We do a lot of fishing with spey rods at our lodges in Alaska and British Columbia. Most of the time we use Skagit or occasionally Scandi style spey lines, consisting of short shooting heads connected to a level running line. Distance is achieved by casting the heavier head outside of the rod tip allowing the running line to shoot out the rod guides.
Good line management is important to keeping your running line tangle free and reducing drag from swift currents in order to achieve maximum casting distance. We’ve posted several ways in the past of managing running line from the old climber’s trick to pinching loops in your top hand. All are great methods of managing running line, but like most things spey fishing, what works for some doesn’t always work for others.
So, today we show you yet another method of managing running line. We’re calling it the finger loops method for lack of creativity, and encourage you to give it a try.
Managing Running Line – Finger Loops
Once your fly has swung through and you are ready to set up for your next cast, proceed to stripping in your running line with your bottom (line) hand. After a number of strips (lets say 5 for explanation purposes), hook the running line around your pinky finger and hold to create a loop of line.
With running line pinched between your pinky finger, continue to strip in running line. After a number of strips (lets say 4 strips this time), hook the running line around your ring finger, creating a second loop. It’s important that each loop held is made of descending size (hence why we started with 5 strips, then 4, and so on). This allows running line to shoot without tangling.
Although two fingers are often enough for most fishing situations. If making a long cast, a third loop can be held by the middle finger as well. Simply continue to strip in running line before hooking a third loop around your middle finger.
Once you have stripped in to your Skagit or Scandi head, return your line hand to the bottom grip to make your cast. As your line begins to shoot, simply straighten your bottom two (or three) fingers to allow for the loops to shoot through the guides!
Keep in mind the number of strips for each loop is based entirely on fishing situation and personal preference. However, loops should always be made in descending size and in order of the fingers mentioned. Doing so allows for the best tangle-free shooting scenario; small loops held closest to the shooting guide shoot first, followed by subsequently larger loops held further away from the shooting guide.
Joe Mahler says
Here is a quick video showing this technique with a single handed rod. Very useful for beach fishing as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq7i5jVTyG4
Kyle Shea says
Very cool Joe! Thanks for sharing!