Skagit Head to Short?

#1
I finally set-up my two hander but I feel like I purchased to short of a Skagit head. I'm using a 650grain Skagit Flight so it's 27ft. plus a 15' tip of various weights. I'm throwing it on a 14'9" 9 weight Redington RS4. Is that head too short or am I just a shitty caster?
 
#2
I'm not familiar with that rod...but I know plenty of people that use Skagit lines with 15' rods. Try starting with a floating tip or poly leader. Once you have that figured out try a type 3 tip and an unweighted fly. Then try either a weighted fly with that tip or move to a Type 6 tip with an unweighted fly.

You could also go to Fall City on Saturday mornings and talk to Aaron about your casting and your rod/line set up. I think he still does the casting lessons there every Saturday?

Good luck,
Christian
 
#3
Yes, but I could rant about this in several ways. I would recommend following up on the idea of Fall City. If you can find some old Skagit cheaters then you might find a band aid for the problem as well. I hate cheaters, but they can help alleviate the problem.
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#4
I use a Short head on a 13'6" rod and it is "technical" (20' + heads). I can cast it all day fine, but it definitely requires more attention, and a slightly modified "side arm" cast is used most of the time if I want to throw any kind of a roll cast. I also wad the line just up stream of me and then make my cast (stack cast? I dunno, I'm self taught). It's great when I have 0 back casting room.

I think I have read the standard-ish use for shorts is for rods under 13'. Some say 10-11, with 12-13 being borderline.

The old Rio chart shows that rod using a 600-650 grains, so your weight seems in the right zone.

So all those words aside, (and like Mike already said) yes it seems your head is probably to short for how you are casting, and life would be easier with a longer head. If it were me I'd just go get a 650 Skagit for that rod and try it. But I am a tinkerer with a high tolerance for failure :)

*******Arg. Apparently anywhere in the Spey portion of this forum, i encounter a nexus called "Dave fails reading comprehension 101." Egad, you not only didnt say short, you even noted you had a 27' head. I'm leaving the above to demonstrate my ignorance.
 

speyfisher

Active Member
#5
In the old days, 3x rod length was considered the norm for Skagit heads (including the (sink) tip. Now people are going as short as 2.5x rod length. So your system seems to be close to spot on. Even a bit long, but I wouldn't worry about a couple of inches. What kind of sh!tty casts are you getting? What weight are your tips? What size flies are you playing with?
 
#6
I'm just starting Spey casting (I've fished a single hand for 10+ years) I was throwing the aforementioned Skagit head with an 15' Intermediate Tip and no fly, just yarn. I was just doing a simple Snap-T and Double Spey. I have a UniSpey shooting head thats a mid belly I could give a try also, but my understanding is I can't throw as heavy tips or as big of flies with that particular line.
 

speyfisher

Active Member
#7
The determining factor regarding the lines capability of turning over big flies is the dia at the tip end of the line. This includes the looped on (sink) tip. Although I am not familiar with the Skagit flight series heads, I would assume a 650 Skagit flight head would be capable of handling a RIo 150 grain tip. Rio would probably call this a 9/10 wt tip. Mass density is the property we are concerned with here. Meaning how much does the tip of the head weigh in grains/ft, and how much does the tip weigh in grains/ft. It takes mass to cast mass.

There is a reason why a lot of people prefer T-14 tips to huck those big intruder type flies. MASS! That stuff weighs 14 gr/ft! (duhhh) Not only that, it is built on 35lb mono core. In order to cast T-14, the tip of the head must be of equal or greater density. That equates to minimum .080 dia just behind the loop.

Now, all that aside, if you are consistently pulling your anchor, you need to either adjust your casting stroke, or adjust your tackle. Other than that, bogie on down to Fall City on Saturday mornings and talk to Aaron.
 
#8
for my tastes, rods that are LONGER and STIFFER required longer skagit lines, at or even above the 3X ratio. Your RS3 14'9" meets those criteria. I routinely fish 2.4X on a soft 11' rod.
 

TrevorH

Active Member
#9
for my tastes, rods that are LONGER and STIFFER required longer skagit lines, at or even above the 3X ratio. Your RS3 14'9" meets those criteria. I routinely fish 2.4X on a soft 11' rod.
X2...

...soft rods facilitate ultra-short line length ratios by smoothing/dampening the power application of ones forward stroke, preventing blown anchors. They also bend deeper and are "functionally" shorter than a stiffer rod of of equal length. That said, I don't think you are out of the window, especially if you use 4'+ of tippet. You may just prefer a softer rod.
 
#10
Another thing I've encountered, including myself when I first started trying to cast a two hand rod, is the notion that a Spey cast is just a roll cast done with a longer rod. FORGET THAT! Maybe it started out that way. But what we know today as a Spey cast, be it touch & go or sustained anchor, is nothing like a roll cast.

Not knowing what your "sh!tty" casts look like makes it difficult, if not impossible to prescribe a fix. Go see Aaron. Or Mike Kinney.
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#11
Try starting with a floating tip or poly leader
poly leaders looped to a skagit head, don't give you near enough anchor in my experience. they were designed for scandi heads, and traditional bellies, not skagit lines ! just try weighing one, and then weigh a 15' tip from your skagit line.

try wading progressively deeper with each cast. if your problem starts to go away when you get, say, waist deep, a longer head MIGHT help. if not, your problems lie elsewhere. if you are going from a longer belly line to a skagit, you will need a much more compact stroke. try keeping your hands clooser to your body. i know i have trouble remembering this when i make the switch.
 
#12
I went out practicing again today with the 650 Skagit head and my Unispey line and i'm starting to beileve its more my cast then the line seeing as how I never did get a single decent cast with the UniSpey, I couldn't load the rod efficiently. When I cast my Skagit however, I noticed that the back end of the head seemed to drop like a rock and that I was pooling up slack when I set my anchor. I should probably seek professional help for my casting.....
 
#13
Another thing I've encountered, including myself when I first started trying to cast a two hand rod, is the notion that a Spey cast is just a roll cast done with a longer rod. FORGET THAT! Maybe it started out that way. But what we know today as a Spey cast, be it touch & go or sustained anchor, is nothing like a roll cast.

Not knowing what your "sh!tty" casts look like makes it difficult, if not impossible to prescribe a fix. Go see Aaron. Or Mike Kinney.
I agree the finished product is nothing like a roll cast but the roll cast is definitely an essential building block to more advanced casts. It is the best way for a newbe to practice his forward stroke. IF a new caster does not understand the roll cast and cant do one correctly he will continue to struggle.
 
#14
How much overhang of the head beyond the rod tip are you employing? I would keep it to no more than a foot or so to start.

I'm not familiar with that particular model, but my experience is that Redingtons are fast action rods, usually, and not easy to feel in action. Some fast action rods can cast Skagit systems well, but they're a better fit on slower rods that bend into the butt section, and that have rather stiff tips. Try to get your rig into the hands of experienced spey casters, and ask how it feels to them.

I've used Skagit heads on rods from 11' 7" to 15 feet, and usually with 15 foot sink tips. The rod's action is more important.
 
#15
I either have the butt of the Skagit touching my tip top or just a couple inches hanging out. I was thinking I'd ask a professional to cast my rod because I'm hardly in any condition to diagnose a problem with a Spey Rod
 

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