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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Meiser 12'6" 8 wt. and just bought a Scandi 3d 520 grain 38' head (Hover/int/sink 3) for summer steelhead. This rod casts a 510 airflo compact scandi with an 80 grain 10' tip like a dream. Question, does the 3d work well without a tip and, if so, how long of a tapered leader will work? I've regularly been casting flies up to 30 grains--will that work with this head and do I need a 5' poly leader with a short mono leader to make that work?
 

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A longer mono leader might defeat the purpose of your S3 end of line. I’ve used 6-8’ poly in various sinking density with a 3’ maxima leader on the 3D and seems to work fine.
 

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That’s my favorite line. Just use a level mono of 3 to 6 feet. It doesn’t need a tip. Also, I think 520gr 38’ might be too heavy and too long for that rod. 480gr 34’ would work much better IMO.
And keep in mind that this line is not meant to cast big heavy flies. It is a presentation line.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That’s my favorite line. Just use a level mono of 3 to 6 feet. It doesn’t need a tip. Also, I think 520gr 38’ might be too heavy and too long for that rod. 480gr 34’ would work much better IMO.
And keep in mind that this line is not meant to cast big heavy flies. It is a presentation line.
Cheers.
I wondered about that. The airflo scandi that I like is a 34' but I use it with a 10 tip. I'm casting 510 in the line and 80 in the tip--so 44' length and 590 total weight. I think the 5' poly is only 40 grains so I'll be casting 43' and 560 grains--a foot shorter and 30 grains lighter. I was wondering about the impact of possibly more load created with the 3d? Not sue if that's true?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That’s my favorite line.
And keep in mind that this line is not meant to cast big heavy flies. It is a presentation line.
Cheers.
I don't think of 30 grains (wet) as either a heavy or light fly. The weighted intruders I use in the winter with skagit lines weigh 56 grains wet.

I have a 7 wt. Burky that I intend to use in the same runs back-to-back with a 3d 6/7 F/H/I 440 grain with no tip for small and tradition flies (mostly 15 grains and less). As I float to subsequent runs I will switch the order of the rod to use first. This is assuming I like the 3d lines. If not I'll go back to the 510 and 420 airflo scandi compacts and tips that I have been using.
 

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I wondered about that. The airflo scandi that I like is a 34' but I use it with a 10 tip. I'm casting 510 in the line and 80 in the tip--so 44' length and 590 total weight. I think the 5' poly is only 40 grains so I'll be casting 43' and 560 grains--a foot shorter and 30 grains lighter. I was wondering about the impact of possibly more load created with the 3d? Not sue if that's true?
When you are casting head like Hover/int/sink 3, a rear part of the head which forms D-loop has a lower diameter/higher density then floating head and therefore cuts via air easier. This give a rod a bit better load/feels slightly heavier vs. floating.

Also few things to consider:

Rio 3D 480 gr is 34' long while 520 gr is 38' and 580 gr is 39'

480 gr and 580gr have the same weight ratio rear half of head to the front half. More

on 520 gr head rear half to front half is lower.

More weight distributed in the rear half = better load.

Considering that the biggest impact on a load has rear half, 480 gr 3D will load your rod very similarly as 520gr.

Personally, for above reason I do not like 520 gr version of Rio 3D either F-H-Int or How-Int-S3.

For some rods. like CFB 8142-4 where I needed 535-540 gr, I cut from the back 580 gr; 9/10 head, re-looped using polyurethane line form old Delta ( PU welds exceptionally well to PVC) and it works beautifully.
 

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You do want a tip off your 3d scandi. Make sure your tip sinks at an equal or more rate than your head otherwise you get weird hinging. Then you can use anywhere from like 3-5 ft of 12-15lb maxima
 

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I use those same heads all the time.


There’s a variety of opinions (like anything else). But I keyed in on the contributions from the Scandinavian folks.

Enjoy the 3D heads. They crawl across the current. Once you get dialed in they are rad!
 

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I wondered about that. The airflo scandi that I like is a 34' but I use it with a 10 tip. I'm casting 510 in the line and 80 in the tip--so 44' length and 590 total weight. I think the 5' poly is only 40 grains so I'll be casting 43' and 560 grains--a foot shorter and 30 grains lighter. I was wondering about the impact of possibly more load created with the 3d? Not sue if that's true?
On your Airflo scandi compact line, which I really like too, you add a leader, not a tip. The tip is a part of the line, not the leader. And you don’t count the weight of the leader since it doesn’t go in the D loop.
you can add a poly to a 3D. I do it sometimes to make my fly sink more or to make it swim higher than my line avoiding snags (ex. a int. poly on my H/I/S3) but it doesn’t need any. Focus on line weight only and enjoy a lighter line!
 

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You do want a tip off your 3d scandi. Make sure your tip sinks at an equal or more rate than your head otherwise you get weird hinging. Then you can use anywhere from like 3-5 ft of 12-15lb maxima
It is sometimes a good idea to use a leader of lower sink rate than the head to make the fly swim higher than the line and avoid snags. It’s always a matter of taste and fishing conditions.
Agree about Maxima. Cheap and good!
Cheers!
 

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Like you I often add a Rio replacement tip of appropriate weight to the end of a floating scandi line, works great to sink or slow the fly.

When I use a sinking scandi, I find it unnecessary to add a tip. I just use tippet and vary the length based on the amount of sink the scandi head is, shorter tippet for lines that sink faster. You can add a polyleader of equal or faster sink rate to the end of a sinking scandi but I don’t find it to help in either the casting or in actually getting down any further than would just happen with the head itself. If I want the fly to sink faster, I just use a heavier fly.
 

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When using 480 gr H-I-S3 Rio head I add 30" section of 25 lb fluorocarbon ( 0.45mm diameter) which has two small loops on each end. Then loop a 30-34" (17 lb, 0.37 mm ) fluorocarbon Seaguar tippet with fly. Fluorocarbon line sinks at 1.5-2" per second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On your Airflo scandi compact line, which I really like too, you add a leader, not a tip. The tip is a part of the line, not the leader. And you don’t count the weight of the leader since it doesn’t go in the D loop.
you can add a poly to a 3D. I do it sometimes to make my fly sink more or to make it swim higher than my line avoiding snags (ex. a int. poly on my H/I/S3) but it doesn’t need any. Focus on line weight only and enjoy a lighter line!
Thanks for your reply. Regarding Airflo scandi compacts, I've found that using 80 grain 10' mow light tips, especially on 510's and up work well when pushing the weight limit of flies that can be cast gracefully. I've been using that combo for high water summer-run for about 10 years.

This is my first experience with rio 3d and I'm trying to determine its' level of versatility. Do you know if the 520 scandi 3d will cast flies up to 30 grains dry (large unweighted intruders--40 grains wet)?

It's good to learn that neither tips nor poly leaders are necessary. I've not used poly leaders shorter than 10' for steelhead but it looks like I may need to find some fast 5's for the sink 3 line for higher water? I guess the alternative would be the faster 3d.
 

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Thanks for your reply. Regarding Airflo scandi compacts, I've found that using 80 grain 10' mow light tips, especially on 510's and up work well when pushing the weight limit of flies that can be cast gracefully. I've been using that combo for high water summer-run for about 10 years.

This is my first experience with rio 3d and I'm trying to determine its' level of versatility. Do you know if the 520 scandi 3d will cast flies up to 30 grains dry (large unweighted intruders--40 grains wet)?

It's good to learn that neither tips nor poly leaders are necessary. I've not used poly leaders shorter than 10' for steelhead but it looks like I may need to find some fast 5's for the sink 3 line for higher water? I guess the alternative would be the faster 3d.
I wouldn't say that multi density scandi are "versatile," an S3 is never going to get you deep, it will slow your, fly though. If you add a short 5' poly to the end, even a super fast sink, it still won't get you deep. You'll get just as deep by using a sparse and weighted fly without the poly. If you really want to get deeper, then you'll want the next fastest sink version. I fish with some guys who go full on scandi, and they swap heads not tips based on the water they're fishing.
 

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Thanks for your reply. Regarding Airflo scandi compacts, I've found that using 80 grain 10' mow light tips, especially on 510's and up work well when pushing the weight limit of flies that can be cast gracefully. I've been using that combo for high water summer-run for about 10 years.

This is my first experience with rio 3d and I'm trying to determine its' level of versatility. Do you know if the 520 scandi 3d will cast flies up to 30 grains dry (large unweighted intruders--40 grains wet)?

It's good to learn that neither tips nor poly leaders are necessary. I've not used poly leaders shorter than 10' for steelhead but it looks like I may need to find some fast 5's for the sink 3 line for higher water? I guess the alternative would be the faster 3d.
I have never weighted a fly so I can’t tell.
i would definitely go with higher sink rate toget deeper and slower instead of adding a poly. This is not a versatile line. It is a presentation line.
when I use a poly on a 3D, it is lower sink rate than the head. Does sometimes save the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have never weighted a fly so I can’t tell.
i would definitely go with higher sink rate toget deeper and slower instead of adding a poly. This is not a versatile line. It is a presentation line.
when I use a poly on a 3D, it is lower sink rate than the head. Does sometimes save the day.
Thanks. You've been a great help and I appreciate you sharing your advice. All of the responses have been helpful and have substantial consensus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wouldn't say that multi density scandi are "versatile," an S3 is never going to get you deep, it will slow your, fly though. If you add a short 5' poly to the end, even a super fast sink, it still won't get you deep. You'll get just as deep by using a sparse and weighted fly without the poly. If you really want to get deeper, then you'll want the next fastest sink version. I fish with some guys who go full on scandi, and they swap heads not tips based on the water they're fishing.
You just gave me an idea--probably something you and many others have already realized and used: Changing 3d lines lacking tips or poly leaders could be far faster than changing those tips or poly leaders since we have a big loop on our running lines. With a tip you have to cut the fly from the leader since it won't fit through the front eye of the line. After changing tips you have to tie the fly to the new leader with your freezing fingers and fogged glasses--that's if you can still find it..

Instead, what if we crank our alternate faster / slower line, fly first and leader attached onto our cranky with the hook sticking through a small hole drilled adjacent to the crank. We do this in the comfort of someplace warm. We have a second empty cranky that we can wind the active line, fly first onto from the rod--detach it from the big loop on the running line, attach the new one and off you go. You're back fishing in 3 minutes with the old line, fly still attached, safely stowed on a cranky back in your sling pack?

OK, what's wrong with this plan?
 

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For quick-changing a fly and leader, even winter steelhead-size flies can be detached from the line tip's front loop if it doesn't have a bead head. When making leaders, I tie the perfection loop to at least 1/2" diameter, and the changeover is easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For quick-changing a fly and leader, even winter steelhead-size flies can be detached from the line tip's front loop if it doesn't have a bead head. When making leaders, I tie the perfection loop to at least 1/2" diameter, and the changeover is easy.
Actually, we're talking about the time involved in changing sink tips verses changing entire 3d lines with a pre-installed leader and fly. The assumption being that, if you're hanging up on the bottom that you'll likely change to the slower sinking 3d with a leader and slower sinking fly already attached. That's much like changing to a slower sink tip and a slower sinking fly.

Am I correct that you remove your fly and leader and then remove your sink tip, install the new sink tip and then reinstall the fly and leader? If so, Isn't it faster to just cut the fly off, remove the tip with the leader still installed, and tie a fly back on to the new sink tip that already had a leader looped on? In either event, It's the sink tip to scandi or skagit head connection loops that won't allow a steelhead fly to pass without great effort--thus that need to remove the fly one way or another. Dealing with a fly with 3' of loose leader attached on two occasions to facilitate a sink rate change seems like it would be more challenging and time consuming and would require better desterity?
 

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Something else to consider with tips........

I really dislike poly leaders unless it’s with a trout Spey. They don’t have the energy to really carry much at all and get beat up in the wind something fierce!!!
What I discovered (and many of you probably also) is that the Rio INTOUCH replacement tips (in a lighter wt than your rod) work like an absolute dream paired with scandi heads 500gr and above. Plus, they last way way longer
 
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