05-16-2012, 02:45 PM
Re: why the variation in weight designations
Mike, to go through your questions, I've put my answers in the Quote below.
Originally Posted by wabi
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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