I skipped the research

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Rudedawg, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. I started fly fishing at 10 when my grandpa handed me a fly rod and some bugs and said go to it. I liked it it was better than waiting for the bobber to go under. I've never thought about the gear much. Spent the time learning about fly's and where the fish are and why.
    I always used a 3wt for creeks a 5 for lakes and rivers 7 for steelhead 9 for salmon
    They all seem to cast about the same time distance so I always assumed the wt of the rod just had to do with the size of the fish not how far it would cast and how big a fly it would handle
    Since I don't fish with others very much I've wondered do you guys and gals get more distance out of heavier rods ( I 'm talking 10 or 20 feet) say in a 5 vs 3wt ?
    The reason I 'm asking is I want to get a spey rod and use it for the fish size I catch on a 5wt single hand rod
    (10-25 inch)
    The spey rod wt's confuse me, what weight rod would you use for these size fish and does a 6wt spey cast farther than a 4wt ? If they cast the same distance I'd rather use a lighter rig it's more fun but age is costing me distance and I am not as good at wading I need more reach
  2. Hi Rudedawg,

    The major difference with a Spey rod is the amount of back cast room required. I am by far a good Spey caster but when I get my cast right (I'm using a Skagit line) it will get me distance without needing the same amount of back cast as using a single handed rod. This allows me to fish in areas without having to wade out to get into a ideal casting position. So a 6wt Spey "might" not cast as far as a 4 wt (depending how good one is with a single handed rod) in an open environment; however, on a river bank where things are tight you will be able to get more distance with a Spey setup. My advice is learn Spey casting don't just try it. There are a lot of shops that offer classes and demos. Take advantage of this as it will get you into Spey casting a lot faster than trying to learn it on your own. Also check out local Spey claves such as the Sandy Spey Clave.

    fredaevans likes this.
  3. You could get one of these babys, See posts #3 and #6

    Read more about it on the Skagit Master forum- see the posts on Micro spey- Ward is using a 200 grain head which is cool because for trout. As you can see it really flies out there! If you use a bigger stick with a big skagit line you end up fighting the line as much as you do the fish.

    Or you could get a switch rod built on a Batson blank. They have single hand ratings. So a 5 weight should be similar to a 5 weight single hander, just longer.
  4. Thanks Paul and Wade
    The back casting room is the issue. We (wife and I) are at the point in the game where the wading out to get more room is less of an option. It takes to long to heal up after a spill.
    I guess I'm more of a jump into things person. (Or I like to find out for myself) So I bought 2 used spey rods a couple of years ago
    One was a 12' 6" 6wt Ross
    I bought some used lines in grain weights that seemed to be in the window. One of them seemed to cast pretty well ( I could get them all to work if I varied the casting stroke) But one worked better. I lined the rod with that and took it to The Sandy Speyclave.
    Had a rep for a rod company cast it. He said I had it lined right. (of course it went 2 times as far as I could cast it)
    So that gave me a base line as far as a correctly lined rod felt right. I need to use a rod 4 or 5 days before I get the feel for it and know what a rod and line does. Trying it at the shop is not enough time for me to get a feel for it. ( this rod is a little soft for me but works great for my wife's slower cast)
    We use this rod for summer steelhead on the Kalama and it works good for that!
    But when we use it on the Upper Lewis river it is just to "clunky" for trout. So I'm guessing the 6wt is a 8wt in a spey thing is the problem? You just seem to horse the trout with that set up. I want something a little more like a when you use a 4wt SH to fight a fish but with the distance the Ross gives with no back cast.

    So it looks like the microspey is kinda what We are after (or maybe a switch rod if I can wrap my head around the 4 is a 6 and a 6 is a 8 thing if thats the case I want a 2wt) Thanks for the tips

    The other rod is a TFO 14' 6" 9wt (lined by the fore mentioned hillbilly method) it works great for winter Steelhead and Chinook (alltho it seems light for Salmon you fight a couple and your done for the day)
  5. You are incorrect in thinking that a 6 wt spey rod is an 8 wt, or that a 4 wt spey is a 6 wt. A 6 wt spey rod is a 6 wt spey rod, not an 8 wt single-hand rod. Yes, you can get away with using an 8 wt single-hand (or better a 9 wt single-hand) line on a 6 wt spey rod, but you are hindering yourself by doing so.

    Yes, spey rods have lines with more grain weight in them than a single-hand line. However, this is due to the extra length of the belly of the spey line. Modern graphite Spey rods (actually 2-hand salmon rods used for spey casting) were originally designed around the weight of 60'-65' of a DT line. And since only the first and last 6'-10' of a DT line is tapered, and the rest of it is a single diameter of belly. A single-hand line is rated on the basis of what the first 30' of the line weighs in grains, which is about 35% of the weight of the 60'-65' used for the spey line.Therefore, a spey rod has to be able to cast more actual weight in grains than a single-hand rod of the same weight designation.

    There is also a need for a well-designed spey rod to be able to cast a much larger grain window (i.e. the difference between the lowest weight needed to load the rod for casting and the maximum weight a rod will cast without overloading and causing the rod blank to become ovoid instead of round) simply because it is expected to be able to cast spey lines that go from Scandanavian (Scandi) lines or 2-hand long-shooting tapers with a belly of 43', a short-belly spey line with a belly of 55', and a least a mid-belly spey line with a belly of 65'. And the best and most versatile spey rods can and are expected to be able to these three lines as well as the long-belly spey line with a belly of 80'-105'. Obviously, there is a huge difference in the amount of weight a Scandi line has with a 43' belly and a long-belly line with its 80'+ of belly.

    You also have to include the Skagit shooting head style spey lines in this mix of lines, which are much heavier than the Scandi lines and shorter than the Scandi lines as well. These can be considered to be similar in concept to a single-hand ST (shooting taper) and like the single-hand ST line, need to be heavier than a Scandi or short-belly spey line to load and work properly on a given rod.

    In an attempt to stop the confusion, US line manufacturers and rod makers developed a set of spey line standards known as the AFFTA Spey Line Standards. You can look these up online if you wish. These specify what a given line weight designated spey line should weigh. It includes 4 belly length lines, Scandi, short-belly, mid-belly, and long-belly. These have been in place about 7 or 8 years.

    The problem I have seen continuously since I started spey casting and bought my first spey rod in 1992 is that single-hand rod uses want the spey line wt designations to be the same as or similar to the single-hand designations regarding the actual weight of the belly of the line. This is not possible due to the different lengths of the spey line belly compared to the 30' standard length for weight designation of the single-hand line.

    This is why I said that a 6 wt spey rod is not equivalent to an 8 wt single-hand rod.

    Unfortunately, more confusion has been created with the so-called Switch rods. Some of them are designed around the single-hand line standards because they were designed to cast single-hand lines. Others, however, were designed around short-belly spey lines. Hence, it created confusion since if you put a 6 wt spey line on one makers 6 wt Switch rod, it is perfectly balance since it was designed around a sing-hand lines 30' belly weight. However, a different makers 6 wt Switch rod that was designed around a short-belly spey line's higher grain weight and longer 55' belly won't load with that same 6 wt single-hand rod.

    Both of these Switch rods were designated as 6 wt rods; however, they were designed around completely different line wts and belly lengths. A lot of this is the direct result of anglers thinking of the Switch rod as a small spey rod. Originally, they were nothing more than extra long single-hand rods (rods like the old G.Loomis IMX 11' 8/9, the G. Loomis GLX 11'6" 8/9, Sage 11' 6/7 and 11' 8/9 for examples) with fixed fighting butts that were designed to cast single-hand lines both overhead (i.e. like conventional fly casting with false casting) and spey casting (which is not difficult to do with a single-hand rod and line).

    Because many folks who were used to using single-hand rods thought that a 12'6" - 16' or even longer spey rod was far too long, weighed too much, and was too powerful simply because it was longer and of a larger diameter blank simply because it was longer and need to have a larger diameter butt and mid-section, they gravitated toward the Switch rods, which they viewed as a short spey rod that wasn't much longer than the single-hand rods they were used to using. They also viewed the Switch rods as being less cumbersome, less powerful, and easier to handle than the true 12'6" and longer spey rods. And of course, these folks went out and bought spey lines because they saw the Switch rod as a short spey rod. The spey lines badly overloaded the rods, but since they saw them as short spey rods, they complained the rods wouldn't cast the line specified.

    Thus, some rod makers started to build Switch rods designed to cast spey lines. This made the folks happy who viewed Switch rods as short spey rods. The unintended consequence of it though is that most of the Switch rods being made are designed around single-hand lines, and for folks who had known this and who were using single-hand lines on their Switch rods very happily picked up one of the new Switch rods designed to cast a spey line, their favorite single-hand line didn't load the rod properly. Then they complained and started to experiment and try casting these Switch rods designed for spey lines with increasingly heavier single-hand lines. They found that with a Switch rod designed to cast a spey line, if they went up 2-3 line sizes, they rod loaded and cast perfectly.

    Hence, the oft-cited, but wrong recommendation to go up 2-3 single-hand line sizes with a spey rod, or that a 6 wt spey rod is an 8 or 9 wt rod.

    Hopefully, this helped you and others to understand why this is an incorrect assumption and that it didn't confuse anyone. It really is important to understand these things because spey lines and spey rods are very different from single-hand rods.
    BASS_TURDS likes this.
  6. forget about the 6wt designation, its a redundant number. think grains, as in how many grains will the line need to be to do the job. a 400 gr scandi will throw a lightly weighted fly and sinking poly in a stiff breeze easily. a 350 gr will not. one company's 7 is anothers 5wt.
    Brian Thomas likes this.
  7. Oddly enough now I understand the confusion over the rods and line issues.
    Wow that is one monster of a problem
    My main concern was what weight spey rod is used for what size fish mainly for rhe quality of the fight
    To light a rod and the fish suffers, takes to long to land the fish ,, to heavy a rod and it is simply no feel to the fight .
    I was hoping to get a rod that has distance and a good feel when fighting the fish.
    The use of line weight now makes sence as it is a function of the size of the fly and the abilty to cut the wind
    Does the line weight effect how far you can cast? Will a 4wt (say 300grn) spey cast a # 10 wooly bugger as far as a 6wt(say 400grn) spey using the same leader? And what would be the quailty of the fight?
    Or am I still confused. That is pretty messy!
  8. Yes, the bigger the rod the further they cast. A 4 weight spey will cast plenty far. There are all kinds of compromises. Do a search on Speypages or google for "Trout spey rod" or trout spey. It has been discussed in depth there.
  9. So if I'm reading this correctly, there is no (official) standard differentiating between Skagit or Scandi? Also, I noticed the AFTMA for 7 wt spey shooting head listed as 300 grns. I've never seen a recommendation for a 7 wt spey rod that was anywhere close to that light. Interesting.

    Thanks for the switch rod history/info. Personally I always thought they were shrunk speys that people also used single-handed didn't realize the other approach was even considered. Very interesting. Anyway, do you have any idea where more information could be found about this, with regards to brands and rods? I'm considering purchasing one, but as a mini two-hander, not a long single. Is it pretty much a game of trying to isolate each specific rod w/ rec's from the maker and line manufacturers?
  10. In a word: No. Line weight of a rod (skip how long the rod is for the moment) a given cast will go about the same difference ... give or take a few feet. Longer rod and you will get more 'distance,' but save for really big water why would you care if 'fishing' is the Goal?

    There are 'times/places' where huge long casts are needed, but those places (my waters) I can count on the fingers of one hand. And this is why short 2handers have become so popular.
  11. ^^^
    This !!
  12. I'm gonna go with a used 6wt. switch rod some used line 350-400 grains and see if it does what I want, If not I'll try some thing else. The coho are in (yarn egg!!!) and I'm goin fishing Thanks for the info I got what I was looking for

    Seems to be my experence also
  13. tkww,

    You are correct. The AFFTA did not develop a separate Skagit Spey Line standard. I'm sure this was in part due to the name not being commonly used at that time. Ed Ward, who was a close friend of Marlow Bumpus, is generally credited with calling those lines Skagit Lines. However, the folks who developed these lines (long before they were being called Skagit lines) back in the mid-to late-1980's (Jimmy Green, Marlow Bumpus, Mike Kinney, Harry Lemire, and others who were fishing the Sauk and Skagit when Jimmy Green showed up with a 2-hander and/or had some of them - like his friend Marlow Bumpus - try out prototype 2-handers) started out with lines around 38'-43' with sink tips attached. They were looking for a shooting head style line that cast larger winter flies easily. They found through experimenting that such a line needed to weigh more than the Scandi lines and that full-flex rods were less critical in timing when casting them.

    You will also find that if you use the short-belly spey line standard wt that Skagit lines are very close to those. This should not surprise anyone who has cast or uses a single-hand ST (shooting taper) because the single-hand rod casting a standard 30'-35' ST needs to be overlined by at least one line size up to about 6 wt rods, and by two line sizes for 7 wt and above rods to load properly. This is the same principle at work with the Skagit Spey Lines since they are ST lines for 2-handed rods.

    So if you take your 7 wt Scandi Spey Line with a gr. wt of 300 grs and try to use a Skagit line of the same weight on a 2-handed rod designated a 7 wt, it will not load it properly. However, if you take a look at the wt of s 9 wt Scandi Spey Line, you will notice the AFFTA standard specifies 430 grs. This is right in the wt that is usually recommended for a 7 wt 2-handed rod for a Skagit Line. And when you look at the wt of Skagit lines from the line manufacturers who are making them, you will find the wt of their Skagit lines follow this up 2 sizes of Scandi line pretty closely. So in effect, although the AFFTA does not have a standard for Skagit Spey Lines, there is a defacto standard being followed. And since it is easy for a line manufacturer to do this, I don't see a need for adding a Skagit standard to the AFFTA Spey Line Standards.

    The best resource I know of for information on what lines work best with what rods (brands, length, and line wt) is found on the RIO website. Simon has done a great service for those of us using or contemplating using or buying a 2-handed (spey) rod because he provides both a line recommendation for beginning spey casters (or those who prefer a heavy line load) and for experienced spey casters that one can know with confidence will work on the rod specified. We all owe him our gratitude for doing so.
  14. Some more good info Thanks FT

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