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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
I'm 5 minutes new to this Forum,and posting with a bit of hesitation only because I'm so very new to Spey Fishing. But I have a question that I'm certain many of you may have experienced at one time or another. I currently own a 13' 7/8 St. Croix two-hander, in which I purchased only to give Spey fishing a try for the first time. On most of the waters that I have fished so far it seems adequate. My question and please excuse the lack of proper terminology is at what point is a Spey rod overloaded ?? I have purchased a Rio Wind Cutter Multi- tipped line rated for my particular rod,but to me it seems way to light, it's as if I'm waving air. Yesterday I had a very experienced Spey caster put his 9/10/11 with a type 3 sinking head on and the rod preformed beautiful. My concern is that I may be putting to much load for the rods proper performance. Any light on this subject could be very helpful!!
Thanks in advance T-290
 

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T-290,

What you are experiencing is fairly common with casters who are new to double handers. Likely it is a question of technique at this point in your casting-learnng curve. New casters often do much better at first with an "over-lined" rod.

The much heavier line system creates a very positive, easy to feel load during the cast. This is usually contributed to by the shorter a length of line a new caster is using. As your technique gets better you will develop a better stroke that creates a more dynamic D-loop and a positive load on your rod. As well, you will have the full head on the Windcutter out past your tip and will have enough line to load the rod.

I suggest you stick with the line you have and work on your technique - maybe get a lesson or two. I think you will find that you have the right line for your rod, the 9-10-11 is way too much for that rod and as your abilities increase you will be in danger of blowing up your rod.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Kush,
Thanks for the response, That helps me to understand what I'm not feeling in the rod. I know good things and bad things can develope with experience, St. Croix is notorious for under rating their rods,with the fact that the rod itself has a multi-rating7/8 and the line has a muti-rating 7/8/9 does that pertain to the weights with floating vs.weighted ? In other words would that mean the line is a 7 weight with the floating line and it becomes a 9 weight when the sinking heads are being used? If so why couldn't you go with the heavier line say maybe an 8/9/10. would that be overlined,I think its about 63 additional grains.

When casting the entire head with the floating line I cannot seem to shoot line, very little if any,when I tried the weighted system I was able to shoot a ton! I feel a full flex into the butt of the rod when using the weighted system and nothing at all when casting the entire floating head. My initial thought was that I should be feeling more of a full flex ( With the St. Croix rod I opted for a bit of a slower full flex action,more traditional Spey type feel)
T-290
 

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Rods/Lines

There tends to be a lot of misconception as to what is the right line for a rod. When I got my first spey rod and line it was a Sage 9140 with a WC 9/10/11 line. I thought I was all set. I had no problem casting and was able to shoot a fair amount of line as well as turn over a pretty large sized fly. As I became a better caster, note I didnt say good, just better than when I started. I started to use different rods and lines and different types of casts. I realized that my first rod/line set up was a little off. Even though I know a ton of people using this exact same set up? Now I use a MS 8/9 on my 9140 and the difference is unbelievable. Plus I feel that my form and casting ability has steadily been getting better after playing with some different rods and line configurations. I would like to see rod and line MFG's go to a system based on grains to match up rods and lines. Instead of the wt system we have now. The 9140 is considered a 9 wt rod but so is the Sage 9141 and there is a world of difference in these two rods. Granted the 9140 is a traditional style spey rod where as the 9141 is a slightly faster rod. I dont see how both can be considered 9 wt's? Rods should come with a grain preference for the lines to be used on it. So a Sage 9140 would come with something like grain preference 550 to 650. Then it wouldnt matter how long of a line you used, what mfg lists there line ratings at. As long as it fell into that margin of 100 grains it should work fine for that rod? Just my .02 on this situation?
 

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loco alto!
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Some disagree with me on this, but I found that the Windcutter was a hard line to learn speycasting. Its very short, and the weight is heavily concentrated towards the rear, which forces you into a particular casting stroke. A cheap DT8 or DT9 (eBay $10-15), or a Midspey type line, will let you feel the rod more load gradually and will teach well-rounded casting techniques.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Chrome Fever,
I was always under the impression that line classifications(wght.#'s) were all based on specific grain weights. Thats what is so confusing to me about Spey lines. Other than the obvious difference in head lengths.
I know from past experience that each single handed rod has a characteristic of it's own and the same with casters on any particular rod.
I'm sure that some one somewhere has tested individual rods and graphed them parabolicly with different static loads and determined what it can and cannot do before it just falls off the charts. Why havn't the rod designer's or the line manufacture's done their homework! Maybe I'm being a bit anal lytical. I don't want to re-think the process, that's why we as consumers pay rediculus amounts of money for these products hoping that they(manufactors) would have done their homework for us!!
T-290 !
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Loco_alto,
When I took a casting lesson locally, my instructor had a DT 8 wgt. and the rod seemed to work well however,that was done on grass with a grass leader. I wish now I would have made a local Spey Days that was offered to our club,I could have tried several lines prior to my purchase!
Thanks !....T-290
 

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The 'one handed' line rating system

(the AFTMA grain weight system you are familiar with) uses the first 30 feet of the line, which is an okay guide with WF lines and DT lines that are to be used at normal trout stream distances. The spey world is very different, where the cast body of line (head if a mod. WF) can vary anywhere from about 30' to more than 100'. Even if we take two heads of the same weight, it behaves very differently if spread out over 30' vs. 65' vs. 90', and that doesn't even begin to consider taper design. Using AFTMA system with spey lines wouldn't work because, in many cases, you've barely gotten to the belly of the line at the 30' mark. Even with the Windcutter, one of the shorter spey line bellies, at the 30' mark you have only included about 5' of belly...so the AFTMA line weight listing would be way off.

Depending on the water you're fishing, you might find the Mid-Spey 7/8 a better learning tool. Good luck and welcome to a whole new world of fishing.

BTW, where do you fish? (Since I live in West Michigan and fish here)
Carl
 

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T-290,

Simon Gawesworth recommends the 7-8-9 Windcutter as the proper one for your rod. You can check out his recommendations for yourself here - http://www.speypages.com/speypages.htm - then click on Simon's line recommendations. It is a helpful guide as he lists most rods.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Carl,
The Fly shop manager that sold me my rod/reel also sold me the line based on what Rio suggested. In his defense he sold me the proper line. I will say that, I found out later that he is not a Spey caster at all. I'm just a bit salty that's all! The new gods (Spey) have thrown me a curve. I can chuckle now!

Back to what Kush originally suggested, I am just a beginner and I realize that. I will need to further develop my casting ability which will help me in the future. I am certainly grateful to speak with people like you and everyone else on this forum who share the same interests. After all, we were all beginners at first!
Thanks for all, T-290

( On your side of the pond, St. Joe in Berrien Springs, Betsie,P.M., and a bit of the Boardman. Most of which seem way to small to Spey cast, so this Spring I will be after some new waters any suggestions?
 

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Beginner has many levels, and

we all qualify when we learn new things. A part of what makes this forum great is the community of learners sharing our hard won lessons. Peter's comment about making sure you have the head outside the tip is key. The WC you have is the right one, and there is no real need for you to look further. However, you will find learning easier on waters large enough to let you stretch that line out (13' rod + 55' line belly). You'll want to be far enough from shore to be sure your D-loop is well clear of the bank and vegetation, especially when beginning to learn where to place it. In my neck of the woods, both the Muskegon and the Grand offer big, open water. That said, I've fished spey rods on the PM, White, and Rogue effectively. Spey casting also works with one handed rods very effectively. When I fish a 'one hander', I use spey casts more often than not.

The advantages of the spey style include superior line control during your presentation, easier casting, and some others. These advantages can still be realized on modest rivers. As you learn, I encourage you to use the search feature at the top of the page to enter topics and read others' suggestions on casting and fishing. The archives and topic files in this forum are rich with the thoughts of some of the best speyfisher-people in the world. We could also meet on a river sometime. You can contact me at [email protected]. (Emails for other members can be found by looking up member info at the top of the page). Again, welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Carl,
The Fly shop manager that sold me my rod/reel also sold me the line based on what Rio suggested. In his defense he sold me the proper line. I will say that, I found out later that he is not a Spey caster at all. I'm just a bit salty that's all! The new gods (Spey) have thrown me a curve. I can chuckle now!

Back to what Kush originally suggested, I am just a beginner and I realize that. I will need to further develop my casting ability which will help me in the future. I am certainly grateful to speak with people like you and everyone else on this forum who share the same interests. After all, we were all beginners at first!
Thanks for all, T-290

( On your side of the pond, St. Joe in Berrien Springs, Betsie,P.M., and a bit of the Boardman. Most of which seem way to small to Spey cast, so this Spring I will be after some new waters any suggestions?
 

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Spey with Single hand

T-290 remember for the smaller stuff, you can spey cast with a single hand rod too with all the advantages that you get with a two handed rod - little bacast room required, quickness, less disturbance, etc.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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T-290,

I bought the St Croix 7/8 for each of my sons during the last 2 years because they wanted to start using 2-handers (one is 12 and one is 16). I bought the MidSpey 7/8 for the 16 year old (the rod was his 15th birthday present) and the 7/8/9 Windcutter for the 12 year old (it was also his 12th birthday present). These lines were bought in these line wts on purpose so that each of them could feel the rod loading. If I were to use the rod, I would use a 6/7 MidSpey on it because I have a very dynamic "D" loop (as Kush mentioned in his post) that loads the rod very nicely with the 6/7 line.

I have found that there are a fair number of spey casters who overload their rods rather badly to make up for the lack of a dynamic "D" loop. I have found that most of these fellows have learned to spey cast on their own and that they have only been spey casting for 2 or 3 years. Interestingly, nearly all of them change to a lighter line for the same rod after they get some pointers from good, experienced spey casters.

As Kush mentioned, the 9/10/11 Windcutter greatly overloads your rod and I too would be worried about the rod blowing up (breaking on the casting stroke) with its use. Practice casting your rod with the line you have, even if on the grass, untill you are forming a good, dynamic "D" loop. If you haven't already done so, I recommend that you get yourself either Derek Brown's or RIO's "International Spey Casting" video. Either of these does a very good job of explaining and demonstrating good spey casting form and spey casting dynamics.
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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"When casting the entire head with the floating line I cannot seem to shoot line, very little if any,when I tried the weighted system I was able to shoot a ton! I feel a full flex into the butt of the rod when using the weighted system and nothing at all when casting the entire floating head. "

i'm curious about this part of the posting. these tips are DC and should weigh the same as the floating tip, right?

is it possible that with a DC tip in place it is creating more stick & loading his rod fuller? maybe the fwd stroke is just a touch rushed?

i'm new as well (not brand new though) this just struck me a s a possibility. SG
 

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Big Difference

Shotgunner - there is a big difference between floating and sinking tips and the load they put on the rod. You can even notice a difference between different rates of sink in how the cast goes, but you can compensate, at least to an extent.
 

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I broke the same rod last year with a large sink tip. Lined it with a wind cutter 6-7-8 after the the factory built me a new butt section. Like the rod but it can not handle being overlined.
 

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T-290,

I have the same rod/line combination as you (my first Spey rod/line). I too, felt unsure about which line to put on this rod, and ultimately took Rio's advice. I have heard of people using the WC 6/7/8-9/10/11 on this rod. I also had the experience of a good caster lining my rod with the 9/10/11 and shooting darn near the whole line!

I decided to stick with the 7/8/9 and work on my technique. It has paid off. Like you I have found that the floating tip seems a little light for this rod, but I can now shoot some line using it if I hit the cast just right. With the tips the rod works better. I can shoot 15-20' with no problem, which is more than adequate for the river that I fish most.

I recently had a good caster shoot about double my current best, one cast after another, on my rod with my line. He seemed to feel that the rod was properly loaded (this was with the type 3 tip).

Now that I have some experience with this combo, I think that the 7/8/9 works well with the rod. If you like to feel a deeper load I think that the rod could handle the 8/9/10 without a problem.

Hope this helps.

River Rat
 
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