single hand scandi awesomeness

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Pat Lat, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,046
    Des Moines
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    I mentioned it in another thread but I recently lined a new 10ft 8wt for chasing steelhead. Ive wanted to fish a twohander for years but was always after other more accessible quarry and steelhead kinda felt like destination fishing for someone without much gas money let alone a whole new setup complete with puffy jacket.
    After using the royal wulff ambush line off the beach for a while I started to get a feel for spey casting just by repositioning my line before shooting an over hand cast. I figured I'd keep my eye open for a sh rod for steelhead and finally found it on clearance for 75 bucks.
    The first line I tried was my beach favorite. this summer I was using my 7wt 9' Grey's xf2 salt with a 6wt ambush(235gr) so I knew that the 350gr my friend loaned me would be heavy for the slightly less fast Greys GRXi+, and it was. When everything went perfect I could spey or switch cast a sinktip 55-60. But it was pushing it, and the running line, although great for stripping flies on the beach, was not pulling off the water very well so I scrapped the idea and figured I'd try a lighter short shooting line.
    After looking into a few options mostly airflo and Rio I felt that airflo's and Rio'scandi shorts were too long at around 30ft whereas the wulff is around 20'. I ended up with Rios scandi short body that normally goes with the versitip setup at 23' I had the guys(and gal) at the Avid Angler order it and got a call two days later saying it was in.
    I went with the 265 grain head at first, I figured the 235ambush felt nice on my 7wt, maybe the 265 scandi would be nice an 8 wt. The problem was that it wasn't turning over the tip completely even when I switched to a homemade imow tip instead of the 10ft sink. I then had them order the 305grain which is the next size up, rated as a 6wt line. went out this weekend and first cast I knew it was money.
    I paired the line with Rio's grip shooter running line which is just 100'of slick shooter with the first fifteen feet coated in orange floating flyline. Again I ordered too light, I got the 25lb and switched to the 35lb on the second order. I kept the lighter setup, I'll use it on a different rod for summer work. The 35lb felt great, a little easier to grasp with cold fingers and was green/orange, not orange/orange like it says on Rios website. I cannot stress how nice it is to have the gripshooter option for a sh rod. All the mono running lines are very tough to grab and haul and like I said before, the thicker running lines don't pickup as easy with the lighter head. I also really like how light the slick shooter core is, just be sure to stretch it well.
    Lastly, I was having trouble with the full sink tip and needed to try something else. I could cast it far enough, but it really doesn't keep the nice light feel that I was enjoying while casting intermediate tips on the beach. After looking into Rios imow tips I felt they were a little to heavy still, so I used a few old versitips to Frankenstein something together. I took about 7foot of the butt of the 6wt int tip, and spliced it to 4ft of the front taper of an 8wt type 6 tip. The result was a tip that weighed about 70 gr and since it has a smooth taper and thin intermediate section, the sinking portion was able to cut down through the water column easily bringing the fly to a depth I was comfortable with.

    well anyways that is my adventure in trying to find a setup that fits my style and can still deliver tips and heavyish flies. It took me a while but i really do love the feeling of a well timed double haul, and the fight on a single hander is second to none imo. I wanted to write this up because wasn't finding a lot of good info on the subject and I figure it might help a few people get setup easier. Its pretty fun and a lot cheaper than a whole new rod, reel, Simms waders and matching guide jacket, you know the stuff that the budding two hand fisherman has to buy.

    Lastly,(for real this time) I found my self on a beautiful stretch of river accompanied by a good friend of mine and although we didn't go bonkers on any hatchery brats, nor did we rope any chrome, we did a bit of exploring and spent the day appreciating the fact that there is still a reason to be on the water on such a nice February day even without catching fish.
    I will add that I caught my first "steelhead" last weekend out of a different stretch before the closure. It was a hatchery hen kelt that didn't fight much after the first few shakes and was tailed in about a minute. Then bonked, bled and smoked. Its a shame my first steelhead didnt do the species justice, but it was my second steelhead excursion and I had low expectations of touching a fish this winter, at least I know I'm on the right track now.
    Here's a cool panorama shot of my buddy and a little snap t action.
    Hope you guys enjoyed my not so short review and report. IMAG0101.jpg
  2. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 618
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +341 / 0
    Awesome Pat, I just took a spey class and have found it very curious! Great story, appreciate the tips and observations. Time will tell!
  3. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,046
    Des Moines
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    It wouldnt let me upload an mp4 from my phone so I had to upload it to youtube first.

    golfman44 and Eyejuggler like this.
  4. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,046
    Des Moines
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    Eyejuggler, ill let you toss around that 265grain on your 6wt if you like. That One definitely has the guts to do it.
  5. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,657
    Kirkland
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    you look better casting this than I do my full spey.

    that is awesome man, nice work.
  6. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,115
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
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  7. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,906
    Skagit River
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    Uh oh! Someone reinvented the wheel. :)
    Pat Lat likes this.
  8. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,284
    m-ville
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    Lets see that cast with a tenkara rod,then I'll be impressed
    David Dalan likes this.
  9. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,923
    Walla Walla, WA
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    Very cool. I'm a big fan of Scandi and Skagit shorts on a long (10'+) single hander. It's a great setup, and very versatile. Those scandi lines with floating heads are a real joy to toss for summer fish and I've used mine for steelhead, bass, carp and a few other things.

    Congrats on your first Steelhead.
    Pat Lat likes this.
  10. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,657
    Kirkland
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    When picking out a line this summer I went thru all of Rio's youtube/marketing videos. I remember the dude mentioning throwing a scandi on a single hand line but I figured it was just marketing BS to sell more lines since all he was doing was overhead casting it. Pat's casting here is awesome and changed my perspective on what a single hander can do.
    David Dalan likes this.
  11. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,923
    Walla Walla, WA
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    I saw the same video :D
    golfman44 likes this.
  12. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,657
    Kirkland
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    I want that dudes job so bad.
    David Dalan likes this.
  13. Evan Virnoche Guest

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    I told u pats casting was sexy on Saturday.



    Pat u inspired me Saturday to try my 275 skagit short on my Winston 5wt b2x it was to heavy but was definitely fun in the salt
  14. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,657
    Kirkland
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    Oh its the same guy? I'm dumb
    Evan Virnoche likes this.
  15. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,046
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +773 / 0
  16. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,046
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +773 / 0
    Get a royal wulff ambush line for that 5 wt on the beach. The integrated running line is essential when stripping all the way to the leader. You'll end up fishing the salt more often
    Evan Virnoche likes this.
  17. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,923
    Walla Walla, WA
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    If you want to use singles to throw big flies and tips, swap in a Skagit short for the Scandi. I have found a 275g works on my 10'6 6wt and a 320g for my 10'6' 8wt. I can throw 10' of T-8 on the 6wt, and 10' T-14 on the 8.

    I really like the clear intermediate polyleaders with these heads on my single handed rods as well, @ 12'. They should work with the Scandi heads also.

    It's not required, and the OP seems to have a well planned system in place...just an idea :)
  18. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,923
    Walla Walla, WA
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    I'm going to get one for my 4wt trout rods for this spring and summer. I think once that is done I'll officially have kissed the WF flyline goodbye forever. I saw a promo video of a fellow using one, and all he was doing was spey casting.

    Maybe I'll fish trout more often.

    I frigging hate WF lines.
  19. Evan Virnoche Guest

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    I absolutely love fishing two handers for trout

    I got th echo switch 4wt and that Allen Olympic 5wt that Allen can chuck some meat 425 skagit head with med mows no problem. I have yet to try a scandi with it yet. Dude at reds was saying he had 430 scandi and said that worked fine
  20. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,657
    Kirkland
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    Ya your echo is awesome