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Steak 06-06-2010 02:15 AM

How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Hi Folks!

I'm a fly fishing fanatic, and after a long time wanting to learn spey casting, I got myself a nice large arbor reel and a new st croix 'Legend Ultra' 14' 8/9wt at a steal!
Now, I need a line.

My situation: I live in North Idaho, fish here, east Washington, and northwest Montana. Bought this rig for the big waters (clearwater, Columbia, Snake). Usually colder water. Wide rivers. Steelhead and salmon.

I don't understand spey lines. Seems they are all kits with different tips, and all very pricey. What am I looking for? I've read about Skagit lines, Shooting heads, and understand the concept, but not the practice.

What line should I get that will enable me to learn, and enable me to catch fish for under $100? I don't need 5 separate tips, just a good line.

Planning on buying a DVD, rio modern spey casting, but still need recommends on line, why, and for what reason.

What is my best resource to learn about spey lines? Skagit? shooting head? Versi-tip? I'm confused....

Anyone have a link, or opinion, of how I can start out with the right line? I would hate to spend a lot of money on something that would not work for what I need, or pay for more than I require...



halo7b 06-06-2010 07:40 AM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Fly Lines, Fly Leaders, and Fly Fishing Accessories - Rio Mainstream® Spey.

Rio Mainstream line is a great starter line, comes with 3 tips, welded loop, and lists for just under your $100 price. I used this line for my first two handed stick and still recommend it for starting or as a general fishing line. taper is closest to their AFS head yet with a shorter running line. While I'm not a Pro-Spey caster by any way shape or form, I have been swinging flies for a few years now and am speaking from my own time on the water.

good luck and welcome to another addiction.

Ard 06-06-2010 10:42 AM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
"Moscapescador" is a member here who works in the tackle business and is also a two hand fly fisher. Last year when I was having the same confusion regarding line to rod relationships he was very patiant and through a series of PM (Privet Messages) he was able to help me to choose a line for my rod.

The transition from what one knows about single hand rod lines to the sometimes vague world of 'Spey' lines can be a challenge. What I know now is that a short head line is helpful when first learning and that after understanding the basic casts I am prepared to move to a more traditional long belly line. As for the proper weight in grains for your rod St Croix will be the best source for you to aim your questions. That is unless Moscapescador has the hands on knowledge with that rod and there is a good chance that he does.

You can find him by looking for his posts in the 'One Word' game and then send him a PM.


PS. As for price and additional tips; I have found that having a selection of tips is a very handy thing unless you are always going to be fishing in rather shallow water under the same conditions. I was able to buy a SA 550 gr short head system from a seller on the e bay for 49$. I find that I am using the Hi Density tip almost exclusively in the early season.

MoscaPescador 06-06-2010 04:50 PM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Headed out to do some afternoon/evening trout fishing. I will get on this tonight.


Steak 06-06-2010 11:06 PM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Thanks Mosca!

I would appreciate any advice or help you might have.

I don't know a single person who speycasts, so it's difficult to find answers.

St Croix, 14' 8/9 wt Legend Ultra

Large Arbor Reel.

Want quality, but can't afford top of the line.

Just general use. Mostly for Steelhead and Salmon, all freshwater.

MoscaPescador 06-07-2010 12:58 AM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Hi Steak,
If you are anywhere near Peck, Idaho, Poppy at the Red Shed Fly Shop is a valuable source. He can get you dialed in for your Spey needs.

Here are a couple of articles to read.
Understanding Spey Lines 2010 by Simon Gawesworth
Skagit Fly Lines by Eoin Fargrave

Your line choice is going to depend on the style you are going to fish. Watch the following video, ABC's of Spey Casting with Steve Rajeff, that was produced by Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters in San Francisco. Steve Rajeff describes the three major styles of Spey casting.

Most of the year, I fish Skagit style. I swing all sizes of flies deep for trout, steelhead, and American Shad. I also find it the easiest style to fish.

During the late summer into fall, I fish a hybrid style of fishing between traditional and Scandinavian using short headed lines (head around 53'). Do not get these lines mixed up with the shorter shooting head styles (Scandi and Skagit). When I use this style, I am either swinging traditional style steelhead flies or skating surface flies.

I have plenty for you to get started with. If you want to chat specifics, go ahead and continue on the thread. I'll follow up.


JoJer 06-21-2010 02:30 PM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Just perfect! I got on today because I got a Cabela's XSS for Father's day. I got a deal on a 14" TFO 9 wt, then couldn't afford to rig it! Now I need the same info as Steak: What's a good learner line for the money?

Ard 06-21-2010 02:54 PM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
MP will be the source for these questions because he is in the business. My experience is that unless you can find someone using the same rod as you and they are having good results with a specific line and weight, you gotta pay to play. My next line will probably be a long belly classic Spey. I am currently using a SA Short Head multi tip system but will be refining that a bit this year.


MoscaPescador 06-22-2010 04:07 AM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!

Originally Posted by JoJer (Post 99248)
Just perfect! I got on today because I got a Cabela's XSS for Father's day. I got a deal on a 14" TFO 9 wt, then couldn't afford to rig it! Now I need the same info as Steak: What's a good learner line for the money?

Wow. A 14' 9 weight. That is a big stick. Nowadays, most people are learning how to cast Scandinavian or Skagit style because they are the easiest styles of casting. With traditional style lines, you need to learn how to manage more line.

Please read the articles that I mentioned in response to Steak.

Here are a few lines.

RioSkagit600 or 650 GrainCan be bought in a kit with VersiTips

Ard uses a Scientific Anglers Skagit Multitip line. I think that he's played with it. He may have some thoughts on it.

RioAFS8/9Can be purchased as a one piece line or as a shooting head. A running line is necessary if you choose the shooting head version. Must use 15' Versileaders which can be bought separately or in a kit
AirfloScandinavian8/9This is sold as a shooting head, so a running line is necessary. 14' Polyleaders are recommended.


HuronRiverDan 06-22-2010 07:40 AM

Re: How to understand Spey Lines? Help!
Dennis, Great info, as always...The video clip explained the different types very well...


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