Fly lines for Spey casting
and double handed fly rods

Fishing instructor, fly fishing tuition and fishing trips based in Scotland. Salmon and trout fishing advice, flies and articles.

Spey lines - conclusion

Which Spey fly line to buy?

This is where I have to make decisions, put my money where my mouth is. Unfortunately I have a problem. Ideally I like the idea of having both a weight forward line and a double taper. My bread and butter line is the double taper, it will fulfill requirements when I don't need to cast particularly far. When I fish the lower Tay or some other big water however, distance might be very important to reach the fish or get the correct drift. For Spey casting moderate distances, (say up to 90 feet) the double taper Cortland SL Spey was the most consistent and enjoyable line tested. No fuss or worry about heads and distances, it just gets on with the fishing. Its specialised tapers have a lovely turnover and great presentation for the smallest of flies. An excellent quality line.

At longer distances the weight forward lines are easier to cast and have the edge. For maximum distance performance, after all the tests its a dead heat. So I leave it to the angler to choose. It's either the Scientific Anglers Mastery Salmon/Spey or the Lee Wulff Triangle Taper 80-foot version. With a sinking leader attached, the Mastery may have a slight edge over the Wulff. With the Wulff that you get the wonderful roll of the triangle taper and maybe slightly better presentation under normal circumstances. Either way you won't be disappointed. Two top class lines.

For beginners or those who perhaps feel that they want to use a shorter weight forward profile because the 75 or 80 foot head lines are too much to cope with in a D loop or for anglers who wish to use a 13 or 14 foot rod, the Lee Wulff Triangle Taper 70 foot head line and the Rio MidSpey are the best choices and the latter line is my first choice by a tippet length if you want to use a sinking leader.

Multi-tip Spey fly lines

The only multi-tip line that I have experience of is the Rio MidSpey and I am pleasantly surprised with its versatility. I think that this has got to be great for the traveling angler. From the fishing I done with it so far, the type 6 tip appears to produce roughly the same fly presentation depth as a type 2 full line in most situations and because of higher density it probably gets the fly down quicker where it is required at the start of the swing. It would be interesting to compare the performance of several of these lines.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.