Casting Stroke - Sink Tips


I'd rather be reading water
I've been spending more and more time with the big stick. Last weekend while fishing the Stilly i was finally able to take off my sink tip an just cast my 500g skagit with my 13' 7/8 Deer Creek, I think the head is 26 feet or so. As usual I would pull the running line all the way back to the head and perform my cast. Simple, nice loops, no tips.

Then while fishing the Skagit I put on 12' of T10. If I am adding 12' of heavy line to my head, it seems that it would make sense to pull my line in an additional 12' past the skagit head. After doing this I quickly learned that the head would not shoot through my guides nicely.

While fishing with tips how should I change my casting stroke, and should i pull more head through my guides before starting my cast?

Any help appreciated.
Remember, this isn't overhead casting, where the mass of the sink tip works to load the rod. In this case, the tip provides the anchor for the cast, and adds little to the load of the rod. When you pulled twelve feet of the head into the guides, you effectively lost half (more or less) of the mass necessary to pull the tip out of the water and get it moving. You should have the whole head, and perhaps even a smidge of running line hanging out the tip.


I'd rather be reading water
Thanks Id Steel. I still ask the question... If I have and additional 12' of mass, do I need to change my casting stroke to compensate for that length of mass?
Having not seen you cast, it's tough to make a call on what to change or leave alone. However, my gut tells me, leave your stroke alone and let that fat skagit head do it's magic. That's what it's for after all. Make sure you have a solid anchor, keep it smooth and stay off the gas.
Sounds like your problem is your casting, you need some lessons. I'm assuming when you remove your sink tip, you're just adding a leader or are you adding a floating tip too? If your just adding a leader, and not changing your casting stroke from when using tips (you stated you've been casting tips, and I'd assume without a problem...but that is puzzling since now your asking how with tips now?). Anyway, if your casting tight loops with a Skagit head and a mono leader 9' -12', chances are you were never developing your d-loop when using tips, because if you were a short leader without a floating tip would never anchor sufficiently.

When using a Skagit the entire head forms the d-loop plus, depending on you, a portion of your sink tip. If you are leaving 8' of head on the water your cast will fail...if your pulling in the head to make up for that, the cast will fail as the head no longer possesses the mass to move the tip. Solution work on D-loop formation, making sure you use the whole head and that you're not laying the bottom leg of your loop in the water behind you.

Too many assumptions to really know, but i think i know where you're coming from,



Active Member
When you pull some of the head inside the guides, you have that much less grains in your D-loop to load the rod. Even though the connecting loops have become much smaller, those big fat Skagit heads are not going to go zipping out of the guides. The best solution I have found is; #1 all tips are the same length, #2 sustained anchor casts, about 12" overhang.

By having all tips the same length, your casting stroke remains constant, making sink tips is no more difficult than casting a floater. Be sure to allow the tip to settle on the water enough to establish a solid anchor. Especially on casts off the downstream shoulder. When casting weighted flies, replacing the C-Spey (circle spey, snap-t) with the Perry Poke eliminates the chance of a broken rod tip. Just sayin.


I'd rather be reading water
Thank you all for the information! I think I may not be as terrible as I originally thought.
I went in to visit Bjorn at the Fly Fisher in Lacey and found out that the Skagit head I had on my 7/8 wt was actually a 450g not a 500g. I was under-gunned to start with. As for the tips, I get it now, one must/should have a tip to successfully cast a skagit head... skagit style. I'm going to look for a 500-550g skagit head in the classifieds, put on similar tip lengths and see how I do.

Takes a while to figure all this stuff out. And again, I appreciate all of your responses.

In my experience, typical 7/8 spey rods are loaded properly with a skagit belly of 500 to 550 grains, not including a floating of sinking tip. (I haven't tried most 7/8 rods on the market, including the Deer Creek, so this isn't gospel.)

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