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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I know how everyone probably had their moment too! I have fished my whole life on a single hand and decided to upgrade to a Spey Set-up this year.

So just got out this weekend to try out my set-up for the first time and I never really thought about anything in particular about lines. I bout a used Ross CLA 7 with homemade Skagit line and it is a great starting set-up, but I am a fast learner and fly fishing has always been very natural to me so I am already thinking I need a more aggressive line than the homemade one.

I'm fishing the Clearwater and as winter comes upon us the Skagit line will be great when skinnier water is more accessible and heavier tips will be needed. Where I was fishing, this weekend, I just wasn't able to get the fly out to where I needed it and I wasn't able to get my D-loop to form correctly. After sitting around the computer last night for an hour or so I have come to a couple conclusions.

Conclusion#1: Part of the issue after measuring the line, should have done this first, it was homemade by the original owner, the head is only 23 feet. After reading Rio's recommendations with my TFO stick I should be running the standard Skagit head 27' with a 5' cheater. This would have added 9' into my d-loop and I think would have helped load the rod more when casting. I was having a heck of a time trying to load the rod because by the time I was on my second rotation of the swing the tip was coming out of the water. I was able by the end of the day to get about 25' of running line out but still was not happy.

Conclusion#2: I was really only able to do a snake roll with this set-up to get the line out to the maximum distance. Again when I tried a double spey or snap-t the rod just wouldn't load. Is this possibly because I just didn't have enough body to load the rod?

Conclusion#3: The thing I didn't like about it as that I had to do a whole lot of stripping for each cast. I do not mind running a larger belly line as it would allow me, tell me if I am wrong, to spend less time stripping and more time fishing. The only issue is that sometimes there isn't the area needed behind you to fish a larger belly line and that's where the skagit is used. What is the difference between the Windcutter and the Power Spey. I know the tech specs and read what the company says about them but personal experience, IMO, defeats a companies definition of a line with world-class casters giving them information :)

Any opinions or help would be much appreciated, hope I make sense and didn't totally make a fool out of myself as I am new to Spey casting, but I can single, double and snap-t a single handed pretty confidently.

Thanks!
 

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Scandi & Skagit Hack
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As a new speycaster myself, it can all be very confusing. In regards to you inability to do a double spey, I think you need to be using a cheater if you are going to use the existing line. The magic formula for a Skagit head needs to be 3 to 3 1/2 times the lenth of the rod. This does not include the leader. So if you are using a 13' rod your head total needs to be at least 39'. So if your trying to cast with just the shooting head, all I can say is blown anchor. Add a cheater and you should be good to go. Try different lenths of cheater + T14 sink tip to figure out what is right for you. Also try varing you leader lenth.
If you do not like stripping line you will need to talk to some of the long line guys here, they are awealth of information.

thegreatscout
 

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Based on my experience this is what I'd do if I were in your shoes.

Buy an Airflow Delta of the proper grain weight for your rod. Hire a competent instructor to teach you the fundamentals of spey casting. Stop into the Red Shed and talk with Poppy as he'll be able to get you set up with a line and point you in the direction of some local expertise.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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The difference between the Windcutter and PowerSpey is that the Windcutter is a short-belly line (belly/head 55' or so) and the PowerSpey is a mid-belly (belly/head 65' or so). What this means is that the Windcutter is easier to learn spey casting with because the short-belly is more foregiving of anchor placement and "D" Loop formation. And the PowerSpey requires better technique, especially anchor placement and "D" Loop formation. meaning it will take longer to learn how to cast its belly well. It also means that once you learn decent technique and can cast the PowerSpey (or other mid-belly lines) well, you can fish with less stripping. In fact, with a floating tip, you could fish out to 80' or so without stripping with a mid-belly line.

Personally, I think people would be better off learning how to cast with a mid-belly line because it forces you to develop good technique to cast its belly. But that is my opinion and it isn't shared by those who prefer to use Skagit lines.
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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congratulations

welcome to the DH brotherhood, let the suffering begin...You are already agonizing about lines, length, formulas, stroke...that's good, keep working it till you can't sleep at night...:D you're certainly not making a fool of yourself, this is a very natural thing.

With DH more than SH, the line is the thing. You have a rod, so you need a workable line and some training on casting. DH casting is entirely different from SH.
If I were you, I'd throw the rod in the car and go see Poppy at the Red Shed. He can help you get a workable line on there and if you catch him between naps he may even give you a few casting tips;)...but you should definitely budget for a lesson with a casting instructor, or some time with a patient and knowledgeable friend, to shorten the learning curve.

good luck to you,
Bob
 

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Bob aka Spey Spaz nailed it for you!

"If I were you, I'd throw the rod in the car and go see Poppy at the Red Shed. He can help you get a workable line on there and if you catch him between naps he may even give you a few casting tips...but you should definitely budget for a lesson with a casting instructor, or some time with a patient and knowledgeable friend, to shorten the learning curve."

In the meantime, order Ed's new DVD "Skagit Master". That way you can visualize how to make the Skagit lines easy and fun to cast.

That sliced and diced line is probably not long enough for your rod. A lot of rod and line combos are sold by unhappy customers and are like marriages :saeek:from hell.
 

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That rod you have throws good with a 650 skagit. That is what I used on it and it will get out there. When I first started throwing the skagit, the cheater made it hard for me to cast, I use a 27 ft skagit with a 15 ft tip made for 42 ft which is exactly 3 times rod lenght.(no cheater) But that is me.

The first thing you need to do is focus on technique and not distance. Once you learn how to cast properly then the distance will come naturally.
Pulling your anchor can be from going to fast. The first thing I had to learn about a spey rod is slow down.

My first spey rod was one just like that. It took me a while to learn how to cast it. Lots of mistakes and still learning almost 3 years later.


Dan
 

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Addiction Heaven--Spey Casting

I was a lifelong SH as well, Montana boy. Then I tried Spey casting and I have now purchased four spey rods and I have only touched my single hand rods once in two years.

For me as an early spey caster the decisions that have really helped me have been:

1) Getting spey casting lessons early on.
2) Committing to Skagit casting and using only double speys and circle spey initially so I can work on my technique. The single spey is cool, but the timing doesn't come easy.
3) Watching a lot of DVD's, Dec Hogan's, Ed Wards and Rio's.
4) Having the Deschutes angler set me up with Skagit lines and shooting lines for each of my rods. It is amazing how much easier and rewarding using the right line for the right rod. I think probably any good spey shop could do this, but you need someone who is trying the products out and knows what they are doing. Type of shooting line makes a difference as well.
5) But the biggest combination decision I have made has been to slow down (Dec Hogan's mantra--see his articles and video) and get rid of cheaters. I have rio Skagit’s on a couple of my rods and went with the formulas recommended, but then had a guide take off my cheaters and have me slow down and it made a huge difference, you have to slow down and with the t-14 (8-10 feet) you have the weight/distance to throw it. If you go too fast you pull your anchor. And to be honest I have switched to different brands of Skagit’s with a little different specs--Beulah and Vision based on their recommendations (Chris O’Donnell). I have had two different spey instructors and I usually do a lesson every other year.

I am a new to this as well, but I can't see myself ever going back. What I have said above goes for me, but feel free to contact me or just throw it out the window, no worries.

Giggling on the River :chuckle:,

Jeremy
 

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4 spey rods??? Why not 1 spey rod and lessons???

I was a lifelong SH as well, Montana boy. Then I tried Spey casting and I have now purchased four spey rods and I have only touched my single hand rods once in two years.

For me as an early spey caster the decisions that have really helped me have been:

1) Getting spey casting lessons early on.
2) Committing to Skagit casting and using only double speys and circle spey initially so I can work on my technique. The single spey is cool, but the timing doesn't come easy.
3) Watching a lot of DVD's, Dec Hogan's, Ed Wards and Rio's.
4) Having the Deschutes angler set me up with Skagit lines and shooting lines for each of my rods. It is amazing how much easier and rewarding using the right line for the right rod. I think probably any good spey shop could do this, but you need someone who is trying the products out and knows what they are doing. Type of shooting line makes a difference as well.
5) But the biggest combination decision I have made has been to slow down (Dec Hogan's mantra--see his articles and video) and get rid of cheaters. I have rio Skagit’s on a couple of my rods and went with the formulas recommended, but then had a guide take off my cheaters and have me slow down and it made a huge difference, you have to slow down and with the t-14 (8-10 feet) you have the weight/distance to throw it. If you go too fast you pull your anchor. And to be honest I have switched to different brands of Skagit’s with a little different specs--Beulah and Vision based on their recommendations (Chris O’Donnell). I have had two different spey instructors and I usually do a lesson every other year.

I am a new to this as well, but I can't see myself ever going back. What I have said above goes for me, but feel free to contact me or just throw it out the window, no worries.

Giggling on the River :chuckle:,

Jeremy
Not only have you bought 3 fly rods you have bought (you said switched, so I think bought is a safe assumption) but you have bought several different lines and only take a lesson every other year???

Think of all the instruction you could of got if you had instead paid for lessons instead of buying all that equipment?
 

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just a thought but....

You seem kind of ok with the homemade skagit line, so why re-invent the wheel. Perhaps consider a scandi line that is grained properly for your rod. Lots of fish in the Clearwater, why start a new learning process now? While I am no expert or remotely close to an instructor, I would be happy to give you a hand for an afternoon or whatever and you can try some different line lengths with my rods. I'll be on the Clearwater from Oct 7-17, pm if interested.

My belief is don't get caught up with all the hype about this new line and that new line. Spend some time (preferably in steelhead offseason) and figure out what works for you and stick with it.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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A few thoughts from the Clearwater...

I'm wondering how you would describe a "more aggressive" line. Some of the best lines I've ever seen were home made.

The first thing you need to do is weigh and measure your line so you know if it's heavy enough to load the rod, matched with your casting style/ability.

Whatever Simon's line chart recommends is only a starting point as to what line you need.

I have complete sets of skagit heads for you to test drive so you can deside what head weight you need before you spend any money. That takes the guess work out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Will be stopping by the red shed this weekend to get set up.

Will give input of all my finding after the weekend.

Thanks all!
 
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