Skagit set up on lighter weighted rods

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Steffan Brown, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. I'm debating on whether to get my 6 wt. skagitized. Currently I'm throwing a 390 grain compact scandi on it and love it. However, the thought of getting it down a little deeper, when desired, as we move into the fall/winter conditions is where my dilemna exists. In the past, I've used my 8wt. to get down and will continue to, but I do like the lighter feel of my 6wt. and think there might be a gap between the two that I can fill by adding a skagit set up to my 6wt. I think I just answered my own question, but I'm curious to here feedback from any of you that use a skagit set up on lighter rods. What applications do you use it for? Thank you in advance.
  2. Seems to work well for me. I have fished a Skagit line on a Loomis Metolius 5/6 and a 7 switch with good results. It is nice to be able to throw relatively heavy tips and larger flies and still have the lighter rod for playing fish. With the shorter heads that are out there it is pretty easy to throw t-14 on smaller rods.

    Thanks for getting me thinking about it. In a couple months I might fish the lighter rod for the hatchery brats to make them a little more fun once hooked.
  3. Thanks Chris. What grain skagit heads do you have on both of those? I am thinking a 420 compact skagit is going to be the ticket on my VXP 6129, but I'm not sure it will throw T-14. How long are the T-14 tips you're using?
  4. I use a 400 gr Skagit on my 6 wt Forecast (11' 6" 6/7 wt). I don't use T-14. I use 10' Airflo poly leaders in super-extra-fast sinking. A small piece of T-14 would probably work, but I think 10 or 12' of T-8 might cast and fish more comfortably. Winter steelheading on small streams is the usual application, or early summer steelheading.

    Wadecalvin likes this.
  5. Steffan, I find that skagit systems are fine on smaller rods, even switch rods. Just keep the weight within reasonable limits, for both the head, the sink tip, and the fly. Your line suggestion sounds good; also a 425 grain Skagit Flight head. (A 450 gr. Flight fits my Meiser 11' 7" 5/6/7 just right.) Keep the sink tip under around 100 grains.
    Wadecalvin likes this.
  6. 420 sounds right on the money. Keep your tips around 10'. T8 and t11 are easy going and t14 is more than doable. I've fished 10' of t14 comfortably with a deer creek 5/6 when water chilled up last November and kept things rolling. Keeping a constant continuous Ed ward style cast is important with a light head.
    yuhina, Steffan Brown and Wadecalvin like this.
  7. I like everybody's ideas here but if it were me I would use a Rio Skagit short or a Airflo skagit switch head. For me they just fly better with tips and big flies.
  8. I fish a Skagit line on a 6126 and a 5120. I have fished these two rods with Skagit lines for years. The 5 wieght I don't use much and it still needs some tweaking. The six I made the line out of a chunk of Cortland 12 weight DT Spey line about 25 feet long (give or take), using 15 feet, 95 grain tips and it casts like a dream.
  9. That's kind of what I was thinking of using it for. Crispy, late fall days on small/medium sized rivers with color, where the fish will most likely be in the 5-10 lb. category.

    Wadecalvin - You bring up a good point, but are the shorter heads really going to make that big of a difference? Are there any drawbacks in going that direction? Say, increased possibility in blowing anchors?
  10. I think the Skagit shorts and switches are getting to be very popular on rods under 13' long. To me the shorter length (or maybe its the greater mass of the short line) makes it significantly easier to throw tips and junk...but that is my personal preference...but I think alot of guys on this board and speypages and Skagitmaster board would agree. Blown anchors wont be a problem as long as you dont make a big production out of the sweep and forward stroke like this... I think you might like it on the type of water you are looking to fish.
    Steffan Brown and yuhina like this.
  11. true! 420 grain 5/6 weight are more than doable in many situations. casting style and how much power you can extract out of that Ed Ward's casting style.

    The payload concept has been discussed many times in skagitmaster website. Skagit belly weight have to be heavier than the sinktip weight to make the cast comfortably and make the head bear "the authority" during the flight. In other words, the skagit head will be dominate the flight during the forward path. The payload concept detailed by Ed Ward in his casting style mainly focused on "grain weight/ per foot" or "the compactness" of the skagit head. To me, the rule of thumb is "50% " . If I use 420 grain Airflo compact skagit head,( about 20 grain/per foot) 50% of the 20 should give me an indication about T8-T11, be a comfortable zone to cast ( 10' MOWtip for example). For more experienced caster, the comfort zone might extend up to 70%, that would make tip in to T14. But I personally don't like to go up that high, If I need to use T14 in the same 5/6 rod, I will just to switch to a shorter belly (16-18'), remain the same total grain weight but increase the compactness and payload to carry the heavier T14.

    Tim (Wadecalvin) has good point on the shorter belly head (Rio Skagit, and Airflo skagit short is about 20'). Same total 420 grain but the heavier (grain weight/ per foot) compactness will make the heavy sinktip work much easier. Rods under 13' foot are all comfortable to use the skagit short belly, particularly, in using Ed Ward's style.
  12. I use a 450 on my 6129 and some t11 and like how it cast.
  13. Thank fellas, for all of your feedback. I now have options to play around with and get it dialed in.

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