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Discussion Starter #1
The shooting head and line I ordered finally arrived today. I ripped open the packages and loaded the shooting line and attached the head and wound the whole thing on a reel. As I was picking up the scattered packaging I noticed a note with the shooting head. It said something about tuning the shooting head to my rod and casting technique. Huh? I need to tune my shooting head??? :confused:

Pardon me while I rant a bit...

Look guys, there is a reason that you see so many 2 handed rods on eBay with the same description: "Excellent rod. Only fished once." Or "Only cast on the lawn once." There is way too much "art" to putting together a working spey rod. WHen you shop for a single handed rod you just go buy a matching line weight rod and line and you are all set. For a lightweight rod any reel will do. You buy and expensive one if you have money to burn. For saltwater, or other heavyweight fishing, you buy almost any quality reel. As long as the line and a good amount of backing fits you are all set.

With a 2 handed rod you have to match the line and rod. A 6 wt rod may take a 6/7 line or a 7/8 line depending on the manufacturer. And what the heck is a 8/9/10 line? Is it an 8 or a 9 or a 10 wt line? What rod does it match to? An 8, 9 or 10? Once you get a line and rod you need a reel. It's needs to be big enough to take backing but not so heavy that it doesn't balance the rod properly.

Most people do NOT want to experiment with lines. We sure as heck don't want to "tune" a brand new line. Especially one that we just paid 80 bucks for. We want to put it in the reel and go fish.

To be honest I think spey casting is getting a bad name for itself. I'm pretty sure there that there is some serious value in learning to spey cast, but I personally am having a heck of a time finding it. As far as I can tell unless you are swinging a big fly for salmon or steelhead on a big, relatively fast moving river you are much better off buying a single handed rod at an appropriate weight for the fish you are planning to catch.

There is way too much confusion in 2 handed rods, lines and equipment. Some serious thought needs to go into how to fish 2 handed rods in situations other than swinging a fly for salmon and steelhead. Or just admit that 2 handed rods are only good for salmon and steelhead on big rivers and be done with it. People are giving spey casting a try and finding the experience frustrating...

OK, now that I've got that off my chest.

I've got a 12'6" TFO 6 wt rod. The RIO line recommendation for that rod is a 7/8 Scandanavian shooting head with 0.035 shooting line. Being completely honest, I have no idea how to tune this line. Heck, I don't even know how to cast it. Looking at the tuning instructions it says that the best "average" length for that line is 34'. The head is 44' long. Where should I cut this line? Should I just hack off 10' from the back end and go fishing?
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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fine tuning means casting the entire head, and if it is too much for your 12'6" TFO, cut back the head maybe 6"'s at a time until you reach a point where the head works for your length rod.

did you by chance buy a Guideline? They definitely rock!

i use a guideline hover head on a meiser switch rod and it is the balls. i didn't change anything about the casting stroke, as i use it overhead.

vinnie
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Well you may not need to tune it all. Cast it first. Scnadanavian heads are designed in such a way where you can chop off the back end to finely tune the head to your rod. You think it feels a little heavy at 44' ? Start cutting off lengths of a foot at a time from the back until you get to a point where you feel the rod loads well. This is called tuning and is a part of scandanavian spey casting. Other lines do not enable you to do this without compromising the castability of the line.

As to your rant. Some people like it this way :)

Yes the two handed world is complex. Especially compared to single hand casting. I like it and that is why the speypages exist. You rarely see other sites devoted soley to single hand castings with such a lively discussion surrounding the art. I can think of one, sexyloops even though there are way more single hand casters than spey casters. There are some line rating problems but they are being addressed and a new line standard has been agreed upon by most major manafacturers. In another year or so most lines will be on the new standard so things should get easier in the near future.

However, you can make this game as complex or as simple as you want. In your case I think you may be jumping around a little too much. Being a beginner and mixing casting styles can be a sure fire way to screw yourself up. I would reccomend picking a style and sticking with it for a couple years.

Also really think about want you want to accomplish with a two handed rod. When it gets down to it the technique is geared towards swinging flies on moderate to large sized moving water. Some people tell me they are good for indicator fishing but I would not know. They are not really efficient on still water, not taylor made for dropping dry flies accurately at 40' and not great when you need to strip the line all the way in to attract fish. Unfortunately, spey casting may not do for you what you want and/or need.

The above is the #1 reason I see people give up. They are expecting something that spey casting does not provide. It is not the answer for all types of fishing.

So why did you buy a scando head? What expectations did you have?

-sean
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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man, i didn't see your ranting paragraphs as i just hit the reply button without scrolling! :Eyecrazy:

as sean said, expectations may be set too high. mine were, and i too went through many many lines and rods. in washington state we are fortunate enough to have the Spey Shop in Carnation ( I found that out too late :chuckle: ) where all are welcome to try before you buy and get some of the finest instruction from Aaron Reimer, Mike Kinney and Brian Styskal.
it is this type of effort by Aaron that helps many people decide if this is the style of fly fishing they are interested in. unfortunately there are not too many shops like Aaron's.

it can be frustrating as you say, and that is expected as not everyone has a shallow learning curve. practice was key to my learning and still is. if you don't have instructors in your area, pick up some videos or Gawesworth's book or attend some of the claves that are popping up all over the country. the resources to learn are growing more every year and that is a good thing for beginners or people looking into starting.

practice, practice, practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
First I should apologize for the rant. I sound more frustrated than I really am. :D

sean said:
Well you may not need to tune it all. Cast it first. Scnadanavian heads are designed in such a way where you can chop off the back end to finely tune the head to your rod. You think it feels a little heavy at 44' ? Start cutting off lengths of a foot at a time from the back until you get to a point where you feel the rod loads well. This is called tuning and is a part of scandanavian spey casting. Other lines do not enable you to do this without compromising the castability of the line.
OK, that is good information. Thanks.

sean said:
As to your rant. Some people like it this way :)
:razz:

Seriously though, I want to fish, not tinker with equiptment. I also shoot archery. There are folks who spend ALL their time tinkering with equipment and never shoot much. I saw someone tinkering a states tournament. This is the most important local tournament and here is someone tinkering with his bow during the shoot. :tsk_tsk:

sean said:
Yes the two handed world is complex. Especially compared to single hand casting. I like it and that is why the speypages exist. You rarely see other sites devoted soley to single hand castings with such a lively discussion surrounding the art. I can think of one, sexyloops even though there are way more single hand casters than spey casters. There are some line rating problems but they are being addressed and a new line standard has been agreed upon by most major manafacturers. In another year or so most lines will be on the new standard so things should get easier in the near future.
That will be good. I think there are many people who get frustrated quickly because things can get complicated fast.

sean said:
However, you can make this game as complex or as simple as you want. In your case I think you may be jumping around a little too much. Being a beginner and mixing casting styles can be a sure fire way to screw yourself up. I would reccomend picking a style and sticking with it for a couple years.
I'm trying different things because I can't find information of other techniques and methods beyond swinging a fly for salmon and steelhead on big water. I'm going to start a seperate thread for that...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sean said:
The above is the #1 reason I see people give up. They are expecting something that spey casting does not provide. It is not the answer for all types of fishing.

So why did you buy a scando head? What expectations did you have?

-sean
I agree. We need to get information out there so that people's expectations meet reality. Otherwise, spey casting will get a bad wrap as being too hard or too confusing.

I bought the scando head to better match my fishing situation. At least I think it will. I have a mid belly line and can cast it pretty well. See:

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=20288

and

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=20289

Thanks again Juro! :D

But that line isn't really suitable for my main fishing situation. Honestly, I need to cast a fly just about the way you would a spinning rod. 0 room behind you over hanging trees. I'm mainly fishing small slow moving rivers and ponds. With the scando head I can fish close in by just manipulating the head with the end of the rod. As I need to reach out, I shoot more and more line. In most cases I'm fishing for bass and other warmwater fish. I need to strip line so a mid or long belly line is not appropriate. So I'm giving a shooting head a try.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Geoff...

I have a mid belly line and can cast it pretty well. See:
Actually you have a short belly line.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Sounds like you should investigate spey casting with a single hand rod. That may suit your situation a little better.

-sean
 

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Mastering just one style of Spey casting can take a lifetime. Mastering several styles can take even longer. It is not an easy thing as evidenced by the number of Spey rods that end up on ebay. Styles vary so much, that it isn’t until recently that manufactures attempted to standardize lines and rods, but all are still labeled +/- one or two weights. When you go to a clave, out of a hundred people, maybe two will cast the same. If you ask each one of the pros for help, each one will point out something different about your cast (except the obvious things like lift, anchor, ect. that beginners struggle with.)

Everyone gets so wrapped up in the cast that some folks only cast. It’s such a great thing to GET the cast, that’s all they do and they look great, but don’t ask them how to fish.

I say once you can get some line out far enough to swing a fly through the river, start fishing. After a couple hundred hours a year of fishing your casting will take care of itself, but more importantly, fishing skills, learning water, etc. will improve. The more time you spend practicing and fine tuning is less time fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MJC said:
Actually you have a short belly line.
See! I told you it was confusing. ;)

mattzoid said:
Mastering just one style of Spey casting can take a lifetime. Mastering several styles can take even longer. It is not an easy thing as evidenced by the number of Spey rods that end up on ebay.
I'm commited. But I also have to admit that I jump in with both feet, get over zealous and try too many things all at once. Hence my frustration.

Someone else mentioned trying to get more performance. It's not really that. More like trying to jam a square peg in a round hole. I need to experiement to find the 2 handed round peg that fits my fishing situations.

mattzoid said:
Styles vary so much, that it isn’t until recently that manufactures attempted to standardize lines and rods, but all are still labeled +/- one or two weights. When you go to a clave, out of a hundred people, maybe two will cast the same. If you ask each one of the pros for help, each one will point out something different about your cast (except the obvious things like lift, anchor, ect. that beginners struggle with.)
Which is why the manufacturers need to get those standards implemented AND they need to be more careful about how they advertise. Some of the ads show a fisherman throwing a mile of line. People see that and say, "YEAH! Not that's what I need!" And then get frustrated when they can't throw line like that and/or try to use a rod/line combination that isn't appropriate for their fishing situation.

mattzoid said:
Everyone gets so wrapped up in the cast that some folks only cast. It’s such a great thing to GET the cast, that’s all they do and they look great, but don’t ask them how to fish.
I know how to fish. At least in my home waters. I think. ;)

mattzoid said:
I say once you can get some line out far enough to swing a fly through the river, start fishing. After a couple hundred hours a year of fishing your casting will take care of itself, but more importantly, fishing skills, learning water, etc. will improve. The more time you spend practicing and fine tuning is less time fishing.
Bingo! I'm going fishing.

Just so people know, I used the whip finish loop that Dana talks about in his "Connections" newsletter and tried a bunch of different lengths. I've cut the head to about 33-34' and it overhead casts nice. The full length line felt like I was throwing a saltwater plug with a lightweight spinning rod. Too heavy!

I'm going to overhead cast my shooting head and Spey cast my mid (errr, short) belly line. Excuse me while I go fishing. :D

Thanks for all the help!
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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a word on sngl hnd lines.......

" There is way too much "art" to putting together a working spey rod. WHen you shop for a single handed rod you just go buy a matching line weight rod and line and you are all set.
it seems that way but in actuality there are many lines out there that do not adhere to AFTMA guidelines. Scientific angler's GPX and RIO'S Grande right off the top of my head are two that run approx 1/3 over AFTMA specs. i noticed not long ago that Cortland is now offering lines in a 1/2 size, splitting the differance. there are alot of discrepancys in std lines, they're just not discussed and analised as much.

But that line isn't really suitable for my main fishing situation. Honestly, I need to cast a fly just about the way you would a spinning rod. 0 room behind you over hanging trees. I'm mainly fishing small slow moving rivers and ponds.
your move to a head might work better for this type of fishing. try it before you cut it. if your fishing in that tight there may be no need. if your going to be somewhere that would allow a longer cast you could always put your other line on.

in the great lakes region this is a pretty common obstacle. try some of your sngl hand lines on the rod, guessing about an 8 weight. salmon steelhead tapers, bass/pike or Rio's clouser, all can work well. there are plenty of well pleased people using them on DBL hand rods.

as for tinkering, if you don't want to then why would you? theres really no need. as Sean said, some people enjoy this aspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I found my new bass bug rod. I took my 2 hander with the new shooting head down to the local pond. It really throws those bass bugs well. Caught a couple bass and a pile of sunfish. :mg: Yes, I took my expensive 2 hand rod down to a bass/panfish pond. And I had a lot of fun. :D
 

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baldmountain said:
There is way too much "art" to putting together a working spey rod....With a 2 handed rod you have to match the line and rod.....Most people do NOT want to experiment with lines. ....There is way too much confusion in 2 handed rods

I think the answer is that there is so much subjective interpretation regarding feel in a spey rod that a seasoned caster HAS TO feel out various lines to come out with the perfect match for a certain rod. This first requires a caster to become seasoned in order to even understand the differences in rods and lines, so reading all these posts on the infinite rod/line combos should not deter a prospective or novice spey caster anymore than a novice fiddler should quit because he can't comprehend the subtleties of the Stradavarius. With help from an instructor, a rod/line combo that works is easily attainable and you'll be able to fiddle a jig just fine with it. Once one becomes a certifiable addict, seeking out the endless possibillities becomes part of the addiction. The multiple line ratings on rods are guidelines to light/medium/heavy and after the basic skills are achieved a caster will know if he likes a light, medium or heavy feel to a rods flex, and your instructor will help you find this out as well. You may be taking a bit of a gamble buying the first line, but by the time you buy the second you should be buying it with some knowledge as to your own preferences.

I believe many of those E Bay rods are sold after people buy a spey rod and simply won't commit to the time and effort it takes to learn to cast the thing. I see so many single hand casters on the river who cannot cast, but rather learned to CHUCK a shooting head, and they'll tell you that they are pretty good casters. Sad but true. Fact is, you cannot get by with the chuck method using a spey rod. You will quickly get discouraged and quit if you aren't willing to learn and practice the cast.
 

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What kind of situations are you using it for? If I were you, I would just cut 6 ft off the rear end. I fished the same thing on Sages 6126 for a few months 2 falls ago and even the feeble attempts at a cast I was making at the time could get the thing to fly quite a ways. Did you get the floater, the dual density or the tips model? You should be thankful for this site, I didn't discover it until after about 6-8 months of pure frustration every time I was on the water wondering why the he** an 8wt salmon/steelhead taper wouldn't work on an 8wt two hander.
 

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Moose said:
I see so many single hand casters on the river who cannot cast, but rather learned to CHUCK a shooting head, and they'll tell you that they are pretty good casters. Sad but true. Fact is, you cannot get by with the chuck method using a spey rod.

Shooting heads on one handers breed some nasty habits. Just when I think I have cured myself of the "chuck", it rears its nasty head and I spend a day dumping casts all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Moose said:
I see so many single hand casters on the river who cannot cast, but rather learned to CHUCK a shooting head, and they'll tell you that they are pretty good casters.
That is probably me. :( I'm suffering from a major case of trailing loops. I'm fine out to 40 or 50' but beyond that I get a trailing loop. I don't think it's a weak cast that is collapsing. The trailing line hits with enough force to tug the line. :(

Jamey McLeod said:
What kind of situations are you using it for?
Ponds and rivers from shore. I was hoping that spey casting wold work with 0 or even less than zero backcast space. But you really do need to wade out so that you have a rod length or two to form the D loop. The problem is you can't really wade in these waters. As soon as you step off the bank you are up to your armpits in muck.

So now I'm adapting my 2 handed use to the waters I want to fish.

Jamey McLeod said:
If I were you, I would just cut 6 ft off the rear end. I fished the same thing on Sages 6126 for a few months 2 falls ago and even the feeble attempts at a cast I was making at the time could get the thing to fly quite a ways.
I cut a bit more off and it seems to work pretty well. A lot of the casting I've done with it so far has been overhead casting so I could probably cut a bit more off but I don't want to because I do plan to use it for underhand casting as well.

Jamey McLeod said:
Did you get the floater, the dual density or the tips model?
floater

Jamey McLeod said:
You should be thankful for this site, I didn't discover it until after about 6-8 months of pure frustration every time I was on the water wondering why the he** an 8wt salmon/steelhead taper wouldn't work on an 8wt two hander.
LOL! Yeah, I would have made that mistake myself. Yes, I appreciate this site.

Now imagine all the folks who are looking at the latest Sage, (or is it G.Loomis) ad in Fly Fisherman and see someone Spey casting a mile of line. As Dr. Yin says, "No one practices to cast shorter." They run out to buy a 2 handed rod, or worse, special order one from a shop that doesn't know anything about them. They end up frustrated just like you were and they don't have anyone to ask about why their rod doesn't work and Spey casting gets another critic. :(

I'm lucky I found you guys and even bought a subscription because of all the help I've received. I don't mean to be critical. I just want to give the manufacturers some incite into the marketplace. I'm one of those unusual people who is willing to admit he has no idea what he is doing and I'm willing to do it in an open forum. :eek: Mainly so we make sure that other folks don't have to suffer as much as we did. :D
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Geoff...

I don't mean to be critical. I just want to give the manufacturers some incite into the marketplace. I'm one of those unusual people who is willing to admit he has no idea what he is doing and I'm willing to do it in an open forum. Mainly so we make sure that other folks don't have to suffer as much as we did.
So what is it that your suggesting?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
MJC said:
So what is it that your suggesting?
That the manufacturers be a little more careful about how to present their rods in ads. That the descriptions include what situations are good for a particular setup and which ones aren't. We need to start writing articles for Fly Fisherman , Americal Angler, Field & Stream, etc on how to approach various waters with a 2 handed rod. I'd try and write these articles but I just don't now enough yet.

It's why I started this thread:

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=20444

so we can learn how other people are fishing 2 handed rods beyond the traditional method. If we promote 2 handed rods properly they will become THE tool for fly fishing rather than a specialized tool. If we don't we will find most people disillusioned by the confusion surrounding 2 handed rods.
 

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I think maybe your comments suggest that folks should realize this is not a "Put peg A into slot B" sport and a person should do his or her homework first. Again, there are instructors and claves where rods and lines are available to try before you buy, but you're still going to have to learn to cast first, and that takes patience and persistence with the gear you buy. The manufacturers can only go so far to advertise concisely in a genre shrouded in subjectivism and antiquated semantics (which is part of the romance).


Analogies seldom help, so I'll give yet another :D

For years now I've shot trap and sporting clays and guys would lust after this gun and then that gun and then tinker with powder charges and custom sights and recoil reducers and......

The best shots were the ones who practiced constantly and concentrated on basic shooting skills. They could dust doubles in their sleep because that's what they lived for, shooting, not more or different gear. The fact that you can do this with an Italian sidelock double just allows some beauty and poetry to permeate the addiction!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
baldmountain said:
I'd try and write these articles but I just don't know enough yet.
I lied. I think I'll give it a try...

Moose said:
Again, there are instructors and claves where rods and lines are available to try before you buy.
Unless you live in a 2 handed "black hole" area like I do. Then you are mostly on your own. (I'm lying. Juro would help me if I bug him enough. :D )

Moose said:
Analogies seldom help, so I'll give yet another :D

For years now I've shot trap and sporting clays and guys would lust after this gun and then that gun and then tinker with powder charges and custom sights and recoil reducers and......

The best shots were the ones who practiced constantly and concentrated on basic shooting skills. They could dust doubles in their sleep because that's what they lived for, shooting, not more or different gear. The fact that you can do this with an Italian sidelock double just allows some beauty and poetry to permeate the addiction!
The exact same thing happens in archery. People will buy new bows, sights, releases, etc. Looking for a few more points. They never find it because they never get comfortable with their equiptment. The best shots just practice until they just can't pull the bow back anymore.

Which is why I'm done buying equipment. Especially since I have a setup I like. Although a Meiser switch rod might be nice for bass fishing. Hmmm... ;)
 
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