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Gene Larson

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm 2+ years into this two-handed world and I've pretty much got two or three casts down well enough that I can get a fly out there to fish.  But, I continue to struggle with all the choices that are available, especially in the lines department.  95% of my fishing will be in Great Lakes tributaries.  Once every two or three years will I get out west to fish some really big water.  Here are some of the quandaries  I'm wondering about--

1.  Skagit/Scandi versus short belly/mid-belly, if I have a Skagit and a Scandi properly matched to my rod, why would I want short or mid-belly?  
2.  Converse and expanded question, if I have a short/mid-belly like a NextCast FF or WA 45, why would I want a Scandi line?  Or, if the NC is a 35, a Skagit?  

I'm looking forward to the time with the WA or FF70 lines will be a real possibility for me to use, right now my casting needs more work before they will become very useful.  I have one 55 that I work with to attempt to improve my ability with the longer heads, but...

3.  Outside of less stripping in cold weather, what are the real advantages of the longer-bellied lines?

4.  Finally, can someone describe how they use a Rage line and a Skagit on the same rod?  It seems to me these lines are a trade off, except for the heaviest heads.  

Lots of questions, but I'm not in an area where there are not a lot two-handed fisher folk to ask them of.  I get a lot a weird looks when I get out at my local park pond with a 13' rod and start practicing.

Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #2 
First I will state that in my opinion a 45' head is not a "short belly" not "mid belly".

As to your questions:

1. Less stripping

2. You don't need a scandi. Your 45' NC will be just fine. If you want to fish half a chicken and an anchor chain sinktip then I think a skagit head is the best delivery method.

3. Outside of less stripping in any weather there aren't any. 

4. A Rage line is nothing more then a floating skagit head with a fancy name. I would use a Rage head the same as I do a scandi head. The Rage head is just better at bucking the winds that are often found on big western rivers. If one wants to fish a sinktip of any substance the skagit head is always the best delivery vehicle in my opinion.

A couple of thoughts, there is a lot of dialog on scandi this or skagit that or long belly this or that. It ALL works. Many of us get mired down in the terminology and hype. If one likes fishing shorter heads and doesn't mind stripping then that is what they should use. If one wants to fish the longer belly lines then that is what they should do. It ALL works. Many talented steelheaders never fish anything but skagit heads, or scandi heads. There are also many talented steelheaders that always fish long heads. It ALL works. Pick your poison and keep casting.

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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
Jason Bates

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Reply with quote  #3 
  That sums things up pretty well, although I personally think that there is a bit more difference than just the amount of striping or the amount of weight that a line can deliver.  Aside from personal preference or style, there are also the physical conditions that play a huge factor in how enjoyable one line system will be to fish.  Just as examples, for me personally: while easy on the delivery side, Skagit heads can be pretty tough and clumsy to control the swing and presentation the way I like *sometimes*, and conversely, I find Scandi heads to be very limited for most of my winter applications.  I've also found that short/mid belly lines can be a PITA in a lot of situations, so pick your poison... or become a line junkie like a lot of us so you can fuss and fidget even more with your gear [rolleyes]    

Winds, overhanging trees, bushes/cliffs behind you, being knee deep in willows, and even the kinds of currents you're dealing with make a difference to me and some lines handle those challenges in a manner that is either harder/easier or more/less enjoyable depending on the angler and their temperament.  I've been known to beat my head against the wall, so to speak, trying to fish with a particular rod/line setup that is less than optimal for the conditions that I face.  I've done this out of both necessity/ desperation, lacking the proper gear, as well as out of hunger to learn and grow my bag of tricks and technique.  Some of those times the challenge factor was enjoyable, and others were just miserable days of tangles, lost flies, lost flylines, lost time, swims, etc.  

Still, as Poppy said... it does ALL work.  I can hardly wait for winter!
JB
Tim Rawlins

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Reply with quote  #4 
Excellent answers above and I agree with them and relate to them.  

For me personally it comes down to two things:  Payload and back cast room, which also includes trees above. The shorter the head the least amount of back cast room I require.  The heavier the payload (dead chicken and heavyish sink tips) the shorter thicker heads make it easier to cast sans stripping.

This isnt to say that longer lines and linespeed cant overcome heavy tips and flies but you do need enough room to form a bigger D loop and the extra linespeed does require extra effort, which equals more work, at least for me.   On these forums you always read posts from guys who cast heavy tips on longer lines but I'm willing to bet they are working pretty hard and have the room. I prefer effortless casting.  I therefore save my actual spey lines (read longer) for runs and water temperatures that dont require super heavy tips and flies, where I have plenty of backcast room.  There always seems to be some trade off no matter which poison we pick.  Hope this is helpful.
June Kim

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Reply with quote  #5 
This is a very good question that makes me think. Above answers are so good as well. I have some to relate to them.


1. different casting experience


2. if you want to use a lighter rod like switch rod, scandi or skagit will be your choice.


3. -versatility: can be used for all the species and in all seasons, and good choice for       multiple destinations
    -less stripping=more fishing and relax
    -easier to present the fly at the same target consistently
    -easier and considerably bigger mending, thereby longer fishing time
    -better at swinging thanks to longer head and more sense of unity with the line
    -no loop to loop connection
    -more distance can be covered, and consistently.
    -different casting experience

4. sorry, I haven't used Rage line yet.



June.


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Gary Kalinka

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Larson
I'm 2+ years into this two-handed world and I've pretty much got two or three casts down well enough that I can get a fly out there to fish.  
Lots of questions, but I'm not in an area where there are not a lot two-handed fisher folk to ask them of.  I get a lot a weird looks when I get out at my local park pond with a 13' rod and start practicing.



Hi Gene and et al;
I hear and understand.
I am willing to provide free casting instruction in August. Please pick a day on this forum. I can supply matching Nextcast lines for your rods and give casting instruction. Use this post to pick a day and time in Kalamazoo MI. We can do river or lake. Depending on conditions.
Gary

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Gary Kalinka
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Jim Ray

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Kalinka


Hi Gene and et al;
I hear and understand.
I am willing to provide free casting instruction in August. Please pick a day on this forum. I can supply matching Nextcast lines for your rods and give casting instruction. Use this post to pick a day and time in Kalamazoo MI. We can do river or lake. Depending on conditions.
Gary


Man, do I wish we had resources like those in evidence here available in Central VA!!

Jim

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Gene Larson

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Reply with quote  #8 
It is great and I'm happy to say this Saturday I'm taking Gary up on his offer.  I'm looking forward to it.  

Gene
Bruce Kruk

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Reply with quote  #9 
You will be in good hands Gene
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Gary Kalinka

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Reply with quote  #10 
All,
Looks like we have a date!
Saturday - August 8th.
11AM-3PM 
Merrill Park on the banks of the Kalamazoo River
Comstock, Michigan.

The format will be very informal.
This is YOUR day.
Bring your gear, questions and a positive attitude.
I want YOU to leave as a better caster with new skills.

Expect to wade.  The water will be fairly low. Normal visibility is 1-2'
You can wet wade or wear waders (remember this is Kalamazoo river below 2010 Enbridge oil spill)
The river bottom is firm - rock and gravel.
The park is river left, but it is easy to wade across to practice river right.
There is also parking across river.

While the original intention is about casting 2H rods.
This is really an open format about casting and fishing a swung fly with SH and 2H rods.

Also, I will have Nextcast lines in various lengths and weights available to try.
And one or two matched rods.

See you Saturday,
Gary




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Gary Kalinka
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Gene Larson

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Reply with quote  #11 
Big thanks to Gary for spending time with me today.  Answered some line questions I had and did a great diagnostic, teaching session with me on my cast.  Helped a lot and gave me pointers on the right things to work on.  Its people like Gary who make this sport so special, they are always willing, and able, to help out the newbie.  
Adam Senica

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Reply with quote  #12 
After some casting fun, Gary took to the oars with some of his local brews for lots great smallmouth action. Some good takes on the swing.

Thanks Gary for hosting a great day!
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