Spey line for beginner

Wobblinbrush

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Hi All,

Complete and utter noob here, probably asking something that's been asked 100 times.
But what's a good normal/ traditional spey line?
I've been flyfishing for trout since a child(36 now🙃) and I'm going to learn to spey cast this year.
I've spent the evening looking for a line online and everything seems to be some sort of Scandi of Skagit line, which I think are shooting head systems. I might be foolish but I don't want to learn with a shooting head initially.
Any recommendations?

Cheers
 

lefthandup

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Depends what size of rod you are using but I use to really like a snowbee 1d on my 13ft 8/9....short head so a good beginers line if you're going down that route.
I'm limited with lines now so better advice will no doubt be given.
 

iainmortimer

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Barrio Short Head Spey is the line I started with. Very easy to use and easily carries a 10’ polyleader on my 13’6 rod.
 

Hoddom

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As you learn you may find it easier to cope with a Spey line with a shorter head length. Scandi andd skagit lines are shorter lengths which makes them much easier to cast than a traditional longer Spey line - ie they demonstrate the principle underlying why a shorter head Spey line wil likely be easier for you as you learn.
the Snowbee 1D line is a very nice line to cast and has the shorter head.
well we’ll worth getting a lesson. An hour with someone who knows how to teach and cast could save you a lot of frustration and money. you have an advantage having fished single handed rods- but it is very different😀
have fun as you go.
 

nickolas

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As hoddom says the shorter the line the easier it is, if your prepared to put the hours in it shouldn’t take to long, (maybe 1000 hours 😦 ) but as others have said, get somebody to put you in the right direction first that knows what he’s doing.
 

Rennie

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Most reasonable thinking Wobblinbrush!, as good a place as any to start.As already said the shorter the length of "head" or "belly" you will be casting the easier you'll find it all to get going, so short or medium belly Spey Profile lines won't be a bad place to start.
I'd say this however, look to the rod in the 1st instance, pick one of a suitable length and strength for where you'll be doing most of your fishing, then look for advice on a line to match it that will work well subsequently.
I see your angle about wanting to learn with a full- albeit shorter head- Spey line, but the reality is it will be easier to get going with what you're terming a Scandinavian Shooting Head set up in the 1st instance, for a couple of reasons.
1stly, the length and weight of a "Shooting Head" will be tailored far closer to what a rod of a set length and weight will be at optimum casting with-even out of the box!.
2,ndly, you will be casting the same set weight and length of line every single time- no variation- so you will "tune in" a lot easier to how it all feels and how the line loads up the rod etc. etc.
3,rdly like as not that length of line will be shorter too, what you don't want as a rank beginner is a long length of line as it'll be too much of a handful for you and more likely to be affected by inclement winds or restrictive banksides, never mind the ability to handle longer lengths of line in the 1st place.
Now, it'll be a close call either way, a short headed full line will only be a bit longer than a shooting head, but!, you may eventually want to move on from it as you improve, a shooting head set up only needs one spool and backing etc, but you'll be able to utilise differing sink rates or indeed types of head to suit as you improve at far less cost..
As a Guide, for a full line the Barrio ISS (Integrated Short Spey) is a cracker, cheap and it will do exactly what it says on the tin and will help you up the ladder of casting a lot quicker, a close call between one of those and any reasonable shooting head set up.
Best of luck with your quest and tight lines, Pedro.
 
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Rrrr

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Id go for something like a barrio iss. Its an integrated scandi spey so the best of both worlds in my opinion. Similar sort of idea to the old rio outbound.
If you are set on a mid spey line then the older hardy mach 55s are hard to beat in my opinion of you can get your hands on one as they arent made now but pop up all the time new on ebay.

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
 

Salarspeycaster

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O
Id go for something like a barrio iss. Its an integrated scandi spey so the best of both worlds in my opinion. Similar sort of idea to the old rio outbound.
If you are set on a mid spey line then the older hardy mach 55s are hard to beat in my opinion of you can get your hands on one as they arent made now but pop up all the time new on ebay.

Sent from my SM-
 

Salarspeycaster

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I would go for a shorter head as some of the folk have already advised on this thread. I find 55ft is adequate for most fishing situations and I’m still using the old Hardy Mach 2 55ft head floater with 5ft sink polytips if I need them. Another Spey line I used a lot was the Loop Quattro which is a very versatile line with its different 15ft tips.
Easiest of all lines to master though, are the Scandi Skagits, of which I’m a fan of. These come in three different lengths; short, midi and max, and tend to be the lines I get beginners going on as they are easy to cast. Not the most delicate of lines but very useful on windy days and high waters.
 

Jer

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Hi All,

Complete and utter noob here, probably asking something that's been asked 100 times.
But what's a good normal/ traditional spey line?
I've been flyfishing for trout since a child(36 now🙃) and I'm going to learn to spey cast this year.
I've spent the evening looking for a line online and everything seems to be some sort of Scandi of Skagit line, which I think are shooting head systems. I might be foolish but I don't want to learn with a shooting head initially.
Any recommendations?

Cheers
Going with the longer traditional line first... it will make sure you get the fundamentals(substance) right before adopting a style
You can go two ways with the longer line... you can go with the Salmon Version DT... but you will be trying to buy a second hand line... or you can go with what they call a WF “fuller” length line... here i would recommend the 54ft Gaelforce line... the 63 ft head is not suitable as a practice line for a beginner...
next the line weight... say 10 DT or 10/11 in the equaliser... matched with a suitable rod... slower rather than faster to start with... eg Greys XFS2 T or its equivalent Hardy Marksman T second hand wont break the bank in a 15ft
Why DT? It will show all your faults... but the WF 54ft head is a confidence booster... esp when you start feeling the rod load... maybe practice with both!
What line length to practice with... build up from 50 to 60 to 70ft inc a 10 ft leader with wool attached...
After all that... go get (more than one) lesson with a qualified instructor from the start... they are qualified for a reason... look up GAIA, APGAII, FFI double handed casting instructors.
This is my advice from my experience... the long line route is like learning to drive with a gear stick before you get your first automatic and will be time well spent.
Hope this helps
Ger
 

Wobblinbrush

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Hi again,

I've had a good read of all the replies, and really do appreciate all the info shared. I have a few different lines to look for now. So I'm sure I can find something suitable.
And as some have suggested, I think I'll have to get some instruction as well, whenever they lift the lockdown here in Ireland.
Thanks again for all the replies. It's quite encouraging.
 

Salarspeycaster

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I will second that, having come from DT lines I found them too short to start with .Big fan of the slow sinktip version!
I used to love the 40yd D.T. Orvis Wonderline. Two quick strips of line, lift and cast. Easy, and I wasn’t spending all that time stripping line back in, so a lot more time spent fishing and the presentation was spot on.
 

meyre

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Both Rio InTouch Longcast 70' and Carron Jetstream Proline 65' were found to be easy schoolmasters for some Spey beginners back in 2019 .
The former was adopted by the fishings for its 'house' rods and lent to visitors. It was so forgiving and dependable the guides were able to give minimum instruction and leave Tyros to gently get on.
Critical to a happy learner is that the line is well matched to a rod with which it works.
 

keirstream

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Spend £16 on a Chuck Norris Atlantic floating Spey line 50ft head and a set of Airflo polys..
Play about with them, get the feel for spey casting and remember, presentation is 95% of your needs,
distance 5%. That will come as you develop your technique.
You don't need to spend £100 on a line at your stage.(y)
 

rotenone

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Depending on your size and length of rod a spey line between 55 and 65 foot from gaelforce is where you should be, Jers excellent post explains it well. People who short cut to shooting heads from the start develop a host of casting faults, it's easy to manipulate an ultra short line, and spey casting essentials like tip path, incline and body rotation are often overlooked as the line can be powered out even if set up badly.

shooting heads get the job done but as far developing casting skill they can be a real. Set. Back to proper technique, once bad habits are learned they are hard to get rid off.

If you prefer the versatility of shooting heads they are available in spey lengths also from nextcast and others
 
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Petch94

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Snowbee 1d - 51 foot head, perfect for what you are after...no nonsense and great line
I learnt with this line and still enjoy using it - my casting leaves much to be desired but I can get a fair line with various polyleaders no bother
 

lefthandup

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I learnt with this line and still enjoy using it - my casting leaves much to be desired but I can get a fair line with various polyleaders no bother
It's a superb line...not only for beginners.

Great for medium sized rivers
 

Andrew B

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Spend £16 on a Chuck Norris Atlantic floating Spey line 50ft head and a set of Airflo polys..
Play about with them, get the feel for spey casting and remember, presentation is 95% of your needs,
distance 5%. That will come as you develop your technique.
You don't need to spend £100 on a line at your stage.(y)
Couldn’t agree more. To look at some of the tackle guides and catalogs now which can be quite daunting, makes you wonder how anyone got by twenty years ago? I need to start using those poly leaders more as I have a feeling I’m missing out on fish because of it.
I’ve spoke to some folk in particular for sea trout who feel they can cover everything by weight of fly? Maybe it’s my lack of skill but I’m coming to the conclusion where I think I need to do more to get my fly fishing at the required depth to get hooked up more.
 

Jamross65

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You didn't mention the make/model of rod or it's length you intend using this line with????

Whilst you say you do not want to go down the route of a Scandi or Skagit, they are popular for a reason, they are very easy to cast and an ideal choice for beginners. Personally, I would suggest a Scandi line initially for this reason with a view to moving to a 55' plus spey line in the future. You'll notice progress quicker I'd suggest with a Scandi which means encouragement, not frustration. One of the easiest lines to cast with is a RIO Intouch Scandi Outbound Spey. It's an integrated scandi head and running line. It is the most common line guests turn up with and for good reason, as said easy to cast with, no loop to loop connection and they are designed to work with Versileaders or Polyleaders meaning they are versatile. The head is 37.5' to 40.5' depending on weight. Add a 10' poly leader of various sinking rates and good to go. They have the potential therefore to be used from late spring to early autumn with perhaps only the coldest months requiring full sinking lines being beyond their usefulness. The big disadvantage is obviously shorter Scandi heads require stripping more line in between each cast but to be honest when this is done between steps down a pool it is hardly a deal breaker.

I've tried a lot of Spey lines, a line I used a lot years ago and still go back to Scandi profiles, especially on short rods. I still enjoy casting a Spey line on a rod designed for that purpose, but so many rods nowadays have an action suited for shorter heads that seem to 'ping' off the rods last 1/3 of it's length as opposed to the spey rods that work right into the handle. Be mindful of the weights of the lines you choose too as I've yet to handle a rod that is overloaded with a guests choice of line! All would benefit with at least a weight up!
 
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