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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a RIO windcutter line with tips for my first spey line, and while I love the way it casts, I hate the way the joints in the various line segments hang up in my guides when I cast and strip in line. Because of this, I think I'm going to abandon the tip system and go back to multiple spools with separate floating and sinking lines. If I do this, can anyone recommend what lines to buy? I'm thinking of getting one floating, one intermediate sinking, and one fast sinking line, as well as keeping the windcutter with tips as a back up. Any advice on brands to consider and sink rates would be greatly appreciated. My rod is a Thomas & Thomas 13 foot 9 weight.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Rob
 

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Old WC?

I was under the impression that the new WC tip lines were better than the old ones and OK. Before you give up on it give braided loops a try, I have had good luck with them. Also, if only the tip is looped it seldome comes into the guides.
 

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Rob,

It sounds like you are making a common mistake of beginning spey casters who have not had instruction on multi-tip line use. The loops are located at 15' and 25'-30' from the tip, which means that if you are trying to cast with less than 15' (the first loop) out the rod the rod is woefully underloaded. If you are trying to cast with the second loop in the rod, you are also trying to cast a very underloaded rod. Both loops should be out the rod tip in order to load the rod properly, afterall, 30' out the rod is not very much with a 2-hand rod.

If you are desirious of casting 30 feet or less of line, take out tip 2 and connect tip 1 where tip 2 normally joins the belly of the line. This will allow you to put a proper load on the rod when casting 30 feet.

When you have the loops out the rod tip, the rod will be loaded properly and shooting line will be a breeze.

To pull the loops in the rod when reeling in (whether from a fish, or simply to reel in the line to end the day or move to another river or run), simply point the rod tip at the water where the line is laying on the water and reel in the line. The loops will almost magically slide right through the guides and won't hang up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Flytyer . . .

What do you do when the river you're fishing requires casts of multiple lengths? The beat I was fishing in Scotland required casts of from about 10 feet to probably 100 feet (i.e., beyond my range). It's definitely true that the rod loads best with say 50 feet of line out (I found it easiest to cast when the start of the darker green running line was about halfway between my reel and the rod tip), but the beat required plenty of far shorter casts as well as some much longer casts. It was on the shorter casts that the joints in the line became annoying.

Also, my gillie absolutely hated the "knots" . . . he strongly recommended getting separate floating and sinking lines for next year and kept offering me one of his (15 foot) rods with a reqular floating line on it.
 

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Rob,

The very short 10'-15' cast with the floating tip don't require the line to out the rod tip at all because a leader of 15'-17' will let you cover those lies with a flick of the tip to cover them with the leader alone. From these very short 10'-15' cast made with the leader alone, you can cover lies out to 25'-30' by just flicking tip 1 out to cover them. This is done without the loop going out the rod tip because the 10'-15=17' leader + the 15' front taper (tip 1) covers this short cast easily.

From 25'-30' out to 40'-45', the loop of tip1 is out the rod tip; but the loop of tip 2 is still in the rod. Once again this is very easy to do, especially since you have probably already covered the water out to 25'-30' before moving on to the lies of 40'-45' from your casting position.

Beyond 40'-45' you will have the loops of both tip 1 and tip 2 out the rod tip and there will be no interference from the splicing loops whatsoever. Thus, allowing you to cast as far as you are capable of shooting line once the 54' belly/front/back taper is out the rod tip.

Although it is true that an uncut line without the splicing loops for interchangeability is unquestionably the best, the ability to change from floating to intermediate to sinking of multiple sink rates without having to reel in, change spools or reels, and restring the rod with the new line is worth the very slight inconvenience of the interchangeable splicing loops. And a line with the splicing loops for interchanging the line's tips to cover different depths only cause you to lose about 3"-4" of water coverage when going from one looped section distance to another. The loss 3'-4" coverage is hardly worth worrying about since a "player" will move more than that to take a fly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Flytyer . . .

You're making me feel better about my original purchase of the Windcutter with tips!

Still curious, though, about what brand of sinking lines you'd recommend if I did decide to get regular lines. I do like the RIO lines, but I don't think they make sinking lines, do they?

Also, do you know how far a proficient caster can cast with a windcutter? I ran into problems casting much more than 65 to 70 feet. It seems like the rod is hard to cast if any of the dark green running line is outside the rod tip during the casting stroke, yet I had trouble shooting any significant amount of running line, since my left hand wasn't free to keep the coils off the water/bank as it is when I shoot line with a single-handed rod. This pretty much limited my casts to the 56 foot length of the tip and belly (not including leader) plus the few yards of running line that I was able to shoot. I'm wondering if I need a longer-bellied line to increase distance, or if I just need to improve my technique with my current line (either learn to shoot line more effectively or learn to cast with a longer length of the running line outside the rod tip during my casting stroke)
 

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WC Distance

George Cook, a Sage rep, can cast the whole line, so distance is no problem for the proficient caster.

RIO makes sinking lines through WF9S. They also make some heavier saltwater lines that might do what you want. I can't see many applications where I would want a full sinking line, as I generally use sink tips. Fishing for suspended king salmon from a pram would be one, but I wouldn't be using a spey rod for that, just a shooting head system.
 

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Rob,

Like Ted, I exclusively use sink tips of 15' with my 2-hand rods. There are several brands available; however, I like the RIO's, which are available in sink rates of Intermediate, type 3, type 6, and type 8. These correspond to about 0.5"/sec, 3"/sec, 6"/sec, and 8"/sec respectfully.

The Windcutter line can be cast a very long way, as Ted pointed out George Cook has shown in some of his demonstrations. It takes good technique and practice to toss 100' with any line. The color change should be not more than about 4-6"" out the rod tip, with it being just inside the tipe being best for ease of picking up the belly of the line for the forward spey and energy transfer into the cast.

You still have your left hand available for holding loops of line with a 2-hand rod. Just because your left hand is being used on the lower spey grip for casting a 2-handed rod doesn't mean it cannot be used to hold loops of line. Hold loops of line that are 3-4 pulls of line with your forefinger of the left hand, keep the line from sliding out the rod with the forefinger of your right hand clamping it tightly against the rod grip, release the line from right forefinger by lifting your finger up just after applying your power stroke and fast rod stop when making the forward spey, and the line coils held in your left hand will flow right out the rod guides, just like with a single-hand rod. It takes a little practice to get the timing down for this and for using the index finger of your right hand for holding the line when forming the D Loop and making the forward spey; but with practice, it is pretty easy to make a cast of 75'-80' with the Windcutter.

The left hand pulling the rod's butt toward you in combination with the right hand pushing the rod's tip away from you puts tremendous energy into the cast and takes the place of the single-hand double-haul.

If you can, get some spey casting instruction from someone you know who is a decent spey caster, attend one of the various spey claves, or take a spey casting class. Getting some instruction will show you what I am talking about and greatly improve your technique while helping you prevent developing bad habits.

If none of three things mentioned in the last paragraph is possible, get yourself the RIO "INTERNATIONAL SPEY CASTING" video or better yet the DVD of it; the John and Amy Hazel spey casting video, Mel Krieger's spey casting video, or Derek Brown's spey casting video. I have a strong preference for RIO's because Simon G. is such a superb spey casting instructor. The $30.00 or so you will spend on a spey casting video or DVD would be money well spent and help you immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Flytyer . . .

Thanks for all the advice. I think you've helped me diagnose my problem. I definitely found the rod easiest to cast when the color change was about halfway between the reel and rod tip, so I think I must be getting the casting stroke right (I had no problem casting a fairly tight, energetic loop with this much line out, using both overhead and single spey casts) . . . just couldn't seem to shoot line effectively to get any additional distance. From your analysis, it looks like my problem is coordinating my right and left hands to shoot line effectively. Can't wait to practice this weekend.

Thanks

Rob
 

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Rob,

There is a spey clave in your neck of the woods this Saturday located in New Hampshire. To find its location and driving directions to it, go to the "Claves and Other Gatherings" forum and look up the thread titled "Nor'eater Spey Clave". As I said in a prior post, a day spent at a spey clave would help your casting immensely.
 
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