Double tapers verses specialized Spey lines
Although I have tried both, I would like to hear others' views on the merits of DT lines vs. Spey lines like the Rio , Wulff, SA, etc.
I like DT lines because they can be fished without stripping and shooting line. For certain dry line situations, it seems the DT is the pure Spey fishing experience. Lighter tips can be fished, but of course winter grade heads typically preclude any kind of distance casting with DT lines. Unfortunately, it's winter that I love to fish DT lines because I can wear gloves and work a stretch without stripping wet line in very cold temperatures. It's my winter line system dillema.
The heads, whether long tapered or stout shooting style, carry the high grain tips to winter depths. They also shoot like a rocket for general Spey casting. Although I prefer to fish DT dry lines in late summer, the heads have distinct advantages for reaching broad river stretches.
I am also a user of the high grain head systems consisting of a short length of large floating DT belly section looped to tapered sink tips backed with floating running line. These could be seen frequently along the Sky or other Western WA streams through the mid-90's but I've noticed more people fish the manufactured Spey heads recently.
Don't know anymore - I've moved to Boston and Spey fish only a tiny fraction of what I used to - or wish I could. I'd be gald to hear the opinions of those who are still active practitioners, I am planning a return trip in April.
RE:Double tapers verses specialized Spey lines
Funny you should ask - I too enjoy the longer belly lines for summer/dry line work but don't enjoy casting sinktips with them.
The best compromise I've found is to have the longer belly lines (TT Spey, SA Spey) if you're limited to one line. This is long enuf to have good mending capabilities for dryline work and short enought to cast comfortably in winter with light to moderate tips.
The primary drawback to these long(er) belly lines is with the Really Heavy Heads sometimes needed in winter/spring (Deep Water Express) - these are best fished with the Windcutter/30' floating head/launcher lines where the length of line being cast is short enough that the additional weight doesn't compromise the castability of the line and are heavy enough (they're usually made out of 12-13wt floating line) that the sinktips won't submerge them. These lines aren't really cast - it's more like lobbing a really loooong slinky- but their performance is unmatched when it comes to fishing the heavy tips that really get the fly DOWN FAST.
These line's aren't the pleasure to cast that longer belly lines are, but I'll sure keep them around because when you need them you Really Need Them.
My $.02 worth,
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