G. Loomis Spey Rods

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Fear No Fish!
Fly Line Sizes
Spey Standards
Rio Sizes
Common Language PHD Class Winner! All pictures are Mouse-over.

G. Loomis Back Yard Barbeque!  Cast for prizes!  Some big prizes!

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Built in the Pacific Northwest for conditions anywhere in the world.
StreamDance Freshwater Series Salmon & Steelhead Rods
CrossCurrent Saltwater Series Two-Hand Rods
Ed Ward helps design new Roaring River Dredger Series of spey rods.   
G. Loomis fly rods are especially adapted to the conditions that we face on our home waters.  They have an very strong design/test group in our region. G. Loomis rods are made in Woodland, Washington, just across the Columbia river from our store.  Steve Rajeff has his office there.
When it comes to delivering long, accurate casts or dropping a fly on a dime, nobody in the world does it better than the G. Loomis Director of Research & Development, Steve Rajeff.  Rajeff has dominated the world of competitive casting for over three decades.  He has no less than 29 national and 13 world All Round Championships on his casting resume. Steve holds the current National single and two hand fly distance records at 238 feet and 295 feet respectively. Steve and his brother Tim were winning teammates in the recent Outdoor Life Network Flyfishing Masters Cham pionship. Steve gives G. Loomis a powerful  Steve Rajeff with a British Columbia steelhead.
 advantage against the competition with a deep understanding of how fly rods work, 

Bill Howland pilots his jet boat with his beegle, Rowdy.

because he can make them perform better than any one else in the world.  Working closely with Steve are a whole team of gifted anglers such as "Mild Bill" Howland of Warm Springs, Oregon.  You can find Bill testing G. Loomis fly rods below Mack's Canyon on the Deschutes River. Bill is a retired Marine Patrol Officer and worked the waters of Central Oregon for many years.  This background gives Bill a unique perspective on the waters that he fishes.  Now during the summer and fall months he lives, camping-out in the Deschutes Canyon.  This life style give Bill a lot of  experience.  He is a tremendous fly caster catches lots of steelhead.  Besides G. Loomis rods, Bill employs the service of his steelhead dog, Rowdy.  This combination gives him a nearly unfair advantage over the fish.  Bill is a dedicated G. Loomis user.  He 
and Steve Rajeff spend a lot of time fishing together.  The exchange of information that happens on those trips is added into the mix of G. Loomis design knowledge...local on the water knowledge. 
One of the newest additions to the G. Loomis Pro Staff is our good friend Steve Choate of Kalama, Washington.  You might remember that Steve won the 2002 International Open Spey Casting Championship at Broadlands on the river Test in England with a cast of 50 yards.  This cast was performed on moving water as a "fishing cast".  Steve perfected the "Spiral-Single" spey cast and has been one of the major cornerstones of the Sandy River Spey Clave since its beginnings.  Right now G. Loomis GLX two-handers will compete with anything in the world.  We figure however that Steve Choate working with Steve Rajeff will produce  Steve Choate with a Thompson River hen.
two-hand fly rods of unapproachable performance.  Are we about to see something revolutionary? Rumors are starting to spread.  The suspense is building. We can't wait! 
 The Loomis Team Bags Another Big One!                                                              To Top
Ed Ward joins the G. Loomis team to help design the new Roaring River Dredger Series of "Skagit Cast" rods.  This rod configuration and casting style has evolved and steadily gained popularity as means of fishing very large flies for steelhead.  Short, heavy sinking-tip heads are cast perpendicular to the current and the fly is dead-drifted deep.  It is a method which takes precise casting and line handling.  It is deadly when mastered.  Ed is pictured at left with a fish taken on the Sandy River.  He has fished nearly the entire 
native range of Oncorhynchus mykiss.  He is universally respected for his highly refined two-hand fly rod fishing skills.  Wow! Rajeff, Choate and Ward exploring the dynamics of two-handers; teamed-up together!!??  Sounds potent to us !!!

The Evolution of Fly Line Size Designation
The evolution of fly lines has determined, to a large degree, the shifting design characteristics of fly rods and changing styles in fly casting. Early fly fishers used horsehair (from the tail of the horse) for both line and leader.  Braiding the line to a tapered shape improve casting performance. In 1870's an American Fredric Halford, developed and patented one of the first solid woven tapered silk fly lines. For the next 80 years oiled silk lines were very popular and were made in many sizes to fit all sizes of fly rods.  Letters were used to designate the approximate diameters of  these lines.  Most lines during this era were braided in double taper configuration.  An HDH line corresponds roughly to what we now call a DT5.  HCH=DT6, etc.  During the later development of silk lines weight forward taper designs started to become popular. 

Because silk is heavier than water it will sink unless it is greased.  The care of these lines was labor intensive and because silk is biodegradable it had to be cleaned, dried and stored carefully.  There was room for improvement.

Shortly after World War II, synthetic materials replaced silk. Now most fly lines are now made of polymers surrounding a braided core of Dacron or Polyester.  The core provides the tensile strength and the coating provides the weight and taper.  Many materials can be mixed with the polymer and many different specialized fly lines emerged..  Lines of the same diameter can now vary greatly in both density and weight.

The letter designations use for silk lines only reflected the lines' external size.  As new materials emerged varying densities and taper/belly lengths caused large weight differences within lines of the same diameter, eliminating the possibility of using old standards to match a modern line to a given fly rod. 

Standard Line Weights
Modern Fly Line Standards were developed to help fly fishing tackle manufacturers create a system that would match fly line weight to fly rod performance. This system uses the weight in grains (a very small weight measure) of the first 30 feet of fly line as a standard and gives it a number designation. The table below shows fly line weight designations and their grain weight. The system also established a tolerance level that is acceptable.

Number Designation Standard Weight Margin For Error
1-Weight 60 54-66
2-Weight 80 74-86
3-Weight 100 94-106
4-Weight 120 114-126
5-Weight 140 134-146
6-Weight 160 152-168
7-Weight 185 177-193
8-Weight 210 202-218
9-Weight 240 230-250
10-Weight 280 270-290
11-Weight 330 318-342
12-Weight 380 368-392

In Search Of Common Language

FFS Guide Hawkeye Hawkins testing a new Rio Skagit Spey Line! Click to meet Hawkeye!

From 1880 to 1980, a span of one hundred years, nearly all lines for two-hand fly rods were in the Double Taper configuration.  About 25 years ago shooting head type lines started gaining popularity with some Scandinavian salmon fishermen.  In 1990 Trey Comb's great work "Steelhead Fly Fishing" described several weight-forward "Spey" lines.  This book sparked an explosion of interest in two-hand rods with West Coast steelhead anglers.  In the last 15-years the development of  lines for two hand rods has gone through many phases and is still rapidly evolving.  Weight-forward lines are now more popular than double tapers.  These weight-forward lines come in many styles and configurations. Matching lines to rods can be quite confusing.  New systems are evolving to cope with this problem.
The other day a rod rep told me on the phone that a certain manufacturer was contemplating changing the way they designated the line weights on their two-hand fly rods. They were changing categories from 6/7/8-9/10/11 to simply listing in grain weights, the line weights each model was designed to load with to get optimum performance; in other words the head-weight of the line.  A rod might then be listed as a 14'-550gr.  Inwardly I thought, "Why mess with a system that has been in place since WWII".  Most educated fly anglers are able cope with the current system.  We can speak a common language.  Heck every one knows that if you buy a 7/8/9 rod you simply buy a 7/8/9 line to put on it.  Problem is, what is a 7/8/9 line?  With a little research you find out that one manufactures 7/8/9 line hasn't always weighed the same as another's 7/8/9.  Head weights can vary from model to model from the same manufacturer. 

This point was driven home this afternoon while trying a brand new 13' 9" rod rated for 7/8/9 line.  I asked one of my shop guys, who had actually designed this rod while working for this manufacturer which size Rio Skagit Spey line to use.  He said, "8/9. Add a 5' Skagit Cheater".  Bill Krueger, long time friend and client was first to try it.  It worked smooth and easy for him.  A while later I took a couple of shots and easily sent the 15' sink tip and bulky fly to the 90' mark.  Bill fished this outfit the rest of the day and commented several times how much he liked it.  I tried it again at the end of the day and could easily reach the 90'+ mark in a stiff breeze.  That's the 47' head and 45'-50' of shooting line pasted the rod tip.  With this line the rod loaded deeply to where the "big power" lies.  However managing 45'-50' of shooting line is a bit much when you are wading.  The long loops trail far enough down stream that you can hook them with the fly while casting.  Then I thought, "If the head of the line were longer, I won't have to shoot so much line".  The 8/9 Skagit Spey was replaced with an 8/9/10 WindCutter which has a 54' head.  Theoretically I should now have to shoot 7' less line to reach the same water.  I have used WindCutters a lot.  The change should have been easy.  It wasn't.  It was a dog.  I could barely reach 80'.  Then it was time to leave for the take-out.  The incident left me wondering why these lines from the same manufacturer should offer such radically different performances from the same rod.  Part of the answer became clear when Rio's line chart was examined.  The heads of the two lines (as I used them) were radically different weights.  According to the chart the 8/9 Skagit with a 5' Cheater and 15' 9-weight tip weighs a total of 747 grains.  The head of a WindCutter 8/9/10 weighs 585 grains.  That's 162 grains or nearly 22% different.  The 8/9 Skagit (as it was rigged) compares to the 10/11/12 WindCutter which weighs 750 grains.

The comparison puzzled me until I realized that the Skagit is sold without tips or attachments and the WindCutter is sold as a complete package. So when you add a Cheater and a 9-weight tip the weight goes up. If you add up the weight of parts of each line you come up with the figures below.

If the rod had been designated to throw a 750 grain line there wouldn't have been as much confusion.  Of course now that I am thinking within those parameters things could get easier. 

Every rod will deflect a predictable amount when loaded with a specific weight of line.  This is how the rod stores energy for the cast.  The rod becomes a spring that is bent. Some rods are very sensitive to line weight, others maybe not so much. 

Last winter Ed Ward showed me one of his innovations.  It was a set of 1-foot long pieces of fly line belly looped at each end.  The weight of each piece had been memorized.  Pieces could be added or subtracted from experimental lines until they matched a specific rod perfectly.

Seems it would be easier to design each rod for a specific load...or how many grains it took to load it properly.  Some manufacturers are thinking that way.  I'm hearing rumors. 

Skagit Spey w/5' Cheater & WindCutter Tip WindCutter Spey
Model Tip Weight Head Weight Model Tip Weight Weight Grains
7/8 117 632 7/8/9 117 525
8/9 125 747 8/9/10 125 585
9/10 150 880 9/10/11 150 647
10/11 172 1015 10/11/12 172 750

Spey Standards
Currently the spey standard has four separate categories. One for shooting heads, one for short head spey line (like the WindCutter), one for mid length spey line (MidSpey type) and one for long belly lines (GrandSpey type). The standards recommend that the lines are split into four groups and the line will be called quite simply:

1) H, for shooting heads (measured at 40 ft)
2) S, for short head spey lines (measured at 55 ft)
3) M, for mid length spey lines (measured at 65 ft)
4) L, for long belly spey lines (measured at 75 ft)

The weights are as follows:                                                          

# H S M L Increment
5 - 380 - - 40
6 250 420 460 600 50
7 300 470 510 650 60
8 360 530 570 710 70
9 430 600 640 780 80
10 510 680 720 860 90
11 600 770 810 950 100
12 700 870 910 1050 -

The proposed tolerances were +/- 30 grains.
Thus any WindCutter type line weighing 580 grains would simply be called S9. Any GrandSpey line of 700 grains would be L8 and so on.
The new standard was approved by AFFTA (American Fly Fishing Trade Association) at their annual meeting during Fly Fishing Retailer show in Denver in September 2004. The standard was intended to be a ‘working’ standard, but was approved and adopted by a majority at the meeting. The committee formed to make the initial recommendations were: Andy Murray (Hardys), Tim Rajeff (Airflo and Echo), Steve Rajeff (Loomis), Al Buhr (Sage and Scientific Anglers), Simon Gawesworth and Jim Vincent (Rio).

RIO Spey Line Technical Information and Tip Weights
Size Skagit WindCutter MidSpey Grand Spey
  Body Body Tip 2 Tip 1 Body Tip 2 Tip 1 Body Tip 1
5/6 - 310 - 55 - - - - -
6/7(/8) - 236 129 88 335 95 70 - -
7/8(/9) 450 258 150 117 365 105 95 620 80
8/9(/10) 550 295 165 125 430 115 100 695 105
9/10/(/11) 650 320 177 150 455 140 130 765 135
10/11/(/12) 750 378 200 172 575 155 145 955 145
11/12/(/13) - 495 220 182 675 240 185 1130 170
Skagit Cheaters Compensator  
Size 5 ft. 10 ft. Size Length Weight
6/7/8 60 116 #7 12 ft. 97
7/8/9 65 126 #8 12 ft. 112
8/9/10 72 140 #9 13 ft. 140
9/10/11 80 156 #10 13 ft. 160
10/11/12 93 173 #11 13.5 ft. 170
All weights in grains +/- 5% #12 13.5 ft. 225

Andy Murray is VP in charge of outside sales for House of Hardy, Alnwick, England. 4-day Spey Rod
Steelhead PhD Class

Spend 4 days on the Deschutes River with: 
Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and 
Andy Muray.
August 29, 30, 31, September 1, 2005
Late August/early September is prime time for the stretch of river we will be fishing.
This school intends that you will graduate with extensive proprietary knowledge of steelhead fishing and spey rod casting.

We will camp on prime water and we will have walking and boat access to miles 
of steelhead runs that will present a divers array of angling problems to be solved.
Classes will be held mid-day.  You will fish with a guide each morning and evening.
Brunch and dinner will be served at times to give you the best fishing periods.
This will give you the best advantage for hooking as many steelhead 
as possible during your stay with us.
Nothing teaches you more about fishing than being where 
fish are being hooked and landed.

You will learn all aspects of spey rod fishing with both floating and sinking-tip lines. 
Learn how to locate steelhead water and how to approach it. 
Watch an expert guide as he fishes and discloses the secrets
 and proven methods that put fish on the beach.  
Get a lot of hands on help so that you too can be productive.
Save yourself years of experimenting on your own.
You will be pampered!
You will stay in a very comfortable tent camp on the water.
A Camp Person will be available at all times to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
All cooking and eating will be done in a spacious screen-house.
Comfortable sleeping cots and pads are supplied in double occupancy tents. 
All food & non-alcoholic beverages are included.

Bring your own sleeping bag, clothing, toiletries,
waders, rain gear, rods, reels, flies & tackle.

Price does not include Deschutes Boaters Pass or Oregon Fishing License.
Meet at The Fly Fishing Shop at 5:30am arrive back at 6:30pm.
Dates: August 29, 30, 31 and September 1, 2005 
6 students only !
First come, first served. 


Price: $1895 per person.  Non-Refundable Deposit: $399 Balance Due: $1496  by 08/01/05
Item Description Deposit To Top
ST-PHD-2005 4-day PHD steelhead class with Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Andy Murray, August 29, 30, 31 and September 1, 2005. $399 SALE ENDED

George Cook and Steve Morris at The Fly Fishing Shop.

Despite very wet weather, a big crowd turned out for Super Sage Day, April 16 at The Fly Fishing Shop.  George Cook our Sage rep kept everyone entertained while they tried out new rods and improved their skills.  The barbeque went off without a hitch because of our covered area.  Steve Morris won the rod raffle and chose a Sage 1090-4Xi2.  The lucky guy is headed for Belize next week.  Thanks for your help George.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971


Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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