Nice to hear from you again.
I am glad you managed to hit the Rogue on your recent trip.. it's a cracking river and has some great runs. The half pounders are fun, but there is a lot more potentail than that!
With regard to the smaller fish, there are a number of rods on the market that are long and light, but they are getting less and less. The trend here in the US is shorter and lighter rods for lighter lines. There are loads of rods for a #5 or #6 in the 12' 6" range that are fantastic with such light fish, but not a lot I know of that are as long as you want, and as light. A company called Anderson Custom Rods, had a few really long light ones.. 14 ft, for #3/4, if I remember rightly, so you could try googling them and seeing what that have to offer.
As to lines, we (RIO) do have a complete selection of lines of all types in light sizes. We have skagit lines down to #5, Scandinavian heads down to 4/5, WindCutters (short belly lines) down to 4/5 and even PowerSpeys (mid belly) down to 5/6... so I think the lines are covered. The rods would be the hard part!
There is no doubt that I would be using a 12' 6" or 13' rod rated for a #6 or #7 if I was grilse fishing at home.. they are perfect for smaller salmon and I can't think why on earth you wouldn't!!!!
Cheers for now
It's always a pleasure to learn from a true expert, which furthermore doubles as a gentleman.
I have been quite busy. But now I will try to learn a little bit more. Building on your reply, those #5/6/7 DH Spey lines (a redundancy?), how long is their head? 50 to 60 ft? How do they cope with a headwind?
I do love mid to large rivers, like the lower Rogue (I fished around Agnes). That way I am wondering if a # 6/7/8, 15ft rod, like the Meiser Highlander one, with a #7 Spey line with a +- 55ft head is sensible tackle for both half-pounders and grilse, summer fishing, not very fast water? Any specific recommendations regarding lines, both floating and multip ( the Rio ones for instance)? Do those floating lines handle a Polyleader?
Most of the lines we make at RIO that have triple number designations (as the WindCutter line does) have the middle number as the size indicator. Thus a 7/8/9 is really best for a #8 rod. We don't make a 5/6/7 as (for some reason) those lighter lines only went to a double number designation. We do have a 4/5 (which is for a #5), a 5/6 (for a #6) or a 6/7/8 (for a #7). I am not sure why this is...... something Jim did in his time here!
All the WindCutter lines we make are in that short head length range - the lightest ones have a head of 48 ft or so, while anything heavier than a #7 is going to have a head length of 55 ft.
If you went with a long rod like that Meiser one you mention, I'd defintley go with a WindCutter line... it is certainly the most versatile of all the lines we make and good for most things you will come across on the Rogue. You can certainly add VersiLeaders to the front end of the floating version to have the option of changing depth - they work very well on this line indeed.
I'd probably go with the floating version too, if you were going to concentrate on summer run fish and grilse in not very fast water. The Versitip version is better if you are going to encounter different water heights and conditions, but if not the floating line should be ideal.
All the best
Thank you Simon, you were really helpful.
Simon, I fish the Tweed - Upper beats down to Floors Castle (one river, several different styles of fishing over the season), the Tummel/Tay early season and several smaller Spate rivers where length of cast or depth of fly is not as critical. Also Ireland occasionally.
Originally Posted by Simon Gawesworth
I carry a full range of flies from 1.5" Copper Tubes down to tiny 0.25" scraps that take a size 16 treble so use leaders that range from around 23.5lbs (fluorocarbon) and 20lb Maxima down to 8lb Fluoro or mono.
1. I use a 16ft rod rated #10/11 (more of an #11 than a #10) for sunk line with Shooting Heads rated ##11 or 12 . i.e Hardy Fast Sink #12, Shakespeare Worcestershire intermediate rated#12 and the latest addition, a RIO AFS #10/11 Shooting Head Kit (Why are the tips so fine?)
2. a 15ft #10/11 (more a #10 than an #11 with 55ft Spey lines) my Back Up rod
3. a 13ft #8/9 with a Rio Windcutter Multi tip and a Cortland DT9 floater; and
4. a 10ft rated #7/8 which I use with a WF7 Inter, Floater and Tips
All have their time and place for me.
I am inclined to believe that there is no one size fits all for me but a Shooting Head Set up comes pretty close due to the reduced amount of gear you need to carry.
But I find it is sometimes hard to beat an old DT11 Wetcell when the wind is really blowing hard downstream on the Tweed from the west. It really cuts through the wind for basic casts. Old hat, I know but there you have it!
Thanks for the reply and the interesting detail and variations you outline... you seem to follow the lines that I do, and use different lines for different situations.
To answer your question on the tip diameter of the AFS head, I had in mind a good summer presentation type of line when I designed those heads, and created a long front taper with a fine point to aid that. It seems that many people I talk to use level leaders of 12lb or so on the front of their heads, and the fine tip certainly works for this. The tip diameter is also designed to work with the butt diameter of the VersiLeaders we make (and that you should have in your kit).
Thanks again for your feedback and tight lines for the 2010 season.
For the most part I have been using skagit heads with various sink tips and somtimes various lengths of t14 on my rods for most of my fishing for steelhead and salmon. I am now starting to look into scandi heads and short head spey lines as well and hope to try a few out in the near future.
I recently came across this site and it looks great.
Hi Simon, I spend most of my time on the Lower Deschutes(with side trips to the Clearwater, Salmon, and BC) chasing Steelhead(when i am not looking for redsides) and the two rods i carry with me are the 13' Loomis GLX 8/9 Classic and the 15' Loomis Greased Line 8/9. I use the 13' rod most of the time but as you know that afternoon upstream wind can be brutal and when it starts blowing i reach for the 15' as that rod will throw a nice line in to the wind. We fish floating lines most of the time but again if i want to use a sink tip i use the 15'.
On the 13' i have been using a 7/8 second generation Grand Spey which is a long belly line and fits that rod very nice. Unfortunately they do not make it any more and it is getting old so i will be looking for a new line for that rod this year.
On the 15' i use the 8/9 Grand Spey multi tip line,The Carron 75' 10/11, and a Bill Dury 75' 9/10.
As you can see all the lines i use are Long Belly, However i do have mid belly(Mid Speys) and short belly(Windcutters) in the bag if i need them. I find i like mid to long belly lines the best i have used a Skagit line and i just do not like them. The only stripping i like involves a pole, unmarried young mothers and a handful of dollar bills and beer:D.
All the best for the New Year, Brian
I fish the Margaree in Nova Scotia, mid belly lines are adequate as its not particularly wide. However Ive been using Scandinavian shooting heads for a few seasons and really enjoy using them.
Last season I bought a couple of Rio AFS lines......magic, I love them..using a Loomis 14' stinger after a spate with the rio sink tips they cast and fish perfectly for me. In lower water I use a 12' Zspey and an 8/9 AFS..I often like to work the fly back rather than letting it swing in the current, the length of the head and my leader allow me to stand well back and fish my fly. Once the black section of line gets to the rod tip, time to cast..
I tried the AFS shooting head too but prefer the full line. I fish more or less daily from mid june through to end of october. I clean and lubricate the lines each evening and should get another full season from them.
Originally Posted by Simon Gawesworth
Don't know if you heard about the weather in Scotland recently. Basically, most of the country under snow from about 17 December until around 10 days ago. Coldest winter for many a year. Practice casting was impossible with rivers frozen. Even the canal in the middle of Edinburgh was still frozen on 23 January!
Will be using the coming weekend to practice/get set up for the new season as will be fishing the Tay on 6 Feb and the Tweed on 15/16 Feb.
Don't think my RIO AFS will see light of day for a couple of months but I do enjoy casting with it.
While I do not think you need a "Dry Fly" type of taper on a Salmon Leader, I do think that a basic 40:40:20 taper (20lb then 15lb then 10lbs of Mono) does help me turnover a longer (say 12ft) leader when used with a Floating line and a smaller fly. So will be using the Versi Leaders.
With Sinking Lines and Big Tubes, I am most often using a 3-5ft leader of 20+lbs so tapering is irrelevent