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Want to try the singlehand spey thing. Mainly would be swinging or stripping streamers for smallmouth bass in smaller rivers. Intend to use either a 9'6''or 10' 6 or 7 weight. Looking at a SA Adapt 240 grain or an Airflo Switch 240 grain (they're both cheap on ebay). Was wondering if the head length (22 or 28 ft for the Adapt and 31 for the Airflo) was too long for single hand and should I just bite the bullet and get an OPST which I think are specifically designed for single hand. Thanks.
 

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The OPST website has a chart suggesting Commando grain weights for various rods. They show 250 or 275 grains for the uses you’re talking about, and those heads are 13-14 ft
 

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Want to try the singlehand spey thing. Mainly would be swinging or stripping streamers for smallmouth bass in smaller rivers. Intend to use either a 9'6''or 10' 6 or 7 weight. Looking at a SA Adapt 240 grain or an Airflo Switch 240 grain (they're both cheap on ebay). Was wondering if the head length (22 or 28 ft for the Adapt and 31 for the Airflo) was too long for single hand and should I just bite the bullet and get an OPST which I think are specifically designed for single hand. Thanks.
No, they are not too long. But longer heads will require more skill to cast, and will be an all round different experience. If you want to get an approximate idea, use the the line length to rod length ratio. So for example for a similar weight line corresponding to a 6wt single hand rod, let’s say a shortish 3 wt 12’ SPEY rod, a Rio Scandi short would have a ratio 29/12 = 2.4. And a skagit head on that short spey rod more like 20/12 = 1.7. And those would be about the typical ratios on a spey rod for the scandi and skagit “experience”.

The ratios of the two lines you mentioned are 22/9.5 and 28/9.5 so 2.3-2.9 and so from Scandi to longish Scandi ratio. So something to be aware of, depending on your tastes and experience. But if all you have used in the past is a skagit on a spey rod, or you want to huck mice or bigger flies, then I’d go for the commando. But there is no fundamental need to worry about head lengths. The examples above are just a rough way to get an idea what you would be getting into. My personal favorite SH spey line on my 5wt 9’ rod is the rio SH spey line, but that is a whole other thing as well, and at 33’ this would be a ratio of 3.7 so getting on short end of short belly equivalent.

Hope this helps a bit. If you will ever be stripping flies too, as I suppose might be the case for Bass, maybe consider an integrated line. Very nice if you ever need to strip the fly almost to the end. If you are going to be considering full price you could also consider giving line maker Steve Godshall a call - he can build a integrated commando length line, or anything you want, for the same price, plus he can discuss all the issues and tradeoffs beforehand better than anyone.

Just to mention, if price really IS a serious issue the you can easily MAKE a comando style skagit head out of a cheap $20 shootinghead you can buy on eBay. Most of these even come with a braided nylon loop to install on the end. And you can get 2 “comandos” out of one of these if you are lucky! This will require buying the right density, and cutting. I’ve done this several times with great results and it might be a nice way to go for experimenting with this stuff.
 

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I would stick with either:

•Airflo skagit scout
•OPST commando
•Rio Single hand spey
•Wulff triangle taper

I’m regards to single hand spey (or skagit casting) you will be much happier with these shorter heads. It’s what they were designed to do. Can you do it on longer heads????? Of course, but then one is only choosing a much more difficult path. Just like I can cast an OPST head on a 15’ rod, but it’s just the wrong tool for the job!

I can use a sledgehammer for pounding nails in wood, but a hammer is much easier and efficient.

Get a short head, you’ll be happy
 

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I do prefer the shorter heads for my 10ft single hander. The loading is very easy and more conducive to the areas I fish it. If I could easily manage a longer head in that environment, I would use one of my two-handers :D
There are advantages to the short head and short rod, more than a short rod and longer line.
The OPST Commando heads are pretty sweet, along with the Wulff Ambush heads. Steve Godshall can build a short head for your rod as well. Along with my single hand 10ft 8wt, Steve sent along a deadly intermediate scandi head for the rod :smokin:


Mike
 

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The nice thing about the short heads like the Commandos is you can always put a longer tapered tip on them to get them to act more like a scandi, then go shorter when you need to move an unreasonably big fly. Cant make a longer head shorter on the stream.
 

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The nice thing about the short heads like the Commandos is you can always put a longer tapered tip on them to get them to act more like a scandi, then go shorter when you need to move an unreasonably big fly. Cant make a longer head shorter on the stream.
Its a nice feature, but I’m not sure the “effort” difference is all that meaningful - you have to undo, and then redo a single loop to loop in both cases. If you actually WANT to use the real thing then switching back and forth would not be an issue, such as when fish are suddenly rising and you want to cast dries overhead. No comparison. I simply have both on me most times, but I go the other way and wait until I NEED the micro head.

 

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The most versatile line that I have found is the DT :smokin::smokin:
While not being a great shooting line, when matched properly, it can be a short, in close presentation line or when needed a long line, far off presenter.
Not a better line out there for dry fly presentations !! Also a great swinging line, easy to mend and can carry a decent payload (fly).
It performs all spey casts well, plus it can be cast O/H and roll-cast like a dream !!

Yes, I do have a DT for my single-hander ... and a DT for three of my two-handers too :D:D


Mike
 

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The most versatile line that I have found is the DT :smokin::smokin:
While not being a great shooting line, when matched properly, it can be a short, in close presentation line or when needed a long line, far off presenter.
Not a better line out there for dry fly presentations !! Also a great swinging line, easy to mend and can carry a decent payload (fly).
It performs all spey casts well, plus it can be cast O/H and roll-cast like a dream !!

Yes, I do have a DT for my single-hander ... and a DT for three of my two-handers too :D:D


Mike
Interesting take Mike years ago, when i lived out west, i tried a DT on a friends suggestion to do so. I never got it and went back to my old tried and true WF. Differen’t strokes for differen’t folks. To get back on topic though, the short single hand rigs available now are pretty sweet. I toss an OPST during the summer fer smallies and it is a dream come true. Very pleasurable line to cast and oh so effective.
 

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Interesting take Mike years ago, when i lived out west, i tried a DT on a friends suggestion to do so. I never got it and went back to my old tried and true WF. Differen’t strokes for differen’t folks.
Were you using a single hand rod or a two-hander ??
If you are trying to load a two-hander and most of the time you are making relatively short casts, say 60ft or less, then up size your DT by one line weight and you'll get the grains needed to load. Especially if you are use to having a heavier load. It's a little easier to control the loading on a single-hander I find compared to the two-hander.

My point is, if you're looking for a short belly line, a DT can fit the bill if properly matched and also have the option of having a longer belly line all rolled up into one line.


Mike
 

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I use the RIO single hand spey on my 9'6" 6 wt and it over head casts as well a it spey casts. Its the only line I use on that rod for all types of fishing. drys, wets, indicator, you name it. I was very surprised, I figured it would over load the rod and it is a bit heavy but not like I was expecting. about the only thing it doesn't do well is turn over a really heavy fly. I cast medium sized clousers and smaller cone head flies but the big stuff just wont go.

Mike
 

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The most versatile line that I have found is the DT :smokin::smokin:
While not being a great shooting line, when matched properly, it can be a short, in close presentation line or when needed a long line, far off presenter.
Not a better line out there for dry fly presentations !! Also a great swinging line, easy to mend and can carry a decent payload (fly).
It performs all spey casts well, plus it can be cast O/H and roll-cast like a dream !!

Yes, I do have a DT for my single-hander ... and a DT for three of my two-handers too :D:D


Mike
I have played with one but never fished one. I was wondering about them however. A while ago while I was fishing for long periods with the “opposite”, a NC FF55, I found myself being pretty annoyed at how extreme the difference between the drag between the back end and the front was, to the point where in many places I would really have to mend it aggressively. When I switched to a more delicate short belly that part was like night a day, and I was thinking that the fishing part might be greatly improved by a DT in lots of places. I will have to try one out fishing sometime, and not just playing. I bet they would be nice doing long drifts with a dry fly.
 

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The taper section on a typical Salmon DT is 8 to 14 feet, depending on manufacturer. On a single hand DT, it's more like 6 to 8 feet. Everything else is a uniform diameter, so it reacts much the same, making a dead drift easier to control and most times longer. Only when there is multiple complex surface currents does it get weird, but the same weird as aggressive weight forward lines. The advantage is the uniform line diameter and grain weight. Much easier for making mends upstream, down stream and even stack mending, end result is you have more options to control the drift.

There is this salmon pool on a famous eastern Canada river, the surface is glass and the current is mild ... and I mean mild. The DT is about the best presenter on this pool for drifting Bombers, why? Because any mend that you make sends a ripple straight downstream and from one side to the other. It is rare that you find anyone fishing it and even more rare to see a two-hander on that pool. Larry from Halifax brings a 10ft 8wt, a St.John reel loaded with an old Cortland DT8F, the old multi-step tapered tip and a #6 white/orange Bomber. He makes very slow methodical casts with barely a ripple. He false casts straight up and down river so there is no motion over the river or no spray. He says the spray spooks the salmon. Larry finds fish to play with, while others walk the trail back to the parking lot mumbling about the lack of fish in the river.


Mike
 

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The taper section on a typical Salmon DT is 8 to 14 feet, depending on manufacturer. On a single hand DT, it's more like 6 to 8 feet. Everything else is a uniform diameter, so it reacts much the same, making a dead drift easier to control and most times longer. Only when there is multiple complex surface currents does it get weird, but the same weird as aggressive weight forward lines. The advantage is the uniform line diameter and grain weight. Much easier for making mends upstream, down stream and even stack mending, end result is you have more options to control the drift.

There is this salmon pool on a famous eastern Canada river, the surface is glass and the current is mild ... and I mean mild. The DT is about the best presenter on this pool for drifting Bombers, why? Because any mend that you make sends a ripple straight downstream and from one side to the other. It is rare that you find anyone fishing it and even more rare to see a two-hander on that pool. Larry from Halifax brings a 10ft 8wt, a St.John reel loaded with an old Cortland DT8F, the old multi-step tapered tip and a #6 white/orange Bomber. He makes very slow methodical casts with barely a ripple. He false casts straight up and down river so there is no motion over the river or no spray. He says the spray spooks the salmon. Larry finds fish to play with, while others walk the trail back to the parking lot mumbling about the lack of fish in the river.


Mike
Not to hijack, but do you feel that the 10ft 8wt is a better tool for fishing a dry fly as opposed to a two handed rod?
 

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+1 for the Rio single hand spey. I use one on a 10' 8wt and it will throw a surprising amount of junk. I have used a Wulff Ambush on my 10' 7wt and it was super fun and would also toss an impressive amount junk.
 

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I also use a #8 Rio Single Hand Spey and a Wulff Ambush 290 grain on my 10ft 8wt single. Both are very nice, the Ambush loads quicker I find and a little smoother.
The Commando 300gr is sweet and loads easy-peasy :smokin:

Now looking to line a Meiser Trout Spey 10'6" 2/3wt :smokin::smokin:


Mike
 

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There has been a lot of love for OP Commandos, but these did not shine on me. I preferred a longer head, such as the Rage. So my two 10' 7wt that see single hand spey, you will see an old(discontinued) Airflo Delta Taper Multi-Tip on my Scott ARC G 10' 7wt or an Airflo Streamer on my fiberglass 10' 7wt.

https://raspberryfisher.wordpress.com/2019/06/16/james-green-10-7wt-update/

the survey I did to help me select my choice > raspberryfisher.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/switch-lines-my-survey/
 
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