Raspberryfisher's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Spey’ Category

Danielsson Reels

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I have great affinity for the Nautilus Reels, but before Nautilus – nearly 20 years ago – I start with Loop-Danielsson “Traditional” Reels. 20 years ago these were the first large arbour reels, reels that were made for fish that ran long distances – such as Steelhead.

Since then,

  1. Loop and Danielsson split their business partnership (under unkind terms).
  2. Sealed drags has become common place – great for saltwater.
  3. Danielsson sells direct – in effect a great reel at a great price.

So this is my new Danielsson HD 9-13.

Below the reel is spooled to handle a spey rod or the salt (bonefish), with 50m of 30lb 3M orange dacron, 150+m 20lb 3M green Dacron backing and a 10m of 30lb transition. The 10m marks the transition from fly line into backing  and I use a large loop (perfection loop knot) to allow for quick change of fly lines – whether it is scandi heads on my spey rods or lines for saltwater (bonefish).


I have played with the reel and I am first to admit a real positive review can only come after a year of hard use, but given the love shown by others I respect and my good history with Danielsson, I am happy to say this is my reel of choice.




Written by raspberryfisher

2017/02/02 at 04:44

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater, Spey

Spey (items) for Sale

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I am not getting any use out of the following items, so I might as well put them up for sale. Prices are on the SpeyClave Board, as per board rules.

First up, is a G.Loomis GLX Roaring River 15′ 9-10 Rod. A very fine rod and the very first spey rod that I really like. But, as progress in my skills and learning, I decided to keep to a Scandi style (versus this long line), but more significantly a lighter line.

I would contend this rod is great for large rivers and when pursuing King or Atlantic Salmon. A new Loomis Long-Belly 15′ rod currently retails for over 1000 USD, while a TFO 2H is over 460 USD. Posted sales in 2016 had prices from 400 to 600 USD.

Loomis 1 700 IMG_5205.jpg

Loomis 2 700  IMG_5207.jpg

Loomis 3 700 IMG_5208.jpg

Loomis 4 700 IMG_5209.jpg

In support of this rod are 2 Delta Spey Lines – Long Belly with Tip and Standard.  These lines had light usage and in good condition. In fact, I never did use the tips on the long, other than the floating line.  Delta Spey lines currently sell for 130 USD without tips, and I do not believe they offer a version with tips (except the UltraSpey at 270 USD).

Sales in 2016 provided 40 to 80 USD, top price for the multi-tip.

Delta 700 IMG_5175.jpgDelta Spely Long 700 IMG_5176.jpg

Up next, thought less loved is a “seconds” reel.  In my learning phase, I kept my forward arm choked down, so a heavy reel was desired. As many people, expressed their admiration for pawl-click reels, I had “a go” with this, but have decided to keep with my closed drag Nautilus reels enabling palming.

I found the start-up inertia high, so I reduce the springs (which are included), but also note there was an imperfection on the surface of the interior plate that I reduce.

This reel weighs 15.9oz empty, and believe it to be a Symmetry, which currently retails for 500 USD new.

Speyco 1 700 IMG_5164.jpg

Speyco 2 700 IMG_5174.jpg

Speyco 3 700 IMG_5171.jpg

Speyco 4 700 IMG_5167.jpg

Speyco 5 700 IMG_5165.jpg

Last are almost new Ambush lines. Water casted with my customer build fiberglass James Green. After some testing, I decided to go with the OPST, so my experiments are your gain. New lines retails for 80 USD, and appears 2016 sales on the board was 40-50 USD/

Ambush 700 IMG_5178.jpg

Ambush 700 IMG_5177.jpg

Terms ….

  • Paypal or Money Order. I will take the Paypal fees.
  • Buyer pays for shipping, and shall define terms – signature, insurance, et cetera.
  • I will ship by Friday of the week sold
  • Buyer may return for refund, minus fees taken by me.


Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/25 at 23:34

Posted in Spey

James Green 7wt 10′ DH Update

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An update on my setup with James Green DH 7wt 10′ setup. In the last few months, I have moved over to OPST Commando Heads. With a Snap T Spey Cast and the short aggressive head it is allowing me to get the fly, with the trees on my back.

You need a relaxed cast, and I still amazed at how light the rod is, so it is fun rod for small crowded rivers.


Right now I have a 350 gr line + MOW Medium Tips, but I am looking to order and try a heavier line (I have tried lighter lines, but the 350 is the best fit of the lines I do have on hand).

Written by raspberryfisher

2016/09/10 at 05:22

Pop’s Bitters and Cushing Dye

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Much of the spring and early has been tying flies for our (Judy and I) trip in December to the Bahamas (to chase bonefish).  As such, not knowing the conditions, I have been amassing more flies than we need, but this is part of the fun of getting ready.

One observation with bonefish flies, they are really easy-fast to tie, compared to most trout flies and steelhead.

One of the patterns is the Pop’s Bitters, where the fly colour should match the surrounding floor bed, whether it is sand or sea grass (mangroves).

brown bitters DSC_7657.jpg

sand bitters DSC_7655.jpg

For the lighter sand, I did not want to go with white  as it was too bright, so I dye my white deer belly hair to a soft yellow cream.

buttercup die DSC_7630 700.jpg

This is the first time, I used the acid dyes from my mother’s collection (from rug hooking).  My pre-existing library used for steelhead and salmon flies are highly saturated (vibrant) colours, but do not always have the feel of earth..

So as illustrated above,  I used a little “Buttercup” to dye the white deer-hair to a nice light cream. The light sample was in the bath for about  5 minutes and the deep yellow-orange for about 3 hours (will make a great crawfish colour!).

I really like the natural tone the Cushing Perfection Buttercup Yellow gave, so much that I later dyed my Airflo WF7 40+ flyline to the deeper yellow. Two thumbs up for these dyes.

So yes, we have still been fishing (for smallmouth bass).  These pass 2 weeks has been very good, with only last Tuesday requiring concentrated effort to catch-land fish. (The picture was from Monday, the night before when the fishing was easy).

bass DSCN0372.jpg

We have most of our success with muddlers – orange and olive – on floating or intermediate lines.

Judy’s casting has really taken up a notch this year and no longer does she lose to the wind. Needs a little more power into the wind, but the timing is good and the line shape is excellent/

Judy DSCN0342.jpg

The water is warm, seen a lot of damselflies and dragon flies, but not many mayflies. This fish appear to be healthy, as do the frogs, but hopefully this hot summer is not damaging the river.

mississippi frogDSCN0354.jpg

Last picture …. Judy took a picture of me and my new toy – a Burkheimer 7134-4, when we were fishing on the Ausable.  The water was high, we threw streamers and did very well landing Brown Trout, though we took very few pictures.

ausable DSCN0333.jpg




Written by raspberryfisher

2016/07/21 at 02:02

James Green 7wt DH – Update – with Reel

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Today, in balancing the rod, I went with the lightest reel I have – Loop (Danielsson) 3W  – and added on a RIO VersiTip (no id unfortunately) which I had with my Scandi 7wt setup to a Wulff Ambush 9wt 390gr line and started casting some nice tight loops.  I was happily surprised at how light the setup is!

Post Publish Note – One website lists the Wulff 9wt as 390grains, but Wulff themselves its the weight as 350grains. I think I have two distinct but similar choices to try:

  1. 9wt Ambush with RIO 10′ InTouch 7wt, getting me to 425grains
  2. 10wt Ambush with Airflow PolyLeaders (10′ probably) getting me to 430+grains.

Lawn casting last night, I was thinking I would want a longer head and less weight, but today it was good. Real good and using a light reel was great!  In talking to James last night, his suggestion is to try a line of 425 grains – or better stated, get 425 grains out past the tip.  So the Ambush 9wt with tip may be best, but I may be looking to work in a 10wt line to compare.

I did not buy-build this rod to throw long, but to fish and catch steelhead in tight quarters, where 60′ is the pool against the bank across the river and trees are everywhere. This appears to suit this just fine and I am happy!  As far as the cast – slow down and at the end of the forward cast, give it a little snap forward and you should a tight loop to the bank on the other side of the river bank.

And the short fiberglass blank will help with getting that fish to y feet.

Some more practice, maybe a little tweaking, but what is left is fine tuning.

The rod with the reel.

james green IMG_1921

With some measurements below.

The fore-handle handle length is right for me, with my cast movement (more scandi under-hand versus a traditional top hand caster), I am finding, I am placing (extending) my fore-thumb naturally from 15.5″ to 17″. A shorter for handle would not be good (and longer would be irrevelant).

The knife represents the balance point, probably a little too far back and noting I have the lightest reel on a down locking reel-seat, I could have moved the reel up by 0.5″ to 1″ inch with a little more cork on the aft grip. Never-the-less, it holds well and I get to use the lightest reel possible, which is great.

jame-green IMG_1923

Last note in this post, I like to keep the cork simple.  In this case, I did add some flourish with some burl cork at the ends, but under my hands, I just want cork. Cork is good in the cold, the wet et cetera, so in the middle of the grip, keep it simple, keep it cord.

I used the rubberized cork, which does provide weight and some real structural support, which is nice at the reel seal entry and forming the butt.  I remain undecided of the flourish with the burl cork is of any gain.  (I used the dark burl for some single hand fly rods as end pieces though).


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/12 at 03:45

James Green 7wt – 10′ Fiberglass – Double Hand Build

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Quick construction notes (from my memory):

  • A James Green 7wt 10′ Fiberglass Rod – “re-purposed” into a short two-hand spey.
  • Maple dowel insert in bottom to provide strength on the underhand
  • Cork individually drill and glued onto blank (then turned on blank)
  • Lemke Real Seat, with Ron (Southwest) providing a Cherry Burl Insert (maybe wrong on wood)
  • Joe Arguello Agate Stripping Guide
  • Silk Thread – with two trim colours
  • Al’s Bamboo Color Lock
  • Writing with Faber Castel Pen on First Layer of Epoxy, roughen with 1000 grit sandpaper
  •  ProKote Epoxy – 3 thin coats.

James Green 10 DWW_4420

James Green 9 DWW_4427

James Green 8 DWW_4425

James Green 7 DWW_4424

James Green 6 DWW_4430

James Green 5 DWW_4428

James Green 4 DWW_4431

James Green 3a DWW_4437

James Green 3 DWW_4433

James Green 2 DWW_4441

James Green 1 DWW_4419

Lawn casting says the rod is slow (no surprise), and I will need to spend some with it before I have completed balancing it with the best reel and line. Right now, I have a Wulff Ambush 9wt on it, but  I am thinking a longer head 8 wt would be a better choice.

Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/11 at 02:45

Brown Trout

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and moving back to my favourite method of fishing – spey casting streamers. Here is my rabbit tube fly “brown trout” imitation when I am searching for bigger fish.

Side view

brown trout DWW_4231

looking down on the flybrown trout DWW_4208

and the view looking upbrown trout DWW_4212

and a couple of different heads to disturb the rabbit, as it moves through the water.

brown trout DWW_4222

brown trout DWW_4221


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/07/27 at 10:07