DT Beginnings [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: DT Beginnings

02-26-2005, 09:32 AM
Supposed to hit the Credit today and catch some fish but it's icing over with the cold and I've come down with one. Didn't figure it would be too smart to go get cold with a cold.

Ended up just tossing some switch casts in the backyard with the SA DT-10-F Ultra4 Salmon on the Loop 8124 using about 50' of line past the tiptop. Even just switch casting on snow, the differences between a DT and a WC are obvious, with the DT feeling very smooth and loading the 8124 quite nicely. Some short overhead casts felt quite nice too and the "two over" estimate for 40' - 60' fishing distances seems about right.

I have two reels with DTs inbound via ebay but they're not here yet. I'm anxious to get the DT-10-I on the water to see how it handles vs. a sinktip, hopefully in sub-freezing conditions.

I plan to keep adding to this thread as I collect experience with DTs (and welcome other input as well) with the idea that by next winter we'll have enough info to identify what has a good shot at working and what doesn't. Hopefully we'll end up with a winter fishing rig tuned to the GLs and not just a copy of the PNW stuff.

So far the idea looks like this. A sinking DT offers the following:

stays under water so it doesn't ice up
does not have any loops to collect ice
doesn't need to be stripped in so guides don't ice up
constant diameter belly won't jam in iced over guides
thin diameter will keep running through badly iced guides
thin diameter cuts through the wind
gets down without excessive weight
should present the fly at a more consistent depth through the drift
should cast more smoothly than sinktip lines
works best where winter fish are most likely to be found in slower, deeper pools
DT salmon lines from the UK are often cheap, especially from ebay

The downsides look like:

may need to be rolled to the surface, especially if a lot of line is out
can't shoot far so more than 70' fishing distance is probably unrealistic with shorter rods
may need long, light rods to achieve clean lifts with long lines
may restrict angler to a few casts that lift well (Circle, Double)
need to change spools when changing sink rate
needs multiple spools, offsetting the cheapness of the lines
DT salmon lines are not easily found on this side of the pond
not ideal for presenting flies along narrow slots or runs

Should emphasize that I see the use of DT full sinkers as a close-in method where most casts are 60' or less. To lift and cast longer lines would take 15' and 16' rods and I don't think too many people want to go there.

02-26-2005, 03:29 PM
Very interesting discussion, do you have any sources for mail order DT 10 lines?

I have two 8126 rods that would be ideal for experimentation.

Fred Krow

02-26-2005, 03:49 PM

I'll PM you the links as they're not sponsors.


02-26-2005, 09:14 PM
Peter, Are you experimenting with regular DT Lines )for single handers) and raising the numbers accordingly or DT spey lines (marked as spey)? I just picked up a DT SPey 8 wt. I am thinking of trying it on the CND 1307 next week. I'll let you know of the results,

02-27-2005, 06:52 AM
At this point I'm using spey DT lines though I may go to regular ones if I have trouble finding the sink rates I want. On my casting weight chart, when measured at 55' a spey DT two ratings over has a slightly higher casting weight than a WC and a regular DT is slightly lower.

02-27-2005, 10:42 AM
This chart compares the casting weight of standard and spey DTs to WCs and MSs at their respective lengths.


The chart is sorted by casting weight, grouping lines of comparable weights together. The "Two Over" rule of thumb works in pretty well most cases for both WC and MS length lines. As the WC and MS grain weights do not go up in a linear fashion (and the DTs do) we end up with the heavy weight MSs tending to be a bit closer to one over.

To use the chart, locate the WC or MS that works best on your rod and the DT lines closest to it would the best choice when fished at that length.

Here's the chart for Airflo lines:


02-28-2005, 10:09 AM
Peter, thanks for all the work, At 55 feet, my DT8 should be 25 less grains than the WC. This makes me very happy because several people have said that the windcutter is too heavy for my rod. 25 grains may be just the ticket.

02-28-2005, 12:02 PM
If you have the Expert 6/7 then the DT Spey 8 wt. should be perfect as the 6/7/8 would probably be a bit heavy for it. From what I can remember when I tried one and from what has been written about it, the rod is more of a 6 than a 7 -- so your 8 wt. fits the "two over" rule of thumb quite nicely. You'll probably be able to cast the same distance with half the effort using the spey DT as pushing an overweight line is never fun.

Nooksack Mac
02-28-2005, 06:06 PM

If you're correct about 70 feet being the usual casting limit for most casters using double tapers and shorter rods - and that sounds about right to me - then realize that we needn't go to unnecessary lengths (pun unplanned, but appropriate) to find spey-length double taper lines. Most DTs are either 82 or 90 feet, so they'll serve just fine as is. And they're a lot easier to buy on the cheap. Last year, I bought a group of three Shakespeare DT10F 90' lines on eBay for $6. :lildevl: They're intended for splicing, but could be used out of the box.

And it's easy to enhance a standard double taper. Forty feet of running line (left over from that old WF line you saved or cut up) spliced onto the back end of an 82' DT makes it a 122' line. Want to use tips? Cut off the front taper (ca. seven feet), add a loop and a 15-foot sinking tip, and you have an inexpensive, versatile 130-foot line.

02-28-2005, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the info -- sticking running line on an 82' DT turns it instantly into a cheap long belly. :) I'm all for cheap.

I'm after spey DTs, not so much for the length, for as you point out we'll never cast to the end of them, but for the front taper. The difference between the front of a standard DT10 and a spey DT10 makes a big difference in overall grain weight at the 60'-70' range and makes a big difference in casting weight as well (639 vs. 672 and 410 vs. 448 respectively at 65'). The standard DTs will work just fine, but because the heaviest is usually only a DT10 and often a DT9, it does limit those lines to the lighter rods.

02-28-2005, 09:24 PM
When I got my Daiwa Cross River 16' 10-12, I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't have any lines for it. The rod had been intended for a salmon DT-11 so I tried my XLT 8/9 and a Delta Long 9/10 on it. Despite appearing on the light side for the rod, both worked great.

While I was putting together that DT lines chart, I originally had some entries for the Cross River. The 90' XLT has a casting weight of 717 and a DT-11 at 90' comes in at 693. The DL 9/10 at 65' is 499 while the DT-11 at 65' is 484. A bit more confirmation for using this sort of chart to compare DT lines to modern WF speys. In this case, it also proved that it could predict a modern WF spey for an older rod made for DT salmon lines.

While doing some research on DT lines and older salmon rods, I turned up two other rules of thumb that are useful: average casters should be able to lift line that is five times their rod length and that DT ratings for older rods were based on around 70' of line, or roughly this five times limit.