How many grains do you REALLY need.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by jcalderon, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

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    Holy smokes. Cast the new TCX 7126. Thats all im gonna say.
     
  2. Ian Broadie

    Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

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    I would think that it would actually make a difference as the shooting head by itself generates energy more efficiently than the entire line would including the tip. This is why we can use strait 10 to 15 foot pieces of T 14 and not really have to worry about the grain weight of the T 14.

    If the shooting head is matched to the rod correctly the head itself will do the work of loading the rod making it easier to launch the T 14 tip and what ever fly is being used. For example I had the fortune of using a nice Winston 6/7 last winter on the Sol Duc and the easiest way to combat the super tight casting conditions on the upper part of the river was to overload the rod with a shorter heavier shooting head to generate more energy in a smaller cast.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Sage 9140 3 piece.. Skagit 650, flies a lot like Matney's; 6" plus and tied on a 55mm waddington.... I want to move to around 700, but I've resisted to date, mostly cause I don't want to spend the dough.
     
  4. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    Hey james I have several 720 compacts.....meet me out on the op this winter....we'll make it rain chickens....literally.
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Skagit 450 on my CND Solstice 6/7 to throw 15' type III, VI, and up to 15' of T-8. I have a Sage 9140-4 that I don't use for steelheading any longer, but I put a 550 on it last summer to toss 12' of T-14 in deeper, swifter chinook water. I came by a Beulah 12' 7" 8 wt last summer that should be a good winter rod. I'm not sure how many grains to find comfort there, but I'm thinking 500 - 530 maybe. I'll use the same tips that I use on the Solstice, since they're ideal for my steelhead fishing.

    Sg
     
  6. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Steve, that thing rules with an Airflo Compact Skagit of 510 grains. For the Rio, since it's a longer belly than the compact, I found I liked the 550 better than the 500...
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Which thing? The Beulah? Like I ain't bought enough lines already.

    Sg
     
  8. William B.

    William B. Member

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    Great topic that is sure to help the learning curve for several members, I find your rod to line ratios very interesting. I have a 14-1 winter rod that throws a skagit 500 good and the 550 flight like a rocket. When I add 12 feet of t-14 it still casts well till I go to the big fly and then it gets a little tricky. I have to really connect with my casting stoke to stay in the game. I feel at that point I have found the top end in tip grain because i couldnt lift a heavier line consistently in all of the fishing situations.
    So I am looking at another winter stick in the 650 grain window as well because I find myself wanting a little bit more to often.
     
  9. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

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    William, try the 510 compact skagit before you buy anothr rod...unless that's just an excuse to buy a new rod, then by all means "You need nes rod!"..., the skagit flight really lacks the turn over power needed for the heavy flys and tip. The compact Skagit by AirFlo doesn't have this problem. Or just continue to use the Rio 500 Skagit, that should throw a large heavy fly and 12' of t-14 no sweat.

    James.
     
  10. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Second on the Rio flight. That thing blows for *really* big flies. It'll work with the standard intruders and jumbo critters though, so don't give up.
     
  11. jcalderon

    jcalderon Member

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    Can we define "BIG" here. I would like to see what were talking about.
     
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    When James says "big" fly, he's talking 7" or more. Half chickens.

    Sg
     
  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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  14. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    +1 here on the above. Had to 'take a look' and do an inventory of my lines. Would appear, save for rods in the 9/10 weight, only a couple (and Dear God I've got too many) lines (leaving full sinking lines out of this equation) very few would hit the 600 mark. But I guess that goes to the lines sent to me (new rod purchases) from Bob Meiser and Gary Anderson. In both cases the 'grains' of the line were at the very bottom end of that recommended for the particular rod.

    Would appear both fellows know my 'casting style' all too well. Slow pick up, slow movement forming the 'D-Loop' then "Peddle to the Metal" on the forward cast. In both cases, the custom lines were about 30-50 grains over the minimum recommended for the rod.

    Am I an "open book" to our local 2-hander community?

    Yikes!
     
  15. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Open book?

    Alright Fred, you asked for it. As Fred readily admits, his casting style is less energy in the sweep, and hit it hard at the end. He also is quick to raise the rod tip at the very start of the sweep. Resulting in a very wide open D-loop, lacking in energy. Which is why he needs to whack the hell out of it at the end to get anything to happen.
    To his credit, Fred does manage to throw a tight loop and get some distance in his casts. Often times however, the line comes down on the water while the cast is still trying to unroll. To me, this is a big no-no, as the result is immediate drag. A deterent to acheiving any kind of depth. Fred gets around this not only by making a hellatious mend, but his Rogue River two fly rig, fished from a long leader, rather than a sink tip, gets down quick.
    It works for Fred. He does catch fish. I try to cast his rig, and it's as if nothing is there to load the rod. The comparison between his rig and mine are like night & day.
    But to get back to the question of how many grains do you need, it is totally dependent on the size of the fly you are trying to deliver. And by deliver, a cast that dies before it's time does not count. Fortunately, up to your waist in cold, colored up water, backed up to the trees conditions, while it may require a big heavily weighted fly, usually does not require extremly long casts. The challenge here being how do we get enough grains in an extremely short head/tip system to get the job done?
    My answer to that is simple. Grains, grains, & more grains! The sink tip needs to have enough grains to turn over the fly. However, since the swing may be short, the ability to hold depth after bring the fly under tension is not of great concern. Therefore, we can get by with a shorter sink tip. The belly needs to have enough grains to transfer energy to the sink tip. The D-loop has to, one way or another, develope enough energy to load the rod. Make the rod do the work so you don't have to. If you don't have room for a 3X, or even shorter, rod length D-loop and have to pull some of the head back inside the tip, you have lost grains.
    Grains plus water tension plus kinectic energy is what makes it all happen. If any of these is lacking, it must be made up for somewhere else.
     
  16. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    I must plead 'Guilty as Charged' to Jim's comments above ... almost. :>)

    "He does catch fish. I try to cast his rig, and it's as if nothing is there to load the rod. The comparison between his rig and mine are like night & day." True ..... Jim is a 'grains are good' kind of guy (bye the bye, Jim IS a damned good caster with a 2-hander; his casts just 'flow out' over the water); but I've evolved (right choice of words?) into a light is good in my choice of rods for my style of fishing. Part of the learning curve of casting 3 to 5 weight 2-handers has been a 'YOU'VE GOT TO LIGHTEN UP ON THAT FORWARD PART OF THE CAST YOU VILLAGE IDIOT!' Again, probably why the lines that the Meiz and Anderson supplied with the rods.

    It's a you just can't go there with this light of equipment; ''Comprende' Gringo?'' (sp?) And Jim's right, given a choice I'll use a floater with a long leader (15-18 foot) off any of my rods; big mend included to get the flies (usually two if legal) 'deep/down/dirty/ASAP.' In the odd occasion where I actually use a full-on sink tip (a rarity) on a 8-9 wt**, it's back to square one 'learning' how to cast one of those Buggers. Poly-sink tips I do use if forced into a corner of 'no choice;' but I guess I'm just 'old school' when it comes to what's on the end of the fly line.

    As Jim notes above, correctly is suspect, the low number of grains I'm usually throwing don't have the 'mass' needed to keep a long cast in the air while the 'rest' floats out. But, as 90% of the fish I hook are within 30 foot of the bank I'm standing on .. does it really matter if you could hit 100+ feet?

    Just thoughts.
    >)

    ** For context, for me a 7wt is 'perfect' for most winter/higher flow conditions. Only go above that if I actually must. Physical limitation (hands) are now in control. Growing 'old is not for the faint of heart' as Gloria Swanson is reputed to have said.......
     

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