Steelhead spey line question?

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port9980

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This is a question for those who know something about spey fishing for steelhead.

What is a good line set up for a 7-8 weight 12.5 ft rod that I would be using in rivers such as the North Santiam, or Sandy?

I have been looking at the RIO AFS, with a slickshooter running line behind it, then extra backing behind that. As far as versatility goes, from what I have read this allows me to add versatips to the end, and fish various depths. I plan on swinging medium sized flies, etc.

I am a newby to two handed steelheading, and do not want to completely break the bank. Do the other options not require a running line behind them?

Thank you for any help provided!
 
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jimmy

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spey lines are all spendy. . . and are all a little different. .
I would reccomend you. . .
OH NO, YOU JUST MISSED THE 'SPEY CLAVE' (Sandy River Spey Clave)

would of been the perfect chance to get your info. . .

anyway, I think your best bet is to talk to someone at Bachman's shop in welches.
( I'm not affialiated with them at all, I know they are the sandy river local experts tho )
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches OR 97067 -- MerchantCircle.com

good luck, thought I'd throw you the best advise I could, dont spend a bundle till you know it's what you want, and will work best for your ability/technique.
 
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port9980

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Thanks!

Thanks!

Thanks Jimmy, much appreciated!
 
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troutramp

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go to the rio lines website and look up there technical page, the have recomendations for practically every rod made. ( commercially)
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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The folks at the fly shop in welches would be able to help you out for sure. I was just up there today geting some new sink tips made up for tomorrow. I have a similar rod to what you mention. I use an Airflo compact skagit 540 grain. It has worked well for me along with a T-11 12' sink tip. I used to use the Rio Windcutter line but I like the skagit much better. Eggs is quite right about Ninja knowing his lines. He is good with numbers. His only problem is that he works too hard and can't skip work to go drift the Sandy with Eggs and I tomorrow!:lol: If you do make it to Welches to the shop, you will be in good hands! Almost forgot you will need a runing with the skagit lines. They are short and compact and meant to give you distance, the running line lets you fish.
 
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port9980

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You guys are awesome! Thanks a lot!
 
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ninja2010

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port, what kind of casting do you do? touch and go or sustained anchor?

if you're new to casting a 2-hander, the skagit lines are the easiest to learn on. that's because timing is not as critical to pull off a good cast. all skagit casts employ a sustained anchor method, so you have time to stop, take a breath, and then set up and go. and it's made to cast dead chickens with heavy sink tips, and of course, a piece of cake to throw light summer flies, if you loop on a floating tip and a long leader.

the afs you mentioned is a longer, earlier version of the skagit line - sort of. it's got a longer front taper than a skagit line and therefore has a bit more finesse than a skagit.

but if you prefer the touch and go type of casts, then mid/long belly lines and scandi are the lines you'd want. and these are typically better for smaller to medium sized flies. timing is critical on such casts, because if you're too fast, you'll blow the anchor. too slow and the line sticks and kills your cast.

if you're fishing sandy and santiam, you'll most likely want to be able to swing weighted flies in the winter, so i would recommend a skagit line. getting the right weight (in grains) is vital to balance right with your rod. so is the length. for a 12 1/2' rod, airflo's skagit short is perfect. i've used rio's lines, but much prefer airflo as they're more durable and sweeter to cast.

hope i didn't throw too much out...
 
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port9980

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Hey Ninja,

Thanks for the info. I talked to the people at the FlyShop in Welches and they directed me towards an Airflo Scandi compact 7/8 wt 480 grain, and will just need to eventually procure some various tips (floating, moderate sink, heavy sink) and I should be good according to them. Just gotta find somewhere with some decent deals. Any helpful tips there?

I appreciate all the input from everyone, it has been very helpful, you are all awesome!

-port
 
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ninja2010

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for scandi lines, get the 15' tapered polyleaders (airflo) or versileaders (rio) for tips. they'll turn over small/medium flies very nicely. you'll need to make sure that the line + tip = 3.5x - 4x rod length. the scandi compact should be about 35' + 15' tip = 50'. that's 4x your rod length.

for a floating tip, add a rod length of straight mono leader, with type 6 (6 inch per second sinkrate) or type 8 (8ips sinkrate) use a shorter leader (2'-5')
 
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taofishdude

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check out ebay for deals on the old style versi tip windcutters. they have an extra floating section that can be removed to make the head shorter. with the versi tips you get floating, intermediate, medium and fast sink tips. Its a pretty good way to get you started, without going all out on a running line and 5 different heads. Im also a spey noob, but I put a 7/8/9 windcutter (525 gr) on my 13' 7 wt, as per the manufacturers recommendations and it seems to perform well. Compare the head length on the scandi to the skagit style or windcutter lines. Shorter heads make it easier to turn over, from all i've read noobs should stay away from the longer (>65 ft) heads until they get it down.
 
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port9980

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for scandi lines, get the 15' tapered polyleaders (airflo) or versileaders (rio) for tips. they'll turn over small/medium flies very nicely. you'll need to make sure that the line + tip = 3.5x - 4x rod length. the scandi compact should be about 35' + 15' tip = 50'. that's 4x your rod length.

for a floating tip, add a rod length of straight mono leader, with type 6 (6 inch per second sinkrate) or type 8 (8ips sinkrate) use a shorter leader (2'-5')


Thanks Ninja,

So if I am not using a sink tip, I can just connect a rod's length of mono to the shooting head? And If I do want to use a sinking tip, do I need to get the "spey" tip, or will a Rio Freshwater 7', 12lb test sink tip work ok?

Thank you for all your help,
-port
 
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ninja2010

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sorry for the confusion, port.

you'll need a tip for the scandi head. the tip can be floating, intermediate, slow sink, fast sink, extra fast sink, etc. - whatever suits the water and situation. but you need a tip.

the mono LEADER (i should probably say tippet) comes after the tip, and connects to the fly. a floating tip requires a longer LEADER because you need the extra length to help create more stick to anchor the fly. with sinktips (heavier) you can get away with shorter LEADERs, plus you'd want the tip to pull your fly down and keep it down, so a longer LEADER would defeat that purpose.

i am not familiar with the "rio freshwater 7', 12lb test sink tip". but rio's versileader or airflo's polyleader are very well suited for the scandi. they're 15' and tapered for great energy transfer.
 
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