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I've got an ACR NOVA 1215, which is on the light end of a 5wt (say 325 scandi and 360 skagit) and wanted to try a double taper for trout fishing. I understand that they can be a real pain to cast, and that's part of the appeal of trying them. I have no experience with them on DH rods so really don't have an idea where to start.....or if some are better than others for fishing dry flies, etc.

Are some tapers better for DH casting? Can I just use run of the mill SH lines in heavier weights? Any and all information and suggestions are welcome.

CT
 

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The slickest double taper lines still made are Cortland - specifically 444 Classic

These are available in DT#5, 90' total line length, and, of course, reversible (so that when the end you are using becomes less good, simply reverse the line and use the other end).

There's one on the big auction site at the moment @ $62 plus shipping ;)

The other great thing about a DT line, is that you don't really need to bother so critically about 'head weight', as in reality, the whole line is "the head", just smoothely and equally tapered at each end. With this, you can load the rod with whatever length of line outside the tip top ring as feels best for you and your casting style/efficiency, and then shoot some more as you make the forward casting stroke.

The #5 simply refers to the AFTMA rating for the first 30' of the line.


Mike
 

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double taper lines give flexibility to the caster

if you like a light load or will often want to carry a longer line: DF7F

if you like a heavy load or mostly fish close: DT8F
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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Congratulations! Taking on the DT is a gutsy move. No other line will reveal the flaws in your technique more than a *****y ol' DT line. She is a cruel mistress, but fair.

For your rod I suggest you pick up a 7wt SH DT line. An 8 would load the rod very easily with a shorter length of line out, but the 7 would drive you to perfect form and allow you to work your way up to longer line.

One thing to remember about DTs, most of them have shorter tapers than WF lines, including most spey lines. So if you're EXTRA masochistic, you can cut back one end to .050 and use it for short sinktips. Don't do that right away, though, I'd feel horrible after you shoot yourself... best to use the other end of the line, tip intact, with a moderate length mono leader until the line starts talking to you. You'll know what I mean when you get there.

Another thing to consider would be to tape the line, making marks at 40, 50, 60 ft etc. This will allow you to find your initial comfortable length and then, as your technique tightens up, you can pick up and cast longer and longer lengths. The marks allow you to find that consistent hold point and measure your progress. It trashes the resale value, but SH DTs are cheeeeeep.

One more tip I learned the hard way-
bring an extra spool or reel with an alternate line along. Even a couple hours of DT rasslin' can wear you out, especially at first.
 

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I don't quite 'get' this advice regarding using a DT7 or DT8 on a 5wt rod (& on the light side of a 5wt): were/are the rod manufacturers' labelling of the rod, or the AFTMA wrong? Why label the lines/rods anyway if someone is advising you to overload it?

My recommendation for a 5wt DT line was for a single-hander 5wt line (90')

Is this driven by the short-head, cast a short line "culture" pervading everything in NA??

All rational explanations awaited with anticipation by this dinosaur who learnt fly casting and fishing before plastic-coated DT lines were 'invented'.


Mike
 

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whoa, Mike! I should explain better, this could be my fault.
The guy has a Double Handed 5wt, which will handle a Single Handed DT7 elegantly. Doesn't overload the rod at all.

Edit: I was prompted by Mike's post to double check myself. I looked at the AFTMA singlehand and doublehand charts, and stuck my head into my line crate and pulled out my DTs.

I think I paid 58 bucks for a Scientific Anglers Ultra-3 in 9wt (a 120ft line) but I don't know when I got it; have an unmarked one with no box, and have a Rio Mainstream DT8F (82 ft) which I replaced my old DT with for my 12'6" 6wt. No price tag on it, but pretty sure I got that on clearance. So the weights are right, price tags not painful at all.
I can't remember now which rod I was using the 9 on, but I've used 8wt singlehand DTs on several 6wt speys and it's not heavy, it's just right.

well, hell's bells, now that I've been on my DT soapbox and fondled the lines, I guess I need to get them wet again.:D:D:D
 

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I thought that the weight rating of a DH rod was because the rods were originally designed to spey cast nearly the entire length of that weight of DT line. So a 5 wt DH rod should spey cast nearly the whole length of a 5 wt. DT line. That is, the entire line is outside of the tip top when spey casting and your are not really shooting much line. At least that is what I do on my 13'6" 8 wt rod, I speycast a regular old 8 wt DT line. By my calculations that 90 ft line weighs around 600 grains so effectively falls within the range needed to load my rod without overloading it.
 

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I'm not sure how the weight ratings for DH rods originated, and up till the late 2000s even AFTMA experienced a lot of conflicted opinions about it. A panel of experts were convened in I think 2007 to hash it out and try to standardize them, if I remember correctly.
My DT9F weighs nearly 1300 grains, definitely not 9wt spey territory. Haven't weighed the 8. My 8/9 likes about 70 ft of that DT9, maybe 80.

Going heavier at first is sort of like training wheels and allows the caster to work their way up to longer and lighter lines. Proper grains for the rod at a line length that will allow the caster to develop technique yet still get a fishable cast out.
Also, full working length of DTs on shorter rods can be problematic, even if the graining matches up for the total line to the rod. Casting a whole DT requires excellent longbelly technique. I don't recommend it for your first foray into DTs. It would break a Skagit caster's will to live...

I'm not the first person to recommend using a 7wt SH line on a 5wt DHer or an 8 on a 6wt, it was an old idea when recommended to me ten years ago and isn't by any means a "new" trend or a shortcut or cheating at all. DTs will still challenge your casting form, and by going up a couple line weights you might even get a workable cast the first couple times out.

I always encourage casters to work from easy to hard. No need to shoot oneself in the foot. I hope you find this rationale to be sensible. In my experience, it has proved to be. My 6 wt rods will cast about 70', maybe a bit more, of an 82' DT8F, not including a little shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Would a 7 wt DT line work better for forming a noose to strangle myself after it exposes my casting deficiencies? I'm thinking the thicker line would be easier for tying the knot.

CT the OP
 

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DT's are weighed at 30' so a DT5 would be a 5wt at 30' out the tip. I don't think there is a difference between salmon and trout lines in a DT, except the length of the line.

DT's cast great Cowboy Tom. Very little shooting and very little stripping, they even accept a sink tip though not a heavy one.

DT's are excellent spey casting lines and they fish better than almost any WF line because they are exceptionally mendable.
 

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I think in this thread everyone is right. Can't find a thing to disagree with. Differing applications and points of view, all valid.

For self-strangulation, I recommend a lighter line but in my vast experience a very strong, non-stretch core is a must :D:chuckle: so for that application a quality line is a must...

No, seriously, I joke about the DT because line designs have come so far so fast that to -say, Speyducer or someone else who's been casting them forever- the newer "shooting head" WF spey lines are shamefully easy to cast. 20 years ago a DT wasn't considered hard to cast since it was a standard line. Now we have some pretty advanced lines to compare them to, but it doesn't make DTs "less good", except in a relative sense. They're great lines. The newer lines have given a couple things up to perform the way they do.

Here's the reason casting it seems harder: the weight distribution and length of a DT asks the caster to have a fundamentally good cast. You don't have to be a wizard, but having a grasp of the fundamentals makes for way less pain.
A DT lets you know right away if your technique is weak, and rewards you when you adjust properly. There's no cheating, you can't just huck it like many more modern lines. That's why I call her a cruel but fair mistress.

This particular characteristic, in fact, is what periodically brings me back to casting DTs. My technique will start getting sloppy and lazy, usually after a winter of shorthead fishing, and I'll discover, like I do every spring, that I've "forgotten" how to cast a mid or longbelly. An hour with a DT will purge those casting defects, usually with some cursing during the process, and then I'll be back to my happy go lucky, mildly competent spazzy self.

For me, a DT is less a go-to fishing line and more a corrective appliance. But as this thread shows, there's competent guys who use them regularly as fishing lines and do well with them.

If you're new to longer bellies, I recommend starting with a heavier DT and, consequently, as the mistress corrects you and improves your form, you may get a hankering to go lighter and cast the full line.
 

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I've got an ACR NOVA 1215, which is on the light end of a 5wt (say 325 scandi and 360 skagit) and wanted to try a double taper for trout fishing. I understand that they can be a real pain to cast, and that's part of the appeal of trying them. I have no experience with them on DH rods so really don't have an idea where to start.....or if some are better than others for fishing dry flies, etc.

Are some tapers better for DH casting? Can I just use run of the mill SH lines in heavier weights? Any and all information and suggestions are welcome.

CT
hi tom,
yes, a typical trout SH DT7F or DT8F will work.
the front taper is pretty consistent between most manufacturers.
practice the switch cast at various distances and get a good feel for what is going.
then go into change of directions with double spey and circle c cast.
this will help minimize frustrations.
gary
 

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-Just noticed Tom's posting in the thread about Deltas.
If you can cast Deltas, you'll do fine with DTs.
 

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The line weight systems for single-hand and two-hand rods and lines are totally different, so using a single hand DT5 makes no sense. The first 30' of a single-hand 5 wt. line should weigh about 140 gr, while the first 30' of a two-hand 5 wt. line should weigh around 320-350 gr. - more than double! Even though a DT will increase significantly in weight as you extend more line, it will still be too light until you reach a length of line that is going to be very difficult to cast anyway.

The advice of a DT7 is about right and should be your starting point. In my opinion a long belly two-hand WF is a more practical fishing line even though a DT will certainly be a very good training line. If you can handle a long cast with a DT, you can handle any line!
 

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Even though I was ok with both DT7 and DT8 on my 12' 5 wt (similar grains as the one listed by the OP), I liked a single hand salmon / steelhead taper 8 wt even more. It combined the best of both the DT7 and DT8. However, I can't recommend it, because Cowboy Tom wants the casting to be a pain. You'll get that with any of these lines. Specialty spey lines are so much easier to cast.
 

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Way it was explained to me is that 30'-35' of a 7wt dt line would properly load a 7wt single handed rod. Same line at 60'-70' would properly load a double handed rod. Lengths and weight of dt line can be played with to suit your rod and conditions.
Not sure how well the "new" standards fit this formula?

Gordie
 

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Even though I was ok with both DT7 and DT8 on my 12' 5 wt (similar grains as the one listed by the OP), I liked a single hand salmon / steelhead taper 8 wt even more. It combined the best of both the DT7 and DT8. However, I can't recommend it, because Cowboy Tom wants the casting to be a pain. You'll get that with any of these lines. Specialty spey lines are so much easier to cast.
I was planning to try a DT 7 and 8 for my ARC 1215, but they are not easy to find. Yesterday, I went out to try a SA XXD(Expert Distance) 7wt, and Rio Steelhead & Salmon 8wt. Also had a brand new Vector 5/6 to try. The XXD 7wt felt too light, and challenging to cast with the whole head out of the rod. It did fire darts when I did my part. The S&A 8wt felt just about right, and was much easier for me to cast. The head seemed shorter, and loaded the rod nicely. I was surprised how well it turned over in the breezy/gusty conditions. Nice match that i'll fish. No surprises with the Vector. Great line. Easy to cast.

I'm happy with the experiment. I'll leave the DTs to the better casters.

briansII
 

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Discussion Starter #19
B II,

I just picked up a DT8 and hope to get out today for a little experimenting. As far as Vectors go, I recently bought a Vector 6/7, which, as chance would have it, is it within 1' and 10 gr. of a Vector XL 5/6. I put on my Turbo Tip that SPG made for me this winter and gave it a go. Actually worked pretty well! The stronger tip was able to dig the line out a little better and had no problem shooting a little line. However, the 6/7 was just a little too much for the standard tip unless you pulled the color change back to the reel. Love that little NOVA 1215. Oustanding small 5wt trout stick.

Will hopefully have a report on the DT8 this evening......depending on the wind.

CT
 

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B II,

I just picked up a DT8 and hope to get out today for a little experimenting. As far as Vectors go, I recently bought a Vector 6/7, which, as chance would have it, is it within 1' and 10 gr. of a Vector XL 5/6. I put on my Turbo Tip that SPG made for me this winter and gave it a go. Actually worked pretty well! The stronger tip was able to dig the line out a little better and had no problem shooting a little line. However, the 6/7 was just a little too much for the standard tip unless you pulled the color change back to the reel. Love that little NOVA 1215. Oustanding small 5wt trout stick.

Will hopefully have a report on the DT8 this evening......depending on the wind.

CT
Hmm. I didn't know there was a turbo tip for the 1215. I have to contact Steve or Gary on that. Love the rod too. It might be my most used rod, and certainly one of the funnest to fish.

Interested to see your results with the DT8. I have not found one to try, but _might_ keep looking after I read how it goes for you.

briansII
 
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