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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok.

I'm brand new to spey fishing and am in the "acquiring the right stuff" stage. I've purchased the videos and I am lookin' at taking Red's Fly shop's beginning class.

I am going to start with a St Croix Avid 13' 7/8 weight rod with a 550 grain Rio Skagit line. It looks like I don't need a cheater with that combination of rod and line. Do I?

Can I throw any length of sink tip that I want with this set up? (15' or under)

How long should the leader be?

Many thanks in advance.

Rob
 

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I found, as a newbie myself, that the Rio versitp let me experienment a bit with different tips, different weights of flies and learning how to load the line properly. From there I have been able to experiment with different lengths of tips (T14) for different river conditions.
 

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Robi,

You might ask around regarding what weight Skagit head to use on that rod. I use a 450 gn on my 7 wt and a 550 on my 8/9 and 9 wt rods. That has me thinking a 500 gn might be a better fit for your 7/8 wt.

I don't use a cheater on 13 or 14' rods using 27' Skagit heads.

I can throw up to 15' of T-14 with my 550, but honestly, it's not fun. 15' of T-8, or 10 or 12' of T-11 is a lot more comfortable. And most comfortable of all are the 15' type III and type VI Rio tips, which meet most of my steelheading needs. I found that I don't often need any of the T-stuff.

Sg
 

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Holy cow, is there a book that anyone can recommend about learning spey from a complete newbie perspective.

Spey for Dummies?
 

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Indeed there is, but you have to read every post in the Spey Clave Forum. Post the questions here. Your a nice guy. They helped me and I'm a jerk, so you are set!
 

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Don't let it all overwhelm you and don't overanalyze it. You'll process it all in due time, and it'll all make sense as you gradually get further into it. The more I learn the more I just want to go fish and not consume myself in all that there is to know, which will insure that I forever remain a very mediocre Spey caster at best. :ray1:

Here's a good article written by one of WFF.com's own Brian Chou that simplifies the comparison between Scandi and Skagit line systems:

http://home.pacificnorthwestflyfishing.com/articles/124-skagit-a-scandi-simplified
 

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No cheater needed with the 13' and 550 setup although the 550 might be a little much, Rio's site recommends a 475 and their chart is usually pretty accurate, for the tips I'd try 10' or 12' of Z11 or T-10 virtually the same stuff, I use about 4' foot of 20lb maxima and tippet from there. Call Bob Meiser (http://www.meiserflyrods.com/) for the tips, he even sells in bulk so you can make your own. The guy is one of the best for advice I've ever talked with. Welcome to spey casting it's all I use anymore, especially for steelhead and salmon, addicting to say the least.

If you know how to row a drift boat that's a plus being your local
 

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Thanks for the link Itchy, that was very informative.
 

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The best book on spey casting currently on the market is Simon Gawesworth's aply named SPEY CASTING. Another excellent, although not nearly as complete, but excellent nontheless is Al Buhr's little book on spey casting. Most any fly shop can get you one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I appreciate all this awesome input!

I went with the 550 because I was told that the RIO chart is usually way underlined according to several sources. Is 550 WAY too much? Maybe I should drop down? The guys at Red's sell a 550 grain line with a 7 wt sage so I figured the 7/8 would be fine with 550. Am I going to break my rod?

I'm interested in buying those books. I got through the videos and found them to be exceptional instruction.

Many thanks again and keep the critique and input comin'!!!
 

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Your rod won't break. Cast the 550 you have and you'll see what you can do with it. The rods that I have cast (not your model) have required more grain weight than the Rio recommendation. I think it is likely due to my inexperience, but for now a bit heavier is what you have, go with it.
 

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the skagit might be alittle to much might wanna try a 510 or maybe even a 480 if that 550 is feelin a bit heavy. i use a loomis 13'4" 7/8 with a 450 airflow compact skagit and 450 compact scandi they are perfect matches tho the rod is a noodle compared to other 7/8 speys
 

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The class is a great idea, as it will drastically shorten the learning curve. Generally a floating line is easier to learn with than a sink tip. This time of year you do not need the sink tip unless you fish in the middle of the day.

The only way to match the line to your rod and casting style is to test cast a few lines around chart recommendations and choose what works best for you. We can suggest what we like, but that may not work well for you. A cheater helps match the head to your rod and stroke, so try it without first.
 

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Alright,,,here's the deal

First of all, forget anything other than sustained anchor Skagit casts. Why make life difficult trying to do casts that your setup is not designed to do? No Grant switch, single spey, or snake rolls. That narrows it down to double spey, perry poke and circle cast, also known as snap-t or snapped tip! The latter may be totally eliminated, leaving only two casts to learn. Double spey and perry poke.

What these guys are telling you about going over Rio's line recs are right on. Your 550 skagit will do fine. You may even decide to go heavier later on.

There is so much to be said about sink tips, I could write a short book on the subject. Fortunately, Al Buhr has already done that in his little book on fly line design. You just have to dig it out.
 
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