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Skagiteer
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been hearing that the Rio Windcutter is for beginners, So often that it seems to be the popular opinion. This has got me feeling a bit like my back's against the wall. In defense of the Windcutter (and me) I'd like to offer a few theories as well as a few facts. But first I would like to say that I'm not a preacher - What you have the most fun doing is what you should be doing, so long as it's within the limits of the law.

Theory #1 - "What you know is what you teach".

I was fortunate enough to be fishing the Skagit River during the birth of the popular use of two handed flyrods for steelhead. It didn't take long before I was one of the most experienced instructors. That's not to say I had the thing mastered by any stretch. At that time it was my opinion, and that of every other caster I knew, that spey rods were a poor choice for windy conditions and they would be put away in favor of single handers. I believe to the contrary today but, that's what I taught at the time. A few years later the Windcutter appeared on the scene. Shortly after I was teaching that the belly extension should be removed for sink tips in excess of 150 grains. Again, that's not what I believe today.
Most of today's instructor's (and pushers of new speylines) started casting after the appearance of the windcutter and so began their casting evolution with that line since it was the only other choice over a double taper (which is difficult for the beginner to learn to cast) for many years. For what ever reason, many casters, especially those who predominately cast dry lines, have ventured into longer heads.
In summation, the windcutter is what they began with, so they teach that it's for beginners. If that were true for me, I would be teaching that the Teeny 300 is the obvious choice for beginners. I believe it's possible that in the future many people will find themselves in the scenario described in the first paragraph in regards to this particular advice.

Theory #2 - "Easy" and "for beginners" are not synonymous.

I believe it's possible that many casters and fly shop personnel have confused the fact that the Windcutter and now the Delta Spey are both easier to learn with and performs easier(it's a wiser choice for the beginner), with the idea that these lines are "for beginners". Many casters I know (myself included) will never go to longer heads because they believe that easier is better. In fact, some of the best spey anglers I know consider these lines to be too long, they prefer even shorter heads that are even easier to cast, they include Ed Ward, Harry Lemire, Tucker English and Goran Anderson. Indeed, a fine crowd.

Theory #3 - "Birth of the Midspey".

For as long as the Windcutter has been around I have been hearing complaints that it's not long enough. Always I would ask, "How well can you throw a tight loop and shoot running line?". The response was always from "a little" to "a lot", no one ever said "not at all". Without exception, whenever I've had the opportunity to see these complainers cast, they were only capable of flopping the head out in a big open roll cast. The theory here is "the longer the head, the longer the big floppy roll cast". A top official at Rio (actually, they don't come any more "top") recently admitted to me that the Midspey is really only good for dry line applications. If that's true then how can it be better than the Windcutter which does it all? I Predict that the Midspey and the Long Delta Spey will go the way of disco and be restricted to small areas of Europe. I'll gladly withdraw my prediction when I see someone gracefully perform a 100' double spey using a type 7 or 8 and a 2/0 marabou with the full length of one of these lines past the tip of the rod. Sure, it can be done by stripping a portion of the head into the rod but, now it's even shorter than the Windcutter and doesn't have the proper amount of grains left to be efficient.

And now the facts.

#1: It takes a lot more physical effort and larger range of motion to create a D-loop with 100' of line than with 55' of line.

#2: The weight alone of the Windcutter's head will carry the running line with ease to lengths in excess of 100' with the proper trajectory and a tight loop.

#3: It takes a lot more physical effort and a larger range of motion to cast 100' with a 100' head than to do it with a 55' head even combined with the exhausting task of stripping in 45' of running line.

#4: The Rio Windcutter is the most efficient and versatile spey line on the market.

#5: Long bellies are for fags.

In closing, I would like to ask if anyone really minds if I call what I do "spey casting"? I believe that the way I cast is at least an evolved version of what the innovative anglers of the nineteenth century River Spey invented and I think that's cool. I mean no disrespect to them. Besides, "two handed casting" has too many syllables, it doesn't seem to roll off the tongue as well.
Also, It is not my intention to insult anyone. I'm simply stating my case and trying to be a little funny.

My opinions are based on the doctrine that I am an angler first, a guide second, and a caster third. Casting is for fishing.

Thanks for listening.
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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161 Posts
Scott,

Your long and probably provocative entry is great reading for a "Shorter is Better" disciple like me. If you swap the word Windcutter for a Shooting head I could easily sign what you have written.

Most longliners I meet are whipping pools to foam while their faces turn red in the process... "Spray-casting" I whisper to myself, knowing that any normally clever fish has left the pool least he will get shell-shocked.....

A fragile girl can be taught to Single Spey +100' with a decent 14' rod, a 40' head and a slick running line. Put the same rod with a loooong belly in her hands and she will fall into pieces.

I am happy to know some of the best longliners around. Big powerful blokes liks Tyler, Dana, and Way who can do what you feel is impossible. But they probably are far and few between.

In the end I think the Americas will go through the same cycle as we have seen in Scandinavia. Here we used full lines up to some 20 years ago. Today I dare say 99% of all good salmon fishermen are using shooting heads reminding of your belowed Windcutter. Why, when we are hot for the newest rods and the best reels? It is just because it gives a system that catches more fish and saves the body in the process.

Even Hardy have started selling sets of Shooting heads tailores to suit double handers.....

Will I get banned now?:tsk_tsk:

Per
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Scott, Scott, Scott,

There is much value in some of what you wrote but some of it is pretty dogmatic and at least infers ignorance.

If I may respond to a few points.


"Easy" and "for beginners" are not synonymous.
I couldn't agree more. I would state though that Windcutter style heads are the easiest lines to learn on. I think you stated so yourself in your comparison to double tapers. Without a doubt, there are many fine casters that prefer the shorter headed lines. I have and would continue to describe the Windcutter as a line for beginners and experts alike.

A top official at Rio (actually, they don't come any more "top") recently admitted to me that the Midspey is really only good for dry line applications.
I find this to be simply BS. I do not consider myself to be an expert caster, especially compared to some of the people who have been mentioned above, but I have no problem throwing a tight loop and shooting 15' to 25' of running line using an 8/9 Midspey and either a 15' Type VII Airflo tip or a 15' Type VIII Rio.

And now for your FACTS .

1) Agreed -- but lets factor in the calories burned when stripping in 30' of running line each cast.

2) Agreed but the same can be said for the Long Delta, Midspey and with less stripping and shooting.

3) Agreed. Assuming you are actually fishing at 100' + is the windcutter as approriate a fishing tool though?

4) If you believe it to be true then maybe this is a fact for you. I would disagree and have yet to see the proof of your "fact".

5) I am sure this was an attempt at humor but even so, you should be ashamed. :tsk_tsk:

Casting is for fishing.
I certainly would agree you here. Too often we get hung up on the tools of the sport and loose focus on the rewards. For some people, casting well is its own reward and I respect them for it. For me, I cast so that I can get a fly in front of a fish. The Windcutter will do that just fine but I enjoy the whole exercise more with a longer bellied line.

sinktip
 

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Skagiteer
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Per,
Thanks for your delightful reinforcement. I completely agree with your Idea of our casting here going full circle. The difference here is it would be a complete cycle since we started with the shorter shooting heads.
I should have added that my opinions aren't based on being able to only cast the shorter heads. I'm a big strong bloke myself and thanks to some recent and excellent instruction from Way I'm able to cast the long bellies nearly as well as anyone I've seen.
I loved your fragile girl analogy, I'll borrow that from time to time.
 

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Scott,

The only problem I have with your post is the same one I have with anyone who states that their way is the only way and everyone else is wrong. Maybe you and Mike Maxwell could debate the merits of that kind of position.

As for #5 on your list - see you on the river big boy! Will you bring the vaseline or should I? :eyecrazy:


Now slightly more seriously,

You make in effect make the point that there is "no one right way" to cast a doublehander, that I can agree with. Though I may be associated with longbelly lines, on certain rivers I much prefer shorter heads.

It is true I learned to cast a long belly - it was what was around when and where I learned. Contrary to much of the popular literature, the revival of speycasting was not an exclusive to the Skagit. Here in BC, guys like Bill Harrison and Bruce Gerhardt were wandering our rivers with long rods in the 1970's. We tend to stay with our British roots here, you know - home of Haig Brown etc, so it was natural that the double tapers that were standard in Britain were also standard here.

By the time I first saw a Windcutter my default casting stroke was already too long to use it effectively. While I have managed to learn to shorten the movements to be more effective with short bellies - its not naturally comfortable for me. I have used one of Marlow's lines a bit recently, as well as fooled with a Loop Adapted Line, they are kind of fun and I certainly see the logic of the system for many applications. After spending some time talking to Ed Ward I intend on trying Marlow's system for some of the medium sized rivers I fish. This is part of my "personal growth" as a speyfisher.

As for other rivers, like the Thompson for example, I'm sorry, you are welcome to strip your arms off for each cast, I'll stick with the 16'7" CND and the Speydriver! I could care less should you choose a Windcutter - I certainly wouldn't denigrate you for it.

Speaking of Speydrivers, Per, Derek Brown is not a particularly large bloke - or neither is Nobuo Nodera - wait until you get to the Dee and see how far he can cast a long belly! As both Derek and Nobuo are fond of reminding me - technique has a little to do with it - it's not just muscle.

I guess the essence of my response is that your kind of statement, is the very type of thing you are obviously sensitive about. That is, somebody making a carte blanche statement that says one way of casting is right and every other way is wrong. You have to admit this is horse poop, otherwise you wouldn't percieve a need to defend your way of casting.

What people who are recognized as leaders in the double-handed/spey community should be doing is promoting all methods as viable and worth knowing. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and are all useful tools for the fisherman. I too, consider myself a fisherman first and a caster second and as such, I am always looking for a better way to present a fly. There was a time - in my newness to real proficiency - when I thought there was only one way, but I don't believe that anymore and I just can't help rising to the bait when a well-known personage, such as yourself, comes out and in effect creates a controversy that will lead to polarization of positions instead of a melding of them.

We should be promoting the "Coming of Age of Spey Fishing" and that grown-up position should be one that looks at, repspects and teaches all forms and aspects of the doublehander.

Whew, now I need to be careful getting down of this soapbox, I've found myself pretty high up :eyecrazy:
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Hi Scott,

I enjoyed your demo at Big Eddy. As someone who started out with a DT floater in summer, added tips to it that winter, then adopted a winter head system cuz DT don't shoot, then recently started exploring the merits of long belly lines...

I gotta agree with the logic that short heads are very efficient casting tools and can carry tips for winter fishing better than any other line. They also can cast in confined areas much easier and thus often mean more fish.

I have to say though the reason I am exploring the world of long belly lines is that the constant stripping of line between every single cast started to cause cramps in my left arm flexor at my elbow. Now I know what you're thinking, but I am no fag ;) It bothers me because it's simply not as efficient on that half of the equation. Equal and opposite, you gain on one end and lose on the other bigtime.

God knows I am no expert but it's obvious to me that long belly lines are in their element on a broad summer run river. I also love the mid-spey, both with tips and as a floater, because it's so damn easy to cast sharp loops effortlessly all day with less stripping. And if it were not for the pain of stripping all that running line all day long I would agree that the WC is probably all a caster needs to carry, but only if. It (and shooting heads, skagit lines, etc) are probably the best winter lines made. But all things considered, it's not the only line in the arsenal for a four-season angler and I'd rather not be bothered with the hassle on a nice fall evening when it's soooo easy to snake roll a long belly line and take a few steps. IMHO, as good of a winter tip vehicle as it may be, the WC is an inefficient summer line.

.02
 

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Skagiteer
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Discussion Starter #7
My dear Sinktip,

I'll respond to you only because of your accusation of ignorance (readers feel free to insert my psycological reason for doing this). First of all, although I found your reply argumentative, I had a hard time finding disagreements. Particularly if you were to read my original post a bit slower.

Quote: " I find this to be simply BS."

Although I feel my casting has a long way to go, I do consider myself an expert caster. I should have mentioned in my original post that raising the rod sharply at the end of your cast allowing the running line to slip through the rod and then flopping it into a mend does not qualify as shooting.

And now your facts:

#1: See fact #3.
#2: Your not paying attention.
#3: Indeed, I do fish casts in excess of 100' when I feel it's appropriate. Yes, I do feel the Windcutter or Delta Spey are the obvious choice for this if your physical make up is limiting. Then there's the whole personal choice thing.
#4: It's the most efficient because it gets the most from your rod with the least amount of physical effort. It's the most versatile because it comes with the most "leggo block" like pieces. In fact, that makes it the coolest in the universe.
#5: Aw, come on. I'm glad to see that you got a hint that I was trying to be funny given that I wrote as much. Kush thought it was funny.

Quote: "what you have fun doing is what you should be doing"

Kush,

See quote above.

As for #5: After starting this thread I don't think I'll need it.

I was careful to write, "during the birth of the POPULAR use of two handed fly rods". I Intended to show respect to the pioneers of our craft.

Denigrate? Whatever that is I hope I'm not doing it!

Yup, horse poop.

Indeed, my post was meant to be provocative! After reading your fine and informative reply and others so far, I'm satisfied that in spite of the riot that is sure to ensue one of my goals has a decent chance. That is, to depolarize the variety of casting methods. Another goal was to put out the message that Windcutters and Delta Spey lines are for beginners and experts alike. Yet another goal was to insight a riot, just for fun.

Sorry bro, I'm going to stay on my box for just a little longer. This is too much fun and it's the best chatter I've read in a while.

Juro,

So, your physical limitation has led you to the long bellies. I find that very interesting and I think that it's an important point to make. Thank you. Also, I admit that I'll be playing with some long bellies, probably the SA XLT, on the big rivers when a dry line is appropriate.

Peter,

What a coinkadinkle, I also like the SA Headstart lines and they convert to a versatile tip system very well.
Easily, my favorite feature of the Windcutter is the ability to remove 15' of the belly to shorten up for small streams and rods of less than 13'. But, I understand that sometimes even that's not quite short enough.
 

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Scott,

I hoped you were having some fun. I guess we are just such a bunch of serious fly guys that we didn't recognize a good troller come to incite a riot. :tsk_tsk:

Welcome - but I hope all of your posts aren't so provocative :smokin:
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Scott,

Maybe I have too much Irish in me to back away even when I know some one is out trolling. After all an occasional donnybrook is good for the soul. Hmmm, trolling, that isn't a gay term is it?

My reply was meant to be argumentative in keeping with the tone of your original post. I just figured your rivers were blown out and you needed some excitement for the day.

My inferance of ignorance was aimed at your attempt at humor in point 5. I guess I am not used to the Oso wit. Don't worry though, when you start picking on Jews, minorities or handicapped people, I won't be suckered in to thinking you are serious.

It appears we share some of the same beliefs though. I too don't think raising ones rod qualifies as shooting. Of course if you were using a mid-length or long bellied line, it is less of a concern now isn't it?
:hehe:

As far as your numbered responses, I concede. Not sure you are right but for the life of me, I couldn't follow what you wrote except for #5. Oh I did somehow conclude that you feel you don't have any physical limitations and you still like playing with legos.

Either way, welcome to the board. Hopefully you will not be a stranger.

st
 

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juicy, juicy, juicy... i can't resist

what a great topic. i couldn't resist posting a reply; i haven't perused the board in forever, and lo and behold...

i think that scott, per, and kush all make fantastic points. but scott wins hands down for irreverance. dude - you rock!

shooting heads/windcutter vs. long bellies. scott, per, ed have all they need for the rivers they fish with their short heads. kush, myself, steve choate, have all we need for the rivers we fish. hey! sometimes we fish on the same rivers... hmmm... very interesting

i have been fascinated with trying to codify and come to a better understanding of the mechanics that govern fly casting in general, and spey casting in particular. stylistic differences aside, the substance of a spey/skagit/underhand/whatever cast is the same. they acheive the same goal, albeit with different action rods, and different types of lines. the physics are the same. a steelhead or atlantic salmon couldn't give a rat's fanny what type of line, by which manufacturer, is connected to the leader, but how the fly got there, and who had the skill to put it there makes a huge difference. that's why 90% of the fish are taken by 10% or the fishermen.

personally, a lot of the time i spend fishing for steelhead or atlantic salmon isn't spent catching, but casting. i rather enjoy the casting part, frankly. i like the perceived efficiency of my xlt. it does everything i want it to do, throws 20 feet of lead core just fine, thank you very much, and i don't get tennis elbow from stripping and shooting line every cast. BUT, i have seen per hit a seam 110 feet out, wind blowing 20, standing tit deep in 40 degree water (yes, per has tits, don't ask how i know), two feet from the bank with no backcasting clearance, which i simply couldn't hit with my setup, period. the right tool for the job, cast by an artist, and you can bet your fanny i'll be carrying a shooting head with me to russia in june for those rare situations where one simply needs a shooting head and nothing else will do.

[per - if you read this, i'm bringing one specifically for "dancing platform" - thank you!]

there simply aren't a lot of steelhead runs i fish where i'm standing on the side of a cliff or casting to some weird seam where no self respecting steelhead would lie. yet, salmon are like anti-steelhead (or steelhead x -1 for those of you mathematically inclined). fishing atlantics has been a great educational experience, but i also think that the rivers and fish sought influence the styles in which they are cast to. the expert casters, like per, kush, scott, and steve choate, will get the fly there no matter what equipment is used.

with regard to begninner's lines, i believe quite fervently, that the expert can get more out of a shooting head/windcutter than a beginner, leggos and building blocks aside. the short belly fixes a given casting stroke length, and for the beginner, this becomes a significant learning limitation, as he/she never gets to feel what it is like to increase the stroke length as the length of line carried increases. once the various nuances of applicastion of power in a given stroke length is learned, then i think the true versatility of a short head comes into play.

i don't consider myself an expert spey caster (hello, do i look scottish?), but i slept in a holiday inn express last night... vis a vis scott's point #5, buddy: i thought we were going to keep that little bitty secret between the two of us?

brian o'keefe has very likely caught more steelhead than most of the board combined, yet he doesn't spey (very well, anyway). it doesn't hurt that he's one of the best single hand casters in the world, but he's FISHING, not casting. just goes to show that it's not the tools, but the carpenter who knows how to use them. conversely, with regard to long vs. short belly lines, there are some tools that are great for certain situations, and others that work better for other situations, and in between, heck, it's whatever you like.

i've seen both short headers and long headers making great latte foam out of perfectly nice fishing runs, so i don't think what you cast makes more or less noise, it's how you cast it!

way
 

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loco alto!
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quite often, and especially in pursuits of arts and leisure, efficiency robs the groove and just plain old sucks.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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welcome!

first, a welcome to Scott--I can't remember the last time someone's first post stirred up such a bee hive, so good on ya!

But waddya mean I can't count slipped line in my casting distances? Shoot, that takes me down to 214ft then I guess. :D

and welcome back, Way! The speyclave was a lesser place in your absence. The insights of you and lastcast were greatly missed. Good to see you both actively participating again!
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Scott,

If a person learns how to handle the long belly lengths, it is not difficult at all to cast a type 6 or type 8 with all of the belly in a nice type loop with the double spey. There are people who have seen me making double speys with the GrandSpey and its belly at the tip with a nice, tight loop, not with the line flopping out as you describe, and without stripping line on the Skagit. It is simply BS to say that this is not possible or happening when those who use the longer lines are casting type 6 and 8 tips.

Regarding what line is best, shooting head, Windcutter types, MidSpey, or extra long bellies like the XLT or GrandSpey, it depends on what the person likes and casts best, not what any one of us have as our preference.
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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Dear all - longliners and ´head junkies!!

This is great fun, no more hiding in the trenches. I could not resist showeling some coals on the fire so elegantly started by Scott. As we say in soccer: -"The goal was wide open"!

Now when all the goal keepers are out, (even good ol' Way!!) I must say this is far more friendly and educational than what I first feared. Of course there are no given thruths..........

Did I say how many fish I have caught while rearing my tennis elbow? Stripping line in is not half as boring as it sounds.....:hehe:

I will do some long-lining this summer (promise Way and Nobuo!! ) just make sure that I know what I am talking of.

"Tight lines"

Per
 

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Lines

Scott

As somewhat of a beginner myself in this whole spey arena I can fully understand your pain. Having done the majority of my fishing in the Great Lakes region I also got my start with a WC and had migrated to some longer bellied lines. After playing around with a number of them I have gone back to the WC and the Midspey lines for all of my spey fishing requirments. Casting 100' plus has little to almost no use on any of the rivers that I have fished in WI and MI. I personally enjoy shooting line more than casting long bellies and on some days when the fish are not cooperating for whatever reason I enjoy practicing and experimenting with lines and rods and how effectively I can cast them at distance. Why? Because you never know when you may be on a river where you need to reach that seem that is our there 100'+. I am personally much more comfortable with shooting line than trying to sling a long bellied line. But that I believe is more personal choice than anything else. I love that feeling of 25-50 ft of line slinging through th guides. But in the winter time this is a pain since you have the issue of guides icing up and making the shooting style lines less convenient to use. I guess that what I am trying to say is that there are all types of tools to get the job done. Some people are proficient with certain tools and some are not. But I definitely agree that there is a menatality out there that the WC is for beginners and I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. Good Luck and TIght Lines
 

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thank you dana.

per: i think when you go back to trying a long line, you will find you no longer have to worry about accidental strangulation with wayward flying lengths of shooting line... haha

the interesting issue, i believe, is a point made initially by scott, and that is whether a line that casts easier or is easier to cast is appropriate for beginners.

for those that peruse this thread who are beginners or intermediates, please realize that scott, per, dana, kush, steve, etc. can cast any daggone line they want 120' in fishing siutations, BECAUSE THEY HAVE MASTERED THE FUNDAMENTAL CASTING MECHANICS.

the take home message is that once proficient in casting, one simply chooses the equipment that best suits his/her style or fishing situation, since the substance of the cast is already understood.

it was interesting to find that between casting heats in the competition in england last summer, we got to cast a bunch of the locals' equipment (all short heads less than 70 feet), and we were consistently as far or further than they (42-45 yards without difficulty), even though we don't hardly ever cast these types of lines. we did notice that the consistency of complete turnover amongst those that used short heads was markedly variable however...
 

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Dear Scott,

First off, this may be one of the best threads I've seen yet! You definitely know how to stir a pot...LOL! It was a pleasure to have met you and Mike at the Kauffman clave. You looked to me to be able to cast logging cable if the situation required it! I get a big kick out of the controversy over what is and isn't spey casting. While in England this past summer I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful spey casters...funny thing was when I stepped up to compete I used a "Spiral Single" spey to setup and reposition my line prior to my "pick" to make my casts...Immediately upon finishing the first round of casting , a very renowned and elder gentleman by the name of Peter Anderson from Scotland stepped up and stated, "That isn't Spey Casting" son! I will show you what spey casting is! It was great fun and by the end of the competition we were all friends, and his opinion had changed, even if ever so slightly! At any rate, I think you should throw what ever you enjoy! I like the longbellies as well as shooting heads...now to add a litttle fuel to the fire...As Per stated above, maybe we should stop saying the windcutter is only for beginners and just say that they are for little girls! LOL!

Good to see you here Scotty, and again it was a pleasure to have met you!

Steve
 

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Skagiteer
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Discussion Starter #18
Hi Way, (sorry)

Thanks again for your outstanding tuteledge on the Sky. Thanks to you, Steve and Goran I have a fresh desire to learn more. Thanks, also, to you and the others for the kind words and the welcoming. Since that weekend of divine enlightenment I have been casting and fishing with my left hand up. It's been a great learning experience and has brought back some memories. I remember now quite well how much I disliked not being capable of casting well. I loved reading your reply, intuitive, insightful, informative and witty, dude you rock!

But, now I have to let you have it.:razz:

For the past several years I have been concentrating on learning more about instructing and my personal growth as a caster has been a bit squelched. One of the things I've turned to for help in casting instruction is the gobs of information available on the golf swing. Golf instruction is big money and thus the mechanics of the swing has been broken down to a beautifully precise science. Casting instruction and in particucular speycasting instruction pales in comparison. Where I've enjoyed learning to play golf, what I've payed particular attention to is how it's taught. The parallels between the golf swing and the casting stroke are many (I borrowed the cliche "effortless power not powerless effort" from golf instructor extraordinaire David Ledbetter). Not the least of which is the idea that performing a repetitive task is the only way to become consistent at that task. In golf, the swing is the same for nearly every club in the bag and yet the amount of practice required to develope the timing and rythm (not to mention PROPER mechanics) to become consistent is extreme. I see no difference with the casting stroke. I think it is imperative for the first timer to start with a consistent or "fixed" head length. The beginner should become reasonably consistent in at least a couple of casts before moving on to learning how to vary that stroke to compensate for an INFINITE number of different head lengths. So there.

In regards to icy guides. I simply fish too much to put up with that crap, regardless of the type of line. But, I do remember a trip to the Bulkley one December. The water was too cold to melt the ice from the guides, it was tough. In these conditions, even the great fish of the Skeena system were incapable of providing good sport. I've caught too many steelhead to bother going after one that can't fight as well as bugle mouthed bass. At any rate, the point is well taken. Stripping and ice don't mix.

214'? I must be in the wrong chat room, I thought this was the big leagues!
 
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