Reel Advice [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Reel Advice

11-27-2001, 02:57 PM
Newbie to the board here. And thanks to all the great spey threads, my pocket book is quite a bit thinner as I now own my first spey rod. Found a good deal on the discontinued 2001 Sage rods and picked up a 9140-4.

So with that I'm looking for advice on a line & reel. Given all the great info from this board and the International Spey Casting forum, I'm leaning towards a WC 9/10/11 w/ tips and a Redington AS 11/12. However, I've got questions on each before I shell out even more cash...

Line - this is obviously subject to casting styles, experience, water type, etc... but from what I can tell most folks suggest lining up to the 9/10/11 on the WC for this rod. correct? I'm also questioning Rio's promo lit suggesting the WC is better suited for rookies like me. Have I taken the bait or is this sound advise? & if so, how long before I'm looking for a more advance line setup? Any recommendations other than the WC? maybe the mid-spey or the SA 8/9 tri-tip?

Reel - any experience with the Redington AS 11/12? I'm specifically curious about drag quality/reliability and backing capacity. Any other deals out there I should be looking at? This is about top end for my budget.

Thanks in advance!

11-27-2001, 03:33 PM
Hi Olyfly,

The 9140-4 is a great rod and fishes well with the RIO WC, but not (in my opinion) with the 9-10-11 WC. Many others who call the rod gutless tried it with that line weight, and with that combination of rod and line I have to agree with them.

Flyshops marketed that combo because almost anybody can cast 40-50' with it (overlining a rod makes it easier to cast short distances - the problems arise when your casts get longer).

I'd recommend the WC as a good line to get started with and would choose the 8-9-10 as the weight you want. Alternatively, if you're committed to taking a lesson or two from an accomplished spey caster and don't mind spending a bit of time practicing your casting (or are a really quick study from videos) you might want to start with an 8/9 Accelerator or 8/9 Triangle Taper Spey (my own favorite for this rod).

As Sinktip mentions in another thread, many speycasters enjoy working the longer belly lines after they become familiar with the casting mechanics of these rods. Again, it's a judgement call. If you get into this sport, you'll certainly end up with a LOT of lines.

Good Luck!


11-27-2001, 03:52 PM
The best deal on a spey reel i know of right now is the recently discontinued Scientific Anglers Mastery series reel in the 10/11. It's a great reel very under rates with a great disc drag and now on sale for 129 dollars!!! There is in my opinion no need for a large arbor unless it is a true large arbor. Otherwise your backing will act as your large arbor.

If you plan on winter fishing (i assume you are) i suggest getting the 8-9-10 windcutter. Its an easy line to cast and a great place to start with easy access to different tips. You might invest in an additional 20 foot tips as well because a lighter but longer tip will keep a fly down better than a shorter heavier one.

Where are you located??? if your in SW Wasshington and would like some casting lessons let me know.

by the way you can order one of the reels from the Madison river fishing compamy I used to work there there are great people there.

11-27-2001, 05:07 PM
Doublespey --

If I read it right Olyfly got one of the "new" green 9140-4s. I have not cast this rod but thought that I heard Sage had stiffened it up over the old brown version which I used to own. If so, would you still suggest the 8-9-10 WC and 8-9 Accelerator? If they are of close or similar action then I agree with you 100%.

Olyfly --

You asked if the blurb from Rio about a WC being the easiest to learn on was true. I would agree with that as the weight is in a fairly short belly and you can easily feel the rod load. The downside is you have to shoot line beyond 54' and this can be a pain. As you get better, the advantages of a longer bellied line will appeal to you. The midspey falls in the middle, with a longer belly so less shooting of line but still less than a true long bellied line such as the Speydriver, Accelerator or a good old double taper. I have not yet cast a midspey but I hear good things about them and you might want to look into one.

I have the Redington AL 11-12 and it is a good quality reel. The drag is quite strong but I rarely use much drag on my steelhead reels. I am from the "just enough drag to keep it from over-running" school. Even so, the 11-12 looks great, is super smooth and will hold 180 yds. of 30# backing and an 8-9 Accelerator. The one thing I don't like about the Redington is the click. It is super quiet. If you are one that likes to hear your fish run, you might want to look at other options. If you don't care much about that, a big thumbs up on the Redingtons.

Good luck on your new addiction :)


11-27-2001, 06:04 PM
Lots of on the mark advice on the reel and line combos. The 'green' blank is a bit stiffer than the 'old' brown blank but don't over line this rod; doesn't need it. I use a 9-10 windcutter and an 8-9 RIO Acclrtr. (think these numbers are correct without wandering out to the car) and both lines work well.

If you intend to do any real amount of spey casting cut to the chase and go for the Acclrtr. In cold weather the lack of required line shooting pays big dividends .... you can ware heavy gloves and don't have to screw around. The tri-tip lines will give you lots of options if it's going to be just one reel. As to reels I just got the 10-11 SA mastery reel and it's a very good reel at an even better price. Also great sound when line is being stripped off. No Hardy, but still great sound to go along with the nutso fish on the end of the line.

Last thought: RIO (Simon) has a complete list of line-rod combo's in RIO's web site. Based on what he says, and what I've used on my 7 spey rods he's on the mark. Only disapointment I've had with RIO lines has been their Mid-Spey line. Wish I had the money back.

11-27-2001, 06:05 PM

Thanks 'Tip, my mistake! I saw "discontinued" and forgot that the latest green is also on the way out. :eek:

The line you want is the 9-10-11 for WindCutters, anything else in the 9/10 range for Accelerators, TT Speys, MidSpeys, etc.

Sorry about the confusion,


11-27-2001, 07:50 PM
Double, not to 'sweat' the discontinued on the sage green. Crosstalk on the International Spey Casting Board is they (Sage) are just going back to their 'traditional' brown coloured rods. Doubt there will be a heck of a lot of difference between green vs. brown. The colour is just a dye.

On your line recommendations I think you're 'dead on.'

11-27-2001, 09:34 PM
Okay, maybe I can clear this up a bit. My understanding of the green/brown issue with Sage two-handers is this: The new rod (2002) models will be the new "SLT" color brown, which is a semi-opaque gold color with a brown tone underneath. It will be used on the "traditional" style rods to match the more traditional action of the SLT single-handers. The action will be the same as that of the green rods from the last couple years, which are a bit stiffer and quicker than the original brown blanks. In other words, they aren't going back to the old brown color, they're going to the new gold color. At the same time, the "European" style two-handers will now wear the olive green finish of the faster XP single-handers. Originally, both lines of Sage two-handers were the same color (brown) and were diferentiated by the number of pieces--4 pieces for the traditional or "spey" action, and 3 pieces for the faster "European" or Scandinavian models. When they updated and redesigned the tapers of all their two-handers (2 years ago), Sage separated the two styles by making the traditional rods the same color as the more traditional, slower SP single handers, and making the faster "Euros" match the XP. The change to gold on the traditional rods merely matches the cosmetics of the SLT single handers, which have replaced the SPs entirely. There is some logic here, it's just a bit confusing.

On the subject of lines and reels, I currently use the Loop 4 on my 9140 (green) with the SA salmon/spey line. This line has a fat part that's 77 feet long, so I don't have to strip in as much line as with the WC, yet fits on a reel a little easier than a full double taper. This setup works quite well for me, and I really like the mending qualities of this line. I should mention though, that my personal style of steelhead fishing is to fish relatively close (less than 80 feet) most of the time and pay a lot of attention to line control and mending. If you want to bomb out the really long casts, there are better lines.

I know, I know, probably more info than you wanted, but if you read this far, I hope the information helps someone. Good luck.


11-27-2001, 10:00 PM
Hey Skookum - good to hear from you and thanks for the clarificaton on the Sage color scheme.

fish on!


11-27-2001, 10:46 PM
I picked up a 10/11 Viscount LA Click from Hardy. Hardy of USA is not distributing these reels in the states and so Hardy of USA (Cortland) had a few that they made avaliable to shops.

They are your basic click 'n pawl cast aluminum Hardy but they are a true large arbor, are built very solid, hold alot of backing and are pretty as well. Plus it balances out my 9140 perfectly.

If you can find 'em they shouldn't be anymore then $140 and are most likely less.

BTW-Skoomum is correct regarding the Sage Two-Handers. The traditional series is going back to abrown blank but not the old skool brown but the new SLT style while the overhand series is staying green.

11-28-2001, 12:39 AM
oh well, dissenting words from a relative spey beginner: Despite RIO's recommendation, I found the Windcutter to be a very difficult line to cast as a beginner. It was difficult for me to get a good grip with the Windcutter because there was only a small window of working line that effectively loaded the rod and got a strong grip. Any less line and the grip had no force - weak "d" loop. And more line and the rod mushed out. The butt end of the Windcutter is so fat that small differences in working line length translate to large differences in line mass and rod loading. For example, the butt section of a Windcutter 7/8/9 is equivalent to a 12 weight line. That's lots of grain per foot for my 7136.

Another reason that I didn't take to the Windcutter, but which may be specific to me. I'm a fairly strong single handed caster, and vastly prefer to carry line rather than shoot line - this was one of the appeals of taking up the spey, and translated nicely in the "feel" of the stroke. WIth that, I found that a double taper was the easiest line for learning the basic traditional spey casting strokes at the broadest range of distances. THe Windcutter was too limiting, less so for distance than for developing my technique.

So, my advice would be to get either a DT or SA mastery line, as these have fairly tame tapers and work well over a variety of distances (Fred - surprised that you didn't suggest this earlier). I learned better and faster when I ditched my Windcutter. Also, DT lines can often be had for cheap, and they make great raw material for future chop and splice projects as your skills improve.

11-28-2001, 12:50 AM
Wow! Great advice folks. I really appreciate your input - I'm blown away by the amount of experience on this forum and having the beneift of all your learnings. This is fantastic.

Anyhow, obviously there's a lot to chew on here. Your line weight suggesstions are clear so the question then is taper. Sounds like the immediate trade off on the Rio systems is 'ease of learning' vrs benefit of a longer belly. Fred - I liked your suggestion to bite the bullet and go with the Accelerator but am wondering if I'd struggle too much to start. Appears the mid-spey would be a compromise as others suggested, but you are not a fan of it. Any particular reason you care to share? Also, how about the windcutter (accelerator) upgrade as an option later down the line when I'll be wantining the longer head - does anyone have experience with these?

With respect to tips, I like flexibility of Rio's interchangeable tips and I'm not ready to cut and build my own until I get a better feel for what works and what doesn't. Are there other options in addition to Rio's and SA tip systems? I saw reference to a Triangle Taper Spey line, but am not sure if they have tips or if I'd have to cut it back and build my own. Looks like a bit more homework here...

Fred - I'll also check out the SA reels. I haven't been a big fan of them in the past, but honestly I have not looked at the larger sizes so I'll hold off judgment for now. Ryan - any leads on finding a Hardy Viscount in the PNW area? Sinktip- thanks for the input on the Redington. I have to admit, I do enjoy the sound of a good (loud?) click on screaming metal head. It's hard to beat that one isn't it?


11-28-2001, 03:55 AM
E gad, so many thoughts in the last two treads I had to print the Board out so I didn't loose track (well, it is 136am - Poochie wanted out).

"Loco's" right I do use a lot of double taper lines for spey work, especially in the middle distances (40 - 80 feet plus 14-17 foot leaders). The line mass/learning curve on a double taper for spey casting (it's the wrist snap at the end of the 1-2-3 that makes the whole thing work correctly) is about 10 minutes. And I've 'taught' a lot of single handers here in Southern Oregon how to use a spey rod. 99% of the fly guys down here have never seen, or held, a spey rod so it's a first time experience for them ... and fun for me to see the light go on behind the eyes. Then they ask 'how much for one of these rods,' and the light goes out. :>)

But back to line choice for a moment. Even though I've got WC's, a couple of Aclrtrs and DT's for most of my rods, I find the DT's are not the best choice if casting distance AND heavy flys are the requirement. Here the WC or the Aclrtrs are the preferred lines.

As to why 'no fan' of the Mid-Spey line, for me anyway, they were a compromise of RIO's that brought zero to the table. Actually ended up cutting the front tips back to the head and splicing on sinking heads or looping the RIO short extra fast sinking leaders. But I can overline a rod by two wts with a DT, cut the front taper off and splice a 15 foot sinking head with better results for half the money.

On building your own lines Juro's got a web site where he shows just exactly how easy this is to do so not to sweat cost. Far cheeper than buying a 'pre-made' line. For more info on the RIO upgrades check out the long thread under "factory lines" (think this is where it's posted) in International Spey Casting on MSN Communities out of Canada. All spey folk (from litterly around the Globe) and very willing to share with all. As in this Board "flaming" is not permitted so feel very safe in asking any question(s) you may have. The worlds best spey casters will respond.

11-28-2001, 04:19 AM

Oly: another site from Dana S. on line building.

11-28-2001, 12:08 PM

See if you can cast these different lines on other rods, or "demo them" from a local shop, just to get the feeling. Each line type has specific advantages. I believe the WC is both, a line for newbies and experts. It is from my perspective a very easy line to begin casting with especally in the winter when you will be fishing tips and larger flies. I happen to have a midspey for a that I love on a smaller rod as a dry line and hate with tips, so I fish a WC on this rod in winter if it is a low water year. You might have to get a couple of lines over the years but, that is part of the fun isn't it? Another solution would be about 40' of dt 11 or 12 with a loop to change your tips. You can get the grain wt of the various RIO lines from their site. To add to your comfort level almost everyone I know is still looking perfect line.


11-28-2001, 03:27 PM
A word of caution on the Accelerator Upgrade. I have a beta version of this from 3 years ago and cannot recommend it. What Rio had done is give you a 35' midsection to replace the 15' midsection that comes with a WC tips version. This gives you 20 more feet of line to approximate the configuration of the Accelerator but the trade off is weight! You end up with a line that weighs considerably more than an Accelerator. I picked up mine when I was fishing a 9140-4 (old-old style) and it severely overloaded that rod. I still use it on my 10150-4 as it can handle the extra weight but since you are thinking 9140 I would shy away from the upgrade.

11-28-2001, 08:07 PM
Senior Sinktip makes an important point about the Accelerator upgrade. If you go this route, you *might* have to drop down a line weight in your mainline to compensate for the added weight of the upgrade. confused yet? I am. Andre said it best - we're all looking for the right line.

I most fish summer fish with my spey rods, long casts, occasionally with tips (darn Skamania hatchery fish belly rubbing and all). I often use a TT 8/9 Spey that fishes nicely on both my Sages 7136-4 (green) and 8150-4. Not sure if this is the line weight needed for the 9140-4, but I'd hazard a guess "yes." This is a great line that turns over nicely - highly recommended - but i never used it on your rod. I cut it back where it was equivalent to 8 wt and loop on 8 and 9 weight tips with no problem. The butt end of the 8/9 TT spey thickens to a 10 wt level section, and I have mine backed by additional footage of 10 weight line to support extra casting distance beyond 65'. This quickly puts me at my casting limit with the 7136, especially with tips, but not so with the 8150-4.

good luck, Steve

11-28-2001, 09:43 PM
Ah, Yes my little Chickidee. Andre summed it up in his last sentence. Welcome to Spey rod 'pergatory.'

11-29-2001, 01:09 AM
Oh man, you guys are not making this easy. I should have known!

OK, so now I'm looking beyond the Rio options (although I might have a lead on a cheap Acclrtr), and I've since read Dana's pieces on building your own. Got to admit that sounds like a good way to go too. Looks like I'm more than likely going to need a second spool as this could lead to some experimentation....

By the way, where can I find Juro's site with line building info? is it right under my nose in one of the Flytalk forums?

thanks, Brian

11-29-2001, 11:57 AM

11-29-2001, 07:53 PM
If I were you I'd wait one more week for the fly shops to start carrying the new Aireflow Delta series. They were supposed to be available this week but not all shops have them yet. This is the latest and greatest line out there (supposedly) Go to the International Spey page and find the thread about Aireflows web site. There you'll find the specs on the new Delta and Long Delta lines. You'll also find Tim Rajeffs phone number. He reps Aireflow and can tell you all about it.

This line is nothing like the other Aireflow spey lines.

Just my $.02

11-29-2001, 10:07 PM
Here's another way to make loops that I like: