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Thread: Spey line for 11'-3" rod

  1. Default Spey line for 11'-3" rod

    Getting into spey casting for browns and steelies and I am interested in a recommendation on lines (yes, another line request thread). I've got my ideas of what might be a good line but am looking for experienced input from the pros here since I'm just beginning in the two hand world.

    So, the rod is an 11'-3" 7/8wt, considered to be just under a fast action, sold as a switch rod. I've read reviews that the rod loads pretty well with a spey cast at around 520gr heads. I will be using it in MI around AuSable, Pere Marquette, Manistee, Muskegon, etc. where there are needs for longer casts (100ish ft). Probably be some pretty tight areas that will require a small casting loop due to vegetation, banks, etc. as well to consider.

    Mostly used nymphing and tossing streamers, but also could be throwing some floaters - probably much less frequently with this setup, though. Probably using it 85% spey and probably <15% two handed overhead casting.

    I would like the line to be a at least 30lb tensile rating, a 40-50ish ft head and overall length of at least 120ft for longer casts.

    I've been considering the following lines at the moment but I'm open to additional considerations as well as plus/minus on how it will perform, casting distance, longevity, etc.:
    - Rio AFS Outbound 8/9 (38.5ft 520gr head, 120ft length, 34lb rating)
    - Airflo Delta Spey 7/8 (52ft 530gr head, 120ft lenght, 30lb rating)
    - Scientific Angler Spey Evolution 7/8 (52.5ft 530gr head, ~130ft long, 34lb rating)

    I'm thinking that the slightly longer head will of the Airflow and Scientific Angler lines will be better and there's a slight lead with the Scientific Angler in length and tensile rating. I guess, I'm looking for what last longer, rolls better, casts farther/smoother and casts easier for a beginner in Spey.

    Thanks for all your input!
    Last edited by jrmy_1; 03-23-2013 at 06:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
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    Default Re: Spey line for 11'-3" rod

    If you really need to form small d-loops based off of limited back cast room, you really should be thinking of using a very short (20 foot) Skagit shooting head along with your preferred running/shooting line (100 feet) plus whatever tip you need (10 feet).

    The Skagit style head is the easiest to learn with. A lot of grain mass is concentrated in such a short head which means easier d-loop management.

    The three most popular shorter Skagit heads for switch rods are Rio Skagit Short, Airflo Skagit Compact, and Beulah Tonic.


    Edit: If you want to get a better understanding for Spey lines and heads, read this article by Simon Gawesworth. It may refer to Rio lines and heads, but the concepts work for all makes and models.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Spey line for 11'-3" rod

    Double handed fishing and casting is a lot of fun. Its great that you have decided to join in.

    Following are some of my pointers. Sorry if this is not what you are looking for.

    1. a 11'3" rod is on the shorter side for a good starter rod to learn spey casting. if you are nymphing or already have the spey casting fundamentals down, you should be fine. But, if you are just trying to learn spey casting I would move up to a rod around 13' length. Shorter rods demand a very precise timing and casting stroke, so there is very little room for error.

    2. a 50+ feet rod would be too long for a switch/short spey style rod. A good caster might be able to make it work, but it is still a choir. Also, you would not be able to use this type of set up in tight spaces. Longer heads require bigger D loops. bigger D loops require a lots of space behind you.

    3. In my personal opinion 520 grain is a loot of grain to cast with a 11'3" rod.

    4. Would you mind sharing what is the make and model of the rod is. Also, does the manufacturer assign a grain window or WT designation?

    5. I find Rio's scandi shorts to be a good choice for some switch rods. it has some sort of front taper and casts well in tight spaces. I personally avoid skagit system. too heavy and lack any sense of elegance that spey casting is known for.

    6. Now, most of my comments are geared towards swung fly presentation. for nymphing, find the thinnest or lightest line that would load the rod and set it up as you would a long single handed rod.

    7. Almost no shooting head would do nymphing and swinging efficiently. Some would do the job well enough. But, if you want to get the most out of both disciplines, get a dedicated swing set up (running line + scandi head + polyleader) or a dedicated nymphing set up. Having two different spools set up with each of these set up would do the trick.

    8. I personally like the airflo lines because their coating is not made out of PVC and I find them to perform better over a longer period of time.

    Hope this is helpful. Keep asking questions.



  4. Default Re: Spey line for 11'-3" rod

    The rod is a rugged creek switch combo w/ 7/8wt rating (can't believe I left out the weight rating). Here's a link to a review:

    Rugged Creek Switch Rod Review | Line and Leader

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