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Old 05-16-2012, 07:46 AM
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Default why the variation in weight designations

I am impatiently waiting for PayPal to get my payment for a new two-handed rod I ordered (Wright McGill 11' 5wt) cleared so the seller can ship the rod, and in the meantime trying to figure out some of the basics of two-hand rod use.

One thing that immediately confuses me is the apparent difference in line weight required for efficiently casting a single hand 5wt rod as compared to a 5wt two-hand rod. From the information/advice I've gleaned so far I'll need to overline 2 to 3 line weights just to get started. (I'll be using WF lines I already own just to get the feel of things)

So why is a rod that requires an 8wt line to cast called a 5wt rod?
And if I used the rod to cast overhead would it take a lighter line?

I know it's going to be a learning "curve" if I hope to get somewhat "good" at two handed casting.
Am I making a mistake by starting off with a standard WF line?

From what I read it seems to me that it is necessary to have a fixed length of line out of the rod tip to begin a cast? (eg - a fixed length "shooting head" attached to a "running line") Could I (once I determine the best length to have out) cut a WF line at that point and just attach it to backing (running line) instead of buying a specialty line?
Could I weight that line (if it works for casting) and then know where to start shopping for a "shooting head" & "tip" weight when I switch to a real two-handed line?
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: why the variation in weight designations

Mike, to go through your questions, I've put my answers in the Quote below.
Fred

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabi View Post
I am impatiently waiting for PayPal to get my payment for a new two-handed rod I ordered (Wright McGill 11' 5wt) cleared so the seller can ship the rod, and in the meantime trying to figure out some of the basics of two-hand rod use.

Easy Squzie ;>)

One thing that immediately confuses me is the apparent difference in line weight required for efficiently casting a single hand 5wt rod as compared to a 5wt two-hand rod. From the information/advice I've gleaned so far I'll need to overline 2 to 3 line weights just to get started. (I'll be using WF lines I already own just to get the feel of things)

To over simplify here there are two different reasons: rod length and heavier construction of a 2-hander, even in a 'switch rod' length. The heavier requires more grains to load same than would a one hander. As silly as it may seem the type of line you're using will also impact the length of the head and number of grains. As this is a 5wt you may need upwards of 400 grains for a Skagit head and 350 for a Scandi. Sounds odd that the shorter headed line would require 'more' than a longer one, but the Skagit is a line used to 'rip' sunk sink tips out of the water and needs the 'Umph' to do so.

With a Scandi you're more likely to be using a full floating leader or a sinking Poly-leader of some sort. Neither of which require the 'grains' to make them move. Which brings me to your question of 'why the up-lining of single hander lines for a 'spey;' you need the 'grains' to make the rod work.


So why is a rod that requires an 8wt line to cast called a 5wt rod?
And if I used the rod to cast overhead would it take a lighter line?

As to your second question on over head casting the answer is yes, you will use a lighter line. Not knowing the rod I'm hesitant about recommending 'grain weights' for a head but my guess it would be in the 275 - 325 range. Again, just a "SWAG." (Sophisticated wild ass guess)

All that said give the manufacturer a call (and RIO/AirFlo) a call and get their recommendations. Between the three 'your mileage may vary' so take into account (when you purchase a line - or two - what size/weight flies you're going to be chucking. Smaller flies = lighter line; Larger flies = bit heavier line.


I know it's going to be a learning "curve" if I hope to get somewhat "good" at two handed casting.
Am I making a mistake by starting off with a standard WF line?

In a word: yes. This is/was designed as a two hander rod, you line accordingly.

From what I read it seems to me that it is necessary to have a fixed length of line out of the rod tip to begin a cast? (eg - a fixed length "shooting head" attached to a "running line") Could I (once I determine the best length to have out) cut a WF line at that point and just attach it to backing (running line) instead of buying a specialty line?

A 'fixed length' only to the degree that's what works best for normal casting (head just beyond the 'tip-top'). Sooooo you need to cast shorter ... and this happens A LOT! ... JUST practice what's called tip casting. In single hander terms a 'roll cast.'
Could I weight that line (if it works for casting) and then know where to start shopping for a "shooting head" & "tip" weight when I switch to a real two-handed line?

Done all the time, just find the 'sweet spot' and give it a good band of marking with a skripto-sharpie black ink pen. Wrong colour, want something brighter? No biggie, just get what you want .... AS LONG AS it's a perm-ink aka 'water proof.'
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: why the variation in weight designations

Not surprised that fred was able to respond to your questions with good info. I too am still learning so I appreciate the dialogue here.

As you can see, fred makes several references to grain weight. What I have gleaned through learning is to basically forget about the line weight as we know it with single handers and focus instead on grain weight when you're dealing with line for a two hander. Nothing earth shattering here by any means but worth mentioning. As I mentioned in my post in the other thread, I looked at the PDF sheets on both Rio and Airflo's websites for your rod but could not find it listed-- so no recommendation of their suggested grain weights. Definitely worth a phone call to both companies or to Steve for the custom line. If you already have 7 or 8wt line, by all means go ahead and try it out just to see what you think. You don't have anything to lose here. If on the other hand, you have to make an investment in line I highly suggest making a few calls so that you don't spend more than you need to.

Here is a video that helped me out with some basic terminology, specifics of two handers along with some basic instruction of casting. Highly recommended.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua3JT3gmsjIhttp://

If you enjoy his teaching style as much as I do, Simon Gawesworth also has a book that's worth a read--Single Hand Spey Casting.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: why the variation in weight designations

Your gonna need a bigger reel too. Not only for the extra capacity but to balance the rod. If you want to spey cast and use flies of any real size you`ll be way better off with a line made for spey casting. Best bet is to get a good video, Rio`s modern spey vid would really get you in the right direction.

It is more about the "grain window" of any give`in d/h rod than, say 5wt, 6wt...like a s/h. If an 8wt falls in that window for your rod it would work well to overhead cast because it will load the rod but that would be the whole "head" part of your wf line and a long back cast...If you get a nymph or switch line that is made for a d/h they go by d/h wt.`s. Scandi and Skagit heads go buy wieght in grains and length.

My advice, get a 360gr skagit compact and go SLOOOOOW !
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