Spey Line Question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Spey Line Question

10-04-2005, 01:00 PM
What spey line (any brand) is most equivalent to a Rio WF 12 F Outbound line?

Thank you very much,


10-04-2005, 05:52 PM
It depends on your definition of "most equivalent", as some spey lines are worlds apart from the Outbound.

If you mean:

You have a rod that casts the 12wt Outbound overhead well. But you've found that line is not the ultimate Spey casting line having been designed for long booming overhead casts. Perhaps you want to know what line might work for that rod if you were to Spey cast with the same rod.

The answer depends on how long of a line you want to Spey cast for the fishing you are going to do. If you want to cast a short head, like a Scandinavian or Underhand style, then that line would be pretty close to the Outbound in configuration (length, grains). This means you will shoot a lot of thinner running line behind an abrupt, grainy well-tapered head.

Another option would be the Skagit designs now coming into vogue. This approach suits heavier sinking tips and bigger flies very well, and uses more water surface tension than conventional Spey casting. You can read much on this on the Spey Pages.

Keep in mind that in almost all cases the grain weight should increase as the head length and taper gets longer, you would start with the grain weight of the 12wt Outbound (I would call Rio directly) and add grains as the desired head length gets longer.

Also, keep in mind rod length plays a role. Most longer Spey lines are not as comfortable to cast with shorter rods (especially when deep wading) so if you are planning on trying an extended belly head on a short rod you might be in for intense arm work.

Enough guessing, what rod length, what casting intent are you interested in?

10-04-2005, 08:21 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. I have a TFO, 12 ft., 12 wt. I have a Rio outbound 12 wt floating line on it now. I would like to go with a heavier line.
Let me ask you this; what windcutter line would you recommend for it. I use this rod in the surf mainly for throwing poppers; overhead casting.

Thank you very much


10-04-2005, 09:27 PM
I'm assuming your reason for wanting to buying a spey line is that you want to spey cast poppers with your TFO.

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that an uncut Windcutter would spey cast a big saltwater popper unless you cut the running line off, flipped it around and used it reversed. Probably would work great then . . . seriously. I've used a reversed Windcutter to move big, ugly stuff and it worked like a charm.

I've tried spey casting deerhair poppers for smallmouth and it ain't a fun experience. The big, blunt face of the popper doesn't want to release from the anchor cleanly, resulting in some pretty awful casts.

There is one line on the market though that might work for you, apart from a reversed Windcutter. The Rio Scandinavian Shooting Head (SSH) floater has a very blunt, pike taper-like front that will turn over poppers with authority. It has enough mass to drive the popper and maybe enough mass to pull the popper clear from the anchor. I have the 10/11 SSH cut to 30.5' for use as an overhead line on my Atlantis. So far the line has not seen action beyond overhead test casting but those results were good. The 11/12 SSH cut to about 32' should work on your rod as a spey head.

I have some saltwater poppers -- if you're not in a hurry, I can find some time to see if the Atlantis plus my Rio 10/11 SSH, will spey cast a big popper well enough to make the rig worthwhile to buy and fish. I doubt I'll achieve a decent distance but it may be a fishable rig for thise tight places where short casts are better than no casts. I gave my Windcutter away so no chance to test it with a popper.

10-04-2005, 11:43 PM
what windcutter line would you recommend for it. I use this rod in the surf mainly for throwing poppers; overhead casting.

IMHO For throwing poppers overhead the Outbound is a great line but I have not played much with the floating version yet (just intermediate and sink). Keep the leader on the short side and work on tracking the loop straight against lots of air resistance (poppers).

Otherwise I would opt for a big grain Windcutter with the middle section removed to shorten it from the standard 54 feet head down to 39ft. This makes for a versatile overhead casting line, and if you get a heavier two-hander you can use it with all sections intact. You can also switch tips. The key is to match the rod to the grains with the middle removed, that's a question best asked directly to Rio, most likely a 10/11/12 with the mid-section removed.

I am surprised you are looking for a heavier line than the 12wt Outbound, mine goes real well on my 11/12 two-hander and throws a fairly large popper a long way. I am not all that familiar with the TFO 12/12 but I just cast it Saturday for a while.

Hey Skiman, which Windcutter did you have on that rod at the Boneclave?

10-05-2005, 08:10 AM
It also depends on what outbound you have. Have you looked at the 13 or 14wt ones? For the CND atlantis which is a tad beefier than the TFO we are using the 14wt which will soon be re-labled as a 12wt two hand line (this may be the line you have). I can handle pretty large poppers on the smaller atlantis up to about 75 feet and smaller stuff goes like just fine. Have not tried the big atlantis yet but imagine the outbound will throw them very well.

I cast the windcutter last weekend on the TFO and while it spey casts great it was not very good for overhead work. Just too long and was tough to get it to track nicely. I think it was the the 9/10 windcutter on that rod. You could remove the middle section as an option and that would work OK. I think for ovehead work I would have stepped down a line size.

Still interested in the grain weight of the outbound you have. Cause if it is the standard 12wt you may just be able to get a heavier version.


10-05-2005, 11:25 AM
Hi -- Just to clear up any confusion, I don't think the Outbounds are going to be relabeled. The 13 and 14 weights are what I think others are talking about for two-handed overhead casting. Both have 37.5 foot heads, with the 13 weight a 555 grains and the 14 weight at 600. Rio's 2006 catalog states that those sizes, not the production 12 weight, are what are intended for overhead rods rated 11-12, like the Atlantis and the TFO. That being said, I think that Jay, the designer of the TFO, likes the production 12 weight (at 510 grains) on the TFO. I have tried the 13-14 and they both worked great on both rods. So, you'd be happy with any Outbound from 12-14, since both rods have a wide range of acceptable grain weights. Also, the 13-14 are not made in a floater.

Have fun.

10-06-2005, 09:16 AM
I didn't know the Outbound floating lines came in 13 and 14 wts.
I was told 12 wt was the biggest in floating.

Thanks to all of you for your input.

I have 3 windcutter lines that was given to me, ( the 3 largest ones) that I want to play around with.

Thanks again,