Spey Fishing Stillwater

the_grube

Active Member
#1
I've been poking around on lakes with my 3 wt Redington trout spey. I bring a 9' 5wt along too for trolling and 'vertical' fishing. I use the spey for chucking streamers almost exclusively. Right now I'm using one of the RIO 11' micro spey heads --it came free with the rod. It shoots line like a sling shot, but doesn't seem to fish particularly well on still water; it's really hard to keep a tight line through the shooting head. Its so massive and dense that it tends to bunch up between strips. I'm thinking about getting an integrated line, or maybe a scandi line.

I'm guessing that others are using spey rods on stillwater. What type of fishing are you using it for, and what type of lines/heads etc do you find work well for you? Anyone using them for indicator fishing, or even trolling? Thanks
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#2
I'd never thought a spey would be considered for lakes, unless there's a wadable shoreline with heavy and high plant growth on the bank behind... and all the fish hang out there.

Suppose if there's trees and bushes there might be more bugs around. Guess I really don't know and shouldn't have responded to this thread, sorry.
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#3
I use a spey rod all the time for what ever is swimming - even lakes. For bass, I use top water lines. For trout I use all kinds of lines.

The ultra short heads like the Rio, Airflo and OPST all are meant for use on moving waters where you have dense thickets or no backroom casting spaces. That's where they perform the best - I use it on the small river here that is lined with bushes, trees, high rocks, banks, and overhangs.

As for lakes and reservoirs, here are your options:
1. standard length skagit head w/ T6-T8 tips for subsurface work or
2. scandi head and tapered leader for surface work.
3. scandit (Rage) head w/ polyleader for both skagit like casting thru wind and light presentation like a scandi.
4. integrated switch line (Airflo Switch streamer)

For my 4wt trout spey, I have the: OPST 225gr Commando, Rio skagit 300gr compact head, Rio Scandi 275gr, and the Airflo Rage (300gr).;)

I am looking for a double or triple density line that would work for some deep water work on rivers for browns and summer steelies but no one makes intermediate and FIST lines for 300gr rods...:(
 
#4
" it's really hard to keep a tight line through the shooting head. Its so massive and dense that it tends to bunch up between strips."

I don't understand. Why would it be hard to keep a tight line and what do you mean by "bunch up?"
 

Tom Palmer

Active Member
#5
I have the 3113 also and am thinking of trying out Rio Outbound Short lines in WF6 for beach fishing this spring. They come in a multitude of sink rates and would address the issues you described.

I already own them for my single hand rods and will let you know once I've tried... if you have any WF6 or oversized WF5 single hand lines it's worth a shot!
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#6
" it's really hard to keep a tight line through the shooting head. Its so massive and dense that it tends to bunch up between strips."

I don't understand. Why would it be hard to keep a tight line and what do you mean by "bunch up?"
I think the OP is saying the short 11' skagit head may be landing like a pile cast and since there is no water movement, the line looks like it bunches up.
Between strips, the head is being pulled and the line follows the small wake produced by the still water causing it to bunch up.
These ultra short compact heads need moving water to pull the polyleader and straighten out the head.

I fish some still water and create movement for the fly by jigging a top water hard bait or short strips of a fly or worm using a sinking tip...
 

the_grube

Active Member
#7
" it's really hard to keep a tight line through the shooting head. Its so massive and dense that it tends to bunch up between strips."

I don't understand. Why would it be hard to keep a tight line and what do you mean by "bunch up?"
Bunched up is an overstatement.... After the cast, when I go to strip the line in, the shooting head is so dense that after a strip it tends to retract back into a curvy shape and I lose the tight line connection to the fly. This isn't an issue in moving water, just lakes.
 

the_grube

Active Member
#8
I think the OP is saying the short 11' skagit head may be landing like a pile cast and since there is no water movement, the line looks like it bunches up.
Between strips, the head is being pulled and the line follows the small wake produced by the still water.....
Actually the casts are shooting like lazers and landing straight... except when I fluff one :). The issue is during the strip back. The short head just wants to retract back like a snake. I think this head is probably only suitable for moving water. I'm going to look into a scandi and or a single hand spey line in +3 size.
 
#9
Longer rods are a great tool for managing long leaders used to fish very deep with floating lines and indicators. Ask @Irafly for details. I prefer 10' single hand rods but others fish 11-12' switch rods with leaders of 30+'. This only works while casting out of a boat, which allows you to stand up. Getting the entire leader up to the surface prior to casting is critical. If you're using a pontoon or tube, I would think 9-10' single hand rods would be a better choice. The stillwater specific sinking lines available today are really nice and much simpler to fish than the shooting head/running line systems designed for rivers.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#10
Actually the casts are shooting like lazers and landing straight... except when I fluff one :). The issue is during the strip back. The short head just wants to retract back like a snake. I think this head is probably only suitable for moving water. I'm going to look into a scandi and or a single hand spey line in +3 size.
Probably a silly question but have you spent time stretching the heck out of the head (and holding the stretch for several seconds) before use? Sounds like memory coil to me.

Like @Irafly, I often use my switch rod on stillwaters but I use it for indicator fishing, not stripping. I utilize a technique similar (just not as pretty as) to Ira's to get my long leader (30-feet or so) all in the air prior to casting (think Brad Pitt). My rod is a TFO 4110 and the line is a Wulff Ambush TT. It can be a very effective fishing tool. I concur with @troutpocket on single hand rods for casting and stripping, but that's just my two bit opinion (maybe 2 cent?).
 

the_grube

Active Member
#11
Probably a silly question but have you spent time stretching the heck out of the head (and holding the stretch for several seconds) before use? Sounds like memory coil to me.....
Great idea, I stretch my running line, but I've never stretched the shooting head. It definitely is retracting back into a semi-coiled form.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#12
I don't use a spey/switch line, I use a single handed line with my switch rod. A Rio Indicator line works well with the long leaders. I tried a spey rod but it just never worked that well for what I needed.
 

Alaskan

Active Member
#14
I don’t get it. I use OPST, Scout, and Trout Max short heads all the time for casting and stripping streamers in still water. I have never had any problems stripping the heads back in. Do you have a Polly leader or mow tip attached? That is the only way I could imagine the head bunching up?
 
#15
I think I can see what he means, so he lays out a nice cast and comes tight to the fly. When he strips, the line comes to the rod, at the end of the strip, the running line, with no mass, just stops. However the head, with a lot of mass, will keep moving at the end of the strip due to its momentum. It's the same reason you use a shooting head when casting or a WF line instead of a DT. I get that to some degree as I use an Ambush line on my trout spey set up. I use it with indicator fishing, but it is clunky and not as "fun" to fish. I think some of the above responses about using a different line would help the issue, but you would likely lose some distance on the cast.

I love to spey cast, I do quite a bit of steelhead fishing. I love to Stillwater fish. But I have not found a way to comfortably mix the two. Then again, I don't like casting and stripping as much as I like indicator fishing.

Wayne