Multi-Density Scandi heads

the_grube

Active Member
#1
This thread was started a while back, with a specific question about the RIO 3d scandi: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/threads/rio-scandi-3d-for-burkie-7127.134333/

I kind of hi-jacked it and started talking about SA UST's etc. So, this thread is dedicated to all kinds of 3d scandi's. Who's fished them? How did they perform for you? Who wants to give them a try? What are the reasons for wanting to use a head like this? What brands have you used, what are the differences between the different brands and configurations -- all that stuff is on the table here.

I have my thoughts and experiences, and some of them were expressed already in the above thread. I'm really interested in hearing others opinions, and experience with specific lines. thx
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#2
I'll give my opinion but few will like it or agree, doesn't matter. If you fish rivers, not creeks or skinny water, then all this multi density stuff is stupid. Multi-density does not sink faster than single density that is heavier/denser overall. Skinny water never needs sink anything except maybe the fly. Mending still works. Scandi heads came from the Scandinavian countries where Salmo salar are the fish of preference. They've used floating lines for generations. If you're steelheading a floating line with sink tip is more important and mending still works. If you believe you require a multi-density head to catch fish then you probably do but it ain't because the fish require it. It's because you think you can't present a takable presentation to a steelhead if you don't have the perfect line. That's silly, your presentation is your presentation and if you think it's easier with a multi-density head then you are not trying to learn how to catch steelhead.

Your rod, reel, line have almost nothing to do with your success.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#3
For unpressured wild steelhead a floater works pretty well if there's decent water clarity.
Unpressured. Wild. Steelhead. Not too many of those on my home water.
For winter fish and pressured fish and hatchery fish and lessened visibility, etc. a fullsink is useful.
I know how to mend and control my fly's presentation with both types of line.

I especially like sinking scandi heads for tactical conditions in winter, ass to the trees type fishing in stronger, higher flows. This is usually pretty short casting, less than 100 ft because unlike Atlantics, steelhead are more shore-oriented.
I can get a faster sink to the sweet zone and slow the swing through that area much easier with a fullsink or 3D.
The newer iterations of multiD heads fish well, really well, and are very easy to get out on the lift if matched to the rod.

My current favorites are a steelhead finder 45 and a Guideline 3D short that I use for the toughest conditions.

I often agree with Klickrolf but this time I respectfully disagree. No hard feelings, buddy!
 
#4
I haven't played with the multi scandi's yet. For me if I'm needing to get that far down and in the fishes face then I'm usually throwing something bigger than a scandi will turn over. I'm sure there are exceptions, but for the most part if I'm throwing a tip or multi density line there is going to be some rabbit or marabou on the end. I would like to play with one someday though. Seems like in the right situation it could be deadly.

I did fish my FIST yesterday for the first time this winter. I forgot how nice and slow it swings and how much easier it is to get/keep depth. Played around on a big gravel bar run with the FIST and a type 6 tip. Got me down the foot or two I needed but didn't hang up on the inside like a heavy tip would. Next run was a deeper style lane center river. Put 8' of T14 on there and could get all the depth I needed and keep the fly working in that good stuff.

Cackalacky.jpg
 
#5
I had one of the SA UST's a while back and I didn't care for it. I never understood the best approach in matching a tip/leader to the line and had zero confidence in my fishing with it. I do fish one of the Nextcast Zone's that has an intermediate front section and I love that line, but it's more comparable to a skagit line.
 

the_grube

Active Member
#6
For unpressured wild steelhead a floater works pretty well if there's decent water clarity.
Unpressured. Wild. Steelhead. Not too many of those on my home water.
For winter fish and pressured fish and hatchery fish and lessened visibility, etc. a fullsink is useful.
I know how to mend and control my fly's presentation with both types of line.

I especially like sinking scandi heads for tactical conditions in winter, ass to the trees type fishing in stronger, higher flows. This is usually pretty short casting, less than 100 ft because unlike Atlantics, steelhead are more shore-oriented.
I can get a faster sink to the sweet zone and slow the swing through that area much easier with a fullsink or 3D.
The newer iterations of multiD heads fish well, really well, and are very easy to get out on the lift if matched to the rod.

My current favorites are a steelhead finder 45 and a Guideline 3D short that I use for the toughest conditions.

I often agree with Klickrolf but this time I respectfully disagree. No hard feelings, buddy!
great response and info... Sounds like you typically fish a mid-belly if a scandi is your 'ass to the trees' shooting head?

The guideline stuff is pretty pricey, and kind of hard to get in the US. Do you feel it is that much better than say the SA Ust or (gulps) the new RIO 3d scandis?
 

the_grube

Active Member
#7
I haven't played with the multi scandi's yet. For me if I'm needing to get that far down and in the fishes face then I'm usually throwing something bigger than a scandi will turn over. I'm sure there are exceptions, but for the most part if I'm throwing a tip or multi density line there is going to be some rabbit or marabou on the end. I would like to play with one someday though. Seems like in the right situation it could be deadly.

I did fish my FIST yesterday for the first time this winter. I forgot how nice and slow it swings and how much easier it is to get/keep depth. Played around on a big gravel bar run with the FIST and a type 6 tip. Got me down the foot or two I needed but didn't hang up on the inside like a heavy tip would. Next run was a deeper style lane center river. Put 8' of T14 on there and could get all the depth I needed and keep the fly working in that good stuff.

View attachment 160339
Nice pic! More great info too. I'm considering the FIST for my 8wt switch, but exploring 3d scandis is enough line churn for now. FWIW, I'm not thinking of a 3d scandi to provide something that a traditional floating skagit/tip system would. I just much prefer that splash and go casts over sustained anchors. I'm trying to toss singles and snake rolls and fish deep and slow.
 

the_grube

Active Member
#8
I had one of the SA UST's a while back and I didn't care for it. I never understood the best approach in matching a tip/leader to the line and had zero confidence in my fishing with it. I do fish one of the Nextcast Zone's that has an intermediate front section and I love that line, but it's more comparable to a skagit line.
Interesting, I have 2 of the SA Usts. I don't think I'll ever be able to throw tips with them. 5' of fast poly is all I can manage -- and that was a challenge on the faster sinking line. I typically fish 6' to as little as 3' of some sort of mono -- it aint real pretty but with a heavily dressed unweighted fly it goes out an honest 80' for me and seems to swing low and slow.
 
#9
Interesting, I have 2 of the SA Usts. I don't think I'll ever be able to throw tips with them. 5' of fast poly is all I can manage -- and that was a challenge on the faster sinking line. I typically fish 6' to as little as 3' of some sort of mono -- it aint real pretty but with a heavily dressed unweighted fly it goes out an honest 80' for me and seems to swing low and slow.
It sounds like your experience has been similar to mine. I confess to not spending heaps of time with it because the casting was always a struggle, and at it's best, very clunky. It's been a few years since i had it so I don't recall my impressions of how it fished. When I bought it, I thought it would be a good way to fish deep but use a slightly longer line, but not being able to effectively cast a sinking leader well negated the slight length increase of the scandi head over the lines I was already using.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#11
great response and info... Sounds like you typically fish a mid-belly if a scandi is your 'ass to the trees' shooting head?

The guideline stuff is pretty pricey, and kind of hard to get in the US. Do you feel it is that much better than say the SA Ust or (gulps) the new RIO 3d scandis?
Yeah- FF70's, stuff like that is what I'm mostly casting.
As far as I can tell, it's pretty hard to screw up a scandi head. Most of them are great now, some lend themselves better for one thing or another. I like the Guideline 3D Compact RTG because it's exactly right on my LeCie without chopping.
 

the_grube

Active Member
#12
Had the loop blow out on my SA UST. Just noticed it today. I didn't notice it the last time I went fishing. Things must have held together just enough to keep the leader attached. I suspect this is more likely to occur with sinking lines. They would have a tendency to get hitched up on rocks and what-not; but I don't remember doing anything with that line that would have tore a loop open.

At any rate, I cut off the broken loop and made a new one with 210 ultra-thread and super-glue.
 
#13
A served, super glued loop like the_grube's is probably stronger than a factory welded loop. However, any kind of loop on the thin tip of a tapered line can only be so strong.
 

Dan Page

Active Member
#14
As a side note, a stiffer tipped rod really, really helps with these sinking heads. I have a couple of the long UST 3-D's and love them. Used the Guideline 2D heads for many years along with the DDC heads, but these 3D do come out of the water much easier and cast easier for me-- because of the 3D and because of improved taper. I suspect most of the 3D heads out there now are pretty good, just haven't tried them.
The Scandi rods throw the sunk heads quite well--that's just what they do over there and figured out rod designs ahead of us Yanks. Just sayin that because you can't make them work could mean you don't have a rod that does them well.
 

the_grube

Active Member
#15
As a side note, a stiffer tipped rod really, really helps with these sinking heads. I have a couple of the long UST 3-D's and love them. Used the Guideline 2D heads for many years along with the DDC heads, but these 3D do come out of the water much easier and cast easier for me-- because of the 3D and because of improved taper. I suspect most of the 3D heads out there now are pretty good, just haven't tried them.
The Scandi rods throw the sunk heads quite well--that's just what they do over there and figured out rod designs ahead of us Yanks. Just sayin that because you can't make them work could mean you don't have a rod that does them well.
Thanks Dan, good info. The 3d I'm using is casting fine when I do my part correctly. It's just the lift. With my 7130 I can't lift straight into the cast; have to throw an extra roll and then start the single spey. If I'm shooting line the lift is easier, retrieving the shooting line seems to bring the head up a bit. This line is making me a better caster; much smaller margin for error than a typical scandi or skagit head IMO. There will be a 7140 or 8140 in my future, but I want to figure this thing out completely before I solve it with new gear.
 

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