With winter upon us and lockdown ending, anglers are migrating to open waters in bigger numbers than the fish. After a couple of spey related posts of recent, I’ve fielded a few questions regarding two handed lines, so will run down our offerings and what they mean for you.
My advice for beginners, and most self taught spey anglers, is to run at the higher end of the grain window for your rod to provide additional weight for loading the rod while your technique develops. Your retailer can help you with choosing the right weight for your rod. Initially your timing, tracking and power application may not be practiced enough to load your big rod with a lighter head, and so the extra weight will help you both feel the cast, flex the rod deeper and develop your skill. It takes mass to move mass so you’ll move heavier tips more easily with a heavier head.
With skagit being the most practical and popular style of two hand fly fishing here in NZ, we are coming in strong for Winter Twenty20 with our line-up of Airflo two handed lines.
Airflo Skagit Scout
This is a versatile short head, perfect for turning your good old single hand 6wt into a skagit weapon, and for shorter switch / trout spey rods. The Skagit Scout will turn over polyleaders and lighter Airflo Flo Tips, and add that little extra presentation, accuracy and flight time due to a 6’ front taper, something many other short heads fail to provide. A great option for roll casting streamers on your single hander when space is at a premium or swinging your way back downstream at the end of a big backcountry day. Available from 150gr to 480 gr.
The Skagit Compact G2
The standard workhorse for longer rods or getting more line into your D loop. The Skagit Compact G2 features a longer rear taper to delay turnover and increase distance over other traditional skagit heads, and the Airflo SuperDri coating to stay buoyant through those bouldery runs. A great line also for taller anglers with longer arms who can now relax without blowing out their anchor or having to crouch awkwardly or wade deeper to set up the cast.
The Airflo Streamer Switch
This is a one piece integrated, ‘grab and go’ head and as well as applications for experienced swingers, is a good option for beginners with a durable, easy handling running line. Often in low light, or when the drop off is right in front of you, you may wish to retrieve your fly right back to your feet, especially when fishing slower water or smaller braids. With the Airflo Streamer Switch being a one piece line there are no clunky loop connections to break your concentration as you strip in through the tip, and the head is easily swept back out to your desired overhang. A handy line to keep on your reel.
The Airflo Rage Compact
It’s a head that offers versatility. Less aggressive than your skagit, yet with more punch than a scandi, the 30’ Airflo Rage allows you to throw more controlled presentations with more flight time than your shorter, skagit head. If you are throwing T-10 and T-14 all day, loop on that Compact Skagit, however if you are presenting poly leaders and T-7 / T-10 Flo tips then the Rage compact will deliver these with precision.
Check out my review of the Airflo Rage Compact HERE
And finally, don’t forget your Airflo Whizz Lube to keep your head floating where it should be and to make it peel effortless from the water.
Check in next Thursday when we revisit your running line options.