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  1. #1

    Default single handed spey lines for short rods



    Hi, Everyone
    I hope that I'm posting this question in the right place!
    I'm a newbie to the spey casting world. I have tried a friend's set up, watched LOTS of videos, and made some preliminary attempts at the techniques. The video above by Trevor Covich (OPST) probably comes as close to what I'm looking for as any. If you read the comments below the video, one of the last respondents mentions the fact that some fly fishers are connecting commando heads and tips to the end of a regular WF floating line. I don't believe he received a response in regard to that possibility. How would that work; i.e. using a WF floating line as your running line for a commando setup? If I were to try that, should I remove the front taper of the WF line?

    I will be using a 4 wt. 8.5 ft rod on small rivers and small lakes. I want the versatility to cast smaller patterns, even dry flies, as well as larger streamers. Presently, I'm thinking of trying an OPST Skagit Commando head (175 grain) with short 5 ft. tips (one floating and one S2 sinking as a starter. I would appreciate any ideas. (Do the Commmando 175 grain heads come in 10-ft lengths as well as 12-ft?

    Thanks again. Tom

  2. #2

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    Great question. I am watching this also, and have little advice.

    The commando head has one length I believe. What you seem to wish to do is build your own spey/scagit line by using a lighter wf line as your running line. A bit of belly might help mending. It wont shoot as far because a wf line is heavier than a mono running line line Lazar.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    I've always used a standard WF line and for depth I developed my own technique and rigging. If you look at you tube for Streamer Fishing Techniques by Ard you'll find a video The program uses Spey rods and long leaders but I began the method in 1994 using a 9 foot Orvis PM-10 five weight and what is now known as single hand Spey casting. We plan to produce a second video when the ice goes out focusing on single hand rigging specs and casting. I'll be using a better title for the second video because when the first was made and posted I did not understand the importance of tags and key words.........

    Whether you fish smaller creeks or large rivers, single hand or 2 hand rod, I humbly suggest you take time to listen to what the guy is saying and demonstrating on the program. I wasn't trying to become famous, I was trying to help people understand how to fish streamers. Reasons were simple, people hire me to take them fishing but if they don't understand how to do it some would get skunked even in Alaska. After years of trying to teach someone in a one or 2 day time span I made the video which I was linking to clients in hope they would watch, listen , practice and then have better fishing both at home and when they arrived here.

    TThat's the best I can do at trying to help.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard View Post
    I've always used a standard WF line
    I haven't fished the single hand spey technique much, but I don't really see why it needs a specialized line. Seems like a standard WF ought to work nearly as well. Maybe a WF isn't quite as easy to shoot, but then again, for the few times you really need a spey cast to avoid obstacles behind you, it's also easier not to have to change reels and re-rig.

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    Quote Originally Posted by moucheur2003 View Post
    I haven't fished the single hand spey technique much, but I don't really see why it needs a specialized line. Seems like a standard WF ought to work nearly as well. Maybe a WF isn't quite as easy to shoot, but then again, for the few times you really need a spey cast to avoid obstacles behind you, it's also easier not to have to change reels and re-rig.
    When you are doing things right with a WF line you do not strip the line all the way in. I allow the fly to finish the arc / swing until it is down stream then do a snap T type cast with about 25 or more feet of line out the tip top. With a 25 foot load and a nine foot leader added to your rod length you don't have to shoot much line...

    All this 'Shooting' stuff has become such a large part of the language because people are using 10 to 20 foot heads and they must strip them in until they are inside the tip top and top guides. All that stripping is time that can be spent swinging the fly with the right line. The people who will argue what I just said may be selling short shooting heads or have bought into them and so will defend them as being both the way and the means...

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  9. #6

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    Thank you, Ard. I watched and pondered your video and will certainly use (and practice) these techniques. Tom

  10. #7

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    That video is off a bit. I don't know why even guys in the know still talk about "spey casting" when OPST lines are quite different skagit system with wholly different techniques! It creates confusion for the entry level nuBs. Also, the upstream casts referred to in the video are just line placement, rod loading, pre-casts -- there is no actual upstream fly delivery.

    WF lines cannot do what OPST lines do. The specialized skagit lines allow use of heavier flies and sink tips as well as keeping you out of trouble in tight back cast situations. Over bigger water they also give you way more reach. Standard WF lines will roll cast OK and shoot some line IF you get the timing right. But they can't do it with large flies and sink tips and reach out very far. You'd also be ducking a lot over the course of a fishing day and probably ding/weaken your rod to boot in such uses.

    ddb

  11. #8

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    I fished with a standard WF line, doing single hand spey type casts for years, and it did a pretty good job, especially for dries and light indicator setups. Now I fish both a Rio single hand spey line and a 175 grain OPST commando (smooth) on my 4 weight (not at he same time). My old WF lines are packed away and probably won't ever come out again.
    The commando is an awesome streamer line and is great with heavy flies and in tight casting quarters, but I've found it to be a poor dry fly and nymphing line. Even a 10 foot floating tip and a tapered running line to help in mending don't help that much because the head is too heavy to mend effectively. It's a great line, but it has limitations that are good to know going in.

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  13. #9

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    I've only used mono type running lines with Commando heads. I strongly prefer the OPST Lazar line. But I don't see why you couldn't chop the taper off of a WF line, tie in a loop and use it. You actually have me thinking now. That set up might resist twisting more than a straight mono system (maybe not?).

    I think I have some straight taper Euro nymph line that is seldom used that might become a sacrificial lamb.

  14. #10

    Default Re: single handed spey lines for short rods

    I used the running line from an old WF line on my spey rod for years, and it works just fine. I prefer coated running line over mono, you get less distance, but I feel my casts turn over better. Try that EN line, it'll work, and you might like it.
    Coated running line will slow, but won't stop, line twist. I don't get line twist, but I've always believed that's because I change up what casts I'm doing all the time, not because I use coated running line. I also have very seldom used the snap-T. That cast is the one many guys use a lot of the time, but it creates a lot of twist. When there's a wind blowing ustream and you need a cast anchored off your ustream side I prefer the perry poke or the single spey, although the single spey and skagit don't always go together go together very well.

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