Delta Spey Line

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Delta Spey Line
PhD Report
Eyes Have It
Big Bone

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Delta Spey Line
Commentary from Leroy Teeple

Leroy teeple at the Sandy River Spey Clave.

Last year I was given a sample of the new reformulated Airflo Delta Spey line. The story that came along with the line was, it had a new coating process that made the line more supple and  allowed for a color change at the tip and at the back of the head. It also had a smaller diameter running line, down from .055 to .043 in the mix of the improvements. Well all this sounded too good to be true.

During prep time for the THCI (FFF Two Hand Casting Instructor Test) I used an Airfo Delta 8/9 floating Spey line, and I was very familiar with how the older pre-2006 line had performed on my 14’ 8/9  G. Loomis Grease Line rod. I passed my THCI test and and at the time of the new lines' arrival, was going winter steelhead fishing. Now, I was more interested in how this new line would perform under some severe weather conditions. 

We were over in Maupin during the last few days of November and the weather turned cold and it started to snow. Well, I thought to my self, what a perfect time to test this new improved  Airflo line. We went to the famous Moss Hole. As I stripped the line off the reel there was fewer distinguishable coils than would have been in the previous model line. When I got to where the color change was, I knew the head was out, time to start casting for effect. It took about three casts to take the small wrinkles out of the fly line. Then it was a straight line from rod tip to the fly swimming in the water. The next test was to shoot some line, and the smaller running line made shooting easier. The diameter of the running line was not much of a issue for me, as I liked the bigger diameter running line because it was easier to fish with at normal ranges.  A few casts later I was rewarded with a nice Deschutes Steelhead.

Airflo retained the same weights and taper profiles that are common to the last couple of years of Delta’s. The newer coating has the same slick finish and is more supple than its previous version.  The bothersome weld between the head and running line that created so many problems with the original Delta Spey is gone and the Delta bodies are now one continuous piece. I like them, Leroy.

Don Clay landing a steelhead.

Commentary by Mark Bachmann:
Completely redesigned for 2006.  All that remains is the original Delta Spey taper created by Tim Rajeff and Dec Hogan. Delta Speys now feature the Power Core technology for improved control over the Spey cast.  This combined with a new supple outer coating makes for less memory in cold conditions.  Our staff has been testing this line since 2005 and has found it to be both useful and durable.  As a fishing line it might prove hard to beat.  Our tests between it and the popular

WindCutter line from Rio reveals that the two lines are similar, maybe even equal, but not the same.  The WindCutter is more adaptable to a wider range of situations because it has more parts. The yellow color of the WindCutter makes it easier to keep track of in most light conditions.  The Delta has a slicker finish which allows it to come off the water smoother and shoot with less tangles in the running line.  The Delta floats slightly lower than the WindCutter. This has its pros and cons for casting and presentation.  The Delta is a stealthier color which might help in some conditions. 
The Delta is a very pleasant line to fish with.  MB 10/08/06

Delta Spey Line
This is a good choice for beginners and expert casters alike.  The new supple material and ultra smooth finish makes the Delta very easy to cast and fish with.  Especially enjoyable is the lack of tangles that occur in the running line during long casts.  Delta lines come with a piece of black tubing that fits perfectly on the line to form a marker in the rear taper to help you find the "load point".
Produced as a one part line, the Delta Spey features new improved low diameter running lines for unrivalled casting performance. Our testers have hailed the new Delta Spey as the ultimate all-round line for Spey, switch and overhead casts. 

Airflow Delta Spey Line

Head lengths vary from 50˝ feet to 57 feet and head weights conform to the new Spey Standard. Exclusive Delta Spey Taper for powerful turnover. Power Core ultra low stretch for ultimate casting performance, hook set, and minimal memoryTwo tone Mint Green for easy loading.
Item Description Size Price To Top
053163462703 Airflow Delta Spey Line 6/7 $69.95

053163462710 Airflow Delta Spey Line 7/8 $69.95

  Airflow Delta Spey Line 8/9 $69.95

  Airflow Delta Spey Line 9/10 $69.95

Delta Multi Tip Spey Line
This extremely versatile system has been grasped by two hand casters the world over, being perfect for those trips when you just don’t know what the gods will throw at you. Delta lines come with a range of 4 tips all 15’ long – floating, sink 2, sink 5 and the incredible sink 8 ( 8” per sec).
Each loop features our new improved sleeved weld for incredible strength and durability. All spare tip sections are now looped tip and butt, making this the first Multi Tip line with tip loops.
Powerful Delta Spey tapers give superb turnover - individually balanced tip sections to avoid

Airflo Delta Multi-Tip Spey Line

hinging- tips 13’ - 15’.  Power Core has ultra-low stretch for ultimate casting performance, hook set, and minimal memory.  New Ultra Supple PolyFuse XT cold weather coating – ultra supple inner layer for low memory and Teflon loaded outer layer for slick casting performance.
Two tone Mint Green.
Item Description Size Price To Top
  Airflo Delta Multi-Tip Spey Line 6/7 $139.95

053163462918 Airflo Delta Multi-Tip Spey Line 7/8 $139.95

053163462925 Airflo Delta Multi-Tip Spey Line 8/9 $139.95

053163462932 Airflo Delta Multi-Tip Spey Line 9/10 $139.95


Delta Spey Specifications:

Model Tip Front Taper Belly Rear Taper Head Length Total Length Head Weight
WF6/7 0.5' 27' 21' 2' 50.5' 115' 500 grains
WF7/8 0.5' 28' 21.5' 2' 52' 115' 530 grains
WF8/9 0.5' 29' 21' 2.5' 53' 120' 575 grains
WF9/10 0.5' 30' 22' 3' 55.5' 120' 630 grains
WF10/11 0.5' 30' 22' 3' 56.5' 120' 690 grains

PhD School With Andy Murray (Report)

Andy Murray teaches Phd School on The Deschutes for The Fly Fishing Shop.

Indian nets in the Columbia mopped up the run and the fishing went flat.  Ya', we got fish, but had to work hard for them as the run in our 12-miles got sparse. Our fine crew of students took it all in stride and worked on casting and presentation skilled while they probed all of the waters available to them.  Andy brought a complete set of the increadibly fast, lightweight 'Swift' Series Hardy Spey Rods.  I gotta' tell you they are very impressive, especially if you like European style rods.  At around $500 to $600 they

are a great value.  The 14'-9wt. Swift is as fast as the fastest American made rod

and weighs a lot less.  I'm thinking about stocking some.  The last trip, I dunked my good old reliable 4-meg shirt pocket camera, so I bought an new 6-meg one and two 2-gig flash cards to go with it.  This allowed me to shoot small format video of Joe Richter playing his second-ever steelhead.  I have a ways to go in the on-line video department and apologies for it, but the unrehearsed commentary will give you a little idea what teaching methods are used during a PhD School.

Joe Richter with his second steelhead of the day.
Video of Joe & His Second Steelhead of The Day.
Unfortunately picture quality has been badly compromised for small band-width.
Part-1   Part-2   Part-3    Part-4

The Eyes Have It!  A theory on how eyes evolved.   2   More About Eyes.

Eyes are important.

"Yes, you guessed it.  I'm playing with my newest picture making toys.  Some of these toys are optical.  Some are digital.  Every picture in this presentation was taken with a digital camera and then altered with Photoshop software.  No attempt has been made to hide or deceive; quite the contrary.  Every attempt has been made to clarify and communicate the power of the eye to your eyes.  The eye might the greatest 

instrument of perception for the creatures that have them.  Sight allows us to assess information quickly which allows for quick reaction, often a matter of life and death.  However the blessing may also be a curse.  If you are the prey, being hard to see is important to your survival and your eyes may be some of the hardest parts of your body to hide.  Which means it may be the easiest feature for a predator to target.  At least that seems to be true in the case of some schooling bait fish and some of the predator fish that feed on them.  Patty and I encountered this situation while fishing around the shoreline rocks south of Barra De Navidad, Mexico.  Jacks, Sierra Mackerel and Corvina were feeding on a small baitfish that was perfectly matched to a #4 olive & white Clouser Minnow.  For a while it was a fish every cast.  Then we ran out of those flies.  The next fly tried was a "Bend-back" of exactly the same size and color.  It was tied from the  materials, but had no eyes and no eye target.  No hits at all, over an extended period.  The next pattern tried was an ALF of same color and size, but with prominent reflective silver and black eyes.  I was instantly back into numbers of hook ups.  The eyes were the key to catching fish for the next several days.  

At left is a Flatiron Herring called a Sardina from the Sea of Cortez.  Note the very prominent black pupil in the reflective iris.  The pupil itself may be the key.

Several species of saltwater game fish exhibit false eyes at the tail end of their bodies to confuse predators that might want to feed on them.  Mot notable are the Redfish that inhabit coastal areas of the south east U.S.A. 


Atlantic Salmon fly with jungle cock eyes.

With eyes being so important as targets for predatory fish, it only stands to reason that some discerning fly tiers would put eyes on their flies.  Who was first? No one knows.  One of the first applications that  became popular was the use of Jungle Cock Eyes on flies tied to catch Atlantic Salmon.  These eyes are the tips of neck hackles from the Gray India Jungle Fowl.  These feathers 

have an eye-spot in the enamel-like coating.  The use of Jungle Cock Eyes also became popular on streamer flies that simulate fresh water bait fish.   
Is a cluster or school of many eyes harder to target than one eye?  Schooling baitfish use "too many targets" as a defense mechanism.  The Jungle Cock 

Jungle Cock eyes.

neck might also provide an answer.  The Jungle Cock neck is probably the result of genetic selection?  It would be interesting to know which predator targeted the eyes of jungle cocks and was finally rendered ineffective by the school of eyes on it's neck. It may have happened.  At any rate this adaptation has provided fly tiers a supply of eyes for flies for many years.  Unfortunately Jungle Cock feathers are expensive, somewhat fragile and not always easy to come by.  In many cases it is easier to paint eyes on the 

Painted eyes

head of a fly.  Flies that have large heads facilitate this process.  Bass popping bugs are prime candidates for these kinds of eyes.  With the example furnished here, several coats of paint form the background color and then the eye.  Then the whole head of the popper is coated with clear epoxy which adds luster and extreme durability.  Popping bugs float on the surface of the water and attract fish by making loud disturbances.  Under these conditions it is hard to determine whether eyes on 

poppers are made to attract fish or fishermen.  We have fished poppers with and without eyes and I always thought that the ones with eyes caught more fish.   Doing this kind of research is a pretty good job even if it isn't entirely scientific.  I have little doubt that eyes make a lot of difference in the productivity of flies that are tied to represent bait fish.  If normal size eyes are a target for predatory fish, then productivity of a certain fly pattern might be increased simply by 

Bass popper with over sized eyes.
Saltwater fly with eyes.

increasing the size of the eyes thus making the target easier to see. Some anglers go to an extreme.  At left is a Big Eyed Baitfish.  It is tied like many "Deceiver patterns", but has oversized doll eyes glued to the sides of an over sized head.  

The pupils in these eyes are mobile and add movement and sound as the fly is retrieved.  The air trapped inside the eye gives the fly a heads-up attitude.  This pattern has been proven to be very effective, but the jury is out as to whether the over size eyes produce more strikes than normal size eyes.  (We would love your input on eye size and will be glad to publish your comments).  The clear lens of real eyes are in most cases hemispherical.  

Doll eyes
Saltwater slider with eyes However the lens is rarely discernable.  The iris and pupil are the features of the eye that are easiest to see.  The iris is relatively flat at first appearance.  The pupil is a hole, but at a glance it also appears to be flat.  
Recently some really neat looking hemispherical 3-D eyes have become available.  We wondered if they might get more strikes than flat ones.  So far our tests have been inconclusive.  As to colors of eyes?  We have tried yellow, silver and red iris color.  They have all caught fish.  Most baitfish have reflective irises.  Many have silver irises.  However reflective silver irises on our flies haven't proven to be any more effective than painted yellow.  Using red irises   Hemispherical eyes
is a trick that Captain Bob Marvin out of Naples, Florida turned us on to.  He said that many times when predator fish attack a school of bait fish, their first intention is to cripple as many baits as possible.  Then they can pick up the crippled fish in a more leisurely fashion.  This is more efficient than killing only one at a time.  Often the crippling blow comes from the slap of a tail or ramming of the head.  The bait is often severely bruised and the eye ball often fills with blood giving the eye a red iris.  Red 
Unweighted eyes eyes can signify an easy meal.  The pupil is the aperture through which light passes to the specialized nerve ending in the back of the eye ball which sends the illusion of sight to the brain.  By its very function it has to fit certain configurations that are not easily disguised.  A baitfish pupil nearly always looks like a black dot.  If the pupil is the real target, can the iris be eliminated from the fly?  Once 
again no conclusive evidence exists.  Flies like the one above that uses plastic dumb-bell eyes have proven to be more effective than the same pattern with no eyes at all.  Flies with eyes painted on lead or brass dumb-bells have proven to be very effective.  The eye target is very prominently displayed and the heavy weight concentrated near the eye gives the fly an erratic, wounded action when retrieved. 

Heavy weighted eyes

Tube flies

tube fly tubing

Mikael Frödin and Hĺkan Norling have used these flexible plastic tubes for more than 20 years. Today, they are the standard for modern tube flies used in Scandinavia. The tubing is available in four sizes; X-small, Small, Medium and Large. The sizes fit into each other. There is no need for extra tubing to steer the hook. It fits directly into these flexible tubes. The material is smooth and unaffected by temperatures, it won't crack in the cold and it works equally well with fixed or a loose hook. The dimensions of the tubes are synchronized to work with cone heads. That way, you will get well-balanced flies with the right weight to turn over your cast and make the fly fish most efficiently.

X-Small: Fits with Medium tubing and together with standard cone heads.
Small: Fits the Large tubing and HMH cone heads.
Medium: All round tube.
Large: For large tubes.
These fluorescent plastic tubes are the single most important news in materials for tube flies, since the arrival of Flashabou!! The release of these tubes on the market has changed the look of modern tube flies forever. By using the tubes as they are, or combining them with dubbing or translucent material, you can create a shine to the flies, unlike anything else. The tubing itself contains a lot of fluorescence, which makes it glow very well in low light conditions. By burning a Fl. Orange tube, together with a black Cone head, you will create a fluorescent orange band at
the front of the Cone. The popular making of riffle-tubes now also becomes more exciting. A simple thing like using a small piece of fluorescent tubing in front of a free hanging hook, gives a new exciting look to your fly. 
Tubing comes in one meter lengths.

Item Description Color Price To Top
45531-XS Frödin Tubing, Flo. Orange, Extra Small   $5.95

45532-XS Frödin Tubing, Flo. Yellow, Extra Small   $5.95 Coming Soon
45533-XS Frödin Tubing, Flo. Red, Extra Small   $5.95

45535-XS Frödin Tubing, Flo. Chartreuse, Extra Small   $5.95

45537-XS Frödin Tubing, Flo. Blue, Extra Small   $5.95

45536-XS Frödin Tubing, Black, Extra Small   $5.95

45531-S Frödin Tubing, Flo. Orange, Small   $5.95

45532-S Frödin Tubing, Flo. Yellow, Small   $5.95

45533-S Frödin Tubing, Flo. Red, Small   $5.95

45535-S Frödin Tubing, Flo. Chartreuse, Small   $5.95

45537-S Frödin Tubing, Flo. Blue, Small   $5.95

45536-S Frödin Tubing, Black, Small   $5.95

45531-M Frödin Tubing, Flo. Orange, Medium   $5.95

45532-M Frödin Tubing, Yellow, Medium   $5.95

45533-M Frödin Tubing, Flo. Red, Medium   $5.95

45535-M Frödin Tubing, Flo. Chartreuse, Medium   $5.95

45537-M Frödin Tubing, Flo. Blue, Medium   $5.95

45536-M Frödin Tubing, Black, Medium   $5.95

45531-L Frödin Tubing, Flo. Orange, Large   $5.95

45532-L Frödin Tubing, Yellow, Large   $5.95

45533-L Frödin Tubing, Flo. Red, Large   $5.95

45535-L Frödin Tubing, Flo. Chartreuse, Large   $5.95

45537-L Frödin Tubing, Flo. Blue, Large   $5.95

45536-L Frödin Tubing, Black, Large   $5.95


Dave with a big bone. Our good friend Larry Williams sent us this great picture of his son Dave.  Dave is pictured on a top secret flat somewhere in the Caribbean.  He didn't disclose what this fish weighs, but it is a bruiser.  He says this flat doesn't have a lot of fish, but most are over ten pounds.  We are going to hide a microscopic Radiozoric GPS Satellite target in every piece of Dave's fishing gear until we find out where this flat is.  The nearly invisible Masziofic GPS target we installed on his father's spey rod has already revealed many steelhead spots.

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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