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About SSPey

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    steelhead, spey rods
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    N.E. then ... PNW now
  1. O-rings are cheap. Try it. I’ve not tried that, but a piece of tape works in a pinch.
  2. I know this rod first-hand (not that I’d ever troll herring for chinook salmon ... ). The Okuma SST herring rods are designed with a soft top half. This provides ample give and lets fish chew on bait on the troll, without being too quick to pull back. Very soft top half to strong butt and would be way too whippy for a two-hand overhead fly rod.
  3. OPST Lazar is not monocore. It is mono. Some kind of polymer, uncoated, monofilament. It is also a bit pricey. Less expensive alternatives, I recommend 40lb Stren Catfish orange or 40lb Berkeley Big Game in Solar Collector bright green. The color is important, these two specific colors are more limp and tangle less than the others. The key with any monofilament is to stretch it well before the first use. STrip off 40 to 50 feet, and put it in a bucket of warm water for one hour or maybe overnight. Then stretch it well. You can stretch without water, but once it gets wet it will really relax. If you don’t stretch before the first use, you are almost guaranteed to get a birds nest in your stripping guide.
  4. Airflo made their original skagit in 810 grains and both Airflo and Rio have current models up to 750 grains. Add 10-15’ of T-20 and it gets pretty heavy, real quick. Eat your Wheaties.
  5. I have a good many friends who are top comp casters, even flirted with it myself. Takes a lot of discipline and time, more than I could dedicate to distract from other things in life. But I do believe firmly that if a person took on a true comp caster as a mentor, spent the time practicing, learned all the intricacies, and then applied the best parts to surf overhead that it’d move things forward quite dramatically. These guys are often disparaged as “pond casters” rather than anglers, which is a shame and flat out ignorant. They know more real-world relevant technique that can help fishing than most people realize. I hope your efforts are rewarded, Mike.
  6. Good deal. Steve Godshall will make (for a very reasonable price) anything, including an integrated intermediate multi-tip line. I typically prefer swappable heads, but there are situations where an integrated multi-tip would come in handy.
  7. You might be missing really powerful fish. I have a bunch of Danielsson reels and from experience find that the max range drag in the old LW (same as current F3W) can’t stop stronger fish like tuna and big salmon on 15-20 pound test tippet, but works fine for most steelhead and stripers. The upgraded L5W has a true capable drag system, and now the H5D brings little to the party.
  8. There are times when it takes someone outside of North America to make this point and have it be heard. Otherwise it can just sound like a bunch of provincial ignorance. Thank you. This is key for a lot of winter steelhead fishing, where the trees are tight, the fish are not big enough to warrant heavy tackle, and heavy tips are used to fish around boulders and ledges. I can use a short 12’6” 6/7 spey rod, and with the skagit line, throw and control some pretty heavy stuff when needed. And Interesting you should mention Pacific salmon. I had an experience this summer in western Alaska fishing for king salmon, and we were doing very well catching them with skagit lines and T-14. We had a great spot. A very nice gentleman from Sweden, and a great scandi caster, was brought over to our spot, but couldn’t seem to hook any fish before full sink line would wrap around a root wad. A guide suggested that he borrow his skagit set up and try. The Swede resisted the skagit setup initially, but then relented. It felt weird to him, but he caught a salmon on his very first cast. In other places with less obstructions, the full sink line worked great. Different approaches makes sense in different places. 90% of fishing knowledge is local, and it is difficult to prescribe information for other people in other places.
  9. and more broadly ... one can do any type of cast with any type of line. But that's what's possible. In terms of practical, some types of casts are simply more efficient and natural when a line is short versus long, or when a rod is light versus deeply loaded, and when tips and flies are burly versus delicate. There are enough combinations of these factors to make lots of things possible. Marketing has simplified them into categories to help people get started, but devoted anglers more often consider what they're trying to accomplish and then get set-up to do it.
  10. This was the sole typo in my reply to your inquiry. I meant to write that I sometimes use touch-and-go casts with skagit lines, contrary to what should be done, because the line doesn't know the difference. That said, the "skagit" lines I'm using most are Nextcast Coastal and Zone heads, which are somewhat hybrid skagit-scandi, and do better than most skagits with touch and go casts. They give up a little payload (tip grain) carrying ability in return. I also don't much believe in the distinction between "sustained anchor" and "waterborn anchor" ... to me they are too similar, the laying on the water before the cast. When does a "waterborn" anchor become sustained? At exactly 1 second? Does it change if using full float vs full sink head? To me, the terminology distinction between "sustained" and "waterborn" is too imprecise to warrant a different name. I see either (1) touch-and-go casts, or (2) water anchored (sustained anchored) casts
  11. Important to emphasize that very short 2x ratios with ultra-short heads on very short rods works because short rods scribe a smaller arc of tip travel length. The short tip travel path helps prevent blown anchors. With longer rods, and a resulting longer tip travel length, a bigger ratio makes sense. My recommendation for 2.8x ratio presumed something like a typical all-purpose two-handed rod, 12.5 - 13.5’ long. I fish lots of different water, and the 11’ rods are solely for creeks, something of a niche among my preferred waters. As with any fly fishing, the first step is choosing the fly, then the line to deliver the fly in real conditions, and then the rod to make it all move. Then circle back to make sure the rod matches the quarry, and adjust as needed.
  12. Total line (head + tip) length at 2.8x rod length is a good starting point.
  13. Get that $30 SA head. I’d get 440 grain but some would suggest 400 grains. Either way. Or get both, try them, and sell the loser. Both will work with your current 150 grain tip. 440 + 150 = 590. You’ll be in the zone for learning and fishing.
  14. Realistic expectations and fair comparisons are needed. If a 9’ 9wt is the standard NE saltwater fly rod, throwing 9wt lines or 350-375 grain head, then a DH 11’ throwing 450 grains is very comparable. Comparable because two-hand rods are effectively shorter than specs due to their long grips, and because DH rods develop intrinsically less line speed (& casting inertia) than what’s capable with a good single-hand rod when double hauled. For me, an 11’ DH rod throwing 450 grains is for effective all-day lower-fatigue casting, at performance comparable to what a 9’ 9wt can do. And fun, too. However, expecting more isn’t realistic.
  15. Shooting heads are the most common line type used by west coast salmon anglers with single hand 9 and 10 wts, mostly sinking lines. If it was frustrating, we wouldn’t be doing it. In addition to the running line management tips above - which are crucial - you can use your stripping hand to make an “O” or “C” shape and guide the running line to the first stripper. It shouldn’t be needed all the time, but when the running line is misbehaving, it helps. I use mono, stretch it well. The mono costs $1-2 per 120’, and I always keep a backup length pre-looped on a small plastic spool in my tackle bag in case of disaster. I’ve needed it only once years ago, when I was impatient and didn’t prestretch my running line, and it was coiled and then knotted up terribly in the stripping guide. Lesson learned