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I have the sense that I may be re-starting many existing threads here, so please point me in the right direction if you think these has already been answered.

I have only been spey casting a short while (but know I will now never stop doing so!). Initially I borrowed a Sage 14ft 9 wt, then bought the much faster action 13'3" Burkheimer 7/8/9. I matched this to a 9/10/11 Windcutter.

At first I had a terrible time loading the new rod, but when lucky casts happened I could see the potential. Three days of blissful fishlessness on the Hoh and I could launch some useful, if occasionally pretty (you know, beginner pretty) snake rolls - and when those go right on that rod, its kind of staggering how powerful a loop you get. Impressed with my newfound distance, I planted the type III sink tip firmly in a tree, which snapped off just into the yellow on the actual windcutter line (the thicker second tip, the floating tip was removed). I did some dancing and language I would rather not remember at that point.

To the (many) questions - I replaced the type III with a Rio 15ft type III in a 10 weight and spliced a new loop, which I think is a little too stiff, to the main line. Now I don't seem to be doing so well with the snake (more dancing and language). Maybe just less practice, and I certainly expect to need more of that. Also find I seem to do better with the cast when there is more flow and I guess therefore tension.

1)Should I cut back the sink tip to 10 ft as some of you clearly have?

2)What polyleaders would extend/replace my existing Rio kit?

3)Do you attach those diretly to the line with a nail knot or do they have/take a loop?

4) The argument seems to go that you should fish a short leader on sink tips (2-4 feet), should this be uniform or a stiff butt (2ft) and 1-2ft of tippet?

5) Through the swing, do you keep your eye on the overall line, or on the point at the end of the rod where it meets the water? Fish I have had so far have all been those that hung themselves rather than subtle takers, and I'm suspecting I miss a few of those..

6) Seal the loop with shrink fit tubing? Aquaseal? Thoughts on making a loop that is the right consistency that do not require me to get surgeon like with equipment? Currently I bought a braided loop and whipped it on then used (over stiff I think) shrink fit.

If it helps with these decisions I tend to fish fairly large (2/3 inch plus plastic weighted) tubes for the most part.

Any advice welcomed, and if you see a guy with a Burkheimer "dancing", don't get within earshot. Also interested in the alternative "longer bellied no stripping" scene - suggestions on a line for the Burkheimer?

Thanks again for all the great advice here. First trip to Skagit on Tuesday, and will report on progress...

Will
 

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Hello UKWill, good questions. I'll take a shot at some of them.

That 15' Type III 10 wt. weighs 150 grains. I would try throwing less grains and use a type 6 tip. Try a 129 grain or a 109 grain type 6. They will turn over easier. If you are hanging up too much (not likely with these tips) try lengthening your leader and/or using an unweighted tube. I wouldn't cut the tip.

If you try the Aireflow Polyleader don't try the Extra Super Fast unless you're casting very well. Use the Super Fast or Fast. (they turn over easier) Also get the strongest version they have. The standard version can break. These come in 5' and 10' lengths. Some people use these in place of the standard Rio tip. Others put them onto the end of a full Windcutter. They come with a loop on one end and mono coming out the other end that you can blood knot or loop to.

My winter leaders are now 12" of 25 lb. Maxima nail knotted to the tip with a perfection loop on the other. Then comes 12" of 15 lb. Maxima looped onto the 25 lb. Then comes 24" of either 10 lb. or 12 lb. Max that is blood knotted to the 15 lb. ( I used to use 12 lb. looped to the 25 lb. but it kept breaking...15 lb. middle sections is better)

I use Kevlar braided loops that I whip finish on the end. (I don't like those shrink tubes) I add a THIN coat of aquaseal over the whole thing.

I watch where my line meets the water when trying to detect subtle takes. (most of the time I'm watching the scenery!) :)

If you're frustrated with your casting fish lighter tips and unweighted flies. If that doesn't help, try casting over the other shoulder. If that doesn't work, take a break and try again. Good luck!

Also, you may try the 8-9-10 WC instead of the 9-10-11. Better yet, try the Delta Spey line. Go to Dana's site and check out JD's line specs. You'll see that the Delta weighs a lot less than the WC or Midspey of the same line weight. I guess that means you should overline the Delta but not the WC or Midspey.

A note about the Delta Spey line. Mine broke on the 4th day I fished it. My fly (not the line) got hung up on a rock. I pulled and the line broke where the running line and the head meet. It must have been a poor splice.
 

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I also have the little Burk. It matches perfectly with the new 7 wt. SA long belly line. The line's still not on the market yet — I'm fishing one of the prototypes. I'm not a terribly skilled spey caster, but I've hit 105' (to the fly) single speys without shooting any line. On a windless day.
Bill
 

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I fish a sage 7141 with a 7/8/9 windcutter floater and use 10' polytips directly looped on. I also fish an older Sage 9140, 9/10/11with the multitip windcutter. I don't use the Rio sink tips at all. What GB Skunk says is true about the Extra Super Fast, sometimes it can get disheartening.

On the 9140 I've taken the floating tip off like I would for the 15' sink tip. But what I've found with both rods is that if I form my D-loop a little faster so that the Extra Super Fast doesn't sink too much I can get a good straight cast. But no day dreaming.

Someone asked about connecting the 5' polyloop with a 10'. I've done that in a variety of combinations, 5'Extra Super Fast tip and 10' Super fast at the butt, vice versa, etc. Slight casting adjustments and mending can give some great presentation options.

I'm not a good spey caster, but I see little reason to cut your line when you intend to use a polytip system.

Good fishing.
 
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