Help me Bros!

OK, so I am new to the Spey thing and am still trying to get the casting mechanics down. What is now clear to me is that the casting mechanics can only be perfected if the rods are lined correctly. I have visited several fly shops and gotten different advice from each one. So I would very much appreciate any input on rod lining from all you Speyheads out there who are casting the two current rods that I have. Currently I have two Sage Brownies, a 13' 6" 8 weight and a 11' 3" 8 weight Switch rod. I am mainly using them for Beach Casting. I suspect that I will want to look at different rod weights in the future however these are the rods I would like to use while learning the casting mechanics. It would be much appreciated hearing from anyone out there that are casting these rods as to what lines you are using.

Many Thanks to all the responders!


Active Member
Be-Bop over to RIO's web site, Simon has extensive list of rod-line parings for their products. As yours are 'browies' they're obviously older rods (the reference to a brownie switch rod has me scratching my head). See what he suggests.

Back up a second here for a bit of clarity. The term 'Brownie' normally refers to Sages first Generation of spey rods; how old (rod designations) are yours?

I assume you're over head casting when you use the term 'beach casting?' Correct/incorrect? If so, for Jollies take a regular single hander line (WF) and up-line by two and give that a try. Takes far more grains to load a 2-hander than a one hander. (8wt spey = 10 wt single hander)

Thank you for your reply FAE

The Sage 13' 6" rod is a Sage graphite IIIe blank while the 11' 3" Switch rod is a Gary Anderson rod made from a Sage graphite IIIb blank. The Switch rod is definitely
older than the 13' 6" rod.

The Rio web site listing for older rods is sort of incomplete or at least does not clearly identify my rods so I was not able to get any firm line weight information from the website.

In regards to the beach casting it was/is my intent to use Spey Casting techniques for the Beach. In particular I am wanting to utilize Skagit lines but the question is what weights and whether a Standard Skagit for both rods or a Standard Skagit for the long rod and a Compact Skagit for the shorter Switch rod.

Since I have not been able to get any consensus from the fly shops I thought I would throw this out to Spey Universe and see if anyone has any knowledge of these rods however I would like to hear from any body who is throwing a Skagit on a 13' 6" rod as well as a Skagit on a 11' 0" Switch rod as to what style of skagits they are using.

Again, any information is very appreciated so I do not blindly buy line after line before getting to where I need to be.



Are Mike and Aaron still doing the casting on weekend thing? If someone knows and can post it...head to one of should be able to try some lines on your sticks and if not they have serious expertice in that field..
Many thanks to all for the input. Golfman can you give me more information on Mike and Aaron...are they associated with a fly shop or a casting clinic?



Active Member
Yup, the 13-6 is one of the original 'Brownies.' An Anderson build on the second answers that question. 'Back in the day,' before Gary started designing his own rods he built on Sage blanks. You might want to give him a call (ACR rods) and get his opinion.


Eyes to the sky...
Aaron Riemer's day on the river is 9-12 on Saturdays under the FallCity bridge on the Snoqualmie River. You'd be hard pressed to find a better instructor, and he's one hell of a good guy. Good luck.

Thanks Fred for the hint to call Gary Anderson - I will do that before I go any further with line decisions on that rod
Thanks Jason for the info on Aaron Riemer - I will contact him as well.

So I have got the 13' 6" rod casting ok with a 475 gr. Skagit Flight with a medium sink tip and an unweighted Sand Lance imitation utilizing a C spey cast...boy do I have a long way to go.

I want to once again thank all of you for the helpful info - I do feel I have turned the corner from being totally confused to now moving in the right direction.
Many Thanks to all,

One other good option is to call Steve Gotshall (here in Medford) and have him build you a couple of heads (one for each rod). As long as Steve knows what blank(s), how/where they're to be used. they will be a cracker jack match up. If memory serves, if you order up a new rod from Gary, Bob Meiser (and one other) you usually get a custom cut along with same.

The one thing I did (and I think Steve may do this as an 'automatic') is put in a short of different colour line above the shooting line. This bit will be a few inches longer than the rod. No need to keep peering up at your rod tip before your next cast. You just bring the colour bit down to the top of the cork, and off you go.


Active Member
Make the trip to the Clearwater Clave at the end of the month. You'll have the opportunity to cast just about every line in existence if you're inclined, and their will be lots of people on hand to give advice.


Active Member
The 11'3" rod you have was designed not as a switch rod, but rather as a very long single-hand rod. Its taper and action were of the old RPL type. It was designed to cast an 8 wt long-belly single-hand line like the salmon/steelhead tapers, or a 9 wt WF line. I have two friends who own the rod as Sage built it with the standard single-hand grip. Both of them fish it with either an 8 wt salmon/steelhead taper or a 10 wt shooting head. I've cast their rods many times and I really like it the way both of them line it. By-the-way, both of them have cut their 8 wt salmon/steelhead lines at 15' from the tip and use RIO 7 wt sink tips for sunk line fishing, and cut a 10 wt standard 30' floating shooting head 15' from the tip and use 9 wt RIO sink tips for sunk line fishing. Either way the rod casts wonderfully. I almost bought this rod too, but cast a G.Loomis 11' 8/9 GLX and liked it better, so I bought one. It uses the same lines as the old Sage 11'3" 8 wt.

The old Sage Brownie 7136-4 is a very flexible, full-flex (ie.e it flexes into the butt on every cast whether short or long), flexible tipped, medium recovery, light line 2-hander designed for spey casting with light lines and smaller flies. It was one of the first 2-handed spey rods the late Jimmy Green designed and marketed, the other was the old Brownie 914-4, which has a similar action for a bit heavier line.

Anyhow, the 7136 was designed to casting about 50' of a normal 7 wt single-hand DT line and these lines weigh a lot less than a spey line of the same line weight designation. Anything over this overloads the rod, and a true 6/7 (or 7 wt) spey line will very badly overload the rod. If you wish to use a spey line on it, you need to drop down to a 5 wt short-belly spey line to avoid overloading it, that includes Scandi lines. You can do what some of the spey casters did back in the the 1989-1994 time range and simply take a 9 wt saltwater taper single-hand line and use it because it loads the rod pretty near perfectly. These folks cut these line 15' from the tip and added in sink tips for sunk line fishing.

You could also do what Jim Vincent who started RIO did with his Windcutter spey lines. He originally designed them with two removable sections if bought with the interchangeable tips version, and take out the second (i.e. the portion behind the tip) section out of a 7 wt RIO Windcutter line. This it also loads the rod perfectly. In fact, this is exactly what Jim did in his first RIO Spey Casting video when he was fishing this rod on the upper Henry's Fork in Idaho during the salmon fly hatch. If you don't have one of the original Windcutters, you need to cut the line first at 15' from the tip and put loops on it, then you need to cut it again another 15' back from the first cut. Loop the 15' tip on the line's body with the other 15' section left out and you have a line that loads the 7136-4 perfectly.

This rod was never intended to be used with large flies and heavy tips. It was designed for low-water, small flies steelhead fishing or trout fishing with flies in the #4-#12 size range.
Great observation about the old 7136 above. Forgotten about that and remember asking Sage the 'why of that.' Simple answer ... there really weren't that many 2hander lines you could get your hands on in the US. You wanted one (with some exception) you purchased out of Canada (2handers had been in use for years) or 'imported' one out of the UK.