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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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
That's been my experience as well. If you're pushing the fly weight / size envelope at all I like the Mow light tips, (10' 80 grains) even as low as 420 airflo compact scandis. On the other hand, I've not used any 5' fast salmon/steelhead polyleaders. I'm curious if they might have enough mass? Seems likely they'd be better than the 10's for bigger flies (I realize that both "bigger flies" and "heavier flies" are pretty useless terms unless related to a specific "smaller and lighter" fly, but I trust that you'll get the idea)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
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.
I went casting on a local river today with both the burky 7wt with a 3d 440 gr. and the meiser 8 wt.with the 3d 520. I tested the burky first for about 30 minutes and found the 440 fun to cast and everything I could hope for especially after I found the right amount of overhang. I am curious about using the 480 3d on it since it will be closer to the 500 grains I usually cast on that rod (420 airflo scandi compact and 80 grain mow light tip).

The meiser with the 520 was every bit as difficult as you suggested and for the reasons you stated. The good news is I'll be able to purchase the 480 and try it on both the 7 and 8 wt.

Because I like the 8 wt Meiser with an airflo 510 scandi and a mow lite 80 grain tip, my gut tells me that I'll likely end up with the 580 3d--possible with some cut from the back. Perhaps the correlation between the two is not meaningful?

Speaking of cutting, what about cutting 5' off the back of the seemingly useless 520? Will that change the distribution ratio significantly enough to make it more like a 480? Where did you find the data on the weight of each section?

I appreciate your input as your insight has proven to be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Attached is profile of 480 gr 3D. the 580 gr ( 9/10) would be ca. 38'. Keep in mind that the rear part ( in case of H-I-S3,) it would be hover is has a constant diameter. . An average weight of the rear part is ca. 19 gr . For example mine 9/10 ( F-H-I) was originally [email protected] gr . The rear 12" taper is lighter.
Even if you prune it by 4' total form the back there are still plenty of rear taper on 9/10 and it will for sure cast very well.

Do not pre-cut line. !!!!!!!!!!!!

Cut less, let's say 30 inches , tie at the back loop using nail knot using 30-40 lb mono , cast on the river with the real fly . If it fells to heavy, cut 6" and repeat the process. Once you start liking it ( not perfect yet, may be just a bit to heavy) weld the loop and fish for few days before making the final fine-running.

520 gr is just a simple extension of 480 gr I by extending the lightest, rear part. 580 gr is thicker in all sections. Pruned forth back 580 gr; wt.9/10 will have more turnover power.


View attachment 400077
As for casting 2 gram dry fly ( 30 grains) 3D is not a line to do it. I would use barely weighted fly, up to 15-17 grains including hook and if needed go with faster 3D. Let the head to sink the fly not weight on the fly. The set up will will cast better, and a fly will have more action in the water. If you use tube fly, add Rhea, some flashabou, color, you can have a large profile fly but not necessarily heavy.



The hallow conehead on the fly below is only 0.25 g ( ca. 4 grains) and hoop is 0.3 g ( 5 grains) . Total fly wight ca. 1.0 g ( 16 grains) . When using Rio 9/10 F-H-I cut to 538 gr on CFB 8142-4, and ca. 8 foot fluorocarbon leader ( FC sinks like fast intermediate) a fly like this is getting a free flying lesson.

I use faster compact stroke ( underhand cast). A speed of the fly has a larger contribution to energy than mass.

Generally, I like to pre-tie flies with 30-36" " tippet and attach it via loop to loop connection to a core FC leader of various length.

For H-I-S3 I loop 24-30" section of thicker FC to the front of the head and then attache tippet. Total leader, including tippet, around 5-5.5'. For a smaller flies a leader can be longer.

View attachment 400078
Thanks for the great overview of the 3d lines. Some great advice!
In doing a rather crude weighing of various attached back end coils, It appears that 30" will get me to 480 (the line actually weighs 527). I'll start with a 16" cut and then drop to 8" increments. However, it that's correct I'll need to cut some off the front to get it down to 34'?

As for flies, I use mostly unweighted flies but have some large unweighted intruders that weigh 29 grains dry that I use during high receding/murky water. My 8wt. 12'6" rod with the airflo scandi 510 casts those flies easily with a 10' 80 grain tip (a poly leader won't do it). The fortunate thing is they use no bunny strips and gain a minimal amount of weight wet. My interest in converting to 3d stems from a desire to eliminate extra reels, reel spools, extra tips and polyleaders. It may be that I'll need to continue with the airflo with a tip If I find that the 480 is the right 3d for the 8 wt. and it is incapable of casting large unweighted intruders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
480gr sounds extremely light weight for an 8wt. I like a minimal of 540gr

I find it doesn’t matter wether I put on a tip or just a long leader, you just find a line that works and you are good to go.

in my opinion, a lot of obsession goes into finding the ‘perfect’ weight. But in my experience, that doesn’t matter nearly as much as finding a solid rod/line combo for your liking.
I have a 13’6” 8wt that will cast 540-570 scandi easily.......doesn’t matter if there is a tip or not. A few slight adjustments is all that is needed.
Likewise, I can cast 570-630 skagits, same story on tips
Thanks for the input.
It appears that Rio is suggesting the 3d lines need to be lighter than floating scandi lines ( the 520 3d is rated as a 8/9, the 580 a 9/10 & the 480 a 7/8). What is your experience with 3d's?
I too have a 13'6" 8 wt. (sage one). I find it to be a little less particular than my 12'6" rods, however, it's a bit of a problem in standing waves on my frameless one man. The tip flails up and down and fouls the other rod in the holder. As a result, I'm trying to make everything work on the 12'6"s.

I often cast a 34' 510 Airflo scandi line with 80 grains of 10' mow lite tip (sacrilege, I know), In theory, a 580 3d should work on the meiser 12'6". I'll find out soon since our rivers are reopening at the end of this month.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
1) One rod marked wt. 8 can be really 7/8 while other 8/9
2) casting style and/or rod taper will heavy influence Scandinavian head weight
3) Either floating head or F-H-I for obvious reasons need to be a bit heavier then H-I-S3 or I-S2-4.

For example I like casting using underhand cast with midiim to -fast tempo where most of the power come from the bottom hand. On a rod like CFB 8142-4 ( light 8/9 rod) depending on the sinking rate ( F, F-H-I or H-I-S3 I like Older Guideline 3D or Rio 3D in 535-550 gr range. The rod generates lots of line speed and is relatively firmer in the lower 1/3 of the blank then 8139-4.
On CFB 8139-4 ( true wt.8) which flexes more in the lower 1/3 of the blank to 814204, if I were using more of the top hand 510-520 Scandi would be perfect, but with underhand cast and medium-faster tempo I like 480-490 gr range.

In windy weather F-I + 10 foot tip ( CFB 8139-4 ) Nextcast Zone 525 gr ( head only) works perfectly with a bit slower tempo. At the same time when you slow done further 550 gr zone head looks good and such head can be better with very large fly.

When winds are moderate, wild fish is aggressive, water temps is 50-60 F and water clarity is at least good, there is no need to use super bulky and large flies.
I'm thinking you may have hit something with 3d when you said "depending on the sink rate". Fastest rate may work better with a step down in weight or an increase in rod length?
 
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