FLY GEAR MYSTERIES
Let's assume you want to fish for steelhead, salmon (other than kings or atlantics), large rainbows, browns or brook trout in the far north. My rod choice is a 7 or 8 wt, 13' to 13'6”. This gives me the power to handle these big fish and the ability to cast long distances. My reel must also be large enough to accommodate spey fly lines.
Let's approach the lines first. Line types are: full spey long belly lines, scandi and skagit. My choice is skagit as it allows me flexibility and will accommodate many different kinds of tips from floating to fast sinking. I like quick change flexibility. Spey lines are generally sold as grain weights 200gr thru 800gr for example. Wait...how does grain weight convert to rod line sizes? Here's a quick study: A 200gr fly line is a 6wt, 250gr is a 7wt, a 300gr an 8wt, graduating 50 grains per line size as an example. Spey rod manufacturers have now started to put the grain weight accommodation window on the rods. This may still be confusing because they also label the rods with a line weight, 8wt for example. In the grain window on the same rod it will say 500-700 gr capacity? I just said in the above paragraph an 8wt was 300 grains so what gives? Spey rods are long and powerful and to have them perform as described, the lines must be 2 line sizes heavy to make them work properly.
So let's say you buy a 13' 6", 8wt spey rod with a grain window of 500 gr to 700gr and want to use a skagit line.
What line size do you buy? Not so fast! If you put a sinking tip on the end of the skagit line you must take into consideration the weight of that tip. 10' of sinking T-14 (14 grains per foot) equals 140 grains that you will be adding to the skagit line for example. Total weight now should be in the grain weight window of the rod. Back out the 140 from the 700 and you will arrive at 560 grains maximum for the skagit line. My skagit is 520 grains as I frequently use 12 to 14'' of T-14 sinking line for a tip.
Now, let's look at fly reels for spey rods. We know lines are two line sizes heavier for spey rods. They are short and fat but we also must allow for the backing, shooting line, skagit line and tip. So a reel for a 8wt spey rod is not the same as a reel for a 8wt single hand rod. It must be at least 2 line sizes bigger, but I like to go 3-4 line sizes bigger so I have faster retrieve speeds and lots of room on the reel. A size 10-12 reel pairs well with an 8wt spey rod. Ok, now you’re on the right track with equipment. Spending your dollars is next. Here's links to our spey rods, reels and lines.
We have all of this gear in stock and we will assemble it and ship it to you free of charge. Give us a call!