Refresh My Memory...Please

Mark Moore

Just a Member
I am just entering the two handed world and need a bit of basic help. I have tried to read and observe as much as possible but what I really need is this-

Will you experienced guys please lay out in bullet points or a short paragraph the differences in Skagit, Scandi, and traditional Spey for me.

I just bought a Reddington CPX 11'3" 8wt. switch rod and cant spend a few hundred bucks to figure out the right line. Any first hand experience with this particular rod will greatly appreciated.

I fish smaller rivers like some of the Oregon coast rivers or the Kalama and don't really want to be in bigger water. I am a reasonably proficient caster with a single hand rod and have the Rio Spey Casting videos.



Active Member
"Will you experienced guys please lay out in bullet points or a short paragraph the differences in Skagit, Scandi, and traditional Spey for me."

Simple stuff here.

Skagit: You are using a short heavy head and doing a 'sustained anchor.' Like you really let that sink tip SINK. Takes a bit of on water testing but the angle from the floating head to the sink tip will be somewhere around a 30 to 45 degrees of 'sink.

Scandi: Heads will generally be at least one rod length longer than a Skagit and upwards of 100 grains lighter in weight. Here, like the traditional spey cast, your anchor is a 'touch and go.' No sinking (even with a sinking poly leader), just touch the water with your leader and let her rip.

Traditional Spey: Much longer head, usually has a long front taper, and the cast is 'set your anchor .... like a scandi ... in a 'kiss and go.' Traditional Spey 'heads' run from as little as 45 feet (there may be shorter one's, but none come to mind at the moment) to as much as 110 feet!

The first two are a 'head system' and you shoot running line to get distance out of your cast. With the later how much 'head' you have out side of your rod is the major determining factor. That said, with the shorter TS's you can shoot line to get distance (and you probably will).

I'm not even going to touch on intermendiate/full sink lines as that's a 'whole different kettle of fish.'


Jason Chadick

A Fish, A Fish, A Fishy, Oh...
Try one of the Skagit switch heads, they really load the hell out of those shorter rods. I have a 510 switch that was too heavy for my E3 switch I would be glad mail you to mess around with…might be a nice fit for that rod.
If you are at the learning stage, and it sounds like you are. It is much easier to learn Skagit (sustained anchor) than either of the other two styles, especially if you're going to be throwing sink tips and or big flies. It may not be as pretty as touch and go but it is very efficient and relatively quick to learn. I highly recommend talking to reputable fly shop to help you get set up with the right line.


Active Member
There are only two types, skagit and other. With a short rod...switch rod a short skagit (skagit switch) will be your best bet. Longer rods are more amenable to longer belly's.
Take the offer to try the 510 gr. As I remember that line was great on that rod. I fish the 7113 with a 450 gr and it's my favorite rod. These switch sticks are very capable on any water when you start getting the hang of casting


5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
Get a Steve Godshall him up he will educate you on the 2 hand game better than any poster here. Youll get hooked up with a line custom made for the rod you have for the same price/less than what you'll pay for a Rio/airflo setup
Skagit: Short heads (under 30 feet nowadays), almost no taper, easiest to cast, meant for throwing tips and big/heavy flies. Requires a sink tip looped on the front before you can fish it. Generally used with "sustained anchor" style casts (Snap-T, Skagit Double Spey, Perry Poke etc.)
Scandi: medium length heads 35-45' generally. These lines have a long fine front taper meant for throwing lightly weighted or unweighted flies. Slightly more difficult to cast then the Skagit. Scandi's use "touch and go" casts (single spey, scandi underhand, snake roll, etc.) where timing is more important. Scandi lines don't need a tip and are ready to fish with a standard leader or poly leader.
Traditional Spey: longest heads on the market, can range from 50-100' depending on taper, many of these lines have the running line integrated to the head (like a single handed line) whereas Skagit and Scandi are just heads and require a shooting line to be looped on. Traditional lines are very difficult to cast for beginners and I wouldn't recommend them. They are generally cast using Snake Rolls, Single Speys, and similar touch-and-go casts. These lines are best for throwing even smaller flies without tips at long distances.

Just two more things to keep in mind:
-The shorter the head, the less back casting room you require
-If you want to fish winter runs, I'd look towards a Skagit line and tips, if your fishing summer runs with traditional flies or skaters, I'd look toward a Scandi setup.

Rio has a nice article called "Understanding Spey Lines" for more information aswell as a breakdown of all the common rods and what grain weight lines thye reccomend for each. Hope that wasn't to confusing.

Mark Moore

Just a Member
Thanks for all the replies I have been locked out of the site by my IP address for the last couple of days but as soon as I'm back online I will post more

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Mark Moore

Just a Member
Jason, thanks very much for the incredibly generous offer. However it seemed as though the consensus was the 510 Skagit Compact is the ticket so after talking to Jared at Rajeff today I ponied up an bought that and a running line. I already have a bunch of sink tips and poly leaders so this weekend I will be out probably looking like the guy with a bright green birds nest on a long stick in the middle of a river.

I'll report my progress.....

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