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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard this topic come up quite a bit latley, especially with all the new tackle out there. When I first started using a spey rod, I didn't have any idea what this term meant. After a few years of learning and developing, I can reference the terms of traditional casting vs. shooting. From research I know that shooting casts developed in the Norweigien countries if I am correct and and are now becoming popular in the Pacific NW. Traditional spey casting originated in countries of England and Scotland many years ago and in recent years has been evolving here in the USA.

Now my questions are, do most of you practice shooting or tradiotnal casting techniques. When I say shooting it is dealing with a shorter, condesed head, spey line that is stripped in and propelled out. This might be a shooting head, adapted line or something like a windcutter. Traditional casting I associate with longer belly lines and DT lines where you use the flex of the rod to make long casts.

Just trying to get some responses.
 

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I do a little of both most of the time. That is, I don't use a shooting head per se (like the windcutter, which has a very thin running line), but an Airflo long Delta or the XLT, both of which have very long bellies, and somewhat thinner "running" lines. Anyway, on most casts I probably shoot between 10 and 20 feet of line, just to add distance to the line I feel comfortable picking up. I suspect most folks are in this grey area (if I'm right in thinking it's a grey area, and not just "shooting").
 

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I'm still just a rookie when it comes to spey casting. The reason that I chose to pick up a spey rod was to eliminate all the false
casts that went along with the one hander. I don't like stripping
line after the swing, therefore I am a practicing spey caster, not a shooter.
 

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Flexible.

I really prefer casting without stripping and shooting, but traditional spey casting does require some room for a "backcast" (D loop), contrary to the impression I had when I started this madness some years ago.

So, I'll use a longbelly line most of the time, but if I am going to be fishing a lot of spots where my back is against the trees, I'll use a Windcutter and shoot to the target.

--Bill
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Dan -

Although your observation has a lot of merit, I'm not certain that the world of spey casting could be classified so absolutely into those two categories. Most avid speyfishers will use whichever approach best suits the situation at hand, and the most common approach is a combination of the two.

If one end of the spectrum was double taper lines, the other extreme would be the Skagit and European underhand casting lines perhaps. But in between there is plenty of room for traditional casting and fishing.

In other words, a caster who is using a Midspey or an Airflo long delta casts quite traditionally but when a fish rolls under the far bank's shadow he/she will lean into the butt of the rod and fire the head deep into the running line to shoot the distance needed, if possible.

We constantly discuss line designs and preferences here in the Speyclave in 3 basic categories:

1) Short Spey lines - best for underhand, skagit, sinktips
2) mid-length - all purpose lines
3) extended belly lines and DT - distance casting w/o stripping

But we could easily split hairs and call DT's a fourth category.

In my personal view of spey fishing, for whatever that's worth - all of these lines can be fished traditionally. I use them all to suit the situation at hand. In deep winter, the Windcutter or Midspey with heavy tips gets the call. In summer the Midspey or Airflo traditional / Wulff T/T gets the call for me. On large rivers with dry line fisheries, the extended spey lines are the ticket especially with the CND Specialist series rods.

What I feel is not traditional spey fishing is overhand casting, or using indicators and weights on the leader. This is what is known widely in the northwest as drift fishing, a most effective method for salmonids but hardly traditional in fact illegal in many classic waters. In my humble opinion, FWIW, anything from a Windcutter to a DT swings a fly once it's out there regardless of how much running line was held in the fingers during the cast.

.02
 

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I do both an equal amount. In my opinion each has it's place. I know guys do it but i have no drsire to do my heavy tips in the winter with a long belly. On the other hand i have no desire to spend all summer stripping line in. So I use a windcutter for tips and an xlt or double taper for floating line work.
 

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Spey vs. shooting

Cast whichever way the enviroment dictates. I look at the various casts as tools for me to use to over come the conditions that arn't always perfect. In other words, if I spend hours driving, spend a ton of bucks, and the wind is blowing I won't be the guy bailing out.
Good luck,
Leroy..................................
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Juro...

Exactly Juro. I was just saying whether most of you prefer shooting or using traditional casting techniques, on any given day. Yeah, like some of you said you have to dicate to the conditions, but I was just referring to what you prefer. Your response was an excellent clear up, well said.

I plan to do alot more underhand casting, although I will fish longer belly lines on larger rivers, or smaller ones where I just double, single, and roll cast.

BTW, I do use my spey rod with indicators and splitshot at times. Some of our smaller streams with deep pockets and runs don't allow even the fastest sink tip lines to get down, or if they do you snag fish usually or hinge bottom. Don't get me wrong, not all of them are like this and several can be fished in the traditional manner.
 

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loco alto!
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Full floater, unless using heavy tips and weighted flies all day, then I'm using a windcutter. This mostly breaks into summer vs. winter conditions.

I prefer the full floater and minimal shooting.

Occasionally on brushy small streams I'll use the indicator, but never with a spey rod. BUT I do almost exclusively use SPEY CASTS for this fishing, because of all the brush. I'm with dan on this - should I stay home and watch football instead? huh? Not everyone fishes rivers of the magnitude of the Skagit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yep...

I don't want anything to get in the way of fishing. Although I will be using a smaller euro rod for indicator nymphing, it is mostly just roll casting and the longer rod is better for drifts.

Yeah, I make up a few custom lines to our GL rivers, some are very neat.
 

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$ 00.02

I am getting to know three styles of line - the shooting heads, the windcutter/delta taper; the midspey; and the grandspey/traditional. I think they are all fun to learn and fish with -each has its own certain dance.

My impression is that, in very broad brushstrokes, the shooting head was developed on the west coast in the 50's by single handed casters. From that history the weight forward taper was created and marketed. The shooting head was carried over by two handed casters who cut and spliced their lines to adapt to their river conditions. From that history Rio came up with the windcutter.

Most of the good 'spey' steelhead fishermen I met a few years ago were best and most comfortable with the windcutter style taper.

My impression is that the Scandanavians took the shooting head concept from the original impulse of the steelheaders and refined it. Loop then developed their series of balanced rods and line systems, which are remarkable to fish with.

My impression is that the Skagit style is another descendent from the original west coast shooting head concept, and it is an astounding approach because it can easily manage heavy difficult dangerous projectiles, plus it does not require the same concept of timing in the set up.

The longer tapers are more kith and kin to the British Isles double taper strong slow long history, also in BC, and are usually associated with greased line fishing. They require a d loop that is in balance to the amount of line in motion, and are such a pleasure to cast who cares about fishing ?
 

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Reed... I slightly disagree. You seemed to indicate that double tapers and long bellies are low performance lines " they are a pleasure to cast, who cares about the fishing"

Just wanna say that long bellies and double tapers are both high performance fly lines and are the equal in effectivness of any short taper or shooting head..
They all work well when they are matched to the rod and the angler preference.
Also wanna emphasize how this is meant as statment not argument. :)
 

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I much prefer to fish with the extended belly lines. They are a pleasure to cast, don't require stripping for most situations, and can cast both short (50 or so feet) and long (90 to 100 ft with leader) without the need to strip line or shoot line. And if on a river like the Skagit (the river that flows through the town I live in), I can shoot some line and make cast of 120 to 130 feet if need be. Although most of the time, I am casting 80 to 90 feet on this river; thus, I need only pick up the line and toss it back out in the river without stripping.

The shortest line I use now is a MidSpey and that is only on my 13 ft rod on smaller rivers like the Stilly.
 

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Wow, a thread that compares short belly and long belly techniques and no acrimony! Where is Scott when you need him :devil:?

I'm with speyrd - Leroy I don't think there is anything wrong with any of the styles. In fact, the accomplished speyfisher/double-handed fisher should be accomplished with it all - as you never know when it may be the only way to fish in a given set of conditions.

While I started as an avowed long belly guy (and still prefer it) I will fish mid-spey type lines where appropriate and have recently had some good tutorial on the Skagit casting system. In fact, I fully intend to give Marlow Bumpus' prototype Skagit line a real workout on the Dean in a couple of weeks! (Come on SA - get that thing into production - as Marlow wants me to return it!!!)

Juro, I think the double taper lines should be the 4th category. They are different from the long belly lines in that they do not shoot line very well - if at all and the long belly lines are quite capable of that. We've been hanging the GrandSpey and the Speydriver outside the rod tip as 100' shooting heads! Steve Choate has also shown (quite well I might add) that the XLT can be a great shooting head line as well - if you have the technique and the popeye forearms necessary :eyecrazy: .
 

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roballen-
I was not trying to say anything negative about the long line at all. I was trying to posit a chronology and my impressions of some of the casts. At the end of any cast is when the fishing begins. I like and practice everything, marooned at the casting ponds in Golden Gate Park and getting away every now and then to rivers.
 

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.02 cents only here.

For a dry line application I'll stick with a non-shooting line (read that I'm casting as far as the rod/line/me will allow.

For tips, sinking leaders and such then I'll go with a "shooting line,' probably a cut back WC, DT or RIO Acrtr. There the "short head" and long thin running line give me what I need to get the goodies out to where I think (Mr. Fish may not agree! :rolleyes: ) I want to run my fly(s) through a given drift.
fae
 
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