Proof 2/3 Trout Spey Line Recommendations

motts

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Hey guys - after fishing streamers with the switch rod I built my wife this fall and loving it, I built myself one of the Proof 2/3 Trout Speys for swinging soft hackles/smallish speys in the spring/summer. I've had it out two times now just to play with it, but haven't been able to dial in the line/leader equation, so I was wondering if anyone else has this rod and can share what worked for them.

I using a 180gr Rage with both a 15' leader and 10' polyleader + tippet so far, as well as a cut down and welded old Rio Grand 5wt head plus leader. The rage plus leader left me mostly underwhelmed as it didn't seem to really load the rod up as well as I hoped, and casting distance suffered. If I timed everything properly and really focused on the bottom hand being in charge, I had casts in the 65' range, but they were not consistent and I was blowing a lot of anchors. I only tried a type 3 polyleader on it, which felt like too much for the rod to handle on the lift (just dead, couldn't really get the fly and tip up in the water column without really being aggressive on the lift), but it might be different with a floating or intermediate poly. The welded Rio Grand with leader felt like it was way too light (I really only put it together becasue I was getting rid of the line anyway).

I'm going to get some shorter polyleaders to try and will probably pick up a 210 rage. I'm also looking to get a 210-225gr skagit head to play around with and make some tips out of some other old lines I have laying around that aren't being used. The grain window for this rod is 150-220. I was trying a bunch of different casts to see what worked best (snap-t, double spey, single spey, snake roll), but nothing really felt "right" or gave me a starting point to make changes with purpose or direction. The snap-t was probably most consistent, followed by the snake roll. Flies were all around size 10, mostly unweighted, only a small beadhead if they were weighted.

Does anybody have any other combo they can recommend?

Thanks.
 

huronfly

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You mention hitting good casts every once in a while, so I think it is a matter of casting technique. I experience this often when I switch from short heads like skagit to a mid belly. It is much harder to get the timing down while casting with a longer head. Many people find the rage a bit long for an 11' rod, and I prefer it on my rods over 12' as well. For ease of learning, a lot of people recommend the 3:1, or 2.5:1 ratio. This means your line(including tip and leader) will be no longer than 3x length of the rod. As you have it set up right now you are closer to a 4:1 ratio. The fact that you mention the type 3 tip is difficult to lift is another sign that the line is probably a touch long for your setup.

If you roll cast downstream before you start your cast you will probably have much more consistent casting, but that's a pain in the arse too so I try to use a head short enough that the roll cast is not necessary.

Are you using trout polyleaders or the salmon/steelhead? The salmon/steelhead polys are built on heavier mono and wouldn't turn over as easily as the trout versions.
 

motts

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You mention hitting good casts every once in a while, so I think it is a matter of casting technique. I experience this often when I switch from short heads like skagit to a mid belly. It is much harder to get the timing down while casting with a longer head. Many people find the rage a bit long for an 11' rod, and I prefer it on my rods over 12' as well. For ease of learning, a lot of people recommend the 3:1, or 2.5:1 ratio. This means your line(including tip and leader) will be no longer than 3x length of the rod. As you have it set up right now you are closer to a 4:1 ratio. The fact that you mention the type 3 tip is difficult to lift is another sign that the line is probably a touch long for your setup.

If you roll cast downstream before you start your cast you will probably have much more consistent casting, but that's a pain in the arse too so I try to use a head short enough that the roll cast is not necessary.

Are you using trout polyleaders or the salmon/steelhead? The salmon/steelhead polys are built on heavier mono and wouldn't turn over as easily as the trout versions.
There's no doubt my technique played a part in it as I'm far from an expert in the two-hand game, but it seemed like a lot more work than it should have been. I also agree with your thought that the head might be a little long, and I'm not against cutting it down a little if that will help solve the problem. I worry the 180 will be too light though if I chop 5 or 6 feet off it, so I'll have to look at either the 210 or another slightly shorter scandi head. I also think that's why it performed better with the tapered leader than it did with the polyleader and tippet.

The downstream roll cast was often necessary when using the polyleader. They're the salmon/steelhead polyleaders (24lb); I was going to order the shorter ones in the trout version.
 

huronfly

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I would try other things before chopping the head as you are already in the lower range of your grain recommendations, the turnover would likely improve, but you would even less rod load than what you are currently using. The thin tip of the rage may not have the grains/ft to turnover those poly's like the heavier rage's do. I would either give in to a skagit type head and continue with the salmon/steelhead polys - this is what I use with my trout spey(200 grain skagit), or go to the lighter polys and stick with your 180 rage. Be careful with the scandi though, they don't turnover poly's near as good as the rage does so I think that may be a step backwards.
 

motts

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Thanks! I think that's what I'm leaning towards doing first - something 200ish grains in a skagit head plus the lighter poly's so I can play around with both. I don't need the scandi to fish it successfully, but I thought it would be fun to play around with. Might not be worth it at this low end of the spectrum though. I'm already considering a blank from Meiser, and I'm sure they have plenty of line pairings they can recommend so it might be a better fit for that project instead.
 

LOC

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I looked at that kit myself. Seemed like a fun way to get into Trout Spey at the time.

Lines, I would go more towards shortening the head and not the polyleader.
From what I read that Rage head is used more often with slightly longer slightly heavier rods then a Trout Spey but I'm sure if you are well experienced two handed caster you could make it work.

I have several different lines for my Trout Spey rods and to keep it consistent I kept the same 11' polyleader on all the different Scandi lines I tried.
The shorter the head the easier it was to cast. The SA Scandi Lite was the most user friendly @ 23' with a 11' 30 grain poly leader.
A couple of feet can make a significant difference on how a line will cast.

I have a 10'6" 3/4 Trout spey for reference using the 270 SA Scandi Lite and that is money on this rod.
The Rio 265 Trout Spey is also 23' feet but it has a longer front taper. In the beginning this line was harder to cast because of difference in front taper length but once I dialed it in it's also a nice casting line on this rod.

To put things into context, I also bought a Airflow Comapct Scandi @ 30' and in the beginning I was convinced the length was too much line for my rod because of how much I struggled with it. Now it's my favorite line if the (conditions are right) because my technique has caught up.

So my best guess is it's a combo of finding the right line and the right technique till you're butter...
 
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MCHammer

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If you're blowing anchors, I don't think shorter polyleaders will help. They will probably make the anchor-blowing worse. A good rule of thumb for Scandi leaders is to have 1 1/2 times the rod length in polyleader and tippet. So, with a 10' polyleader on an 11' rod, you would want about 6 1/2' of tippet. I blew anchors for years before someone clued me in on this. I would start there before buying a different line.
 

dean_mt

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I built up the same blank last year but haven't even cast it yet. It's definitely a summer rod for me, long evening light waning into dusk, caddisflies popping, and trout rising all around... Snap out of it!

Sorry, I was getting carried away. I'll be curious to learn what works for you on this rod. I picked up a 240gr Rage on a classified because it was cheap, sounds like maybe not the ticket. I thought that Matt told me the grain window was 150-250. Anyway... I hope you get if figured out.
 

motts

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I built up the same blank last year but haven't even cast it yet. It's definitely a summer rod for me, long evening light waning into dusk, caddisflies popping, and trout rising all around... Snap out of it!

Sorry, I was getting carried away. I'll be curious to learn what works for you on this rod. I picked up a 240gr Rage on a classified because it was cheap, sounds like maybe not the ticket. I thought that Matt told me the grain window was 150-250. Anyway... I hope you get if figured out.
When I emailed Matt, he told me the grain window is 150-225, and I think that feels like it should be correct from the short amount of time I played with it before everything froze back up. I think 240 will be too heavy, but you never know until you give it a shot. I picked up another head, a 200gr Rio Skagit Max Short (17') that was on sale for next to nothing to try as well. I'll update the thread with my findings after I get to use everything a little more and figure out what works best for me.
 
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