Casting Help!

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by pirate, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. pirate Member

    Posts: 64
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    So... I've started to settle in with my spey setup (7126 TCX/550gr Skagit flight) and was out fishing... i was having difficulty casting heavily weighted intruders and a T-17 10' tip. The casts were not pulling the fly out of the water cleanly and the max distance i was getting was about 50-60 feet. my casting was fine earlier with 11' of T14, a 6' leader and a moderately weighted intruder. (like the signature intruders from solitude fly company)

    if i want to fish such heavy gear and still cast a decent distance with reasonable accuracy, what would my best course of action be? to buy a new and heavier skagit head, buy a heavier rod like an 8wt in the 12-14 foot range or get casting lessons? or a combination of 2 of them? i'm really quite clueless and not too sure what i should do to be able to fish heavy tips e.g. 12-14ft T-14 or 10ft T-17.

    Thanks in advance for all the advice!
  2. James Waggoner Active Member

    Posts: 776
    wa
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Just need to practice. That should cast fine, though 550 sounds heavy to me, but I really am not familiar with that rod...just know I used to use a 480 on my 7136z with loads of T whatever. Get some help from an expericenced caster that can watch you and get lessons if you can. Post up a video may get you some online coaching and feedback.
    James.
  3. Wadecalvin Member

    Posts: 240
    Redmond Oregon
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    What James said. Also, it helps to keep the heavy tip and fly moving before the forward cast. If it has too much time to settle after the sweep everything will sink too deep to pull out of the water like you are experiencing. Some good posts by Scott Howell on speypages about casting junk. SMH is his username I think.
  4. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,067
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3
    The easiest fix is downsize the fly for now and use 10/12 ft of T-11 rather than T-14 or T-17. The reason is the front taper on a Skagit flight, even a 550 gr head probably lacks the mass to turn over the heavier T- stuff. In order to turn over T-14, the front tip of the head needs to be no less than .080 diameter. T-17 no less than .088 diameter. Step 2: practice, practice, practice.
    pirate and yuhina like this.
  5. yuhina Tropical member

    Posts: 2,320
    Boston-Idaho
    Ratings: +43 / 0
    Speyfisher has a good suggestion.

    more practices will ultimately solve the trouble.

    In general Rio Skagit flight has more "finesse" taper. If you want a quick fix, Airflo compact skagit has more aggressive taper which have higher capacity for the big sink tip and fly.

    Better yet, for the TCX 7126, the Airflo skagit switch (20') 480 grain will hull any tip you mentioned in your post plus a 5-6 inches big fly. IMO The Airflo skagit switch line love long tip and big fly. You might want to try it out.
    pirate likes this.
  6. Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    Posts: 670
    Kirkland, Washington
    Ratings: +57 / 0
    The 525 skagit short is money on that rod.... but mostly (as previously mentioned) practice and patience will be your greatest allies.
  7. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    550 Flight, 170 grains of tip plus a moderately weighted wet fly is looking like at least 750 grains of mass to turn over on that short 7wt. That is a lot of weight and you will have a very narrow window to hit it just right.

    Also Speyfisher and Yuhina's posts regarding the Flight are accurate. I think you might want to first try and downgrade your style and weight on your skagit line if you want to continue casting such heavy tips. The diameter of the front taper and the length of the rear taper of the Flight does not help the turnover of heavier flies. Yes Scott Howell can cast it 100 feet, but we are not all Scott Howell.

    Before you jump and purchase something new, casting instruction from someone with lines and other equipment to try is a great idea. If you can find a line that suites what you want to do and fits your casting style, then you will have what you want in no time. In the end you will be a better caster regardless after the instruction. I constantly ask friends, some of which are instructors what my loop formation looks like when I do not like what I am getting out of my cast. It all helps to put it together and diagnose the problem. Do not underestimate how important casting instruction can do to help you out on the water.
    pirate likes this.
  8. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,826
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Hi Pirate
    the stroke for the heavy junk will be different from the lighter junk
    instead of more $$$ for other lines, try more lift on your sweep-- energize it more, and then lean into your forward cast, focusing on smooth straight acceleration. Get your ass into it.
  9. pirate Member

    Posts: 64
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    @ everybody... thank you very much for all the help. OK! I tried the skagit compact 540gr and it feels great! i've tried 12 feet of T14 and that was considerably much much easier than the T17. T17 was still next to impossible but the 12' of T14 was quite fun to cast. still not great distance but probably by my guesstimation 75-80' casts when i got it right which is by no means extremely long but casting is getting more comfortable and fun. what's the difference between using a longer but lighter tip as opposed to using a shorter but heavier tip? I will get my buddy to check out my loop shapes when next i am out on the water.
    while i was at it... [IMG]
    Ed Call likes this.
  10. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,593
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,543 / 9
    Well done, well adjusted and well rewarded!
  11. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,067
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3
    The Skagit Compact 540 is a good match for T-14. And you should be able to cast one rod length of it easily. For shorter lengths, I would recommend the Rio heavy MOW tips, just so the length of all your tips remains the same. T-17 is still too heavy for the 540 Skagit Compact. IMHO, it offers no appreciable advantage in terms of sink rate. 70/80 feet is a respectable distance for dead chickens on that set up.