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Spey to Overhead ratings

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Morsie
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Spey to Overhead ratings

#1

Post by Morsie » Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:02 am

Given that the Spey grain rating of a particular rod is a known thing ie. you are comfortable and familiar with say 550 grains in a rod, is there any formula anyone uses to calculate what grain weight might be ideal on that same rod for an overhead casting shooting head?

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Morsie

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Paul Arden
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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:08 am

The one I know from previously was either one or two line weights up. Back in the day it was easier to refine because you would cut back a DT bit by bit until you were happy. There is definitely going to be personal feel involved in any more precise answer. Lasse and Lee are going to have very different formulas!

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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#3

Post by Morsie » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:37 pm

One to two line weights up for single handers Paul, but it comes down for Spey.

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Graeme H
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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#4

Post by Graeme H » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:11 am

I've been waiting for others to comment but apparently it's a tough crowd.

I faintly remember reading somewhere that it should be about 2/3 or 3/4 of the grain weight normally used for spey casts. So for the 550 gn line, that would be something like 370 to 410 gn. Unfortunately I can't remember where I read it so I can't provide a reference. Sorry. :(

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Graeme
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Paul Arden
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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#5

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:43 am

Morsie wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:37 pm
One to two line weights up for single handers Paul, but it comes down for Spey.
Sorry Morsie I don’t understand this. What do you mean it comes down for Spey? For Spey casts on the single handed rod I actually prefer true to weight AFFTA. Probably because that’s what I’ve been using for 30 years and is feels right for me. “Spey” lines are considerably more than two line weights heavier, in fact they are truly bricks on strings. Indeed it goes considerably up and not down!

For the Double Handed rod/Dildo they were never designed for overhead casting in the first place. But they were originally designed around DT lines. First came Scandi which was basically a Shooting Head. Then came Skagit which was basically a very specific line for casting very heavy flies with fast sinking tips. Of course it was then discovered that for beginner casters it was easier to cast Skagit lines and in the past 15 years “Spey” lines have come to mean Skagit lines but as far as I’m concerned Spey casting is a family of dynamic change of direction roll casts.

One thing that was interesting was when Sage started production Double Handed rods they were considered too stiff for Spey casting in the UK. Somewhere the whole idea of fly size -> line weight -> rod action has become lost. Skagit was originally that but then it went rod -> casting ability -> line type. :D no wonder it’s confusing!

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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:49 am

Incidentally I always found DHD rods to feel soft with Spey casting, when compared to what I expected to feel when Spey casting single handed rods. Consequently Double Handed guys making “Spey” lines for single handed rods have a very heavy and sluggish feel for me. “Spey” lines are basically shooting heads anyway. With the single handed rod some of these lines are 3 line weights heavy, even 4 line weights (FFS!). Who the hell wants to fish an 7 or even an 8WT line on a 4WT rod? :D All take sensitivity is lost.

Still to go from “Spey” line grains to Overhead shooting heads I would go via the rod number. Since Spey line grains is subjective, overhead Shooting Head weight subjective and even rod number is subjective, I think there is going to be a problem.

I have heard on a number of occasions (from experts) that when casting a “Switch” rod (ie a long single hander that can also be cast with two hands) that when casting with two hands they prefer a heavier line than when casting with one hand. This tells me quite a lot about “muscle memory” with the different strokes. Personally I find both lines heavy but that’s because I’ve been Spey casting with AFFTA conforming lines matched to rod number for 30 odd years. I personally think that the double handed line weight system has just made life more complicated for the beginner. And let’s face it, the double handed rod is mostly cast with Spey casts and limited overhead casting, whereas the single handed rod has a much more balanced usage but mostly geared towards overhead.

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Graeme H
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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#7

Post by Graeme H » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:07 am

Paul,

A lot of people (including Morsie) use two handed rods in the surf because they overhead-cast further and the long rod allows the angler to keep the line off the water while fishing the fly, minimising having the line being dragged in by waves.

I've always thought of the "conversion" from Spey grains to overhead grains as being due to equalising the mass of line being directly accelerated by the rod. In a spey or dynamic roll cast, some of the line is not being pulled towards the target because it is sitting on the water. In an overhead cast, all of the line is being accelerated towards the target at once, so the mass part of the "F=MxA" equation (F being bit that shows up as a bent rod) should be compensated for by reducing the total head weight for overhead casting.

At least, that's how I've been thinking on how this works.

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Graeme
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Paul Arden
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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#8

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:33 am

Hi Graeme, I don’t think that works because it doesn’t apply to overhead casts. For example when carrying 60ft of line vs 30 would mean doubling the line weight instead of going up 1-2 line weighs which would be an increase of only 40% in relative line weight.

Personally I think it comes down to “feel”. Ie what we expect to feel when casting a full line overhead, vs casting a shooting head, vs Spey or Roll casting. It’s quite possible that some casters like a heavy feel with Spey casts and a light feel with shooting heads and vice versa. I obviously like and have adapted to a very light feel with Spey casts. Consequently I would think any formula would be highly specific to an individuals relative tastes.

Another example is T27. I use a rod that was designed for T38. Lasse on the other hand uses a rod that has 10 above the handle. So we have no agreement here :D but I think we agree with line weights and single handed Spey.

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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#9

Post by Morsie » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:53 am

Nicely put Graeme. Exactly. Nothing to do with single hand rods and nothing to do with anchors and DLoops.

Overhead casts with 2 hander rods. Much more mass in the air so you need to come down in weight from the line recommendations when using the Spey casts. I know for single handers and heads you go up roughly 2 weights and that works well most of the time. Guess I'll just have to work something out for myself. I have some lines I can cut up and play with.

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Re: Spey to Overhead ratings

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:36 am

It’s exactly the same with single handed rods :D

With the salmon overhead event in the WCs I always cast gear from friends and usually have a go. What I find interesting is how vastly different the outfits are. Even with the same line, competitors will choose rods of significantly different stiffnesses. Generally speaking the stronger guys prefer a stiffer rod.

Many however have different rod actions for Spey vs Overhead, preferring more tip action overhead and butt action for Spey casts.

Cheers, Paul
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