone has there opinion but if you do a search you will find testimony from many very experienced spey fishers as to the effectiveness of the poly sinking leaders.
 

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just say no to bait
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It really is a matter of opinion. I have both, a mid spey with tips and the windcutter and a bunch of the poly tips/leaders. It's true the multi tip lines will fish deeper, but you can always weight your flies. To me, shooting line is a blast. Yet right now I am considering an accelerator long belly line....Sooooo why not buy both right away and save yourself the extra trip to the tackle shop? I know the logic gets a little fuzzy but IMO, thats what usually happens anyway.

N I
 

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type of fishing?

Scott a lot depends on how you will be fishing most of the time. If you are primarily fishing in summer and fall then polyleaders are a nice simple solution. If most of your fishing is in winter and early spring with high flows, then the tips on a midspey would be my first choice. If salmon are your target and you need to strip, then I would go with a WC or shooting head configuration.
 

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Hi Scott,

Ted is right, it depends on your particular fishing. The 3 rivers that you list as your local haunts I would say that a Windcutter W/ tips is perfect. I disagree that it is not a good line to learn with and that it will hinder your growth as a spey caster. I believe the oppisit to be true. When learning to spey cast, overpower the big rod is one of the first things to get over and the windcutter will get a caster turning over flies with minimum effort very quickly. And then , if one chooses, you can go at the long lines with a good understanding of the spey casts and with practice and adjustments pick up the casts. Some of us have been bit by the spey bug big time and we forget that not everyone is striving to be a distance casting camp. Some folks just want a versatile line that will cover the majority of their fishing situations. The rivers that you mention are the birth place of lines like Windcutters and even shorter shooting heads.

A lot of places that we fish for steelhead in the PNW do not have ample room to form a giant pointed back cast (D loop or belly) so A shorter head is a bit easier to load the rod. I love spey casting everything from the short shooting heads to the long bellies and I think of the windcutter as the happy medium, not to long to load up close and not to much stripping. Maybe one of the biggest problems that folks have with the windcutter is that is so bloody easy to cast, they want a challenge. As a fishing tool for the rivers you mentioned it would be hard to beat.

If I was going on a world tour of all the rivers with salmon and steelhead in them and could only take one line it would be a Windcutter w/ tips and i would add some 24' big boy heads and the windcutter upgrade. This is the most versatile system out there hands down.

Options
1. 54' full floating head
2. 41' " "
3. 69' " "
4. 54' head with 15' tips in 4 sink rates
5. 41' " "
6. 69' " "
7. 54' head with 24' big boy tips 200,300, etc.
8. 41' " "
9. 69' " "

All one one reel and with one tip wallet. Of course one rod isn't going to handle ever configuration but a quick rod will handle the majority.

It comes down to would I rather have to strip and shoot some line on a big river like the Thompson or fish a long belly line short it tight quarters. I do not mind stripping line when I have to but IMHO the long bellies are not that suited to being backed up to brush.

I am sorry that this is such a long winded answer to your question Scott. This some times seems like the anti-windcutter pages and it is such a great fishing tool and easy line to cast that I had to put my 2 cents in.

Greg
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Peter,

The reasons you state are exactly why I always recommend newcomers go with a mid-belly line.

Greg,

I have and use Windcutter lines for my rods; however, I don't use them very often simply because I find very few places where I do not have sufficient room behind me to form D loops with mid-and long-belly lines. When I am fishing a spot with very limited room behind me, the Windcutter reigns supreme. And when fishing for silvers, the Windcutter is my line of choice because it allows me to strip in the line and then make another cast of 80 ft or more for the next stripping in of the fly.

I still feel that the mid-belly lines are best for beginners because they help promote good technique. The Windcutter and other short-belly lines allow a person to make a cast with very poor anchor placement and thus actually increase the amount of time needed to become a fair to good speycaster.
 

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Hi Peter,

I am curious which rods you had a problem loading with a windcutter choked up. Most rods that I have tried will handle a windcutter stripped in 12' or so. Anything shorter then 40' will be difficult with any line (I have not cast any of the longer lines that cast well under 40') and we are not doing a student any favors by having them start any shorter then that.

I maybe approaching this from a different angle from you. Most of the folks that I teach are headed to a week long fishing vacation and I only get one or two hours before they go to get them started. They are not looking at learning to spey cast in the long term (they have not been bit by the spey bug yet) they just want a to catch fish. I think the easiest line to get some one from never cast a two hander to making fishable cast quickly (with dry and 15' sink tips) is the windcutter. However, this is with instruction. Without any instruction you might be right that a midspey or delta would be easier. Less to think about I suppose and a little bit larger window to operate in.

You also mentioned particular errors that new casters develop with windcutters. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that specifically so that I may keep an eye out for these problems that might creep up.

Thanks, Greg
 

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Spey Casting

I believe that there are some serious misconceptions in the spey community as to what people are trying to do vs what people think they are trying to do. Most people when picking up a two hander for the first time are not trying to become the next Steve C or Way Y. Meaning that they are not trying to be distance casting champions. Most people want to learn how to cast and catch fish as quickly as possible. I feel that in order to do this more effectively people need to match the correct ROD and LINE to the rivers, species of fish, and techniques in order to accomplish this. Fishing here in the MW when I got into two handers everyone said I needed a 14-15' 9wt rod? So being a novice that is what I bought. Now after having done this for a few years and trying a fair number of different rods and lines I realize that this is not what a beginner should be given here in the MW. Most of the rivers are simply too small and the fish themselves dont require a rod like this. Now I would recomend a 12-14' 7-8wt rod for the majority of the fishing here in the MW and a shorter belly line. Why? It will be simpler for someone to start with a shorter/lighter rod and a short belly line to pick up the whole two handed experience and enjoy it. I feel that it is similar to teaching someone to golf. If you try and correct every single flaw in there game that first year they will probably get frustrated and give it up. But if you show them the basics and get them pointed in the right direction, chances are they will golf or spey fish for life. Just my .02 on this situation!:D
 

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What Line?

Scottd,
If you get a multi-tip line, then you can still use polyleaders if you should decide to. If you buy just a floater, then you have no option for using a sink-tip if you wanted to.
As for which style of line? There are numerous discussions in the archives dealing with long line versus short line systems. Use that information to determine which will overall best fit with the fishing conditions you are most likely to fish. Based upon that info, pick your style of line and then find an instructor that is qualified in the style of casting that matches with that line.
Flylines, regardless of the style, do not teach people bad habits. People do! To avoid this problem, avail yourself of QUALIFIED instruction. If you choose to teach yourself, then expect to make a lot of mistakes. Learning any style of Speycasting requires commitment. To put a perspective on what is involved, think of learning to cast a single handed flyrod with a standard overhead cast. Compared to a Speycast, the overhead cast is two-dimensional. A Speycast on the other hand, is THREE-dimensional - the use of the water's surface being the third dimension. Easy to learn? Not quite. Like any wothwhile skill, it takes some amount of personal investment. Worth it? You betcha!
 

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Casting

I know that I am probably going to get some flack for this but here goes. A person can be taught to cast any size rod with any length line however I believe that there are easier ways to teach a person to cast a two hander. If you were trying to teach a person to shoot a rifle you wouldnt hand them a side by side chambered in a 416 rigby? There is no reason a person couldnt start and learn with this rifle with the proper instruction. But I personally wouldnt recommend it. Along these same lines I don't believe that a persons first introduction to spey casting should be with a 14-17' rod and a long belly line such as an XLT or Grand Spey. However there is no reason a person couldnt learn with this setup. If your primary river is the Thompson you may very well want to learn to cast this setup but I still wouldnt start you out with this rig. Here in the MW there is just not enough rivers wide enough or fish large enough to warrant this type of setup. So trying to cast a rod this long with a line with this length of a head only to make a 50-70' cast is somewhat pointless? Along these same lines I feel that your first introduction to spey casting should be with a rod and line that is somewhat easy to learn with. Not one that will wear you out after an hour trying to get the hang of it.
 

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ChromeFever,

I would not give a beginner an XLT, GrandSpey, or Aiflow Traditional, not would I recommend they get a big mutha of a rod like my T&T 1611 either. I would tell them to not even consider the XLT, GS, and Traditional until they have been spey casting a few years and have developed some decent technique. I love the way the way these extra long (or long-belly) belly lines cast and fish; but I didn't start my sons or wife out with one. They were started with mid-belly lines.
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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RA makes some good points....multi-tips are definately more versatile then a straight floater and poly leaders ever will be.

Now here is my $.02 on polyleaders versus sinktips.

This past summer I fished polyleaders extensively and had great luck with them. Aside from the floaters, I fished the 10' & 14' X-Super Fast Sinking leader 90% of the time and hooked a fait amount of fish fishing them.

I found that the polyleaders brought your fly down as quickly as a standard sinktip would but as soon as tension was put on the fly and the fly began its cross-current swing, the fly would be begin to rise towards the surface quicker then normal (I rarely huny up during the swing in water that I know I would of hung up on every cast if I was fishing anything more then a type III sinktip).

A good freind told me that on the Umpqua they often fish their flies so that they rise up to the surface on the swing...I believe that polyleaders were fishing the fly in that manner. As we all know, summer fish are more responsive to a quicker moving fly and at times are 'more trouty.' The rising fly, IMHO, appeals to their trout nature as it imitates a hatching mayfly or caddisfly which on certain rivers in the summer time are very prevelant.

In the winter however, we know that we need to fish our fly slower and closer to the bottom which polyleaders do not allow us to as well in many types of water we encounter in the winter. So, in my everyday fishing, sinktips prevail in the winter and polyleaders are becoming a much more important fishing tool in the summer.
 
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