Line Me!!!

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by fifafu, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. I just traded for my first spey rod. It is a 13 foot 7/8 weight St. Croix. It will be used for steelhead and Smallies. Please tell me what I need for lines/heads? I have read the line chart on the Rio site but would like to hear what you guys think.

    Anyone else own one of these rods? Any feedback (good or bad) would be appreciated.

  2. Which model?
  3. I left it at the shop so all I can say for tonight is...It's brown and is three sections.
  4. Sounds like an Imperial spey. Nice older rods. I'd personally fish that rod with an 8/9 Delta to start. A skagit line in the 500 grain range ought to be in the ball park as well. Never fished one with a scandi, so can't comment. Cheers--AJ
  5. It is an older Imperial. I looked at some pics on Ebay.

    Okay here is a silly question. What is a Delta? Is that a head or a floating line? When you say skagit and Skandi I am assuming those are different length shooting head system. Sort of?

    So you have to buy one line or shooting head for that rod. Which one? Head or line for swinging bigger bugs?
  6. OK,
    a Delta is a full line manufactured by Airflo. You can get them either as a full floater or a multi-tip package. The 8/9 has a 54 foot head. I personally believe these are among the most versatile lines available. They cast well at both long and short ranges and can handle some pretty large flies.

    Undoubtedly someone is going to bring up the fact that the Delta (and lines like it) are harder to learn to cast than short shooting heads. This is true, but, once you can dial in a Delta-type line you can cast anything. And frankly, with some good instruction, it is a very easy line to learn with. With the 8/9 Delta on that rod, I would start out by holding the color change in my hand rather than at the rod tip.

    You are correct that skagit and scandi lines are both shooting heads. In general, skagit lines are best at throwing heavy sink tips and bigger flies. Again, in general, scandi lines are more oriented towards smaller flies and floating line presentations and are longer and more delicate than skagit heads. There is however, a certain amount of overlap these days. Some of the scandi heads available out there now will handle some pretty serious artillery, and many of the skagit heads cast with surprising delicacy, particularly when paired with a floating tip. Both type of lines excel in tight quarters.

    For a beginner these days, deciding what line you get can get overwhelming. And winding up with the wrong line for your situation can lead to no end of frustration.

    Poppy aka "Red Shed" Is the man to talk to about your specific needs. Give him a call at the shop and he'll get you set up. Cheers--AJ
  7. For someone just getting started here's my 2 cents on a rig that will get you fishing quick:
    510 Compact Skagit:
    20 lb Ridge Running line:
    7/8 weight tips:

    To round out your rig you'll need lessons of some sort because no matter how well balanced your set up is with your rod "One does not simply walk in Mordor". Meaning I have yet to see anyone just "pick up" casting a two handed rod and start casting, myself included. Trust me a little money spent now will save you lots anger and frustration in the future.

  8. fiafu,

    Good advice given. Here's some personal experience from a former owner of the rod:

    If I remember correctly, for skagit casting the Rio line chart showed a 450 skagit flight plus a 2.5 foot cheater, and when I owned one I used a 425 plus the 2.5' cheater, and it worked fine--even a skagit flight 475 grain with no cheater would be decent since the 2.5' cheater used on the lighter 425 head added 33 grains. Balanced the 13 foot rod beautifully for weight and length. If you used a 450 grain scandi compact at around 32 feet, you'd be in the zone too, and the more delicate delivery of the scandi would favor smallmouths. It's a nice fully flexing rod that welcomes a pleasant relaxed stroke, no abrubtness needed or wanted, and it handles a fairly wide range of grain weights, just don't expect blazing line speeds.

    For casting a "longer head" complete line, I used an airflo 7/8 delta (54') and it loaded just fine, no need to go heavier IMO--but AJ's point on the 8/9 with some line inside the tip is well taken.

    Great rod to learn on, good enough to keep in the lineup even after you add more weapons. Nice choice.

  9. Thanks for all the advice. I picked up this rod for a used golf club that I owned and someone else wanted. Couldn't pass on the deal but he kept his reel and his line. He told me he used a 10 wt double taper floater because he like to roll cast. DO any of you guys thow a full floater?

    I have read up on the Delta and am impressed but must admit I am leaning towards a Rio system. I love my Windcutter line on my 6 weight. Does anyone have any feedback and?or line size recomendations for a windcutter II versi tip system?

    Thanks again
  10. My advice on the Windcutter II versitip is get the Delta Spey Multi tip, Rio does make some really great lines but the Windcutter II isn't one of them and in a head to head comparison the Delta Spey performs better hands down.

    I fish the Delta Spey as a full floater when I'm fishing with dry fly or when I'm using a longer leader and a weighted fly in shallow water/stealthy conditions.

  11. Head to Head comparison the windcutter has the mass to turn over larger flies where it needs it, in the tip: A Delta 7/8=530grns @ 52' (Tip size is a 13' @ 85grn). A windcutter 7/8/9 is 54.5' @ 525grn (Tip size 15' @ 109grn).

    I really do like the Delta, and if your a classic wet fly guy you will too. If you want to throw junk, delta is not the system to do it. I don't like to recommend Skagit systems, but it's a sure fire system to throw loads of deep sunk tip and heavy/large flies: Airlflo Compact Skagit 480 and make some t-14 tips in 8,10, 12 and 15' and you'll cover most every classic winter steelhead run. Attach it to 100' of Amnesia and you're all set, for a price less then the Airflo Delta with tip setup.

    Anyway, it's time to start dreaming about summer, smaller flies and long floating lines!

  12. I have changed my direction again after almost every single person has recomended the Delta floater. I am starting understand what I am looking for a little better thanks to alot of patience shown by AJ in the conversation we had last night. Thanks again.

    I think I am going full floating line. Does this mean I can add a 15' sinking tip the end of a full floater for subsurface or do I have to go with a complete multi tip system to balance it? If I go 8/9 thn add an type 2 tip would it be too heavy? So in that situtation is a 7/8 better or worse to add a tip too?
  13. Delta line with tips, give you the latitude you are looking for. "Full floater when used with the floating tip, and subsurface or deeper by swapping out the 15' float tip for a sinking one of the desired sink rate.
  14. It would be ideal if you could try several lines on the rod before you buy the line. I have seen recommendations on the web from "reputable" sources that were 20-25% grain wt below what works best on the newer Imperials. The older Imperials have significantly different action than the new.

    The Delta is a solid line, like Jim W. said, in particular applications. In my opinion, there may be better options depending again on application. Airflo's Rage might be a consideration. Casting experience/style could certainly also affect proper line selection.

    Most Spey guides and instructors have a variety of lines. It might be worth a lesson with such a person to dial the rod in with an optimal line for the rod.

    And, btw, when you ask 1000 people something about Spey, you might very well get 1000 different opinions. Have fun out there.
  15. I'm very familiar with the St. Croix Imperial 2-handers. They are relatively soft tipped, bend a bit more than mid-flex, medium fast recovery rods. And the 13' 7/8 is the most flexible and slowest of the Imperial Series 2-handers. I bought each of my sons (they are now 24 and 20 yrs of age) when they were 12 yrs old. I got them the 13' 7/8 because it is a bit more than mid-flex, softer tip, medium recovery is a fairy forgiving rod for new spey casters.

    Unfortunately, St. Croix designated it as a 7/8 spey rod when it is really a 6/7 spey rod. It is badly overloaded with 8/9 short and mid-belly lines. A 7/8 short (i.e. RIO Windcutter 6/7/8, Delta Spey 7/8, or other line with a 55' belly that weighs around 460-475 grs) works very well on this rod and has it loads well down toward the butt when cast. It is the line I started my sons on. The 13' 7/8 doesn't like lines that weight more than 500 grs because more than that overloads the tip and reduces casting efficiency badly. The RIO 6/7 PowerSpey or the no longer made 7/8 Delta Long Spey are good mid-belly choices for new spey casters with this rod and they weigh in the 470 gr area too.

    I prefer to use a 6/7 short- or mid-belly spey line like the 6/7 Delta Spey on the 13' 7/8 Imperial. Unfortunately, RIO's 5/6 Windcutter is a bit too light for this rod since it weighs it at about 360 grs. After my sons got to be decent spey casters, I switched them to 6/7 Delta Spey lines. RIO's 5/6 PowerSpey mid-belly line is my favorite out-of-the-box line on this rod. It weighs about 420 grs and the St. Croix Imperial 13' 7/8 is a grand match for it for those that have some experience spey casting.

    A 400-450 gr Skagit line is also a nice match for this rod.
  16. Thanks Guys. I bought a 7/8 Delta floating line.

    Now it time for a bigger reel. That took about five minutes of denial to see both my 8 wt reels were too small. I will be looking but am in no hurry as it is golf season and I can fish it for Smallies without worrying about the limited backing left on the reel. I might look for a used Lamson or might give the $99 Echo reel a shot. Anyone?
  17. Good choice on the line you won't be disappointed. Here is a reel suggestion for you and select the 9/10. I have both the 7/8 and 9/10 and I've used them both pretty extensively and intentionally not been very nice to them just to see what they could take. I can say from personal experience that they are really tough to break, I say this because I have yet to break one, and for the price you cant beat them (please note that this is only my opinion based on experience and I'm sure there's someone out there ready to tell me what an idiot I am :D).

    Good luck with your adventure in to the world of two-handed casting.
  18. Ian thanks for the advice. I will check them out for sure. Reasonable price and reliability are really nice attributes. I will be checking out a bunch of reels. SInce I won't be using it much until fall I am gonna be patient.
  19. Nice Pup.... PM sent and some info.
  20. Smallies?

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