Skagit Heads From Heavier Spey Lines?


Active Member
So I picked up a Rio UniSpey 10/11F Versitip 750gr for less than $10. It is 64 feet. Could I in theory cut it down in about half to have two 375 gr lines at about 32 feet? I realize there is a slight taper from front to back on these, but I would imagine that right in half would be within a couple of grains, maybe one 380-385 gr and one 365-370 gr. I was going to make new loops with a couple of nail knots in mono. I have chopped up sink tip and floating lines to make some tips before and they seemed to work okay, not perfect, but free with a little effort. I know almost all the old school lines were made by performing surgery on the available lines at the time. Any ideas or experience with this?


WFF Supporter
I thought the universal standard is that cheap fly lines and lines bought on closeout specials are for experimentation and chopping up. Before making the cut on your specific line, I'd check the taper more precisely if getting two shorter heads is your goal. A micrometer and a grain scale ($12 @ Harbor Freight) are useful tools.

Nooksack Mac

Active Member
What Salmo_g said. With those tools, a tape measure, and a tying bobbin with medium thread, you're ready to rip.

There's a skagit line or two inside almost every longer spey line. I cut back a Windcutter 10/11/12 to a 27 foot belly of 550 grains that perfectly matches my A.R.E. 7/8 beater. I cut a wf14f tarpon line into a 540 grain skagit. It should be even easier to make short heads, with or without tapers, for switch rods, or mini-heads for single hand rods.

David Loy

Senior Moment
Only a long held suspicion on my part that I've never voiced, and may be wrong. I started 2H in the late 80s, when we were all (pretty much) using the three piece Windcutter. Mine seemed too heavy (9/10/11) on the 9140, so one day I removed the middle portion. Man, you could OH shoot more line than you could manage, well over 100', and I wasn't that good. Anyway, my theory is that some of the early Skagit proponents started fooling around with that same configuration and it grew from there. A short heavy butt section and collection of sink tips. Probably wrong, but that's the rumor I'll start.


Active Member
Honestly I just figured I have the line and less than $10 invested. A new Skagit head is close to fifty bucks. Fifteen minutes of my time isn't worth that...unfortunately...

Jim Darden

Active Member
Geez you are really giving that thing a hair cut, sounds like you are shooting for a 5-6 wt spey line. You probably would have gotten more astute responses one the "spey" forum........


Recreational User
I think it would be a waste of a functional line.

You CAN get a single skagit line out of that line, but I think if you cut it right back n half you will find that you have one side that weighs about 290-310 gr and the back half will go about 440-460 gr.

For a Frankenskagit from that particular line, I would cut the rear taper down to about 3' then cut back about 8' from the tip junction - that should give you a 28' line that SHOULD run about 370-390 gr. From there you should be able to dial it in by cutting 6" at a time and casting it between cuts until you get the line you want.

Or, you can just buy a 330 or 360 skagit and save yourself some time.

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