Uncle Stu

Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

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Need some advice on best head length and weight for my 11' 6w Echo Classic switch rod. It's rated (on the rod) for 330-390 grain but I'm not sure if that applies to overhead casting or spey style. It has a moderate action and I use it to cast it overhead in the surf (California). I like Airflo sinking lines and I've been using their Sniper 8w with 30' head at 315gr. So far my 2 hand cast has been disappointing in distance when it looks good, and dismal when it falls apart, which happens often. Airflo does offer more compact heads on their other integrated lines (20-28') but they all seem to be floating, and I need to sink at about 3-6IPS. The Sniper is their only short-head line offered in 3IPS and 7IPS. It's expensive to keep trying new lines but I'm thinking of trying the 9w Sniper at 375 grains--any thoughts on this? Worth a try?

 

Should I try adding a short sinking head to the line I have? (In that case, might be nice to get a scale and weigh the head. More expense. But I do have some old sinking heads around here.)

 

Regarding my technique--  I'm having a problem with tailing loops when I use my bottom hand for leverage. When I slow down my cast, the loop opens up too wide. My solution has been to give it a sideways twist (just outside the proper plane) to keep the line from smacking into itself. Not ideal, and I'm sure it has a negative effect on my distance. 

 

 

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You can try look up your rod on Rio's website, there is a line selector for various rod manufacturers. Of course it recommends their lines - but it could help.

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33 mins ago, BillH said:

You can try look up your rod on Rio's website, there is a line selector for various rod manufacturers. Of course it recommends their lines - but it could help.

Tried it--cool. Came up with almost the same specs as I did in my post: 9w Outbound Short at 350gr. Thanks.

 

The head I'm using now is only 315gr, could be part of my problem. That, and the fact that I suck at casting a fly.

 

 

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Stu,

 

Call Rajeff Sports in Vancouver WA.

I sure they can answer your questions since they distribute both Echo rods and Airflo lines.

Good people to talk to and I've always found them very helpful.....

SF

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When you overhead cast 390gr line X distance and lengthen the cast using line shoot you "load" the rod less than when you Spey cast 390gr line X distance because water anchor waste cast energy more. But when you lift full length 390gr line to overhead back cast you "load" rod more than when Spey casting because line needs to straighten fully and higher in the air but when Spey casting line needs to come only about half the length and lower to the water.

 

Rod bend is a consequence of the casting distance. Line weight has interesting effect when "certain" line weight bends rod less than heavier or lighter line does.

 

Esa

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Tailing Loop can form when casting stroke is began using too upright rod and or too abruptly and/or when rod is stopped too early/high. Single hand casting when haul is finished too early there usually comes TL.

 

Esa

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Uncle

 

390grains is roughly an 11 wt single hand line rating. Your rod is a 6 wt spey so You might find a  9 or 10 wt single hand line works best. Think in terms of 280 to 300 grains .

 

I just could not get these light weight Two Hands rod to work on any beach.

 

It could be your cast or maybe it’s the gear.

 

 

After 12 years working this out I find rods that work well on a beach need to be able to boss easily 530 grains. If not pick up a fast single hand ten weight.

 

mike

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2 hours ago, Stonefish said:

Stu,

 

Call Rajeff Sports in Vancouver WA.

I sure they can answer your questions since they distribute both Echo rods and Airflo lines.

Good people to talk to and I've always found them very helpful.....

SF

I did that when I got the 6w rod a couple years ago and the 8w Sniper is what they recommended, for the sink rate, but more recently I noticed that this line falls well below the recommended grains listed on the rod. Now I wonder if that's because I'm using it for overhead rather than spey style. Will call them again, thanks.

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1 hour ago, Uncle Stu said:

I did that when I got the 6w rod a couple years ago and the 8w Sniper is what they recommended, for the sink rate, but more recently I noticed that this line falls well below the recommended grains listed on the rod. Now I wonder if that's because I'm using it for overhead rather than spey style. Will call them again, thanks.

 

Yes, to your second sentence.  The fact that the line they recommend falls below the rating (range) written on the rod is because of the difference in two hand overhead and two hand spey/skagit rating.  I find that two hand overhead use starts to improve at about 20% less weight than the midpoint of the spey rating on rods rated with a grain weight range.  So, I'd stick to a short head of around 300g or ~27.5ft of T-11 and a relatively thin (or mono) running line.  The idea would be to gain extra distance via the thin running line's lack of air resistance and less friction in the guides.  I am pretty sure there are CA coastal guys using T-11 and mono for your kind of rod.  Also, T-11 is cheap.  Airflo and Rio sell it at 30' lengths, trim to suit.

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As others have said, the grain window is for scandi/skagit cast (sustained anchor) and not over head.  I throw a 350 - 380 grain full sink with my 8wt 11' switch.   The key is to open up the stroke and minimize your false casting.  Shoot as much line as possible.  You might try looking at the auction site for cheap sinking lines.  There are lots available.  You may not be able to find a "short head" but the sinking lines I have are all 30' heads (or somewhere around that) with intermediate running lines (integrated).  If all goes well I can through the whole line but in reality 70' casts are somewhat easy to come by.  Stripping basket is mandatory.

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The setup the Killiefish recommends is not for beginners!  You will quickly learn to hate mono until you get everything else figured out.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I would suggest you to get a shooting head in to the full sinking density and customize, to later loop to loop connections to your favorite running line, it can be custom from the T-11,T-14, T-18 ...as a reference, using scandi rod/SHead ratio formula from 3.5 to 4.5 times rod length is what it works for me, try before any cut by playing overhead casting with the shooting head (over hang) in and out rod tip until you feel the right load in the blank, mark with a tape and compare the length with any line you already own and past your test on the rod ,also look around the cheap second hand market online for sinking lines, won’t hurt much if you cut to much, do your own try and error with the length and grains numbers until your like the casting sensations on the 11’ 6# Switch, 300 gr would be my ceiling for overhead casting only over a moderate action rod.


Nothing personal here please UStu. Hope it helps sharing my own path to reach Rome.


Tailing loops are the easiest part to fix on the cast. You most likely know already how to with a single hand fly rod. Here it’s not different once you find the hand that is in charge during the forward cast to target, (usually we know which one is it once the first tendon or muscle start to burn )
Before doing right, is important knowing the wrong.
I like to push to the max on few of the practice drills and at the same time Video tape yourself on slowmo setting with the IP. It helps me tremendously.

 

From the very first second we do the transition to the TH fly rods, the brain has not way to find the new clues to reach the foundation on how to balance the both hands without calling for the memory muscles he only is familiar with from our dominant casting hand from using any rod we cast with  in the pass, not only a SH fly rod.

Understanding not only the principals but also a must to know, a TH fly rod blank is a high end precision tool that helps to multiply and transfer energy by using the most efficient of all levers,  lever class 1, any minimal deviation in the system on the cast and there’s no mercy here, aspecting big screwing ups if we can’t find the balance that personally work best for our stile with both hands over these tools with such amazing levers that multiply tremendously the end results either are done right or wrong, they’ll show.


We need to be able to smoothly control and place the end of your line, leader and fly at will, at all times and as smooth as it can be, and that’s before we start to shooting any line.
Baby steps is my mantra, and roll casting is my best way to build a strong foundation balance. Everything is in the basic  roll cast, you master this cast you will be in the right path.

Tailing loops are 9 of 10 times caused by overpowering the system somewhere on any stages of the both back and forward casting strokes, we overpowered the system because is much easier with TH, again, because of the leverage class, for me, I immediately was looking for distance that some how can compensated the $$$ I spend, first thing is popping the shooting head out of the rod tip and go for it to only start feeling the burn and fatigue in the first 3 minutes of a awful and intense practice drill.

 

I remember few things I wrote on a paper to remind me when practice with TH.

-Start slow finish fast.
-Be 100% true about the 180 principal, so important knowing your back cast target must be on the same straight line path with the front target. Is a precision tool.
- Videotaping. Study your single hand  casting stroke, memorice how your casting hand is doing the ABCD stroke ,once you happy how the loops are looking with the SH fly rod. 
Should be close enough the same hand path should be also visible over the clip once we casting a TH only this time in coordination with the bottom and on a 50/50 over the power and stroke length as starting point.

 

Is something it won’t happen on a weekend specially if you work 40 hrs a week. Takes dedication to grasp how a fly rods likes to show their soul. 


Best 
Viete 

Edited by Vieteiro
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5 hours ago, qecfly said:

The setup the Killiefish recommends is not for beginners!  You will quickly learn to hate mono until you get everything else figured out.

Maybe not and I agree you need to have your basic technique sorted, but here are some other tips:  use 40lb Berkeley Big Game mono (cheap) or similar (Amnesia, flat mono); stretch the mono out well before each session; use a Belgian cast or oval cast - one backcast slightly sidearm, then firing position, and shoot.  Not that hard once you get used to it.  This is a 6wt rod and flexible (thin tip) so no need for a heavier running line.  If the running line slips, use a thick and wide rubber band on the rod handle to grip the line.  Can also find a running line with a 10' handling section but they are more $. 

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Mention of T11 etc. These sink very quickly.  Probably too quickly for many beaches.

 

T lines have no taper on them and don’t behave very well.

 

mike

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