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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder whether longer belly line like 'Midspey' or 'Grandspey' and so on can perform overhead casting.
If so, It will be very helpful in situation which spey casting can be performed and have no extra line and spool.
I want to hear senior's excellent idea.
How do you think?
 

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I have used an overhead cast with an Airflo Long Delta and a Wulff TT. With 65' and 70' heads respectively, both of these are in the same bracket as a Midspey.

The only thing to bear in mind is that with an overhead cast you load the rod with the full weight of the line outside the tip ring. With a Spey cast, only a proportion (about 2/3, I think) of that weight comes into play. So you may need to use a lighter line in order not to overload the rod. Alternatively, if you are using a line that matches the rod with a speycast, you will probably want to pull a few feet of the head inside the tip ring in order to lighten the load.

As I mentioned in another thread, the Wulff TT is a bit light for the rod I use it on. It speycasts OK when all the head is outside the tip ring, but I struggle to make it work with anything less than this. If I am casting less than 95'-100' it actually goes much better with an overhead cast.
 

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overhead cast

I love overhead casting with the Grandspey line. It is so easy to cast 90 feet with a big popper. I use a 15 foot Redington 10/11 spey rod and the 10/11 grandspey line. I fish for stripers on the Chesapeake bay. I use a 5 gallon drywall bucket as a stripping basket when I am on the boat.
You don't need alot of power to cast this line, that's why I like it. Another reason is that I throw big flies. This past spring I was catching stripers over 30 pounds on big 6 inch herring flies.
Most people say this line is too heavy. But for the kind of fishing I do , it suits me fine, because it casts so easy. I use the grandspey line when I fish from the surf too.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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belly length and weight

Hi cloudsfor! Excellent question!

I spent a ton of time working on my overhead casting in preparation for my two-handed instructor's certification and tried a bunch of lines. Generally speaking, you can certainly overhead cast any Spey line, the question becomes what are you trying to achieve while overhead casting and then which line will get you there most efficiently. Apart from classic two hand shooting heads, I found the best head length for overhead casting the modern Spey lines ranged between say 50ft and 70ft, give or take. Lines in these lengths were easy to pick up and , if you hang the entire head outside the rod tip, they behave just like a really long shooting head and allow you to cast a long way with little effort. I find that once you get into the extended belly lines it gets challenging to keep all that line in the air because the heads are so long and so heavy. While it certainly can be done as NbayTom shows, I'm kinda lazy and would rather not work too hard if I can avoid it, so I stick with the head lengths mentioned above if I am going to be overhead casting.
 

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NbayTom said:
I love overhead casting with the Grandspey line. It is so easy to cast 90 feet with a big popper. I use a 15 foot Redington 10/11 spey rod and the 10/11 grandspey line. I fish for stripers on the Chesapeake bay. I use a 5 gallon drywall bucket as a stripping basket when I am on the boat.
You don't need alot of power to cast this line, that's why I like it. Another reason is that I throw big flies. This past spring I was catching stripers over 30 pounds on big 6 inch herring flies.
Most people say this line is too heavy. But for the kind of fishing I do , it suits me fine, because it casts so easy. I use the grandspey line when I fish from the surf too.
Thanks for your comments. We discussed this ocean/surf use of the Grand Spey on another board.

I will be testing my new Meiser surf/critter launchers with my current GS and hopefully a few testor GS's.

One question my son has: "How do you land 30# stripers with a long Spey Rod in a boat? We start running into problems with the big ones with a 10'6" rod."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great ideas!

Thanks for all the great ideas and experiences.

Gardener,
It is very useful advice. I thought the wulff TT will heavy with an overhead cast because once I had ever used this line with single handed rod and I remember that feeling. Of course it was a line for single handed rod. Now I really want to retest the wulff TT with two handed rod.

NbayTom,
It was very interesting and the article that I wanted to see. As Grampa Spey says, I also want to know your landing method on boat. I think It will make broaden the use of spey rod.

Dana,
'the question becomes what are you trying to achieve while overhead casting and then which line will get you there most efficiently.'
It was simple but very clear answer! You show me the solution though I didn't ask concretely. I think that If I can learn NbayTom's landing method on boat and have about 60' long belly spey line as you and Gardener advised, it will be all-around fishing tackle which can be performed in most situation. In my country, The tackle which has various use is very helpful. Thanks everyone.
 

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landing big fish from the boat

It isn't as hard as people make it out to be. I fish in open water so the current isn't fast like a big river. I fish out of a 18 and a 23 foot boat. You move to the back of the boat while your partner bogo-grips the fish at the front. A 15 foot spey rod is not ideal for a boat, but I like 2 handed casting. I have only been at it a year. This fall I am going to get an Atlantis.
 

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When I fish with my son on his Striper boats, we are in the California Delta or on the Napa River. The fish strike best when the tide is running in or out at a high rate plus the normal downstream currents.

The one who has the fish on uses a Boca Grip to grab the Fish's lips, remove the fly and to release the fly. It is quite normal to have two fish on at a time, so we don't stop fishing to help the other one unless a hog is on and is trying to wrap the line around one of the motors. Also, quite often the strikes and hits are clustered in a tight time zone. It isn't fair for one fisher to reel and use a net for the other, when the one with the fish can use the Boca Grip to lip the fish and release fish. The Boca grip eliminates the problems of trying to use the long handled nets and the need of two people to grab and release the fish. So long rod will not work with us on a boat. When we fish alone, we use the Boca Grip instead trying to catch a fish with net and a rod in a moving boat.

Re casting the GS with a rod, a couple of years ago Fly Tyer pointed out that you can cast with 50' of the head out of the last tip. The GS's lend themselves to shorter casts when necessary. Just strip out 40 to 50' of line and the line and tip will roll cast very easily. You can shoot a lot of line with these "simple roll" casts.

A few weeks ago, I posted how much I like my new Sage 6126, and someone replied that we need 9/10 or 10/11 shorter two handed rods for salmon and other bigger fish. I have heard that average casters who like the shorter rods do well with the Sage 8126 and the GS 7/8. So it is not a quantum jump for someone to design shorter two handed rods for the heavier lines and bigger fish like Salmon.
 

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Already done

Bob Meiser already has rods with some of those specs in his stable and more on the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, NbayTom, Grampa Spey.
I think that two handed rod has much advantages in casting but not in landing a big fish on a boat.

'It isn't fair for one fisher to reel and use a net for the other, when the one with the fish can use the Boca Grip to lip the fish and release fish.'
I agree Grampa spey's above opinion.
Thanks.

Cloudsfor.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I've spent several years with two-handers in overhead situations but these are primarily surf situations. I have also cast overhead on steelhead rivers with my two-hander but I did so occasionally to reach lies out of range for my spey casts as I was becoming a better spey caster. I find myself rarely if ever going to the overhead in recent years, but not because my spey casting has gotten so good that I can reach equal distance (spey vs. overhead) by any means. I just think I am happier spey casting ;)

But let's talk about overhead casting and lines, a favorite subject for me in surf situations, rips, and wind. FWIW, my observations are as follows:

Long Line Advantages:

- provide continual feedback to the caster when overheading so tend to be easier for people to cast than shooting heads for distance

- allows caster to aerialize a long line, making casting feel more relaxed and familiar

- dramatically improved line control in currents, roll casting, re-casting to moving fish, etc.

- high grains/energy can push very large flies


Disadvantages:

- strip retrieving the fly close to you requires a troublesome roll-out of that fat line for the next cast

- loading the rod requires a lot of line in the air due to distribution of grains over such a long taper

- requires huge reel capacity, reduced backing, and considerations for weight balance with rod

- hard to find in anything other than floating

- expensive

I could imagine making soft casts to tarpon with a long line, a short strip sequence with a pick up and laydown 20 feet further to the right, etc. I can imagine working a flatwing in a longshore current, using spey motions to set up for the next cast in the surf. There is a place and time for it, no doubt - but with all due respect it is not my idea of the perfect line for the coast.

There are also shooting heads, aggressive head/taper designs and specialized lines for two-handed overhead casting.

Shooting heads: compact, high-grain heads on thin shooting lines made specifically for distance.

Shooting head Advantages:

- usually the most consistent distance line for the practiced caster

- able to handle harsh wind conditions

- allows the fly to be stripped very close to shore where many gamefish eat

- minimizes the time it takes to get the fly in the water, often one backcast with no falsecasts

- high grains/energy can push very large flies

- easy change-over from sinking to intermediate to floating using loop connection

- uses your existing reels, no over-size requirement like long belly lines

- inexpensive and comes in all densities

Disadvantages:

- rod motion must be very crisp and true to get good casts, not a lot of feedback - will not tolerate casting faults

- can not aerialize more than head plus a few feet or else hinging gets bad

- loop to loop connection must be minimalized to prevent hitting guides and fingers

- shooting lines can be stretchy (look for low stretch)

- shooting lines can be abrasive (braid for instance)

- shooting lines can be thin and blow around, tangle if too thin

- it may take a while to figure out what heads work best for the rod and your casting

Specialized lines - just as long belly lines are specialized for spey casting, some line designs are excellent for overhead two-handed casting. The Rio Scandinavian heads are designed to be double-duty. Wulff's triangle taper saltwater lines are actually specialized tarpon lines and have a very well-behaved short continual taper (30') that is great for two-handed overhead casting (but only the floating comes with a color change at the head). Most exciting are the new lines coming from Airflo, made specifically with the two-handed caster in mind... 150ft long, 30foot head, color change, sinking or intermediate clear heads with skyblue running lines and a taper that is designed to hold on to the loop for greater distances, e.g. the "Forty-Plus" taper.


Preferences FWIW:

If demonstration casting I'd use a short spey line like the Hardy Mach I 10/11, Rio Windcutter, SA short spey, etc (overhead casting on a two-hander). Clean long 'pretty' loops, also spey casting.

But for fishing surf with shooting heads I like the 35-45 foot headlengths like the Airflo and Rio heads with running line either a 50# Rio Slickshooter (amazingly smooth shooting, good in the hands but a little stretchy) or Airflo Miracle Braid (almost no stretch but a bit abrasive). Some of the other lines feel better in the hands but blow around too much in the basket and tangle or get blown out into the waves. You could combat this with better basket designs but the slickshooter and miracle braid fare very well in this respect with common line baskets on the market today. Wulff's 30ft heads don't come in grains high enough to load most two-handers so the only alternative is to cut the head off their full line$ to make a shooting head, which is not economical. Super turnover on the triangle tarpon taper though.

I am very excited about Airflo's soon to be released two-hander lines, specifically made for two-handed surf fishing. At 150ft long with a compact 30ft long cast taper in clear intermediate and fast sinking with intermediate skyblue running line, these lines challenge the caster to hit the backing knot, which is childsplay with standard 100' flylines.

.02
 

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Juro, thanks for your excellent summary of the differences of the two styles of casting.

When will Airflo's new fly line be on the market?

"I am very excited about Airflo's soon to be released two-hander lines, specifically made for two-handed surf fishing. At 150ft long with a compact 30ft long cast taper in clear intermediate and fast sinking with intermediate skyblue running line, these lines challenge the caster to hit the backing knot, which is childsplay with standard 100' flylines."
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Hi Grampa Spey -

The prototypes are in the field being tested already but they are not generally available yet. I am not sure about dates but will definitely pass on anything I hear.

One comment: Tim Rajeff stays close to the actual community of anglers he designs lines for as seen by the brainstorming sessions he held at all the off-season flyshows on both coasts. I was fortunate to attend one at the nations biggest Somerset NJ show and not only felt like I got some opinions on the table but sure learned a lot from Tim and others around the table. Top notch guy.

Man I can't wait to try these lines...
 

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These lines sound like they could be great for CND's surf rods and Meise's surf rods.

Like, you I want to try these lines, and in particuliar the intermediate one for the surf. The other line might be good for salmon fishing in the rivers when the salmon are hugging the bottom of the river way out there.
 

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Perhaps a minor point, as some of you have touched on many aspects of this question, but I have found that in medium/small sized rivers , if the area behind me is wide open and allows for the backcast to extend to the length of line I am fishing in the moving water, I can lift the entire line of midspey or grand spey off the water with the two handed rods using either an overhand or under hand method and deliver a more accurate placement of the fly to the other side of the river with better leader control than I personally might obtain using a tradtional spey cast. Now this assumes there is some downstream tension on the line at the pick up point, so that there is no need to strip the fly line in to immediately load the rod(you sort of get a water load downstream). Becasue I might not be as accomplished a spey caster as some of you clearly are , (but consider myself to be pretty good at overhead/underhand or traditional single hnaded rod casting,) this might just be a reversion to familair territory...but, hey, it works. And the midpsey and grand spey lines are great for it becasue the longer belly turns it over just right out there .......2 cents
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Makes sense Bee,

Where the tool fits might as well use it. One question - how are you redirecting the position of the fly from the dangle to the new starting point?
 

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Fit to Spey?

Bee, My experience has been that if the line fits the rod for spey casting, it will be too heavy to do a decent overhead. So I wonder if you have enough wweight for good spey casting?
 

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Juro, I just change directions on the forward cast..basically lift up and back with the upper hand ending beside the ear , pivoting my body at the waist too and redirect the forward cast...this is not with 100 feet of line in the air , but say 60-70 feet plus a leader. Ted, you may be right, i have no idea because I have not really tried a great variety of line weights on the rods I have. And sort of relied on Dana's rod/line suggestions charts to line them up.
 

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Probably OK

If you are using Dana's recommendations, you will be very close to optimal for spey casting. Also, seeing that you are "shortening-up" on the head makes it easier to see how it is working for you. Still, if you are using the correct
midspey for a rod, say the 7/8 for the 7136-4, trying to overhead the entire head would badly overload the rod. If you shorten up 15 feet or so, like taking tip two out of a multi-tip system, it should work.
 

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Three ways I would do it:

a) use a spey setup and just overhand

circle spey, snapt, snake, whatever pre-cast move applies but instead of finishing with a spey cast roll it out and throw a booming overhead cast where there is room

b) begian cast without the cross-body finish

Mel Krieger made a great point at GGACC the the initial motion of a belgian cast can be applied to change direction during a backcast

c) use a false cast to cut the angle

no one ever said a false cast was illegal, one false cut at 45 degree and the next should put you in the money

My preference is for (a) - spey setup, overhead finish.

Ted makes a valid point about overloading / shortening up. Overhead casts tend to simplify shooting of line so that all works out.
 
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