Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Airflo single hand lines for Spey casting

Spey casting is an ever growing part of the sport and fly line companies have produced a plethora of two-hand Spey casting product to cater this demand. What can get overlooked though is the number of Airflo single hand lines on the market that are also excellent Spey casting tools. These lines meet the Spey casting needs for both single handed rods and the lighter ranges of switch rods. Read More...

The new G. Loomis Asquith Fly Rods

The latest G. Loomis Asquith rods use Shimano's Spiral X blank building technology to produce very light, powerful and strong fly rods. Check out these videos describing the rod range and how they are built. Read More...

Lines for overhead casting in the surf

I've always been a huge fan of Airflo's old, now out-of-production, Cold Water Salt 40+ lines. These lines were built on a mono core and had a shooting head welded to a thin intermediate running line. They were very much a classic shooting head design, only without the loop-to-loop connection. Their thick tips allowed me to cast some impressively sized flies and their Spey line style tapers made for excellent setup Spey casts.
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Learning Conventional Tackle

Since joining Loomis and by default Shimano, I set out to learn about the current state of conventional tackle; something of which I knew little. Like almost every other angler, I started out with conventional gear tossing worms, spoons and plugs. My first fishing trip at the age of six ended in disaster when my dear dad, who had zero fishing experience, misjudged the length of the cheap bamboo rod he had bought for me and shut it in the car door.
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Two Weeks in Cape Cod

Or as it should be know as, "Two Weeks of the Long Wind".

In 2015 I had brought one spinning rod as in previous years, wind had ruined some days. I wanted at least one spinning rod backup that would allow me to continue fishing despite the wind. I had so much fun with it that after the trip I went out and bought more.
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Buying a rod for the right reasons

Well, let's settle first what this post is not about. It's not about trying to get people to buy the rods I like. Rather it's about people buying the right rod for them, based on actual considerations like the size of river they fish, rather than on current fashion. A perfect example of this is someone buying a rod totally unsuited to where they want to fish. They've bought based on a set of faulty assumptions and someone else's preference.

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Advanced Tube Fly Design

The current steelhead season has been a frustrating one for me as the flies that had been so effective in past seasons, have failed to hook fish this fall. I have had numerous tugs from fish, sometimes three plucks in a row from the same fish or a tug followed by a smashing take, but few hookups. Most of those I did hook got off. However there is a solution.
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The great range of lines that a PRO-4X switch rod will handle

Just back from the river after fishing the Loomis PRO-4X 11'6 " 9 wt. switch rod using an Airflo 40+ 9 wt. line. I was Spey casting this line despite its light weight and had no problem exceeding 80'.

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Every fly fisher should own a spinning rod

No really! I haven't used spinning gear for 25 years and thought I never would. When I joined Loomis, I also joined Shimano and I began feeling guilty that I really hadn't paid enough attention to the conventional tackle side of the business. So this summer I decided to change that. Read More...

Welding loops not your thing? Another use for that heat gun . . .

Braided loops suck. I mean, I've had so many failures over the years with braided loops that welding came as manna from heaven, but I realize that welding isn’t always the solution.

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New G. Loomis PRO-4X rods

G. Loomis recently announced a large expansion of its PRO-4X rod lineup. The switch rod lineup has been increased by filling the gaps with even numbered line weights. So now the range covers from 4 wt. to 9 wt. Two new light Speys have been added, a light presentation trout series, a light Short Stix and a 12 wt. saltwater rod.
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Fishing and Casting the G. Loomis PRO-4X 10' 6" - 5 wt. switch rod

Over the years I've owned a few rods in the trout Spey class, plus I've tried a fair number of them and was always left dissatisfied. The PRO-4X 10’ 6” - 5 wt. switch rod has changed all of that. Check out this video to see what this rod can do.

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The G, Loomis PRO-4X Short Stix and Predator at Cape Cod

Just back after two weeks on the Cape. What a tough two weeks with northeast an easterly winds blowing for the first week and high winds the second. We had a hard time finding fish, but those we did find were worth the effort.

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Having some winter fun with lines

Cold wind, ice on the guides, clear water, cold feet, cold hands and no fish. Sounds like winter steelheading, eh? Finding good lines for winter fishing has always been a quest of mine. I've not been shy about doing weird stuff to keep stripping to the minimum, to keep ice off the guides and my fingers.
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Downforce Flies

All of our attention to leaders and sinktips wouldn't be of much value if our flies sank poorly. My typical wet fly is tied sparsely on a salmon iron, using materials that have a neutral to negative buoyancy. Read More...

Airflo Delta II WF Spey line

I've mainly been fishing Scandi and Skagit heads this fall so it was nice to be out with a WF Spey line. Read More...

Emerald Shiner - the steelhead nemesis

This simple looking little tube fly has proved over the last few years to be a very consistent producer of both bass and steelhead with the occasional walleye thrown in for good measure.

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Sharing lines and reels among PRO-4X rods

Traveling lighter by sharing reels and lines between rods: the unique fit of the PRO-4X rods. OK, let’s say I’m off to the Gaspé to fish for Atlantic salmon and I have identified the need for a single hand rod, a switch rod and a Spey rod. Now I could just pick up my favourites, grab the reels and spools for them and go fishing, but that’s adding a lot of weight and bulk. Read More...

Delta II tip section weights for sinktips

Some of the more enterprising anglers out there may want to cut and loop a Delta II floating line, for sinktips. I’ve produced these two tables to help you decide what weight of sinktips to use. Read More...

Putting Sinktips on a Rage Shooting Head

I recently took a look at a Rage 510 head and I figured it would turn a sinktip as the tip of the line was so thick, plus the mass was fairly compact. So I dug out a 105 grain 9/10 intermediate sinktip, strung it on the 510 and let her rip. It was a thing of beauty with the front end laying out like they were made for each other.
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Carrying Weight Concept Line Calculator

When trying to determine the weight of an AFTMA accurate fly line when a grain weight scale is not available, use this spreadsheet instead. Read More...

The Carrying Weight Concept

Since 1961 the AFTMA rod and line weight rating has served us pretty well, however with advances in lines and rods, it’s showing its age. No one is going to get rid of this system any time soon, but perhaps it’s time to add another line rating concept to cover all of the types of fly fishing being done today.
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Appreciating sheephead

Recently went fishing on my buddy’s boat, trying for Lake Erie smallmouth and ended up with four very nice sheepshead, all by accident. One was probably around three lbs. while the others were around five.

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Relationship between running line and turnover

I’ve been out recently testing how light a line my NRX 15' 10/11 ca handle. I went down as low as a 7/8 Airflo Scandi 480 plus a floating polyleader. It was interesting the extent to which the running line influenced the turnover at maximum casting distance. Read More...

Single Hand Lines on Switch Rods

With all of the emphasis on loading up switch rods with ever heavier and heavier Skagit heads, we sometimes forget that these rods can excel with single hand lines. These lines give us the option of Spey or overhead casting, working both ways often with equal facility.
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G. Loomis switch rod line ratings

Switch rod ratings can confuse, so I thought I’d add a clarification on the rating for this rod. What does that 9 wt. rating really mean? That is the rod’s overhead casting rating, meaning that a 9 wt. overhead line will load it for overhead casting. I’ve tried it with my 9 wt. striper lines and they work fine.
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G. Loomis NRX Lite Presentation 3 wt.

What a little gem! OK, I’d be embarrassed to reveal how many trout rods I’ve owned. One of the side effects of having so many, is that I’ve become blasé about their performance. A rod has to have something to impress me. This one impresses me.
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G. Loomis Switch rod 11' 6" - 9 wt. First Impressions

Had the rod out for the first time yesterday, fishing the Cattaraugus Creek in western NY near Buffalo. For a line, I was using an Airflo Compact Skagit 510 grain with 10’ of CCT 200 (T10) for a sinktip and Airflo Ridge running line.
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On why we should love intermediates

The intermediate fly line just doesn’t get enough love. Salmon and striped bass anglers are all well aware of just how fishy intermediates can be. I think I’ve caught more trout, steelhead, smallmouth and striped bass on intermediates than any other line type despite using other line types more frequently. These days we have the option of using intermediate Skagit heads as well, so regardless of our quarry or our style of fishing, there’s an intermediate line for us. Read More...

Leader Design

When I’m reading about leader questions on various forums and magazines, I’m often struck by how little thought has gone into the fishing aspect of the design as it seems that everyone is concerned primarily with turnover. A lot of the discussion sees to be centred around finding a leader formula and once they have it, they’re off to the races, but no single leader formula can encapsulate all fishing situations. Read More...

Getting the right long belly

People usually struggle when moving to their first long belly line and that’s pretty normal for just about everyone. No doubt that there’s a learning curve to be rounded, but there are a few things that can shorten the journey.
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Leaders on sinkers

It’s a simple thing, but I’m surprised more people don’t use the technique - putting long leaders on sinking lines. As long as the fly sinks as fast or faster than the sinking line, then the leader can be any length you like. Read More...

Little rods, little fish

Every now and again I need a reminder on how much fun it is to catch trout in a little stream with a little rod. Read More...

Switch Rods

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about switch rods so I thought a blog entry on the subject might help clear things up a bit.

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Quick & Dirty Indicator Line for a Switch Rod

For those of us who have been around this business for a while, we have probably collected a drawer full of unused lines. If you do have an old short or mid belly line hanging around, collecting dusty it’s a potential indicator line for a switch rod.
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Little rods for low water

Having written “Big Rods, Big Rivers” one would think that’s all I’d use on big water. Read More...

Big Rivers, Big Rods

In Europe, they take a sensible approach to matching their tackle to the rivers they fish: a big rod for a big river and a little rod for a little river. Read More...

Rod Action - What’s it all about?

Progressive vs. Regressive - sounds more like a political commentary than a description of rod action. Terms get bandied about so much that it’s hard to get them all straight. While there is no firm consensus on what some of these terms mean, I’ll give it a go to hopefully shine a clarifying light on the muddle. Read More...

How do I know if my Spey line is right for my rod?

The simplest answer is - the rod and line combination will achieve what I call, “Easy Distance”. In other words, will the rod cast the line from short ranges out to reasonable distances with minimal effort on the part of the angler? Read More...