Reverse/Backhanded Single Spey Question

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by James Waggoner, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    I got a new Guideline DDC for my 12'6 8/9 Lecie rod, one line size bigger (9/10), and cut down to 36' about 480grns. Spent a few hours this morning casting and can't seem to hit a reverse Single Spey with any consistency. I can do it all day long with my 7110 and a 8/9 cut at 36'.

    Sounds like I screwed up cutting that 9/10 head so short...what do you think? I guess I can use it for heavy flies, tips and more skagit type of casting.

    Anybody else have problems with this cast with a short head? I'm thinking this is one cast that really likes the 3.5X rod lenght to head ratio. Or maybe I just need more practice.
  2. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Does it feel "right" on your strongside, or underweight? I used to Euro/scandi cast 40 foot heads on 15 foot rods so I doubt it's the length. How long is your leader? Are you using a polyleader? A polyleader and total length of 15 feet may help if you're currently using a plain tapered mono leader of 10 to 12. If you're already using one, and your strongside works, maybe you're just having a bad day? It happens.
  3. bconrad

    bconrad Member

    Are you talking about a cackhanded single spey? That's the hardest cast to make for me. You might be able to do it with a skagit weight head but it makes the timing really tricky. Even if you get that big ass head dragged out of the water you gotta contend with the anchor right in front of you. Every time I do it I duck.

    I'd stick with a delta sized line for that stuff if I had to do it. I need a little line out to get it all set up right.

    Also, going to 12'6" from 11' could be making a pretty big difference...maybe slow down the stroke a little and really focus on that second lift that forms the d loop. When you do it backwards it's easy to cut it off. Make sure you gotta a good arc going on.
  4. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    Could be a touch light. I'm using a DDC, which has 15' sinktip portion included in it's head length, and 5' of leader. I've never used polyleaders with my DDC and use leaders of varing length depending on situation and tip used. May have to get a new belly and cut to a total of 40' and gain some grains and length...length to compensate for short leader. As I mentioned orginally, my 7110 z axis cast like a champ with the same set up, just lighter of course with short leader and a 36' head. The only difference really is rod action and rod/line length ratio.

    Thanks Philster, sounds like a combo of being a touch light and more practice. So what's the best Scandinavian casting video?
  5. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    This is a touch and go cast with only one continuous second lift, but you're right, the times I was sucessfull were the times I really took time to turn and watch the loop and landing. Is it cackhanded? sure I guess.
  6. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    I only ever owned one that I got 7 or 8 years ago. Moderne Fluekasting. The Syrstad brothers. In Scandahoovian! :rofl: You don't have to understand them to get the gist. But these days, I'm sure you have lots of choices.
  7. bconrad

    bconrad Member

    I would think anchor placement on that cast would be key. It's kinda of a weird motion to get the anchor set upstream and put the loop between you and the anchor. Definitely seems like a challenge when you're dealing with an unfamiliar line.
  8. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Once you get the single spey down, it's an amazingly efficient cast. For me the key to breaking the code is that just like an aerial mend, the line goes where you move the rod tip when you go for your anchor. So when you might hear an instructor say something like, "as you're pulling the line back for your anchor setup, the rod motion should be a lift, then dip, then an acceleration into a rise to the casting position" if you have strong mechanical reasoning abilities, don't focus on what you're doing to the rod tip, visualize the path the rod tip is making the line take, specifically the nail knot.

    That move gets the line off the water, then the rod tip dip translates into the nail knot hitting the water in the splashdown spot and the rise of the rod tip into the casting position to translate into all the rest of the line forming a nice tight V loop behind you. So you can adjust your stroke based on where the anchor hits, how tight your V is behind you, are you 180 from your target, etc. That's the way my mind works, and if someone else has the same reasoning style, I can explain it to them. If they think differently I'm useless to them.Of course nothing is as good as a talented teacher watching you in real time to get all the pieces working at the same bloody time. Good instructors can hop around to benefit folks with all different learning styles. That's how you know you've found a good one. From the minute they first meet you, they're trying to mirror your brain function, whether they know it or not, they're doing it.
  9. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    I have the sister rod, 13'7. I have to agree that philster has some great suggestions here.
    If your strong side can do it, then the weak side should be able to do it.

    Also based on my personal experience on the 13'7. I feel the length problem should be a easy fix, just put the polyleader on the head, the airflo polyleader has "extra sticky" feel on the surface... it should help you stop the blown anchor... I never have this "too short" head problem by adjusting with poly leader... the shortest Scandi head I have run on this 13'7 was 17', with 13' polyleader (clear) + 8' mono (12lb)
  10. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    I'm not blowing my anchor, I'm actually getting too much line on the water. I think I need to go out an work on my lift and anchor landing. I'm pretty sure if you're saying lenght isn't the problem then it's just me...and since I can do it well with another rod with a short leader, that's not the problem, it's mechanics. Philster, I agee with your casting walk through and can visualize it well. Right away where you say dip that's where I usually just slow down, a touch and start my rod rise, allowing the line to settle on the water. I can see where the dip could help...I'll go give it a try. I was actually thinking this morning i was coming in too shallow on my lift...thinking I needed too because of the short head...this resulted in too much line on the water when I slowed down.

    Yahina, I'm not trying to minimize the leader comments, I'm just trying to avoid going to that. Too long of leader or an added poly will change the way the DDC system fishes, so leader lenght, in this case, is a varible dictated by fishing condition not casting style.

    Though I'm casting 99% of the time, I'm still a wannabe steelheader, not a caster...the cast just gets it there and helps pass the time.

    So is the dip crucial or can I fine tune the slow down that I've been using?
  11. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    The line follows the rod tip. If you're moving the line level, you're always going to have a more line land. Which, if you're line is too light, would help you load the rod. Maybe you use lines that are too light generally, and have adapted your techinque to work with them, which is actually a great thing because it means you are able to feel what's going on, and have adapted. Can you borrow heavier lines from anybody? Maybe Red Shed's loaner system? I'm no expert or instructor. Being able to visiualize what should happen, is easy for me. Pulling it off takes a lot of work, and I'm just coming back from a long hiatus.

    Short head scandi pros try to just have the leader land. That's why they use long ones. a fine 15 foot anchor.
  12. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    I'm by no means an expert...just a self taught moron. I will say the Rio Video with Simon has taught me enough about casting principle and mechanics that I feel I have a strong foundation to build off of. In fact, when I started doing the backhanded or cackhanded single spey, I thought I was on to something because I never saw it done before...then I saw a video on u-tube and my bubble was everbody using this cast? I like what you said about "Being able to visualize what should happen, is easy for me...Pullling it off takes a lot of work..." Visualization is the key, if you can't visualize it, work or lots of work, it won't happen.

    I'll probably support my local online fly shop "All About The Fly" and pick up a new belly for my DDC. I can always hack this one down to size for my meiser switch so it's no loss.

    Thanks guys, you've been very helpful.

  13. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    The reason I assumed you have blown anchor problem is from the "cutting line too short" comment... evidentally I was wrong... so, never mind about my previous comment...

    Well, the poly leader from Airflo actually is "not really" a leader... it is more of a cheater (fly line) property with a nice long taper... I use pretty long mono attached to that too...
    but anyway, It seems you have figured that out already... the style I use to cast short head is learned from Goran Anderson's casting DVD. Only leader (mono) and few feet of polyleader touch the water... good luck!
  14. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    damn, I remember my first DDC I didn't know the tip was included in your head length and chopped it short...NOTHING worse then standing on a river going...Oh F--- something ain't now I make sure I have me head wallets with me....and read the directions twice....
    Single spey cack handed is a sweet cast...but wish I would have stayed with left hand high...I am still trying to relearn that cast but it's an ugly looking thing except for just tip work...
  15. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    Getting back on track! Things are looking up. I employed the dip and it really helped, I also employed the slow down with a steeper back stroke and it worked too. I guess situation and wind will dictate the one I'll use. Now that I'm sorta dialed in...I think I'm too heavy!

    Thanks everyone.
  16. James Waggoner

    James Waggoner Active Member

    I wanted to publicly thank Forrest "Hoopa" for meeting me down at the river this morning and shooting video of me casting the reverse single spey....the video is a nice way to really see what's going on. Thanks Forrest!

    If anyone else has a video of themselves casting a Reverse Single, I'd like to see it.

    By the way, the river was beautiful...snowed while we were there, it was awesome! A perfect winter day on the water.
  17. DocDoc

    DocDoc Member

    James, is the DDC with the intermediate belly? If so it takes a little more work to get it out of the water and landing right. Peter Charles has some suggestions on his site. (add w). It includes a bigger than normal dip. With a floating line it would cause a "bloody-l", but with a sinking line it works.
  18. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    here you go...
  19. Philster

    Philster Active Member

    Y U no have someplace pretty to practice?! Wow... Such a lovely location... You got a little upward creep as the loop is forming on your forward. :clown: Everyone's a critic!
  20. fisshman26

    fisshman26 Member

    Learn to cast left hand up! Seriously the reverse single will never go further than a left hand up single spey and will only get worse if youever go up in line length. .......just saying.