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104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been reading some posts on the skill levels it takes to cast a long line as apposed to a short head; the posts on the XLT and the amount of skill it takes to pick up a long line as opposed to casting a, say, windcutter.
Was wondering, does someone who can pick up 120' off the water with a long bellied line have more skill than does one who picks up a windcutter and casts the line?
I know that for me it's a lot less stressfull on my body to pick up the belly of a windcutter and cast the line with a sink tip than it is to pick up the belly of the XLT floater.
Are Skagit or underhand casters less skilled than longliners?
I've never met Ed Ward, but I have a friend who gave me a video with him as he demonstrated various "Skagit" casts. Is he less skilled than a longliner?
Just wondering,


Relapsed Speyaholic
5,533 Posts

Interesting questions. Not sure if one can make skill vs. belly type comparisons. There is no doubt that a WC type short bellied line is easier to cast for a beginner. It also will allow certain casting flaws while still delivering the line. This is especially true if you are not shooting any line. The flaws become glaring once you add additional belly.

I'm sure some of the XLT fans will bring up the oft said claim that the XLT is the easiest line to learn on. Nothing against the XLT but for my money that is simple BS. It is easier to learn on a short bellied line. Now is it best to learn on one? That is a totally diff. question. I believe that if you learn on a long line, even though it is harder, you are better served in the long term as those bad habits are not learned.

To say that someone who fishes the shorter lines is less skilled is a reach and in many, many cases, just false. I believe it was in one of Dana's articles where he states the WC is a line for beginners and experts. Take Ed Ward for example, he is known for his short bellied preference but I venture that few here could hold a candle to him in skill.

Each type has its advantages and its applications. Maybe the truly skilled caster is the one who can easily cast and FISH either and knows when it is appropriate to do so.

My two thin pennys.

Pullin' Thread
4,694 Posts

Very well said! I agree completely with your comments. Just because I learned to spey cast with a double taper doesn't mean that is the best way to go about it. I love the long-belly lines but a Windcutter (or one of the other short-belley lines) is ideal in smaller rivers where a 60 foot cast puts you on the far bank or in the brush across river. They are also nice when fishing for silvers because of the need to keep the fly moving through struipping it back. A shor-belly line allows you to simply pick it up after the stripping and then throw it back out 90 feet with ease, the long-bellies don't do nearly as well on the shoot with the 45 to 50 feet out the rod in this situation.

The bottom line it that I wouldn't trade either my long-belly or my short-belly lines because I use them in different sized rivers and conditions.
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