Your fearless editor spent last week fishing two-handed rods for steelhead and chinook salmon at BC West on the Dean River. We had a stellar group of folks at the lodge, including Michael White, Simms and Idylwilde rep for the Southern Rockies. Whitey gave up another nice spey casting tip during the week, and we thought we’d pass it on.
If you’ve spent much time on our web site, you know that we’ve tried a bunch of different running lines with our Skagit heads, and that these days lots of us fish mono running lines of various sorts. We’ve given some tips for managing running line, and we’ve posted a video and then even a more detailed follow-up video about why and how to hold loops of running line instead of coils.
Assuming you’ve got the loops vs. coils thing down (if you don’t, check out all those links above) and you’re throwing around a fair amount of line, here’s the next step for you to try. Pinch your loops of running line with your top hand instead of your bottom hand!
In your top hand, your loops of running line are further from the water, so less of each loop is in the water. This makes for less resistance when you’re shooting line, and that makes for more distance with less effort. If this seems like esoteric B.S., give it a try – you just might be amazed at how much further your casts sail.
Strip your running line in with your bottom hand like you always do. Hold your loops (not coils!) of running line like you always do. When you’re ready to make the cast, simply transfer those loops from your bottom hand to the top of your top grip. Let the loops all hang off to one side of the rod (if you’re a righty they’ll all hang on the left side of the rod, like in the picture above). Pinch the loops with your top thumb. Make your cast. When it’s time to shoot, release your thumb. Prepare for blastoff.
It feels pretty strange the first couple of times, with all those loops of line moving back and forth in front of you as you make your cast. Stick with it, though, and you may very well like up a convert like us!
Stay tuned – next week we’ll have another running-line-shooting-easy-distance-gaining tip for you.
Tophand is simply,amazing isnt it. Specially if you have 1 or 2 loops bout 2 pulls each and single spey w/a 8ft shoot.
After the first 10 or 12 yrs of fighting running line in my tophand I finally wised up and now hold ALL MY LOOPS of shooter in my bottom hand for the last 7 or 8 yrs now..
A: high winds blow less of the line around w/running line in the bottom hand.- because its closer to the water.
B: If you are shooting for the moon- holding running line in the bottom hand, you- me- anyone will stand way less of a chance of wrapping the running line around the reel- or yourself if the runner is held in the bottomhand. Specially ifn yer winding up for a homerun swing.
Course I’m talkn 4 loops of running line starting w/7 then 6 then 5 and then 4 – 4ft pulls per loop. (up to a 88ft shoot w/a skagit head on a skagit dedicated rod)
C: 8 out of 10 competition distance spey casters hold the running line w/their bottomhand- but what do they know, eh? Sorta like the dude in the pic below the subtitle( all about spey fishing.)