Spey Pages banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have heard good things about Nextcast lines and wanted to consult everyone's thoughts on whether they are worth the investment. Do they really perform better than what I use now - skagits and Rage heads?

Typically, I will add 10' if T11 on my skagits for fishing deep, and use a Rage for surface or near surface with smaller flies. They work fine.

I heard the taper of Nextcast allows T11 tip for big, heavy flies, but can also take mono or polyleader for surface and softer presentations. That sounds very versatile. Do these lines also cast farther and are more forgiving?

There seems so many choices of Nextcasts, its hard to know which one to get. I am thinking to use it for TFO Deercreek 1367, Winston B3TH 12667, Winston B2X 12667, Deercreek 1378, Winston B2x 1337.

I am thinking of the Winter Authority in 40 or 45. What about FF, Steelhead, etc.?

Will these lines fit those rods and perform better than my current Skagit and Rage setups?

Appreciate your feedback.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
The ideal matching tip gr/ft for those is more like 80-90 gr/ft, so t8 rather than t11, or 8 wt replacement tips, either 10 or 15’. For the later if you use the s8 version of the tip this will be approximately same sink rate as t11. The tapered mono would be for the FF, which is so close as almost does not matter to a WA with the included floating tip added. So add the floating tip and THEN the lightweight mono or polyleaders. Of course people can attach what they like to any line, but 80-90 gr per ft is what you should use if you want it to be a good match without the floating tip.

There is a LOT on these lines written on here over the years if you search. They cast easily and beautifully. But there isn’t any way for someone else to decide if they will “perform better” for anyone. Over time I gradually started being a bit annoyed with fishing them in certain spots - they have a big fat level section at the back that seems to need to get mended upstream a lot relative to their more delicate front ends. They are a nice, relatively manageable step from a skagit head. But maybe choose the first one carefully and both cast and fish with it for a while before deciding if you are enough of a fan to get more.

I find a skagit weight WA45 a super sweet match on an MKS, so one of those should be nice on the Dear Creek. I should mention this is a skagit weight WA when WITH the floating tip - that is how they are (or at least were) labeled so in effect quite a bit lighter than a skagit + tip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
621 Posts
Excellent lines. However, some of the weight of his lines are not accurate as he counts the weight of the line and the tip together. To match your line and rod only the weight of the line, without the tip, should count from what I've read; so when I bought his WA line and tip my spey rod would not load properly. It took me awhile to figure out why.
Randy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
Like I said above, my formula is that I take the weight of a skagit head you like on a rod and use that for the listed weight for a WA45 or a FF45, or 55 etc. But many people say they like them best a step lighter, as if they where a regular scandi head. YMMV

The fall favorite is clearly a line you are supposed to think of as a supercharged scandi, and its weight is listed. The winter authority is in essence the FF but cut for tips. So no, the weight of its cut portion is not listed, but the whole weight with the tip - exactly like any other scand-for-tips - like the Rio scandi versa-tip to take just one example. Personally this has never confused me, but a few people get turned around. This is IMO more due to Nextcasts poor communication than the lines: To the best of my current understanding NC basically only has ONE taper design for all their lines. Yes theY tweak them a little bit from model to model, but the same basic “funnel taper” plan. But some of the other lines I think are listed differently, like wt without tip, and without much comment. So yes, can be confusing.

While the WA might be viewed as a more elegant substitute for one, it is NOT a skagit head. It’s front end is quite slender and if you try to put just any old tip on like a skagit head it it is not going to be pretty. It will probably cast t11 in a pinch but there is little point in paying so much if you are going to turn it into a clunker.

A weird aspect to these lines discussed many times in previous threads, is that every weight for a given model is cut from the SAME line by cutting back a few feet each wt from the totally level back section. So they all have the same front end, and therefore use the same tips, whatever the weight of the line. There are two things to know about this if buying for the first time. First make sure you are looking at the actual listed length to get an idea what you are buying as the so-called “45” lines, for example, will be shorter than 45’, and the lighter wt rating, the shorter they get. Second, since the lines of different weight do not have SCALED tapers, like nearly every other commercial line out there, hyper-sensitive people (such as myself :) ) may detect that each different wt one feels in effect like a “different” taper. So for example don’t be surprised if you are picky and love the 7/8, but find the 8/9 only OK.
 

·
Premium Member
Scott, T&T, and OPST two handers; Scott, Orvis, Winston and Fenwick SH. Danielsson and Hardy Reels
Joined
·
1,025 Posts
I use several different Nextcast lines. The WA series has been discussed above. The Steelhead Finder is essentially a WA with an integrated sink tip to which you can add even more weight to get lower or slower. It is a good line and casts well. The Zone series probably comes closest to a true skagit type line, but it still maintains the finer front taper. The Coastal is a short line suited to small streams and short rods. An opinion, if you are looking for long, deep swings get a NC line with an intermediate back end and sinking front end. These work great and the intermediate back end means they are relatively easy to pick up. I find the straight Scandi and Skagit lines from other makers are easier to cast for dry line or just below the surface work.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
I use several different Nextcast lines. The WA series has been discussed above. The Steelhead Finder is essentially a WA with an integrated sink tip to which you can add even more weight to get lower or slower. It is a good line and casts well. The Zone series probably comes closest to a true skagit type line, but it still maintains the finer front taper. The Coastal is a short line suited to small streams and short rods. An opinion, if you are looking for long, deep swings get a NC line with an intermediate back end and sinking front end. These work great and the intermediate back end means they are relatively easy to pick up. I find the straight Scandi and Skagit lines from other makers are easier to cast for dry line or just below the surface work.
There is almost nothing I find easier to CAST than a NC line, but I would agree that if you plan to fish a lot with one at or near the surface you might find the difference in line drag between the front and back of their lines especially annoying (tastes may vary)! Still, there are many people who absolutely love the FF as a “dry line”. But my extended experience with one actually convinced me, along with some help from people on here, to take the idea of using a double taper for certain things more seriously. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
A Rage with a tip can make a really nice shortish belly line, especially with T&G casts. Too bad they seem to have been pigeon holed as "skagit" heads. If you want to get an idea what a WA45 is like try taking one of your Rage lines 1 or 2 sizes down from what you typically use on that rod and put a 10' - 15' tip on it. I use everything from floating tips with a but diameter no larger than 0.060" up to T8. I'm sure the middle and heavier sizes could cast T10 or T14 just fine, but since I seldom if ever use anything heavier than T8 I can't speak from experience. Some of the Nextcast tapers might be a little smoother to cast but it will give you an idea what a 45 will be like and may work outstandingly well on your rods. For reference, I own all of the Rages from 390-600 and use them as standard test lines on all the new rods. At least half the time I am using them with tips and T&G casts. As an example, I sen't my 13' 6/7 Powerlite to a friend last fall to help do some testing and he used a Rage 480 with 12' of T8 VERY successfully on the OP last winter. Great combo. But, when he's just out fishing and not trying stuff for me he always goes back to a Nextcast SalarFinder 40F2 8/9 and the same 12' of T8. Nirvana on that rod.

I have an extensive library of line tapers, including nearly all of the Nextcast models of each generation, and can say definitively that Nextcast uses several different base tapers, some of which don't always match the diagram. That said, depending on the rod, I've found that nearly all of the Nextcast lines work somewhere between really well and extraordinarily well. I use them A LOT. If, god forbid, I was restricted to use lines by only one manufacturer, again, god forbid, it would without question be Nextcast.

(Not sure the above provides any clarity but it might give you something to chew on. Feel free to PM me if you have any ?s)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,028 Posts
I have heard good things about Nextcast lines and wanted to consult everyone's thoughts on whether they are worth the investment. Do they really perform better than what I use now - skagits and Rage heads?

Typically, I will add 10' if T11 on my skagits for fishing deep, and use a Rage for surface or near surface with smaller flies. They work fine.

I heard the taper of Nextcast allows T11 tip for big, heavy flies, but can also take mono or polyleader for surface and softer presentations. That sounds very versatile. Do these lines also cast farther and are more forgiving?

There seems so many choices of Nextcasts, its hard to know which one to get. I am thinking to use it for TFO Deercreek 1367, Winston B3TH 12667, Winston B2X 12667, Deercreek 1378, Winston B2x 1337.

I am thinking of the Winter Authority in 40 or 45. What about FF, Steelhead, etc.?

Will these lines fit those rods and perform better than my current Skagit and Rage setups?

Appreciate your feedback.
Hard to say NC lines will perform better than skagit or Rage heads to those rods. The lines tend to be short, and heavy for the length, so it seems a little redundant to get more shooting heads. Personally, I would choose 55s for the 13 foot 6/7/8. A WA "5/6" is only 45 feet and weighs 470 grains. Seems more like 7 weight range to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
I think Tom gave you some great advice, and if I might go a half step further, I’d suggest that you have some very useful and capable lines already... no, the NC lines will not likely add substantial distance to your casts or result in you catching more or bigger fish. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the little bit of casting I’ve done with the Fall Favorite lines, and have nothing bad to say at all about them! They are great lines, but I think it’s worth keeping in perspective that a large majority of the commentary you read online are from folks who are die hard gear junkies. Nothing wrong with that, if you enjoy tinkering and exploring new stuff; I sure do, and I have way more lines than I need to enjoy a successful fishing trip. Just don’t fool yourself into chasing down equipment solutions to fix technique issues or lack of fish. As noted above, casting a Rage head with tip (I like using the 15’ Rio replacement tips) is a pretty sweet set up that isn’t so different from casting say a WA 45 (moving up to a 55 or 70 is a whole other deal). Now, if you just need validation for purchasing yet another piece of fishing gear, then yes; you absolutely need to get on board with a Nextcast line! Enjoy,
JB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
A lot of people do really love them, and I certainly had my period of feeling the same several years back. For me the gild fell off the Lilly (not so good at metaphors) when I spent two solid weeks in BC casting FF55 lines side by side with Beulah aero heads.

A lot depends on your reasons for experimenting, exactly as Jason said above. No individual can really predict whether another person will find anything a clear improvement. I do think that on a base level the RAGE fills pretty much the same nitche as the WA/FF. The rest is mostly aesthetics, and that is as implied by Jason the home of fanatics. From the original post it seem he was going for a pragmatic result. If so maybe super fine tuning the length, gr/ft, style of the tips used on his RAGE lines may be a more economical way to go to get there.

If the reason IS curiosity and adventure then there may even be other lines to try that would be cheaper and better at expanding your horizons. The NC heads are super versatile, it is true. But you know the saying - jack of all trades, master of none.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks so much for the excellent feedback from everyone. I read and reread every comment many times and as Botsari suggested, went back to the archives for past comments. There are several recurring themes noted- generally loved by all, despite lack of customer service, the lines dropped by shops for service issues, the site being difficult, the lines being heavier than listed, etc. Also, that I may achieve similar objectives by putting a tip on a Rage.

Valid questions were raised regarding my motivation, whether purely practical and utilitarian, or for the sake of adventure and experimenting. I also well note the comment that new gear wont make me catch more and bigger fish, especially if I have technique challenges. I had to really think about my own motivations. My skagits and Rages have served every need well, so I suppose I must be looking to experiment and adventure into a different experience. I believe I discovered i like messing around with different lines as much as i do catching fish. I proved this by the hours i spent this season experimenting with a 50 foot SA Spey Evolution when surely the skagit is the proven successful method for shad. But I felt immense satisfaction finally being able to get that long line to shoot way out farther than any other set up, whereas when I started, I could barely even chuck the head. I even caught a bunch of shad with a fast sinking polyleader, which was so satisfying. On a recent trout trip, I spent the bulk of time messing around with different spey lines instead of nymphing, which is the tried and true way to fish the Lower Sacramento. So, I think I really enjoy expanding the realm of my 2 handed experience beyond skagit and Rage. That's the motivation behind wanting to try Next Cast - a different casting experience that also will be a good fish catching tool.

I called Nextcast to get information straight from the company. I found Simon extremely responsive, friendly, and generous with his time and insights. Whereas I was leaning towards WA45, he recommended the Steelhead Finder S2 on 475 grain as most versatile and giving me a good feel. It is shorter than the WA45 so will give more power. The S2 has an intermediate front which will slow the line down and allow me to use T8 instead of T11 for better presentation while still reaching deep enough. Based on the feedback i received here, I am concerned 475gr may be too heavy for my 6 wt. Any thoughts on that? Or any thoughts on the Steelhead Finder in general?

Would the Steelhead Finder be classified as a short belly or midbelly? Seems too short to be midbelly at 25.5' + 10' tip = 35.5'. Its about the same as a Skagit. I am hoping it's different from the skagit experience as that's the whole point - to experience something new.

At risk of convoluting the topic - I bought a reel, and the seller left a line on it that seems to be a Vision Ace with intermediate tip. I cast it with my Winston 7133. I was blown away by how beautifully that cast. I have never experienced a line that cast so nicely. It threw amazing tight loops I have never seen. Anybody know that line? Would the NC give me that kind of feel?

Originally my post stated I wanted to throw heavy heads and also be able to fish near surface. I have come around to understand I really just like casting lines around - as long as I have some chance of catching something. WA55 seems like something radically different from what I usually cast. Can a 12'6" rod handle it? What weight works for a 6 wt Winston B3TH or 13- 6/7 Deer Creek? Can the WA55 fish deep too, or is it meant for surface work?

I am afraid I am sounding really scattered. Probably because I dont have a specific purpose other than wanting to try new things, versus having a specific gap in need to fill. Skagits and Rage do what I need, but I want to explore different casting experiences and maybe find something that does the job better or more enjoyably.
I suppose it's also relevant what I fish for and where. I am in the San Francisco area, so 2H opportunities are limited. I fish shad the most on the American and Sacramento Rivers. I have fished steelhead on Trinity, Deschutes (thanks to guidance from this group!), Skeena, and Klamath. My steelheading experience is sadly very limited, but I will be making a trip in September either to Klamath or Rogue, probably.
Forgive the unorthodox usage, but I also throw skagits in the surf and bay for stripers. Desperation just to get out with the spey rod. Do not have the good fortune to live near proper river.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
The pleasures of the NC lines are, for me, that they turn over with such energy and are easy to cast. With the warning that I’m as infatuated with the aero heads as Cowboy Tom is with NC lines, I find the aero heads far more elegant lines. To me they make the FF feel clunky, but only by comparison, but they also sometimes perform somewhat different functions.

The WA/FF55 would be regarded as shortish short belly lines, as would most of the aero heads - if you are old school with the definitions - where as a mid belly would usually be In the ballpark of 65 - 80’. The WA45 heads are for the lower wt versions significantly shorter than 45’, when measured WITH the tip, and so are barely longer in most cases than a conventional skagit head with a 15’ tip. But they are far more elegant than a skagit.

I love shad as well, and one adventure you could try with them would be either a partially sinking or full sinking line. To me they make a big difference and slow the swing down in a very attractive way. You may not always need this with shad, but when some people around you are having trouble you will be the one catching fish. NC makes some multidensity heads that are nice. There is also the Airflo FIST and many others. Steve Godshall makes my all time favorite line for shad - a full intermediate scandi taper that uses tips, and even his custom lines are cheaper than NC ones. He is an incredible, unique resource for advice and creation of custom lines, and fairly nearby, so consider ordering something from him. Most of the shad setups would be excellent for summer and fall steelhead in our area as well, and perfect on the Klamath and Trinity.

Hope this gives you a few ideas.
 

·
Relapsed Speyaholic
Joined
·
5,366 Posts
Chiming in not to dispute any of the advice but to perhaps fine tune it.
The Steelhead Finder would be a short head. It is my go to winter line although I use a 15’ tip instead of the suggested 10’. With that and my weight SF, it is 42’. The Salar Finder is slightly longer (+/- 5’) and is a good option too. It is a more refined line compared to the Steelhead version. My favorite Steelhead configuration is the FI - which I don’t believed is made anymore.

The WA55 is a fine tip line. For that matter, use the floating tip and a long leader and it makes a very nice top water setup. In answer to you question earlier, a 13’ rod will throw it fine. I see these as falling on the shorter side of the mid-belly lines.

The NC 70s and now the newer 16+ lines are at the top end of that category with some of the higher line weights crossing over into the long bellied category if only barely. These are my go to summer/fall lines on big rivers and long (15-16’) rods.

As for the castability of the NC lines compared to others, they are workhorses.There are other lines that have more finesse for sure. I’ve cast many of them and they work just fine. For long casts in difficult conditions (ie. - wind) I keep coming back to the NC lines though.

As with all things Spey though, your mileage may vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
Lacheng,
Your last post did clarify a bit in terms of why you are looking into other lines, but it also really muddied the waters with some conflicting questions and comments. From what I get out of it, it really sounds to me like you are looking to broaden your horizons but you are also nervous about loosing some functionality in that transition? The lines you are asking about are all good, each one offering it’s idiosyncrasies that may just click with your casting style and equipment, may push you to sharpen certain techniques a bit further, or may just leave you frustrated... totally varies. As long as they are properly sized to your rod (and the waters you are fishing them on), these are are all great options.

You seem to be asking for a line that will do two very different things here: fish surface flies, and fish deep with tips. In that regard, the Aero will not work, but it IS a great surface line. Since you are looking to explore, why not look into two different lines: one for dedicated surface fishing, and one for winter fishing with tips (of course Skagit heads do serve that niche very efficiently)? For a fall trip to the Klamath or Rogue, I would personally want the best floating line option, and wouldn’t bother with fishing tips. With your current lines, this would be the niche that’s more lacking...for instance, a Rage head will certainly work as a dry line, BUT it isn’t the most soft and graceful landing compared to other lines. My final thoughts would be to dabble with some used lines, buying used and selling the ones you don’t like is pretty inexpensive (assuming you don’t just end up with a closet full of lines!).
Enjoy the journey down the rabbit hole,
JB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
I’m sure the aero head would also be super nice cut for tips, but it is one of those lines where most people don’t have the heart - there have even been discussion on here about not even welding a loop on the front end of it because it might mess up some of the smooth casting. :LOL:

I agree with Jason, sometimes it really is better to use multiple refined tools than a single pocket knife. But it is a slippery slope! Buying some used lines on here to experiment with may be like a shove off that edge!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
I agree with Jason, sometimes it really is better to use multiple refined tools than a single pocket knife. But it is a slippery slope! Buying some used lines on here to experiment with may be like a shove off that edge!
Yes to the above. But remember, the free fall is a lot of fun and highly educational in the end.
 

·
Broken Down Spey Freak
Joined
·
1,337 Posts
The only Nextcast lines that I have owned and cast are the FF70. I do love them but don't use them often. As Sinktip mentioned they cast well in the wind. The aggressive funnel taper almost always turns over easily. They can feel a bit clunky if your used to casting long lines or even scandis but will deliver a pretty good payload. I broke one once and lost the front 3rd. I welded a loop on it and now I put a 15' replacement tip on it and it still cast very well.

For delicate presentations though I would choose otherwise. The Areohead was mentioned, I didn't like it and had some trouble casting it. Although if this is the direction I'm going I will use a long line instead. For short rods and short lines I stick with scandis and FF's if conditions dictate.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the many excellent suggestions and comments. It is a long, slippery slope, I can see. Through this conversation I have discovered I wasnt really looking for 1 thing as I thought, or what i thought i was looking for wasnt even what i thought it was. I thought i was looking for a midbelly, and was considering WA45, now learning that's not midbelly at all, but something like a skagit with the grace of a scandi, albeit with more power. It still sounds nice, though not really midbelly. And I also learned midbelly is actually much longer than I thought it was. So, I discovered I was looking for a longer line, probably really a short belly, just for the pleasure of it, and trying to create a need for it, which translated to both surface and deep. Probably, as noted above, I should not try to accomplish both with the same line. Most likely, I will do something like a NC SHF35 S2 that's really only 25', and add a 10' tip to make it 35' . The question is what will best fit either a 12.5' 6wt, or now maybe a 7133. That seems to satisfy function and would probably be easy to transition to.

The longer line new experience sounds like it wants an aerohead or WA45 or 55. What weight for a 6126 or 7133?

Great suggestions regarding shad fishing. Never tried FI or I line with tips for shad, which would also serve well for steelhead. Maybe the SHF S2 could fill that niche, or maybe I need a full intermediate.
Botsari, what was the characteristic of your favorite shad line made be Steve Godshall? Full Intermediate or FI? That sounds like a great way to go too.

I know I sound a bit scattered, and that's because i dont truly know what i am looking for, beyond wanting to try new things and also do what i do better. Most of my spey experience is for shad by skagit, which works just fine, but always looking for new and better, more fun and elegance. I dont have much steelhead knowledge or experience, but will go in September, maybe Trinity, Rogue or Klamath. I could stay with the Rage, but it sure would be fun to do something new. Looks like quite a few options out there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,388 Posts
...
Botsari, what was the characteristic of your favorite shad line made be Steve Godshall? Full Intermediate or FI? That sounds like a great way to go too.
The ones I mentioned were full intermediate. The 5 wt ones use tips up to 70gr. I have a similar one for an 8wt rod I have used for winter steelhead.. Steve calls these iscandis. For shad the only issue is if you are social fishing and people near you don’t give you a ton of space for the longer line.

Steve builds his lines to match a given rod, and what wt tips you would prefer to use. But he usually chats with you about it first to make sure you get what you want.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top