Uncle Stu

Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

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Good discussion and good to know about the grain weights for overhead casting--ie, less than for spey--and it seems like I'm close at 315gr right now. Just for background--I've been using this rig for a couple years now and I've caught many salmon, perch, stripers, and trout on this rod. And yes, I use a stripping basket in the surf. The problem must lie in my casting. Too many casts are failing on me, and the good ones don't go far enough. 

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Re: T-11 etc.... May sink faster, but this is an advantage on sandy beaches where fish are feeding mostly on the bottom.  That's typical in surf perch country.  The lack of taper is a valid issue.  Can find double density and even triple density sinking lines and heads now.  But the cheapest option to determine the appropriate grain weight before you buy an expensive line is to cut down a length of T material (say from 30' or 35') and dial the rod in first.  Then you can use that grain weight and length to look for other lines/heads that are a match.

 

It is also true that if one's casting technique isn't working it can result in failure no matter what lines/weights etc... So best to get that taken care of first.  The 315 grain line is likely close enough.  Can keep a couple of feet inside the guides to see if a lighter load works better.

Edited by Killiefish

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I am a TH novice, but recently had some help (Tim O’Rourke & Paul from River Bay Outfitters) at the Montauk Castober Fest on my new 13' Fenwick, which says it’s rated as a 7/8 wt. Luckily I had a Talon 33 yd DTF 12, which I had cut in half - so putting on backing (Paul just eyeballed it) & 115' of 35# Rio Slickshooter & borrowing a 10' Skagit MOW tip, got it going quite well, at least for these guru guys.

 

Their advice was to take another 10' off the DFT 12, which I’ve done and will put on a Rio Heavy MOW 10 FT T-14. We’ll see how it does, when we get this big blow in the next couple of days ...

BTW - the Talon 12 wt line was less than the Rio @ ~$25.

 

 

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In an "old" (May 2007) post on another site, Steve Rajeff discussed two-handed overhead casting and said that (as Killiefish pointed out)TH rods cast easier overhead with a head of  about 20% less grain weight than that of the head which works well with that rod for spey casting. He also added that "Lenght of head that times well in overhead casting seems like 3 to 3 1/2 rod lenght". 

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23 mins ago, Suave said:

In an "old" (May 2007) post on another site, Steve Rajeff discussed two-handed overhead casting and said that (as Killiefish pointed out)TH rods cast easier overhead with a head of  about 20% less grain weight than that of the head which works well with that rod for spey casting. He also added that "Lenght of head that times well in overhead casting seems like 3 to 3 1/2 rod lenght". 

Ok going to venture onto dangerous ground here for obvious reasons.

When fishing sink tip or full sink lines and especially in rolling  surf we need to get most of the head out of the water. A simple roll cast or even two or three of them won’t lift a full head out from underneath the ocean. We need to use a vertical lift of the rod to get all but a few feet of the very end of the fly line off the surface. Even with a 13 foot long rod and a 35 feet long head it will be necessary to retrieve some of the head inside the rods guides to accomplish this.

A floating line it is possible to lift more line into the air and leave more of it on the surface. Sunk lines not so easy.

Three times rod length even  can be pushing it and especially for new guys and guys who do not get help with their casting from day one. Most TH guys I see persist in trying to unplug their lines by means of a roll cast and even then some of these rolls are tilted well away from the vertical.

When I watched the world Comps the Casters in the OH events used 15 ‘ rods and as the casting courts are arranged as far  as possible to have a tail wind long heads are an advantage. If the tail  wind is very strong then a shorter head maybe used. The guys have to make a call. Go for broke or go safe and get a cast  on the board. These guys are so clued up with lines it is just amazing and very impressive. Also they cast from an elevated position unlike a Fisher stood on a beach or worse wading waist deep or even more.

We have to work all the head outside the tip guide to our overhand point to get a long distance cast way. Fishing casts we want to reduce any false casting to a minimum to achieve this if we are to avoid fatigue and other related issues.

In competition casting the cast has to be set up perfectly and until it is it won’t be completed from what I observed. Physics of course are the same the  environment  means we have to adapt. 

At the other end of the scale and this is on a personal note I do not like short heads. They dump. For calibration 13 to 14 foot TH rods I like 33 to 35 ‘ heads for OH casting. Better Casters and taller Casters may  prefer longer heads .

I am talking fishing  conditions and water. 

Grass is not a good medium for finding your own preferred head length.

Such a pity Airflow stopped making their TH Beach Line. It works well even though it has running line to head junction  issues and the heads on some don't quite make 35 feet.

Once you get over 500 grains wf profile lines and float to varies sink speeds are not available. You need to cut and splice DT Lines Or trim skandi Lines.

So far I have not found a skagit floating  head and a sinking tip section that casts well into a head wind. Others may have done so.

Hope this helps.

 

Mike

 

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Good stuff. Airflo also makes a Custom Cut trim-to-fit Sniper line that starts with 30' of T14 at 490gr. Might be a good option for finding the sweet spot on a rod like mine, with the advantages of an integrated line. But if one trimmed it down to 315gr (what I use now) that would be a damn short head. 

 

BTW Mike--casting into the wind is not an issue for me. I'm able to fish before noon, before the wind kicks up. Afternoons around here have wind and the added headache of staring right into the sun as it sets. Morning fog often keeps the beach dark and still, which the fish seem to like. 

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Uncle Stu

 

Your conditions are just ideal for light rods. Fantastic . I am just used to being battered on the N E. Although blue bird days and nights happen at times. It is all magical.

 

As always its horses for courses. You will get it sorted. 

 

Cheers

 

Mike

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44 mins ago, Uncle Stu said:

Good stuff. Airflo also makes a Custom Cut trim-to-fit Sniper line that starts with 30' of T14 at 490gr. Might be a good option for finding the sweet spot on a rod like mine, with the advantages of an integrated line. But if one trimmed it down to 315gr (what I use now) that would be a damn short head. 

 

BTW Mike--casting into the wind is not an issue for me. I'm able to fish before noon, before the wind kicks up. Afternoons around here have wind and the added headache of staring right into the sun as it sets. Morning fog often keeps the beach dark and still, which the fish seem to like. 

T-14 is too heavy to use for this experiment.   Better off getting a length of T-11 (start with ~30ft).  That's initially 330g.  Could be fine as is or else cut it down by a few inches each time, test cast  at shorter lengts.  I know for a fact that a 27' to 28' head of 350g can cast well on an 11' switch rod rated as a 7/8wt.  Your Echo is a 6/7 in my estimation.  All Echo rods are slightly more powerful than their normal rating.  But YMMV.  Won't cost you much to try it.  A 35' head suitable for a 13' to 15' rod is too long for an 11' rod, IMO. 

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Killie 

 

That would be my estimation to head wise for an 11 footer.

 

Ideal  length I can’t say definitively. But Guessing around 30 feet or even a few feet less.

 

One day It is my intention to work on a design for an 11 footer in spite of my inbuilt prejudice. :howdy:

 

Thats if Brexit does not kill our economy stone dead.

 

mikey. O

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I second the idea of 30ft of t-11 and a shooting line. If you don’t want to use mono, (40# big game works well for this) I have  had good success buying a cheap wf3f line, reverse it and out a loop on the thin end. Make that a running line. 
 

if you have trout lines around, almost anything from a 6 wt or lower will have a nice floating section on the back end.   I’ve used this a number of times with good success, and it’s a much better deal than the 50 plus dollars they want for a floating shooting line. 
 

start w 30 ft and lop a foot at a time off, I agree that 27-28 ft will likely be the sweet spot and still cast well on a 11 ft rod.   
 

Don’t discount the idea of a casting lesson. After a couple years trying to cast my skagit rig I took a class this weekend. It took 20 minutes to figure out what I was doing wrong, and it wasn’t a big change, but it made a HUGE difference.  

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Real good ideas, thanks yall. Especially the casting lessons. And I have plenty of old lines here to experiment with, and some water to practice on just two blocks away. Will update later.

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