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AJ Morris

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Reply with quote  #1 
Seems as though I see fewer folks every season who use it. Just curious as to the wherefores and whys.
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Bruce Kruk

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hardest cast to learn, but definitely the Key cast for any of the other casts to go really well.
Been trying to learn it for the past 20yrs and I hit one right enough every once and a while for me not to give up on it [crazy]

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Bruce Kruk
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Gary Carlson

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Reply with quote  #3 
I think that part of the absence of the single spey in the two handed casting world is because of the skagit cast. The skagit is easier to learn since it is closer to a spin casting stroke than a touch and go cast. The skagit is also very functional in the PNW for our steelhead pursuits so gets a predominant use, especially to the newcomers to the sport. It seems to be easier to learn, even with all of the additions of snaps, cack handed, pokes and slack producing contortions. The need for accurate timing and tempo is less critical than touch and go. 

The skagit setup however can be used in touch and go casting and using it for a single spey cast can be very efficient and a thing of beauty once learned. I'm not knocking skagit, just pointing out the differences in style and substance of the different casting techniques and their influence on usage. 

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Rick Jorgensen

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have really been working on the single the last couple of years -  I am pretty much a short head caster now but it actually works quite well with a skagit set up, especially if on the lighter grain side for the rod. but actually works OK when casting pretty heavy tips and relatively bulky flies.
cris caldwell

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Reply with quote  #5 
First things first I am novice as novice gets that being said my first two handed set up was a 14' bamboo Sharpes 10 wt. with an Orvis dt12f trout fly lines the only two cast I could employ were the single and double spey at 50' to 60' and those were Manley going through the motions and just letting the rod load and unload and I wish I had it back (I sold it) so IMHO could a rod designed for modern casting styles be less forgiving for the older ?
AJ Morris

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Reply with quote  #6 
A well-designed rod can perform any cast and throw any type of line. Obviously, certain lines complement some rods better than others, but that has to do more with taper design within a particular genre of lines. Skagit casting, and underhand casting with scandis are both "modern" and they're diametric opposites in terms of casting stroke and power application.

I get that for heavy tips and/or weighted flies, there might be better options than the single, but what about floating scandi's or short and mid-belly lines? I guess I'm just curious if for whatever reason, people feel unjustifiably intimidated at the idea of single speys, or if there is something deeper going on and they just don't want to learn.


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Gary Carlson

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A general rule in rod design involves the stiffness or softness of the bending of the rod. These two variables can be applied at different points along the length of the rod blank. It seems that a popular style of constructing the rod by many manufacturers has been to make the tip sections, the weaker section since it's thinner, stiffer to make the rod "stronger." This is fine for longer casts and quicker casts but the downside is that being quicker leaves less room for accuracy and more resultant error in the cast. The recent reintroduction of glass rods is a contrast since the are more flexible and slower but still very powerful. One should really try rods out before purchase so you can match the rod action to your style or purpose. 
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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #8 
The single spey cast will never die!
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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Rolf Evenson

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yeah, it'll never die because there will always be a few keeping it alive because it is the most efficient spey cast.  It's more difficult to learn because it resists being broken down into parts.  It starts with a lift and some carefully practiced rod speed and fly placement adjustments and is then delivered. It's almost like a one piece cast though the delivery can certainly be considered a separate part.  Our minds like to break things down into understandable pieces, separate parts are easier to connect, longer more complicated parts are resisted.  A good way to practice the single spey while fishing it to fall back on the carl perry poke whenever your setup is less than satisfactory.  Every now and again things will feel right and you'll deliver a good single spey.
JonathanHicks

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Reply with quote  #10 
A lot depends on the rivers being fished, small rivers with overgrown banks where depth of presentation is required are what Sgagit lines & techniques are/ were purpose designed for.

Conversely big wide rivers requiring long casts & control of the fly, at range, particularly with floating lines, are best addressed with a long rod & a full line - and the Single Spey is the best & most efficient cast to use with these as, not only does it generally give the greatest distance of any of the Spey casts, but it also involves less movements & effort which results in less fatigue at the end of a long day with a big rod & long line.

So no, it isn't going to die any time soon, but it may become more restricted to the type of waters which require the appropriate tackle & techniques - and this will be a shame as, once mastered, it forms the basis of good technique & makes all the others much easier to learn.

Regards, Jon.
Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #11 
H'mmm, I thought "spey casting" was originally developed on rivers that had overgrowen banks. I will grant it that on smaller waters smaller tackle is needed but that tackle can still be used to do a single spey.
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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
JonathanHicks

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Reply with quote  #12 
I agree entirely, but if you have a narrow river with deep & fast pot like pools where you need to get deep in early or late season fishing then for short range fishing a skagit head & tips will do it more easily than a full line will - as the fast tip gives the depth initially & the floating or float/intermediate body will fish it across the flow without it continuing to sink in the way a full fast sinker would & then snag up.

The single Spey with a long line still requires some clearance behind to form the loop, & for distance work enough clearance to form an extended V loop. You can use a Falkus style contrived loop if there is insufficient room to form this, but it doesn't give the same range that can be achieved with a single Spey & sufficient room for a good V loop.

Where there is enough room to belt it right across the flow beyond the anticipated taking lies then this is where the full sinker fishes well as it has opportunity to get down to fishing depth before reaching the lies, the stronger current in the middle holds it up, & as it comes out of the full flow on the near bank you start gently hand-lining back to simulate the movement of a prey fish as it reaches quieter water & makes upstream progress (also avoiding the line sinking & hanging up on the bottom) - this also retrieves the extra running line shot on the cast & prepares everything for the next cast.

The single Spey was indeed developed for the wooded & awkward banks of the river Spey, but it's a big river for most of its' length requiring fairly long range casting & control of the fly at range. Consequently the tackle & techniques don't translate as easily to small rivers with little pot like pools & fast flows. They can be used, but Skagit tackle & methods are better suited here just as the single Spey cast & a big rod/ full line are better on wider rivers with more regular flows - the conditions that they were developed for.

So, the single Spey cast will remain amongst those fishing suitable rivers; but others who fish little enclosed rivers, particularly when depth of presentation is required, will probably select Skagit methods & tackle & I suspect that there maybe more who fall into the latter category than the former?

Regards, Jon.
Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #13 
And what did we do before we had skagit heads? Surely we didn't forgo fishing smaller narrow waters with deep pools and only fished large wide rivers.

 

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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
JonathanHicks

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Reply with quote  #14 
Oh it can be done with a Double Taper & a single Spey, but this is more effort & human nature being what it is people will look for the easiest option.

I presume that most new entrants to fishing a double handed rod just want to get fishing effectively asap. For this Skagit techniques are great - a Gillie on the Tweed told me that with a Skagit outfit & water-borne cast he could get someone who had never cast a double hander before casting sufficiently well that they were covering fish within 15-30 minutes. That isn't the case with a single Spey as it takes a lot longer (well it certainly took me a longer anyway).

I still prefer the single Spey with full lines & scandi heads, & use it with a light rated Skagit & tips cast as a multi-tip scandi head too, but it does need instinctive "feel" that only comes after a lot of practice, whereas a water-borne cast is more simply broken down into separate phases & so easier to learn (I won't say "master" as mastery of any cast takes a lot of practice, but it is much easier to learn to manage an adequate cast than with a single Spey).

To me that is why many anglers in recent years haven't learned to Spey cast in the traditional way & why Skagit methods & tackle have proved so popular. I do sense something of a ground swell amongst many who have only used Skagit style to try full lines & classic Spey casts & find this encouraging, hopefully they will spread the word & the Single speycast will have a resurgence.

Regards, Jon.
Brian Colin

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Reply with quote  #15 
It really is a case of horses for courses.   What is exceptionally annoying is to see people - especially in front of you - attempting fancy casts with short heads on a big wide river such as is most of the Tweed.   They rip the water surface and lift off curtains of water.   On mid sized and wide water the single spey is all that is needed.  It - should - create the lest disturbance and if you (like me) cannot fish with either hand on top, you then need to add the double spey.

But for the guy who can really master the full range of available casts and lines it really matters little.   For those who can't - use a 9'-10' sh 9/10 rod with a fast sink line and overhead cast when on open small deep rivers. 

The overhead cast has undeservedly fallen into disuse.  On our atlantic salmon rivers it was the go-to cast for over 100 years...until the internet came along and the 'spey' line made its entrance.
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