Spey line and sink tips

I have been having a problem using sinking leaders and flys with a shot on them. I can't seem to get the whole mess out of the water long enough to make a decent cast. Since I'm in a DB most of the time I have to draw the line back up stream and then attempt to cast back up stream (double Spey I think) before the 4 feet of type 6 and 6 feet of tippet sink with fly and shot thus making an impossble haul of the anchor. I've been using an uncut Windcutter 7/8/9 on a ST Croix 14' 9 wt. Any one got any ideas on cuting the line, using less sinktip or maybe a helium balloon? :beathead:

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Ok guys, don't kill me on this one. LOL.

But why use on in a driftboat? Personally, I keep one in a DB if I stop to fish. Then of course I use one on the bank. But in a boat, it's easier to use a single hander (especially boating a fish). You will have an easier time with a single (and so will the other people in the boat lol).

I never had much luck in a boat. Too much to catch up on, or work around. I just use my single handers, since the boat is putting you into the pocket you want to fish (or above it).

Big K1

Large Member
I agree with Jerry. Beach the boat and fish the run from the bank. If you can't fish from the bank use the single hander.


Another Flyfisherman
iagree with Jerry and Big K.

however, on to your question as to a crappy cast with a sinktip set up.

A double spey leaves your anchor on the water for a longer time than other casts. Beleive me, I have had the same problems using tips, but there are different casts that a guy can use at any given time.

A single spey is cast forward as soon as the anchor touches the water. A double speys anchor is left on the water (to sink) as the the rest of the line is pulled from the water loading the rod.

A snake roll could also work as the anchor is not on the water long enough to sink like a ton of bricks either.

A C-Spey or a Snap-T leave the anchor on the water for a long enough time for them to sink, and kill your cast, as well as the Double.

Practice Practice Practice. I practice casting with all the tips I fish. There are some adjustments that need to be made to keep a type 6 or 8 tip from killing your cast and leaving you frustrated. Try using a different cast that leaves the anchor on the water for the shortest amout of time possible. Just play with all the different casts and see which one you dig. Thats my advice. Good Luck! Jay
Jottings from Speybum’s Notebook.

All Speycast’s can be worked with sinktips and in fact full sinking lines but you must modify your casting stoke and get control of the anchor.
The first Item is you must bring the sinktips to glide or ride on the top of the water.
Most casters use a dead line roll cast to get the sinktips up the top.
Depending how heavy the sinktips and fly combination is will determine how many roll casts you need to do.
One of the biggest problems in Speycasting a sink tip is not how long the Anchor in on the water but where and how the anchor ends up.
Using any cast the closer your anchor it to the straight-line path of the rod tip the better your cast will develop.
If you are getting a slack anchor point with the line piled anchor your sink tip will sink causing you to get line stick so you can not get enough line speed up to pull the line out of the water.
Work on getting the anchor to layout in straight line in front of the caster you will get more power to the d-loop.
This should be your goal no matter which cast you elect to use

Heavier flies such as Ed Ward’s Intruder weighs in at 62 grains as Ed ties and much more as other people tie it you will have to work on casting
Here the when you casting heavy flies you may have to work modify your pick up or change you anchor from a dynamic to static.
Makes little difference to the experienced Speycaster are sitting in the boat or standing.
If you practice your Speycasts sitting down in the river you will see what I mean.

I hope these note will help you with your problem speycasting.


Active Member
I think you are also underlined; I have a St. Croix 14 foot 9 that I occasionally use and I think it needs more like a Windcutter 9-10-11, not a 7-8-9. Especially if you are only using a 4 foot sinktip, as you are saying? By reducing the sinktip you are losing about 100 grains, making you even more underlined.
Splitshot will hinge your line making it harder to straighten. You don't need shot on a sink tip. If you can't cast floating or intermediate lines, don't jump to the dredger, this will work against your development and become frustrating.
circlespey said:
I think you are also underlined; I have a St. Croix 14 foot 9 that I occasionally use and I think it needs more like a Windcutter 9-10-11, not a 7-8-9. Especially if you are only using a 4 foot sinktip, as you are saying? By reducing the sinktip you are losing about 100 grains, making you even more underlined.
So what your saying, is to add sinking leader to make the tip heavier? Should I cut the 7/8/9 back and then add more sink tip? This seems that it would eliminate some of the front taper and replace it with sink tip. What is the casting dynamics then?

As far as getting out of the boat, that sounds good but the river is too wide and puts me on the wrong side of the river to reach the coho and chum. So I'm trying to get within reasonable casting range without :) blasting all the fish out of the hole. Casting from the boat has not been much problem. My partner, Jimbo, as learned to duck and dodge my casts very well. He hasn't bleed too much and his hat casts very well, although, I haven't caught anything with it. I believe it may be a sent problem.

Matt Burke

Active Member
I wouldn't even try to use the 7/8/9 anymore. 8/9/10 or 8/9 SA short head. If you use floaters you can cut those at 14 feet and add tips. 8/9/10 with tips is pricey at 165, but if you don't want to do surgery on your line, it is worth every penny. It is a set that will rock and has all the design work done for you. One thing about casting a spey in the sitting position, anchor points will suck. Always seems like your trying not to hit the pontoons so anchor point is too far away and is never straight. For a lot of guys boats are just a conveyance from hole to hole.
Dude, I have that same rod. It is one of my favorites. It is also one the worlds most fast action rods. You should be using a 9/10 or a 10/11 line on that rod!
I don't need to see your casting style to know the main problem. Don't cut your line yet, just get one that's made for your rod.

You will still find things to hang your line on in your DB. :eek:



Active Member
A typical Rio sinktip is 15 feet and somewhere between 100 - 150 grains depending on the line you are using it with. So, if you are using a four foot sinktip instead, you are hardly getting any of those grains on your case. It makes you even more underlined.

As for sinking leaders, I don't use them and don't see the point. They certainly don't make up for a lack of the right sinktip. Use the right sinktip and the right fly. I never use more than 2.5 - 3 feet of leader with a sinktip. And I agree with previous comments on using splitshot. Unless it is right on your fly/hook (in which case just put some lead eyes on your fly in the first place), you are creating a hinging point in your line that makes it harder to use.

I really really think you are underlined for that rod.


Will Fish For Food
Something people haven't mentioned

How are you starting your lift? Is your rod tip in the water with the line straight? Despite my dedicated & proven lack of proficiency with a spey rod, I believe you should be able to get the whole head in the air with a sink tip, even with a single spey.

This is particularly true from a drift boat since your feet are above the water.

But if you're not starting with the rod tip in the water (doesn't need to be more than an inch or two) you're not going to get enough lift to get the line out. Sink tips require a much more "dedicated" lift than floating tips for the obvious reason they're under water.

So if you're not sticking the tip in the water, try that, plus a straight up lift (i.e., rod still fairly parallel to the water) followed by bringing the rod back, but don't change from lifting to the back-cast until the angle between the line and the water has stopped increasing.


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