During some experimenting yesterday, I learned that a custom Skagit style belly of 500 grains with 15-foot tips in the 125-150 grain range is an even better fiit than the Rio Skagit 550gr. Frankly, it flies! For an off-the-shelf line, the 550gr Rio is still a great option.
I also played with the SA shorthead spey 7/8. It works OK, but did not really bring out the best in the rod (or me). I currently suspect the 8/9 version of the same line will be better. That is for next weekend's testing...
The SA Shorthead Spey 8/9 turns out to be a great match. At 630 grains and similar length, I expect that the Airflo Delta 9/10 would be equally good or perhaps better with its different turn-over characteristics, but I do not have one to test.
This rod is rather short and I'm not sure it would be comfortable to fish with mid- or long-belly lines. I'll not bother to try any.
I just thought I would throw my line tinkerings on here if you are still interested. I couldn't get the rod to load with a double taper 7wt. I had read somewhere on the internet that these rods needed serious overlining so I started with a 9 wt. and that was the ticket.
I built a Mike Maxwell type floater for the forecast 12 and a half, using a double taper 9wt with three feet lopped off and looped to 15 feet of a 7 wt. double taper. That is a great summer rod setup for me on the Clackamas and North Santiam rivers. It casts great in the traditional long line style and loads the rod through the mid section with reasonably small D-loops. This setup fishes the low summer water very nicely "greased line". Yet still allows for you to nicely lay out a Light sink tip if you swap it out for the 7wt. front section.
For a winter setup I cut a 30 foot belly section of 9wt floater and looped the back three feet of taper to a 6wt level line. This belly throws T-14 and Deep water express tips with ease, and the heavy line will carry lead eyed leeches without a problem. You have to use a really short, quick casting stroke with this line but when you hit it right the rod loads and fires like a missle. I like the fatter shooting line because it is easier to handle in the icy fog of an Oxbow park, Feburary dawn.
I also cut off the front 17' of taper from a 9/10 wt. Cortland tri-color spey and use that for chucking tips. The line flys a little smoother from the lack of a looped connection at the back taper.
I love this rod and although I don't have much experiance with any other two handers I can say that these line and rod combinations have allowed be to access parts of the river I couldn't touch with my old 10' 7 wt. I am building the rainshadow/forcast 14' right now and I can't wait to start finding lines to suit that rod.
I fish the Forecast 12'6 7/8 with the Hardy Mach I 10/11. (sounds weird, but its the correct grain weight and casts like a dream.) I've also been playing around with a Loop Adapted line, Double Handed Low Float 8/9 wt. That works pretty well too.
I am wondering exactly the same thing, because a have the 12'6" Forecast blank on order. Like you I would also like to get a multi-tip line and was thinking either a midspey or a windcutter tip.
I generally like things fast, light, and crisp with my single hand rods. I didn't like my friends Sage euro 12'6" with a SA std spey 8/9. found it felt way to heavy for my liking. Allthough I don't have alot of experience with 2 handers though. I can perform all the spey cast variations with a single handed rod fairly well.
Recommended spey lines for the Forecast F1267/8-4DB is the Rio 7-8-9 Windcutter or Airflow Delta 7/8 these are the lines that tested best with our spey blanks.
The weight of these lines are consistant with the opinions most people had previously in this thread. Somewhere in the 500 grain range. The Windcutter 7/8/9 is 525. Airflo Delta 530.
Both with short 50 ish ft heads.
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