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Snap-tee? Pulley?

2123 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  juro
A couple years back, Brian showed me a Spey cast whereby you set to the upriver side with a lift and under-tuck motion, causing the line to wave upriver and position the fly on in the grip position. From this position a strong single Spey is possible.

I've heard it called the pulley, which makes sense - also the snap-tee... do you use the cast, and is there a difference between the two?

I hear the snap-T mentioned on Dana Sturn's Spey site often; clarification would be appreciated.
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Hi Juro!

The Snap-T (its original name) goes by a few different names and has a few different variations--the Pulley Cast, The Windcutter Cast, the Snap-C, the Circle Cast are four that you'll often hear. This past summer when I met with Dec Hogan to test his new line of rods he told me the story of its development:

The original cast was developed back in the late 80s by Washington State steelie guides John Farrar and Dec Hogan. Both saw a casting demo by Tom White at a trade fair. During the demo White would use the "snap" motion to draw his line back towards him so that he could catch it to change flies, fix wind knots, or simply make an impression on the audience. Farrar and Hogan thought they might by able to do something with this move and a Spey rod. Farrar messed about with the basics, combining the "snap" with a single Spey, and showed it to Hogan. Hogan worked on refining it, and the two soon after showed it to Sage Rep George Cook, who named it the Snap-T. At the time the guys were using shooting heads with their Spey rods (the original custom made versions of what was to become the RIO Windcutter) and when Vincent came out with the WC the line and method were brought together as a potent casting tool on the Winter steelhead rivers. Later guide Scott O'Donnell modified the cast into the Snap-C or Circle Cast, and Ed Ward has come up with a variation that I believe is known as the Periwinkle. I should note that although the cast is seen most often used with WC lines, it also works quite well with long-bellied Spey lines although you need to adjust your set-up and timing.

In the "casting videos" section of my web site there is some footage of Dec Hogan making a reverse Snap-T for those that are interested.


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It's kinda funny. I heard the same story but that it was Frank Moore who did the return snap at the trade show. Rumors you gotta lovem.
As far as the snap-tee it works great but i still prefer the single spey or a reverse or left handed spiral- roll. Especially the spiral sroll it generates a lot more power than the snap-tee. I especially like it in winter because it gives me the straight across stream angle that I want where the snap tee or single spey gives you a more downstream angle. Of course all that can be modified easily so it ends up being a matter of personal preference.
<font size="3">Thanks for the clarifications!</font><!--3-->

That video clip is awesome, if other's haven't seen it yet it's at or click <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url--> for the video. I have been using this and calling it the reverse pulley, the "tomahawk", and a few other pet names. Not with nearly the fluidity and accents at just the right moments as Dec of course

For anyone who hasn't already seen Dana's way cool Spey fishing site, it's at

(or click <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">Here</a><!--url-->)

There is always fascinating Spey discussion going on <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url--> - Dana's Spey casting discussion board.

Just to add to the amusing rumors of the snap originator, The version of the rumor I heard was that it was Lefty!

Amazing... the legacy of what is brewin' in the PNW goes way beyond the Hefferweissen and espresso... it's a key page in the book of angling history. I am glad I had my 12 years there (plus 1-2 visits each year!)

BTW - nice article in this month's [email protected] magazine by Dec. If the photo on the first two pages wasn't impressive enough by itself! I heard from the Airflo / FlyLogic rep that they went to the river with Dec, got setup for photography, and with one cast and a click - they were done.
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I believe that Ed Ward calls the cast a "perry-poke". I just got a news letter that has an essay by him that tries to define two styles of fishing and casting with a two handed rod. Traditional Atlantic salmon fishing with a spey cast, and Steelhead fishing with a shooting head(or as he calls it, a "Skagit" cast). While it seems to ignore established Skandanavian styles, it never the less is the first written discussion I have seen.
Now I don't have to be ashamed to fish the WindCutter "begginers" line. "Hey, I'm fishin' for steelehead".
Juro regarding the Ross #6 for thwo handed duty, I think it might be about perfect. I have a #5, and it is really too small. I use a Salt Water #5 for my 10wt. and it is pretty good. I'm going to have to order a #6 for my 8wt.
Rob is quite right about the Frank Moore connection--I neglected to mention this. According to Dec and others, Tom White learned the "snap" move from Frank Moore who had developed it on the North Umpqua.

Eddie, I'm curious about this article by Ed Ward--where might I get a copy? During the intro portion of my Spey clinics I differentiate among and demonstrate three distinct yet related schools of Spey casting:

* the UK or Traditional School, favouring long (15ft+) slow-to-medium action rods, heavy spring-and-pawl reels, and long lines with little or no shooting on the forward delivery. Casts include the traditional single and double Speys along with the many variations such as the Grant Switch and Spiral or Snake Roll;

* the Scandinavian or European School, favouring medium fast-to-fast action rods, light large arbor reels, and shooting heads of 35ft - 45ft. Signature cast is the Underhand or Andersson Cast;

* the Pacific Northwest or North American School, a creative blending of the UK and Scandinavian schools favouring 13ft - 14ft medium-to-medium fast action rods and extended belly shooting heads such as the Windcutter and similar custom lines. Signature cast is the Snap-T and its variations.

I'd be interested to read what Ward has to say on the subject.


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Ed Ward's essay was in the bulletin for the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. Maybe call contact
Tor Hansson( [email protected] ) He is the assistant editor.
Ed is da' man. Thanks to Andre, I was able to spend a misreable, cold, pounding cats and dogs day on the Sauk and Skagit under his keen eye on the river. My fancy-tex jacket had soaked thru and I was shivering with cold heavy moisture inside my sleeves and running down my sides. I wouldn't have had it any other way. With every sip of hot coffee keeping me in the hunt, I cast the intruder into the broad pools of the Skagit until I finally connected with native steel. The fish was like liquid mercury, ripping, scorching - not just pulling line from the reel. I had almost forgotten the cold fire that burns within a wild winter steelhead's heart, and suddenly it was doubling my 10wt 15 footer over and making it hard for me to speak. The pure elation of the moment shook the cold from my bones like a dog after a swim, and for a few minutes I was king of the world with a graphite whuppin' stick in the valley of bald eagles.

The chromer threw the hook. It was a classic day in the pacific northwest!
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