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Which taper - What line?

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BobHarry76
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Location: Cardiff - Wales

Which taper - What line?

#1

Post by BobHarry76 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:18 pm

This question developed in a separate post. It’s a whole new post in itself.
I’m at the very start of a journey, hoping to attain AAPGAI accreditation. I’m still very green and have masses to learn. I’ve had a discussion with Paul around the subject of suitable set-ups. I’m using a SLX. It’s been suggested this is a great option for the AAPGAI programme which is more Spey orientated. But, it’s not going to benefit someone wanting to hone their skills overhead. So.............
What are the properties of a good overhead line Vs Spey line?
What should you look for in a line to present dries at short to medium range Vs heavy nymphs Vs large Bass flies Vs heavy streamers? What line would you select for ultimate distance?
I understand a few of the basics, but it would be great to have some thoughts from guys who really know their onions!!

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bartdezwaan
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#2

Post by bartdezwaan » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:07 pm

Interesting subject. I think a lot of it comes down to personal taste.
Personally I am a huge fan of the long head SA lines. (Expert Distance, Amplitude trout).
The long rear taper promotes loop stability when aerializing a long line. The compound belly should promote a positive turnover at long range.
For me these lines seem to do almost everything well and would also be my choice for distance casting (if we ignore shootingheads for now).
That said. Most people I meet don’t like these type of lines at all. They find it lacks feel. The long rear taper smooths out the energy transfer and you don’t have that clear point when you feel the belly is out.
Although most of the presentation comes down to the caster, I would first look at the front taper profile. Longer, thinner tapers for presentation. Shorter aggressive front tapers for turning over heavy flies.
Since I am typing this on my phone and am annoyed by the amount of times I mistype I leave it at this. :D

Cheers, Bart

Boisker
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#3

Post by Boisker » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:43 pm

Hey BobH... I’ve just started working towards my aapgai, went to the open day last Oct and met with my mentor in Dec (since which time it has been constant rain and howling wind.... you’ve probably noticed :whistle: )...
I usually fish a 4w rod in 9’ or 8’4”... ( very occasionally a 6’ 3w)... and I use a SA mastery trout or SA DT.
But for the aapgai I was advised to choose a line based on the Spey casts, as certainly for the starting professional qual the Spey is more demanding than the overhead.... and that a 5 or 6 w rod was probably best for the test.

Seeing as I have a 6w rod and no 5w rod... I’ll be using a 6w for the test.

The Rio single handed Spey was suggested as a common line to do the test with. Probably for the first time in years I bought it in a 6w without looking into the detail... it’s a seriously heavy line (from memory somewhere around an 8w in overhead terms) great for the Spey, but I hated it for overhead... felt like I was casting a brick.

So I’ve tried it in a 5w and that is better. I’ll definitely use that for the next few months whilst I work to nail down the technique of the Spey... but still not sure that’s what I’ll use for the test... I just don’t like how it feels for overhead work.

It will come down to a choice- use the single handed Spey that will no doubt make the test easier or use a line that is far closer to true to weight that I enjoy casting more.

Not sure that helps or answers anything you aksed :D :D :D

BobHarry76
Posts: 29
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Location: Cardiff - Wales

Re: Which taper - What line?

#4

Post by BobHarry76 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks Mate. Yep, was also at the Open Day. I was the one dragged up to demo the double handed Spey, having never used a double hander!!!

I agree re lines for the tests, but was more interested in the general conversation regards tapers and lines that suit certain styles of casting/fishing.

It seems a bit of a minefield. Everyone claims their line is perfect and suits every discipline, but I’m hoping to stimulate some independent and experienced discussion on which ones people feel suit which situations.

Good luck mate. I think it’s going to be a bit of a slow process for me, but it’s not a race and I’m hoping to just learn and enjoy as I go. 👍🏻

Boisker
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#5

Post by Boisker » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:15 pm

Hehe... pity I missed the double handed Spey :D I think I was nattering to Luke about his boo rods

I’d be interested to hear some suggestions that perhaps lean towards a Spey line but aren’t so focussed as the Rio single handed spey...

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Paul Arden
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:11 pm

Ok this could be a long one.

I joined what was the Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors almost 25 years ago. Forgive the history lesson but it becomes important :D A whole bunch of shit happened and I ended up in the Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors - weird title I know. While I was away travelling for about 10 years they created a Masters Test. Now Ally Gowans created the single handed Spey components. Ally is an excellent Spey caster and I’m pretty sure that they have measuring tapes in Scotland but Ally got a faulty one. Consequently they ended up with a very f’king difficult test.

However when you set a high bar people learn to jump higher and as well as that they figured out that lines that were more Spey orientated were better for this very comprehensive part of the exam. I sort of came through and took this exam after Lasse did. Lasse passed with a MED5 or 6 - I’m not sure which - and I passed a little later (Masters) with a RÍO comp gold 5 or 6 (can’t remember that either - but I’m sure Lasse will remember both because his ability to remember details like this is second to none. If you were to ask him what colour underpants he was wearing on the 2nd of March three years ago he would recall it immediately) but anyway I do know that I made it very difficult for myself and were inch tapes to be out I’m pretty damned sure everyone would find the requirements extremely hard.

Prior to this I had a Dynamic Roll shootout with Lee and Bernd and I can tell you that line profile really matters, particularly when you start changing direction.

Now irrespective of what I think ie that there are four disciplines (corner stones) in single handed Flycasting - ie distance, accuracy, Speys and presentation casts - in Aapgai there is an overwhelming emphasis of Speys (more than half the exam, with some very high expectations in this regards) with not quite half the exam being given to overhead casting (with lower expectations IMO).

The line that was the “standard” was the Wulff TT Nymph Taper. Other lines came along after - the SLX and iLine being some examples.

Since the exam is so dominated by Spey and also in no small way, because it comes first in the assessment, then you had better make sure you nail this part. Consistent anchors, clear explanations, landing the line straight and “on its toes”.

Now I don’t know what the current situation is regards two lines. I heard that it went back to one? If so absolutely stick with a Spey orientated line.

A Spey orientated line in this case, is one where the head is easily turned around on a 9ft rod, has a lighter tip and heavier line in the D-loop. This is not want you want for overhead presentations or distance. There you want - probably - a longer head, a relatively heavier tip (than Spey) and a line that is almost certainly lighter at 10 yards.

One of the best overhead lines for these tests is the MED. I took both FFF and EFFF Masters with this line (or XXD as it was called then). No problems.

Part of your other question, Bob, was about turning over larger flies etc. The purpose of the front taper is to dissipate energy from the cast. The leader too in fact. A long front taper will result in the line turning over with less energy. A short front taper will mean it has more energy. This is why bass bug front tapers for example are short. Delicate dry fly front tapers conversely are long.

Rear tapers are a different story. Short rear tapers are good for (this type of) Spey for example where very little overhang is required. Long rear tapers are best for distance casting where a longer overhang becomes useful. So this is another difference between Spey and Overhead lines. Spey lines In some ways really are a ‘form’ of light front, heavy rear section, shooting heads whereas most overhead line tapers are suitable for comfortably carrying longer and variable lengths of line in the air.

I’m a big fan of Double Taper lines in fact. I guess that makes me old school :laugh:

Here is some art...
99D2C660-3833-4831-8AE9-76F53757FC53.jpeg
Hope that helps :laugh:

Cheers, Paul :)
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Boisker
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#7

Post by Boisker » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:47 pm

It’s definitely one line for the first level exam...
I think it may still be two lines for the advanced and masters
Obviously the distances aren’t demanding on the first level... so the focus is more on the technique and anchor placements... at masters level with the distances required I would imagine choice of line is even more crucial

The tricky bit is finding water to practice the Spey on locally... rivers I have access to are still closed and I’ve got as far as I can on grass, the basic technique of the stroke is there, I need to drill it home on water now... 9 days to go and the season opens and I can start practicing every day :yeahhh:

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#8

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:29 am

Underpants where blue.
I took it with a MED 5, first edition.
Paul said he took it with the gold 5, and I agree that that line is crap for that test, they really must have felt sorry for Paul and handed him the titel 😉
I also agree that a triangle taper line is the line to go to for this test, personally I wouldn't like a brick on a string type one, but since they allow it, go for it, it makes the casts easier.

Cheers
Lasse
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

http://www.karlssonflyfishing.com

***Bring Mark back!!!!!! ***

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Paul Arden
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Re: Which taper - What line?

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:39 am

I’m surprised you can’t practise on closed rivers, Matt. Should be fine without flies?

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Boisker
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:30 pm

Re: Which taper - What line?

#10

Post by Boisker » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:43 am

To be honest Paul... I could practice down near the estuary mouth easy enough, although not an ideal standing position, but the rivers have pretty much been a raging chocolate mess since December... last time I tried it was 35 mph wind and in spate, which is fine for overhead but a real distraction when trying to develop consistency in anchor placement and I ended spending half my time clearing twigs, seaweed and other shit from my line...
And it was cold :D :D :D

I’m looking forward to spring :yeahhh: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

Lasse... I was toying with getting a wulff triangle taper, although the Rio SH would make the test easier, the distance required on the Spey make it less of an advantage... and I think I would rather use a line I enjoy casting for both Spey and overhead...
but I need to settle on a line soon, they’re too expensive to keep chopping and changing :whistle:

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