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Snap, Snap

5391 Views 27 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  fredaevans
It was real interesting to hear someone whom I had the fortune of talking to recently, and who is a guide and someone who I can put money down had something to do with the origins of "skagit" casting speak about different lines, reels, rods, etc with reference to the particular cast. The cast, the pride and joy of the PNW, is what is commonly called the "Snap-T."

This person mentioned to me several times that the power comes in the "cross," of the arms (on your on hand side) after you lift the rod for the initial "Snap" or formation of the "Circle," to set yourself up for lifting the rod, forming of the D loop, and firing. In his demonstration, I noted the "flying butt," commonly referenced too.

Some things to note that I learned the hard way. The "Snap T," or "Snap C" may not be proper names for the cast itself. Circle Cast may be more politically correct, however Circle cast also sets up some confusion with the Snake Roll or Spiral roll we all know and love.

I inquired to this person about casting long belly lines with the Circle Cast (Snap t/c) and he couldn't tell me anything which he plainly admitted to me. I guess the Windcutters, and lately the new Delta spey which is gaining popularity as another option in this style, are the mainstay as part of this technique.

One of the problems with the name "Snap T," or "Snap C," is the word "Snap." That word can cause a lot of problems (and possible breakages) for your rod tip if you don't "Snap" it properly. Especially considering you don't need to Snap the rod tip. I find a subtle educated lift and a firm but controlled circle will throw the line upstream of you in preperation of the next casting step.

My question to you, is what are your thoughts on the above, particuarly with casting long belly lines on the Snap C/T/Circle cast. I regularly use the Snap C/T with my Grandspey, but it does require a bit more attention that it would I'm guessing compared to a shorter head line because you are timing a lot more line coming out of the water on your lift.

Also, how do you feel in the comparison of the Circle Cast/Snap T/C to that of the Double Spey. They seem to be very similar, only the initial rod movements are different, but there is still the pick up, the formation of the D loop, and the firing, although one is on the upstream and one is on the downstream. Where as I seem to lump casts like the Snake Roll and Single spey together just because of their more dynamic D loops they form because you pick them up and cast a D loop, where as with the D spey and circle casts you pick up your D loop.

Any thoughts, or words, or opinions are much appreciated.
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Interesting topic.

Although I am no expert caster, as a dedicated student I pay close attention to fishing situations as part of my approach. Another perspective (situation verses cast mechanics) would compare a double-spey to a snake roll (right bank downriver wind) and a snap-t to a single spey (left bank upriver wind). On the right bank with an upriver wind, a left hand single spey, LH snap-t, RH backhand snap-t, or RH backhand single spey are the casts I would consider.

Based on the above I hardly ever D/S cast anymore due to the snake roll. I think D/S is a very good cast to know because the motion of sweeping around so far reveals a thing or two about building a good d-loop, as noted in Dana's current Speypage issue. But in the situation of right bank downriver wind (or no wind) I prefer the snake by far for it's efficiency and pure fun factor.

The snap-t comes into play for right bank upriver wind situations when I can't get my left-side single spey going, whether left-handed or backhanded. Although it's more work it works more often. I am still working on getting the left side tuned in to single spey casting in this situation, sometimes well and sometimes not so well.

In the left bank upwind situation where a righty might Snap-T, I'd much rather use a single spey or if there's no wind I find a left-handed snake roll is much less work and lets me practice that cast more, it's one of my favorites. Thanks to a recent tip from Danameister himself and lots of practice, it's become a "working" cast for me and feels quite natural. But with an upriver wind it's down to single-spey, snap-t, or reversing from the left side. Of these the single spey is my first choice, and left bank downriver wind is a no brianer for a lefthanded snake roll.

Aside from the situational differences, in winter I find the snap-t to be useful for lifting sinktips out of the hangdown when using full length rods and short to medium heads, and get consistent long shooting lengths due to the fully energized d-loop formation it allows (big sweep). This winter I want to work on low-to-no running line stripping by going to a looped GrandSpey so I will find out if the snap-t helps that situation on the left bank -or- if a single spey will have the initial lift needed using the big Grandspey belly. I will also be trying the mid-spey w/ tips this winter too, where up until this point I either fished inside seams with a DT looped for tips or a Windcutter with tips for winter fishing.

I think I'll go practice my left-handed single spey / snap-T, and backhanded RH snap-T and single spey... all this chat revealed to me that I have a weakness on right bank upriver wind!
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snap T with sink tips

Juro hit it on the head when he said the snap T is efficient with deeply sunk tips. One does not have to roll cast a sunk tip to the surface prior to initiating a spey cast if that spey cast is a snap T and one is using a normal [read normally long] spey rod.

My shortest rod is 14 feet, so I defer to others to comment on the efficiency of raising a deeply sunk tip, using a snap T, with rods less than 14 feet.
I prefer the snap t to the single with a long line out - seems easier to place the stick more acurately with this cast and easier to make a more 90 degree cast. I have not had a problem with longer lines and even with shorter rods. My favorite "light" all around rod is the Scot 1287. I have been using the 7/8 XLT with this rod and the snap t is a great cast for river left. For tips, I have cut my Airflo Long Delta and have been using one of my Windcutter 15' type 6 tips and have no trouble performing the snap t with the full head exteneded.

I believe the cast you taught yourself is called by many a "triple spey."
Interesting question. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth:

>My question to you, is what are your thoughts on the
>above, particuarly with casting long belly lines on the
>Snap C/T/Circle cast.

The Snap C/T/Circle cast is much more difficult for me using a long-bellied line. However, my rod is equipped with a Rio Windcutter so the difficulty I have experienced is probably more related to my lack of familiarity with long-bellied lines than anything else.

>Also, how do you feel in the comparison of the
>Circle Cast/Snap T/C to that of the Double Spey.

I'm not sure of what use is this comparison since the purpose of the two casts are [almost] completely different. The Snap T is viewed as a replacement for the single spey (used when casting into the wind). The double spey is to be used when casting with a favoring wind.

>Where as I seem to lump casts like the Snake Roll
>and Single spey together...

This doesn't make sense to me either - for the same reasons mentioned previously. A snake roll has always been viewed a replacement for the double spey and therefore should only be used in downwind (or no wind) conditions. To do otherwise can be very dangerous.

As for me, I use wind direction (or lack of wind) as the number 1 factor in determining what cast to use. Since I am equally comfortable with either hand high, after the wind direction, my number 2 determinant is the type of tip I'm casting. For example, I find that the mechanics of both the double-spey and the snap-t allow too much time to pass while setting up the forward/power cast. As a result, sink tips may sink too deeply to be efficiently cast. Thus, unless I really hurry my cast, I often get too much line stick when casting sink tips using the Double-spey or Snap T.


Downwind: Snake roll (sink and floating tips), double-spey (floating tips only)

Upwind: Snap T (floating tips only), Single Spey (sink and floating tips).


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The "Upstream Snake" vs the Triple Spey

A really useful modification of the triple spey described by Peter that I came up with for use in upwind conditions in which I'm casting heavy sink tips is this:

After casting your line straight upstream, as Peter described, execute a snake roll instead of a double spey. For me, I get better control over my direction change and a better anchor because my sink tip is never allowed to sink below the surface (as it can in the double-spey move).

I do not claim to have invented this cast. I only put it together out of necessity (while fishing the Descutes this past fall) - It just seemed obvious once I had learned the snake roll. Anyway, I've been describing this cast to my fishing buddies as the "Upstream Snake Roll". If it has another name, I would appreciate knowing it so I don't end up confusing everyone.


I compared the "Snap T/C/Circle Cast" to the Double spey because they have a similar premise. You pick up your D loop off of the water. You turn dead line into Live line by picking it up.
Not as dymamic of a D loop.

I compare the Single Spey to the Snake Roll because they also fall on a similar premise. In both casts you actually cast the D loop. In this case, you set up a very dynamic D loop which turns Live line into more Deadline as you wait.

Also, some alteration with your set up and the Snap T/C/Circle cast seems to do well with tips.

The reason I was asking about Long belly lines on this cast versus shooting heads, was because the Snap T/C/Circle cast was created using short belly lines like the Windcutter. Considering that it is similar to the Double Spey in how you arrive at the D loop (not on the upstream or downstream side of you though), it should be possible to work with Long belly lines with this cast. I was just inquiring as to people's opinion of this.
Great thread Scott, great replies received to your original post and it's helped me realize how much I need to work on my right bank upriver wind technique.

I use this as my primay cast whenever I am on the river. I am using this cast primarily on a 14' rod with a windcutter line with the windcutter/accelerator upgrade on it with sinking tips. I have not had any problems using this cast with the extended head and the sink tips. Recently picked up a new 15' type 8 sink tip from RIO and again I have not come across any situation where I can not snap T. I have also become fairly proficient in using a reverse snap T which for me is Right hand high and coming across my body and casting of my left shoulder. Seems to work great so far although I know some say that you have to change your grip. For me I prefer to keep my same grip and change casts to fit the conditions. To me this is one cast that I believe everyone should learn because it is fairly easy once you see someone who know what they are doing show you the cast. Also in windy situations with the wind in your face you can do this same cast but but do it with a slightly side arm motion on your final forward stroke to keep your loop low and tight to the water. You would be amazed at how well this works once you have practiced it a few times. Plus you can still maintain a fair amount of distance and not have the wind fold up your line in a heap towards the end of the cast. I hate it when that happens:eyecrazy: Good Luck and Tight Lines!
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There was a time when I fooled with the snap-T as well as the Circle variation. My primary purpose was to avoid the dreaded single spey (in fact I first learned to snake roll for that reason)!

While the snap-T is a useful cast at shorter distances I found that with the long belly lines I use, that it was a chore to keep the big D-loop created on long casts out of the water. I think that as a "go to" cast the snap/circle really belongs to the shorter head set. While you can cast a long belly with it, a long belly caster would probably have better results with snake-roll or single spey.

As a secondary note, after years of avoiding the single spey I finally gave in and committed myself to becoming proficient with it. Of course I am peeved with myself for not doing it long ago! the single spey is a kick-butt cast! There are times when I will even choose it over the snake roll - for those who fished with me a couple of years ago - this will be a bit of a shock as I would stand on my head so I could use the snake!

I guess I'm saying that the single spey - as tough as it is to learn should be a working part of every double-handed caster's arsenal!
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I have had no problem using the Sanp-T on Midspey to Accelerator length heads. With the XLT and GrandSpey lengths, it is more work. I have been a fan since Doublespey taught me the cast a few years back. I like it for sinktips as it works well getting heavy tips out of the water and into casting position. I also think it is the easiest cast to teach to a novice. The downside is downstream wind. I holed the crotch on a new pair of breathables a couple years back by refusing to abandon the cast.

Kush, I may need to watch you next time we run into each other on teh water. I am still in that mode of refusing to learn the single spey. My meager attempts when I first started with the long rod were pathetic and I stopped right there.
Single Spey

On my first trip with a spey rod, I only knew one cast from the right bank. I spent a month on the Washington side of the Snake river. The river was much too deep to wade across and the fish were very co-operative. I had the opportunity for much trial and err. (more err). I had rio's little booklet that came with my first wincutter. Somehow by the end of the month the cast began to develop. Jerry

I know the Washington side of the Snake only too well. Perhaps I should dedicate my week there next fall to learning the single. Up to now it has primarily been a snap-t show for me although I did spend some hours this past trip working out the bugs in my reverse snake roll.


I think to be a "complete" caster (able to fish both sides of the river in both upstream and downstream winds) you need two casts from each side of the river, one that has the D-loop upstream of you and one where the D is downstream of you. It is this necessity that finally led me to the single spey.

My 4 "go-to's" are now the snake and reverse single for river right and the reverse snake and single spey for river left. With these I am ready for most situations. Of course the occasional nasty wind still necessitates coming up with some funky ad-lib bizzarro cast just to get it out there - but that in itself is fun!
Tyler -

Didn't you mean the reverse snake? If not, I'd have to find a new monster reverse snake role model cuz' you got dat DOWN!
Thanks Juro, I did mean reverse snake . Post has been editted.

As you know from having met me on the river a time or two, I use the single spey a lot. in fact, it is the cast I use from the left bank unless there is a downstream wind a-blowin'. I've even learned how to do it with my left hand hand up and as a reverse single spey with right hand up. I also use the double spey most of the time unless there is an upstream wind. These casts allow me to make 100 foot cast if need by and are very easy to get even Deep Water Express tips up simply by going into the cast.


I love the single spey from the right bank. It is a pretty effortless cast once you learn how to place the line for the ankor and realize that you begin the forward spey slightly before the line touches down as an intitial loading motion for the rod. It is a wonderful cast with the long belly lines, as you have found.
start early, start easy

flytyer, I think you've really nailed it with your analysis of the single spey. The biggest problem I see with the cast (and where I tend to falter too) is waiting for the line to touch down before starting the delivery cast. By starting forward before the line touches down, and easing into the delivery cast I maximize efficiency and distance. With this approach the rods seem to cast themselves with little effort on the caster's part.

Absolutely! This allows you to progressively load the rod into the cast's abrupt stop and forward release of the line. It prevents shocking the line, which adds those nasty little shock waves that kill distance.
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