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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to share some of my experiences modifying Rio Fly Lines for underhand casting. As I fish a lot of medium-sized rivers where distance casts are not at a premium and the water can be fairly complex, I wanted to see if I could recycle my faithful WindCutter Spey for underhand casting.

First, I removed the two floating sections from a factory Rio WindCutter Interchangeable Tip Spey Line (Rio calls them Tip #1 and Tip #2), and attached a Rio 15' sink tip to the remaining loop in the line. This set-up creates a 37' shooting head (22' of floating belly + 15' of sink tip) that closely mirrors the specifications given by Per Stadigh under a separate thread ("Making Shooting Heads").

Second, in order to load the rods with this new configuration, I jumped two Rio line sizes above what I would normally use: in this case, a WindCutter 9-10-11 (minus Tip #1 and Tip #2) for an 8126-3 and a WindCutter 10-11-12 (minus Tip #1 and Tip #2) for a Thomas & Thomas 1409-3. Used in combination with a 15' sink tip, both Rio shooting head set-ups work exceptionally well for these rods and my style of casting.

cont.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Rio Lines for Underhand Casting (cont.)

I have caught several salmon on this Rio set-up modified for underhand casting. I use the exact same underhand casting principles that I practice with my Loop Adapted Lines. I like having only one loop-to-loop connection in the Rio underhand set-up (as opposed to two with a full WindCutter Spey), and the fly control with a density-compensated sink tip in complex water is superb.

The Rio WindCutter Spey modified for underhand casting will not match the ultimate casting distances of the Loop Adapted Line. I do find, however, that the Rio underhand set-up helps me to concentrate my efforts in those productive fishing margins where many fish are caught.

Many thanks to Dana who, whether he knows it or not, has really helped me with the whole underhand thing.

TB

P.S. I do not work for Rio Products Intl, Inc., nor do I sell any of their products. Rio Products Intl, Inc. is a sponsor of this site.
 

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It might interest you that I have six shooting heads on trial at the moment made by RiO. As far as I know, this is a brand new product. I got them from the Norwegian distributor of RiO, Jarle & Bjornar flyfishing shop, which will get my opinion as soon as I have had them tested. (unfortunately its ice, snow and very cold here at the moment, but will go out as soon as there is a melting day).

These are a full floater (yellow/greenish), a clear intermediate line (very interesting for spooky salmon), and a dark brown sink III. They are most exactly 13,2 meters, and the 8/9/10 weigthts in at exact 35 gr, while the 9/10/11 weights in at 40 gr. The weight and lenght is precice and exact across all three types, something that is often a problem with other brands. They are said to be very good presenters and not so splashy as some other popular shooting heads are.

I assume these lines are made for the scandianvian market (maybe some knowing RIO will tell?) and are planned to be out season 2003, but will anyhow give my opinions when actually tried them out.

regards from Norway
 

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Hi Norwegian,

I have some norwegian Guideline shooting heads - they are excellent for presentation and ease of cast (except old orange full-floater). does Rio heads looks better?

Sincerely,
Alex K, Moscow, Russia
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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Hello Topher Brown,

Sounds like you are well up on the underhand track! The shortish Rio combo you are working with casts fine, and makes it easy also for less than expert casters to manage hefty sinktips. Also I like the new Airflo Deltas which although being slighty longish fish wonderfully well.

When stepping up in line weights, as you do, it is amazing how short heads one can use while maintaining long and elegant casts.

The Guideline heads, mentioned by Alex, is good stuff with some clever sinktip combos among them. I feel they and LOOP are in a league of their own when catering for Scandinavian casting styles.

Currently I am running a design development project with one of the line makers. I will do a first serious field test in Patagonia in January, and possibly can share after that.

"Tight lines"

Per
 

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Per--Please help me out.

Exactly what is the definition of an underhand cast?

How does it differ from the single spey, double spey, snap whatever, and snake roll? I understand the Scandanavian style uses a short head, up to 45 feet long, with a small diameter, like monofiliment, shooting line. Watching Mr. Stavmo in Rio's video, it looked like he performed a single spey, with a vertical element to his stroke, like all world-class single hand casters have in their non-spey casts.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Underhand Cast

Bob, The first time you see Leif Stavmo in the Rio video he is overhead casting but later on in the fishing part he does a small bit of the underhand style of spey casting. Check out Dana's "Spey Pages" for some good info on the underhand cast.

http://speypages.com/speypages.htm
 

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Alex and others:

As far as I have understood the terminology on this page, underhand casts are often a term used for the casts dominating here in scandinavia: single spey-like casts with shooting heads, where you shoot a lot of line in the cast.

I have also used the Guideline shooting heads with satisfaction - the are very far going, but does not always present optimal - at least thats my view. Generally, Guideline are known to be heavy, aggressive heads, to ease casting for beginners, making it easier to load the rod.

Despite both Guideline and Loop have excellent products, I think it is very interesting that a line manufacturer as RIO in cooperation with practical experts are working on something new. As I indicated above - there have been some problems with both lenghts and weights on some other brands, and I think RIO has taken a very interesing approach here - planning to give exact weight and lenght for the heads.

Unfortunately, here its still more of a weather for off pist skiing than for spey casting - I still hope for a few days with temps above frezzing point to go out and casts these RIO heads for some hours. I will tell you what I think then!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Norwegian:

I look forward to your report on Rio shooting heads. Only 184 days until the salmon season opener!

Per:

Good luck on Gallegos! Please give us a full report when you return.

Tight loops, big pulls....

TB
 

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what is the underhand cast?

I have an article written by the people at Loop a few years ago that describes the underhand cast. If we had a place to post it I would. the cast starts out much like a single spey, with the shooting head stripped back to just outside of the head. The big difference between the underhand cast and the single spey is when you release the line on the forward stroke. In most casts, you hold the line against the rod until about the time of the hard stop, or very late in in the forward stroke.
In the underhand cast, you release the line ( actually running line) at the beginning of the forward stroke. You actually cast the running line, and it pulls the head into the cast. This only works if everything is matched,.i. e., the momentum of the running line, the resisitance of the eyelets, the mass of the shooting head, and the stick of the leader.
Loop is a leader in this cast becasue they have made a large effort to achieve this balance. they design their running lines, heads, leaders, etc for this purpose.
 

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Just thought I'd bring this back up to the top, as I had a few questions about the system for Topher.

Does this work with the floating tip portion as well? If not, could you go one line weight heavier for the floater to get the necessary grains to load the rod? I have a WC 10/11/12, and have a Loop Green 9132-4 on the way. Would the 11/12/13 floater tip work better?

Pretty cool to find out this trick, as I was planning on setting up a shooting head system on this rod anyway, and found out I already had the line! No need to drop the big bucks on a new one!:hehe:

Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated. Great info on this site! TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dear Undertaker,

The Rio Floating Tip (Tip #1) from your WindCutter #10/11/12 should work fine on your new Loop rod with the set-up described above (i.e. remove Tip #2). Remember to use a longish leader (at least 15-17 feet): a long leader on the floating tip will help facilitate your anchor.

I do not get the pure distance on this set-up that I achieve with, say, the Loop Adapted Line. Once you get the hang of it, it may surprise you, however. Nevertheless, it is really a 'fly control' set-up.

Now, if we can only get Simon to release the Rio 44' Scandinavian Heads for the U.S. market, we would have the full Rio kit!

Tight loops,

TB
 

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To reinforce the similarities between Euro head systems and Skagit lines, Mike Kinney recently suggested I do the same with a heavier Midspey (both tips off). I fished this with a winter steelhead tip on a 1308SP Custom CND on the Queets River (a fairly large river), Elwha and Sol Duc, progressively smaller rivers where all were covered thoroughly on the 13' rod.

The Queets generally allowed opening fire, so it was fun to toy with a stronger lower hand and sharper stroke to fire tight loops over the broad span, although I did have an occasional pigtail when going for too tight of a loop (I blamed it on the sinktip :rolleyes: ). The 13' never felt too short or underpowered for the job, in fact the lightness and agility stood out.

The Elwha is a size that is perfect for this setup in winter, sheer joy to fish using traditional effort-free d-loops and an easy stroke to cover the water.

But particularly impressive about this easy-to-attain line config was the coverage of the upper SolDuc's short and heavily grown banks using a mix of Skagit casts and more tightly angled single speys.

The strength of the shorter head is versatility across a wider range of situations. It moves high-density tips with the great ease so suits winter fishing and flies very well. These configurations lend themselves to both Skagit casting and underhand casting techniques. They also extend the range of a 13' rod in a medium/light weight to cover small/medium/large rivers.

The weakness is... well based on Topher's other river story if one is fishing with a girlfriend then it wouldn't be a problem :devil:
 

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Thanks for the reply, Topher.

I was initially considering the Loop Adapted system for the new rod, until I found out the price :eek: :eek: :eek: Finding out that I already have a workable system has made my year up to this point! Now, if I can actually figure out how to cast it well enough, I'll be golden :hehe: Seriously, distance isn't that much of a concern for me right now, as I'm still in the learning stages of the whole two-hander thing. Can't wait to try it out! Hopefully, I'll have it dialed in for my Bulkley/Thompson roadtrip in October.
 
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