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Discussion Starter #1
I've been fishing a 2 hander since last year. I love it, and can easily cast a floater about any place I'd like to fish. I mostly fish steelhead on the Salmon and Clearwatre Rivers here in Idaho.

This time of year the fish go deeper, and fishing a sink tip is the most effective way to turn a fish. I have a 13' Cabela's Traditions Spey (made by St. Croix I'm told) that casts a 7-8 Delta Spey or 7-8 Rio Midspey really well. I recently bought a Midspey mulit-tip for it, and find it tough to cast with the sink tip and compensator (go figure...!). I also discovered that casting with 8 feet less line out (like I stripped it in before the cast) is a piece of cake.

So my dilemma, should I stick with the Midspey, or start spending food (Scotch) money on experimenting with Skagit Heads? Is there an additional cast I need to learn to clear the dredging line from the depths? I typically pull and flip the line upriver using a counter clockwise motion with the rod to get the line in front of me before executing a double spey (river flowing left to right). I do not know what that cast is called. I find it impossible to execute without stripping in some line with the sink tips.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
 

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If your on the clearwater I would swing over to the Red Shed to discuss your options with Mike. Sink tips add more work for me too. So you could work on your intital raise for a cast or a double spey. Or you could think about sinking polyleaders. Skagit lines are easier to use, but it sounds like you have a lot of money already invested in your Cabela's set up. Eventually you might want to think about another set-up and you'll want some coin for that.
 

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Polyleaders

provide all the depth you need this time of year and make it a lot easier. If you decide to stick with the standard 15' sinking tips, you should talk with Mike at Red Shed and try out some skagit lines. They make sinking tips a lot easier.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I recently bought a Midspey mulit-tip for it, and find it tough to cast with the sink tip and compensator (go figure...!).
Have you tried the line without the compensator, leaving the middle section out completely?
 

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Circular reasoning

Mojo, it may be that the cast you're describing is a circle spey.

By the way, when you're dealing with a botched or disrupted cast:( when you yank, jerk, or twitch the fly back to a suitable anchor point in front of you, and you now have a lot of slack line to deal with, just poke your rod tip in the direction that you want to make a cast. This puts the slack line in a little loop on the water in front of you. You're now set up to make a good D-loop backcast and forward cast. This is called a Perry Poke. (Like a lot of spey casters, I employed it for several years before I knew that it had a name.)

If your present cast works with some of the belly and/or back taper pulled into the guides, than obviously you don't need the extra weight of the cheater. I'd try casting without the cheater, but you can probably keep the front belly section in place; try it both ways. And have some of the rear taper pulled into the guides; it's difficult or impossible to cast with running line beyond the rod tip.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually guys, I bought my first line from Poppy, and stop in a few times a year. He is the guy that got me off my rear and away from the one hander.

I finally broke down and watched a spey video, and learned the names flr the casts I'vve been making. I removed the compensator and fished it with the floating mid section, and it casts fine. I think I found my groove. Mostly I just need time on the river, but it is a 6 hour drive to the Clearwater, so time on the water is rare. I've been torturing the local trout population with small streamers on the swing. They aren't 16 pounds, but it is practice.

Thanks for all the advice. It's helping.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Take it to the "greenbelt". It shouldn't matter how big those trout are if your practicing your casting technique.
 

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Good question and one I dealt with on the clearwater in November after swinging floaters there all fall. Mike suggested the same thing to me, but it didn't seem to help much. not bad advice, it just didn't make any difference because my mechanics were off with the tip. After a day and a half of cursing at the top of my lungs, because my tip kept sticking on the anchor, I figured it out. I had to speed everything up significantly. In other words, my double spey had no pauses--- just one continuos motion. that worked, but was not much fun. Perhaps I too should switch from the windcutter to a skagit for tips. I'm all ears for advice here :)
 

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no question you can slow things down with a skagit system and need to keep things in motion with traditional spey lines and tips. It is stilll really important to go slow on that initial lift and start with a tight line - ie rod tip low to the water and perhaps a couple of strips of line in prior to a slow lift. With Mid Speys and other "traditional" lines you don't want to pause after the lift as this adds slack and also lets things sink. Really don't want to pause with a skagit either but once you have set up your cast (such as a double spey or snap C) you should not pause going into the D loop formation with traditional lines and you really should pause with the skagit lines.

skagits do make using tips very easy but if you are not throwing big, heavy or wind resistant flies, the traditional lines should throw them as well - the issue is you are dealing with more line out the rod tip so that intial lift is much more critical
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Rick has nailed it pretty good on the mechanics.

My post about the greenbelt was that things will get easier with more practice. Pan I realize both you and Mojo are a ways from the Clearwater but you are both close to good running water where you can practice your technique and in your case some of those "B-trout" are as big as a steelhead.
 
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