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Old 06-12-2012, 07:56 AM
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Default rod, line, or me?

Long story, but I bought a new Wright McGill 11' switch/spey rod rated as a 5wt but quickly figured out the rating was way off!

Wanting to use it for Scandi style casting, but after some discussion on the forum I contacted a custom line maker (Steve Godshall) and he worked with me to match a line to the rod. I did a "Common Cents" measurement and got an ERN of almost 11 for the rod.

Still trying to get the Skagit shooting head Steve sold me set up (waiting on a new reel spool now), but in the mean time I tried a WF9F line for overhead casting and it felt like it was too light.

I did some shopping on eBay and won a bid on a WF11F Scientific Anglers Sharkskin (satlwater taper) line for a very low price.
Spooled the line on a reel yesterday and took it to the local lake to try it on the rod.

The wind was very unfavorable for casting, but I gave it a try. I was casting overhead using both hands on the rod (no double haul) and quickly found I had a great match of line & rod! I was casting with the head of the line (about 40', and sometimes around 50' of line) out of the rod tip and shooting running line on the forward cast. Even with the wind making it difficult to get a good back cast I was getting 75' or more distance (from me to the fly).
I finally figured an angle to cast with the wind quartering from behind my left shoulder where I could get the rod to load better on the back cast and actually got enough of the 110' line out so I could see the backing in a few places on the reel (still two layers of line in some places though). I'm guessing around 90' of line out, which for me is a new experience!

This is my first encounter with Sharkskin line and I was very impressed with the distance I was getting. The noise is a new experience though.
Not 100% sure, but I think it's the line - not the rod or my casting ability getting the distance so easily.

I'll definitely try more casting with this setup when I find time on a clam day, but I think I've found the rod & line for those occasional trips to the Ohio river for stripers, "wipers", and white bass.

I may shell out the $$$ for more sharkskin line for a couple of my singlehand rods, too. The 8'6" Ross 3wt just might be a good candidate to try Sharkskin on next. I've never tried anything but inexpensive line on it, and I usually end up overlining it one size for my fishing. I'll probably order a WF4F line and if it's too much for the Ross I'll put it on my 8'6" Echo 4wt.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: rod, line, or me?

Hi Mike,

I don't have any shark skin lines but will guess the improvement is relative to the additional line weight. Often it is frustrating to find the proper weight to match the way we cast with these long rods. I will be heading to the river soon to do some more casting / fishing with a 770 grain long belly line that, when I hit everything just right works like a charm but when I'm off by a fraction things don't pan out well at all.

Overhead casting with a long powerful rod is a real experience isn't it,

Ard
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: rod, line, or me?

Good to hear you're getting out with the new setup and have found line that seems to work for you. SA's textured lines (Textured & Sharkskin) both can REALLY get the line out there. Watch that textured line, it can wreak havoc on your fingers.

You might want to give the Textured line a try, it's not as "bitey" as the SS line. Also, you may want to consider Airflo's Ridgeline. That would be a nice match for a 3 wt. In my limited experience with the traditional, non smooth surface lines, SA's Textured gets line out with little effort.
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: rod, line, or me?

Ard - I am thinking of trying a longer shooting head on the rod.
I'm using a short Skagit 525gr head now and I feel like a SA 8/9 Atlantic salmon head (38'/520gr) might smooth out my spey cast a little.
And yes, the overhead casting is a bit different than tossing a #14 fly on my 3 or 4wt rods. With that line weight and rod length there's no doubt about when the rod "loads" on the back cast.

Jaybo - The sharkskin isn't bothering my fingers but I may try the Mastery textured series line. With a small diameter line the sharkskin would probably be harder on the hands.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: rod, line, or me?

The next thing you know you'll be planning salmon fishing trips.
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