New to Spey, as well

#1
So, I have been practicing some single handed and two handed Spey casting with a micro-Skagit head (trout max). I seem to be doing pretty well but have only been able to lawn cast. What can I expect when I get to the water and have a water anchor? Will it change the loading on the rod significantly?
 

Josh

dead in the water
#3
Like many practice activities, the basic concept will be similar, but the overall execution will be different. That said, knowing the general idea of what you are doing will allow you to focus more on the differences between grass and moving water.

Ed Ward, in his Skagit Master videos, is a big proponent of practicing on grass (in fact, might not be a bad idea to pick up Skagit Master 1 if you are just starting out), so I'd say you are doing fine. Some guys use a "grass leader" to help make the cast feel a little more like water. I've never used one myself, but here's a Spey Pages thread that talks about it.
 
#4
As you will learn from Skagit Master I and your own experience, water drag, the grip of water on your line/tip/leader/fly, is not an impediment, but rather an asset to your spey casting. (Too-heavy tips and flies are impediments.)
 
#5
So, I have been practicing some single handed and two handed Spey casting with a micro-Skagit head (trout max). I seem to be doing pretty well but have only been able to lawn cast. What can I expect when I get to the water and have a water anchor? Will it change the loading on the rod significantly?
YES! significantly Wear eye protection ALWAYS
Sometimes you think you can squeak by with an anchor misplaced, or an adverse wind
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#6
Loading the head on the water is a big difference when casting compared to lawn casting.

Practice the Perry Poke which works best with these short chunky heads.

For lawn casting, practice aerial casts (snake and single spey)...
 
#7
One fun thing to do since your on the grass with yarn on the end is something called the Oozlum cast. I've heard it was come up with by Simon Gawesworth. What you do is instead of a regular back cast, you continue the rod movement back and make a circle with it, then around your body in a circle. Just like a rodeo cowboy with his larriet. The fun part comes with adjusting the input , making the circle bigger, smaller, higher. slower. It's really just a teaching aide, but you can always turn it into a single spey at the end. If you're on the grass , try it out, it should expand your horizons. You can use the search function and see more and better descriptions of this cast and which DVD of Simon's he demonstrates it.
 
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#9
As you will learn from Skagit Master I and your own experience, water drag, the grip of water on your line/tip/leader/fly, is not an impediment, but rather an asset to your spey casting. (Too-heavy tips and flies are impediments.)
How can you tell if your tip is too heavy? Does the Skagit head weight need to be coupled with the tip or versileader weight when making a head selection?
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#10
On a SH rod, the weight of the line - Rio Trout Max is about the same weight as your regular SH floating line you use. A tip is added onto the skagit head but the weight is not added on - usually the lightest weight available (Rio MOW light T8, SGS T7, Airflo FLOW T7, OPST floating or OPST Micro Tip).

A skagit head needs a tip - whether it be a floating, sinking, intermediate or combination.
Your Rio Trout max does need a tip in order to load the rod and provide direction.
The tip provides the shooting head direction so usually a short 5' or 7' OPST tip would be appropriate on your single hander. Longer if you can handle the casting....

A versileader or polyleader are used in spey rods that use: Scandi, Rage, or ultra short light heads such as the Rio Trout Max, Airflo Scout, and OPST commando heads under 250gr.
These can turn over a small to medium sized fly.

So in your case using a SH rod with spey casts, you can try:
  • 10' Rio MOW or iMOW Light tip (T8) in any sink densities provided you can cast it out aerial or waterborne anchor with bigger flies.
  • 5' or 7' OPST floating tip or 5' OPST micro skagit sink for medium flies - compact casts without losing an anchor using a waterborne anchor.
  • Versileader or Polyleader for small flies, dries, etc...
 
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#11
Thanks. Sounds like I am set up correctly with a 240 grain Trout Max head and several versileaders for sinking applications. I have 5’ and 7’ floating tips that I plan to use for shallower fishing or if I get a micron scandi head.