Spey Line Advice.. For Newbie

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by willapabay, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. willapabay

    willapabay New Member

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    Greetings To All,

    I Purchased From A Dealer A New Winston Ibis 14' 8/9 Wt Spey Rod.
    I Looked At Rio's Website And The Line Test Chart States That For Me "new Spey Fisher" I Should Choose A 8/9/10 Line.

    Ok, My Question - I Assume I Would Want A Weight Forward, Floating Line With Interchangable Tips.. Is This The Correct Item.

    "rio Spey Versi Tip Wf 8/9/10 Fly Line Yel/grn"

    I Also Read On This List About Bellies Etc.. I Have No Idea What That Means.. If You Can Give Me Advice Please Do But Try Not To Make It Technical.. For Now I Just Need To Be Pointed To The Best Product For This Rod And My Ability Which Is Just Learning.

    Thank You All, Ron On The Willapa

    P.s. Steve Buckner , Can You Send Me A Pm... Thanks
     
  2. Bert Kinghorn

    Bert Kinghorn Formerly "nextcast"

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    Welcome to the first step in a fairly common progression.

    1) Buy a two-handed rod (probably on sale) before you learn how to cast and importantly before you know what your casting style and interests are.

    2) Next, buy an expensive line based on web "research" and comments from people who don't know you, or your rod.

    3) Buy more lines, looking for that "magic bullet" that will make the rod cast like all those other people do it. Maybe buy more rods as well.

    4) Get frustrated, because casting a two-hander is not what you expected.

    5) Give the whole package away cheap on eBay to folks like me because it represents too much money to just sit in the closet unused. Besides it reminds you of large amounts of money wasted.

    Now to be honest I did the same thing all the way through step #4, but then I lucked into the most important, but overlooked instruction component of learning. Despite good advice, I had skipped this part early in my development because I wanted to spend my hard-earned money on things I could keep rather than something ephemeral like lessons (read cheap!). I did finally get instructional help, but thanks to my own ineptitude I still can't cast two-handers worth a hoot. My instructors have since told me about and offered me the option of step #5, but I'm just too hard headed to give in.

    When you chat with Steve Buckner, PLEASE employ him to teach you the basics of Spey casting, and do it BEFORE you buy even one line for that sweet rod. Otherwise, you can PM me and I'm ready to cut a deal!
     
  3. FLGator

    FLGator Member

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    Sound advice from Bert! Been there, done that as well!!!!

    My recommendation is you find a good instructor in your area and learn the basics before you purchase a line. Spey casting is different than traditional fly casting and if you don't know how something should feel it's tough to make the correct purcahse. A lot also depends on how you want to fish, the types of rivers you fish, the time of year you fish, the size of the heads you fish and the size of the flies you fish and your ability as a spey caster and what you like as a spey caster.

    The Rio charts are typically a good starting point in terms of finding a grain range that a particular rod likes. However, I have found rods I like loaded much lighter and rods I've liked loaded much heavier than Rio's recommendation. It's a starting point though.

    If you've already learned the basics and are ready to try some lines I can recommend a shop that will send you several types and sizes to try with no strings attached (best customer service in the business to boot). If you're interested in details PM me since he is not a site sponsor.

    Fair warning...you're embarking on an addicting journey!

    Chris
     
  4. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

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    I'm on step 4.5, don't buy a line 'till ya try a few or have instruction, i bought a high end line, despite warnings that i was a beginner and should stay away. i might as well be swatting at bats, i'd have more luck. Anybody interested in DELTA SPEY LONG. only has 45 minutes use so far, lol.
     
  5. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    Definitely some good advice on buying a line. If you can find a way to get some instruction and try a few lines before buying. Steve Buckner could help you out with some instruction I'm sure.

    I know it's a long way for you but River Run Anglers in Carnation has a free spey clinic almost every Saturday. You could also call Aaron or email him and see what he recommends for your Winston. He can probably tell you on the spot what line you need as a begginer!

    There is also a good shop in Welches, OR too, but I'm not sure if they are a site sponser.

    Otherwise you could start by using the Rio guidelines, although I would stick to a floating line to start off. Casting sinktips takes some learning and you need to learn the cast before using them and chucking those big flies!

    I started with a rod with a traditional spey action with a Rio Midspey floating line. I was fortunate to meet up with Aaron and the Carnation Clan and cast a ton of different setup's and learned how to cast before buying my first rod, reel and line. I was unemployed at the time, so it made putting off buying it easier! However you do it, it is addicting so enjoy!

    Bill :beer2:
     
  6. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Ron-

    First a little background, I've been spey casting since 1992 and have taught a few folks how to spey cast since 1996.

    That said, the Windcutter Interchangeable Tips 8/9/10 (what you are calling the RIO Spey Versi-tip WF 8/9/10 Yel/grn in your post) you are considering is a very good choice for a new, beginning spey caster with the 14' Ibis 8/9 you just got. It is indeed a WF line (with a so-called short-belly, explained below) and it comes with these interchangeable tips: floating, intermediate, type 3, and type 6, which will cover 90% of your fishing. You can pick up an additonal type 8 - 8 wt 15' tip to cover the other 10% for use when the rivers are well up in the willows; but it is not necessary.

    Spey lines come in many different belly (or head) lengths. You really don't need to concern yourself with the short shooting head Scandanavian (around 42' head or belly) or Skagit (around 38' head or belly) as a new spey caster because they really are specialized lines, just like single-hand shooting heads are specialized lines and wouldn't be the best choice for a new fly caster.

    The RIO Windcutter is a short belly line with a belly or head length of around 55' (the Airflow Delta and SA Short Belly also have a 55' belly). The short belly lines like the Windcutter you are looking at are the most commonly recommended line for beginning spey casters by both experience spey casters and instructors.

    The RIO MidSpey is a mid-belly line with a belly or head length of around 65' (the Airflow Long Delta, SA Mastery, and Carron 65' lines also have a 65' belly). The extra 10' of belly over the short-belly lines doesn't sound like much; but it really doesn require a lot more precise anchor placement and much better technique to cast than the short-belly lines like the Windcutter. Mid-belly lines are usually recommended to a person after he has a complete 2-3 years or so experience spey casting.

    The RIO GrandSpey is a long-belly line with a belly or head length of between 75'-100' (the SA XLT is also a long-belly as are the new CND spey lines and Carron 75', 85' and 95' lines). These are lines for experienced spey casters who have excellent technique and who can use their technique to cast out to 100' and beyond all day long cast after cast. Definitely not for beginning or intermediate spey casters.

    This brings us back to your original question about the RIO 8/9/10 short belly Windcutter with Interchangeable tips. It is by far your best choice in a line as a beginner because it has a belly long enough to make traditional double spey, Snap-T, and single spey casts with (which most instructors agree are the best casts to learn, with the double spey and snap-T being easiest to learn). And because it is an interchangeable tips line, it come with factory loops and the proper wt 15' long tips in both floating and sinking to cover your fishing needs. The Yel/grn color RIO refers to in its line discription means that the line's belly in colored yellow and the running line is colored green, making it very easy to make sure you have a few inches of belly in the rod tip before making a cast.

    Hope you and others looking into spey casting find this useful.
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    iagree

    All of the above, with special regard for Steve Buckner and also F.T. as solid sources for accurate information and instruction.

    I would add that Rio provides, or did provide until recently, a Rio Versi Tip Windcutter "Upgrade Head" for that same line. This Upgrade Head will give you a longer "belly" section, which you may find helpful as an option in some big water situations calling for consistently longer casts with that rod.

    I use both the original Windcutter belly section or the new upgrade head depending on circumstances. Some Rio dealers carry them in stock and they are matched to the same line designation numbers as yours. I believe they are about $25 retail.
     
  8. Luv2flyfish

    Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

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    All Great advice.

    FT sums it up very well.

    Buckner puts on a helluva casting clinic. You would not regret a few hours with Steve. He is a damn fine caster....He's an allright guy too.

    Now that Triggs guy.....ya gotta watch out for him! :thumb:

    Site sponsor, Speybum and River Run Anglers would be a good place to learn as well. Go visit him and his crew. You can cast an array of lines.... Not to mention Aaron is a good guy and another 2-Hander Fanatic.

    Enjoy...
     
  9. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    hey Jay, Cmon out boy...the new Loofahs are in! :rofl:
     
  10. ChrisW

    ChrisW AKA Beadhead

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    Ron

    i am in exactly the same boat as you- i picked up a quality Spey rod on sale and am gradually building up a system. My first step was to buy a floating line for practice. And this has helped me a lot. I find that I get in quite a bit more casting practice by going to a local lake with my floating line than I would by going to a river where I was targetting salmon or steelhead.

    I bought a closeout on a short-belly Spey Orvis Wonderline and I use Airflo sinking leaders to get my fly down while Im actually fishing. Its very different lifting these out of the water and I imagine heavier sink tips will take some practice.

    I probably should havebought the Rio Windcutter right off the bat, but with a new rod and reel it was too expensive at the time. I also was unsure on the match as Rio recommends both the 7/8/9 and the 8/9/10 for my CND Custom Series 13' 8/9. As soon as I get a little better with my cast, I might actually be able to tell what a "match" feels like.

    In the meantime check out River Run Anglers on Saturdays or fish with Steve Buckner he knows his stuff -he had me Spey Casting with my single hand rod last spring. My local shop checks out videos and these have helped me quite a bit too.

    ChrisW
     
  11. Big K1

    Big K1 Large Member

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    What Long Delta? If it is a 9/10 I would be interested.
     
  12. Jim Fitz

    Jim Fitz Member

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    Ron,

    I am in the boat just ahead of you. Picked up a spey blank which I built up - prior to doing much research which I will admit. The reel came after researching what reel would hold the proper amount of line and fit my budget. (Funny how the budget narrowed the field a bunch). I bought my line from Aaron at River Run cause he is being nice enough to get me started without laughing out loud.

    I ended up with a WC Spey 8/9/10 without the interchangeable tips after casting this line on my rod for a while on the river. The tips can be added later but I went without them to limit cash outflow for now. Might be more cost effective to buy the whole set up immediately. I have no doubt I will buy them eventually.

    What FT said:

    This brings us back to your original question about the RIO 8/9/10 short belly Windcutter with Interchangeable tips. It is by far your best choice in a line as a beginner...

    This is pretty consistent advice from the experts on this question. (FT - Thanks for the general info on lines) Consider that there are only so many spey lines to choose from that would be a good choice for a beginner. Doesn't take much reading/research to conclude you shouldn't start with a grand spey, etc. etc. so what is left over is a much narrower field.

    Also, it is common spey advice to trying all sorts of different rods, reels, lines etc. (more so than regular FFing) but it seems to me that this can really only be applied by folks who have a) a large amount of talent to throw this equipment and b) a large amount of money. I hope to have both some day.

    Add beginner and a budget to the equation and your choices get narrower. I am getting off topic as this applies much less to lines. If fishing without having the perfectly tuned system is the worst thing that happens to me in life, I will die happy.

    Jim
     
  13. FLGator

    FLGator Member

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    Just to illustrate how opinions vary regarding lines I would be the first to recommend a Rio Skagit line and an assortment of tips for all of your tip work. For fishing tips the Skagit system works. For your floating needs a straight floater (Carron Jet Stream). Personally, I don't like to use a multi tip line as a floater. Also, I've found the "30.06" approach of one line to do everything leaves a lot to be desired. So, go get some lessons and learn to cast first.
    Chris
     
  14. halcyon

    halcyon Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!

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    If you like the ease of casting the Rio skagit line with tips then for floating line work their new one piece floating skagit line which is a single integrated backing/skagit head/floating tip with no joints may be the cats meow. Ain't nothing wrong with easy.

    Regards,
     
  15. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

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    The skagit line feels like your using a gear rod tossing A huge weight. I dislike mine. I would go with a windcutter. Thats what I started with when I started. I have original ghetto windcutter from rio thats probably almost 8years old. Rio has come along way from there and I would pick up A new windcutter. It's the perfect length head to start out. Also see if places will let you try some lines out. Thats the best and even better try some lines and get some instruction and you will be set. Buckner is awesome and he helped me out this summer in Alaska with some casts.
     
  16. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

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    The skagit head is only 27' long and is designed to have a sink tip on the end. Try a spey cast with a 27' head and you will see what I mean.
     
  17. gt

    gt Active Member

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    depends.

    i have multiple spey rods ranging in length from 16' down to 11'6". i try and match my lines for the specific use i find for these rods. the bigger the river, the bigger the rod and therefore the heavier the line. the 16' will throw a 10/11wt with ease. the multi-tip lines are a good choice in this sort of circumstance as they allow you great felxibility in selecting the right combo for the water you are on.

    when i get to the 13'6" 7wt, i only use a dt7f spey line simply because its such a joy to fish this way. this rod sees the most use in summer flows on various rivers.

    the short rods are skagit line rods. i pack two of them for the olypen waters, a 650gr and a 550gr. they are fast, easy to cast for 10-12 hrs without killing your back and shoulders. you can cast BIG flies with less effort than my big rods and best of all, i can get down deep when i need to with my T14 head system. they are also short enough so you don't worry about the overhang on rivers like the sol duc. i love this style of casting and it's becoming more of what i do.

    you need to learn one spey cast for river left and the double spey for river right, that's it. difference with the skagit casting is the 'pause' while you get your stick, unlike a 'normal' spey cast where your motion continues in one fluid flow.

    so, it depends. hard to beat a multi-tip line as a beginning point, but it's like everything else flyfishing, only a start :D
     

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