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  #1  
Old 07-06-2010, 07:45 PM
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Mike Thomas Mike Thomas is offline
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Skagit head?

Hi Guys, I am going fishing on the Tongariro in a couple of weeks and I intend to try out my Skagit head that came with my switch rod ("Sage Z-Axis Switch Rod, 11ft, 7wt Comes with sage 2580 fly reel with a 9wt Scientific Anglers Steelhead line attached, also in great condition. Reel also has spare spool with airflo 450gn skagit head and airflo ridge running line). So my question is this do I need a cheeter tip for this set up or will it work ok with a fast sink poly leader on the end? Have not yet cast this set up so any advice gratefully accepted!
Thanks.
All the best.
Mike
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2010, 08:00 PM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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hi mike, you dont need the cheater, the general rule is 3x the rod length but you dont have to in buy this 'rule'. I use a rio skagit short on my 4 wt switch which is a 20ft long head with basicaly no front taper, and i attach my sink tips or floating tip straight to it, is it a skagit short head or a normal length head? Either way you dont need the cheater, as said i use head - poly float leader or sink tip - leader.↲
Even on my 8133 2 hander i use an airflo compact skagit head and attach floating or sink tips to this, the 3x length is just a guide and thats why rio made the cheaters, but its not mandatory, you could use a skagit short at 20ft (and appropriate grain weight) and them poly leaders or custom made tips then your tippet, your rod being only 11ft gives you the option to not use the cheater, i think it might be relevant for longer rods, 14ft and longer etc, and i guess for these longer rods without the cheater blowing your anchor might be the problem.↲
Just remember to slow down with your skagit head casting, using the water to grip the line with good controlled movements, they are a different beast than your steelhead line, learn casts like the perry poke, very powerful cast and good for casting heavy sink tips and big flies.↲
Good luck at the tongariro you lucky bastard hahaha.
Just reread your post, the airflo heads do definately not need a cheater, and they atleast have some taper on the front, good lines! custom make yourself a 12ft floating tip out of the first 12ft of an old 8wt floater if you want to fish in the top levels of the water or rio t11 or 14 sink tips from 6 to 10ft long for deeper work, perhaps t 8 to, you could order the MOW tips from rio in t11 and 14 which should cover you for everything you should ever need, t11 would be my choice, they come with 5tips i believe, from floating to full sink tip and everything inbetween.
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Last edited by ozswitch; 07-06-2010 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:31 PM
hooked hooked is offline
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hey Mike,
I use to use a cheater on all of my lines of one length or another.I have in the past year all but eliminated them.IMO it is far easier to adjust line length at the tip,and adjust your cast stroke to your needs on any stretch of river.Ones cast stroke can change from step to step,or rock to rock.It can be easier to hold an anchor at times with a cheater when you first start using a skagit,but as you progress,it just seems to be one less thing to worry about.From what I have seen in my 3 short years of this addiction,you can ask 10 people a question and get 14 opinions.That being said,try out both ways and see what works for you.Keep it slow,and watch your line.It never lies.

Good luck,and let me know how you made out.

Scott
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:33 PM
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Mike Thomas Mike Thomas is offline
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Thanks very much Ozswitch and Scott, that is pretty much what I thought, I will give it a go and let you know how I go. I may even try a 20ft leader and a big nymph on the end for upstream work, then change to a fast sinking poly leader and a big wet fly to fish back down stream.
How's the fishing in Oz at this time of year?
All the best.
Mike.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2010, 01:28 AM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Thomas View Post
Thanks very much Ozswitch and Scott, that is pretty much what I thought, I will give it a go and let you know how I go. I may even try a 20ft leader and a big nymph on the end for upstream work, then change to a fast sinking poly leader and a big wet fly to fish back down stream.
How's the fishing in Oz at this time of year?
All the best.
Mike.

Sadly its a strange time of year here in oz, with the exception of bay fishing for tuna etc alot of our river fishing is hit and mis, bass are in spawn mode and can be hard to track down in the brackish water, while the dams can still fish ok for them it gets a bit boring fishing in 40ft of water where they can sit and eat bony bream all day, the salt rivers can be good but you have to follow tides etc to get the best results or it can be like flogging a dead horse.↲
Im going to start planning my nz trip soon for november/december, get some surface action on my 4wt switch and maybe swing some soft hackles, although im not sure which soft hackles to use and if the trout over there respond well to them in clear water.↲
can you give me any heads up on some good wet flies other than wolly buggers to tie?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:20 AM
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normally you need to attach a tip - either sinking or floating- to a skagit head as though it may have some taper to it they are meant to have tip unlike a scandi head. I expect you could use a poly leader in place of a tip but think it would wok better with and actual sinking tip such as the T series depending on size of fly you are casting and to an extent depth you are fishing. I would certainly put on a flaoting tip if you go to your long leader system with a nymph rather that attach the leader directly to the skagit head
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:21 PM
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SpeySpaz SpeySpaz is offline
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yeh, a 10'+ sinktip would help with that... Skagits w/ polys tend to go a little harsh...remember it takes mass to tame mass.

cheater....ah,,,negative negative, good buddy. Short rod=short head, 22 ft is plenty for that rod. you have your grains OK.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2010, 07:30 AM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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a good idea is to use old 12ft sections of fly lines for floating tips, the front 12ft of the taper and the rear work plenty well, not nearly as easy to blow your anchor due to the fatness of the fly line vs a poly leader, poly do work but you have to be oh so gentle, that doesnt sit well with me so i now cut up old fly lines and splice loops onto them and goop them up well so as to net let water into the core, dependin on the line you use they work well for dry fly fishing to, nymphs is a no brainer to
Re. Hows the fishing in oz?↲
Managed this bass out of really cold water for here in brisvegas, not a monster for this area but still good fun on the 4wt switch!
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2010, 11:28 PM
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Mike Thomas Mike Thomas is offline
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Thanks for all the info guys, I can't get any t12 in NZ and do not have time to order some from overseas before my trip, so I will have to make do with the 10ft poly leader.
Nice bass Ozswitch, thanks for sharing. As for wets in the South Island I would think wooly buggers and Grey Ghosts would be the most used but most of the rivers have Bullys in them as well so a Rabbit about size 8 would also be good, and I have often thought something totally different like a big leach pattern should work well. Here in the North November to December is a good time to skate an Elk Hair Caddis just on Dark and into the night for the resident river fish. I think the south may be a bit later for that, in the snow fed rivers at least. If you are near the bush line I would give a big Mouse pattern a go, cast across stream and strip it back fast, if it has been a mild spring the place should be full of mice.
All the best.
Mike.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:31 AM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Thomas View Post
Thanks for all the info guys, I can't get any t12 in NZ and do not have time to order some from overseas before my trip, so I will have to make do with the 10ft poly leader.
Nice bass Ozswitch, thanks for sharing. As for wets in the South Island I would think wooly buggers and Grey Ghosts would be the most used but most of the rivers have Bullys in them as well so a Rabbit about size 8 would also be good, and I have often thought something totally different like a big leach pattern should work well. Here in the North November to December is a good time to skate an Elk Hair Caddis just on Dark and into the night for the resident river fish. I think the south may be a bit later for that, in the snow fed rivers at least. If you are near the bush line I would give a big Mouse pattern a go, cast across stream and strip it back fast, if it has been a mild spring the place should be full of mice.
All the best.
Mike.
I have heard about the mice fishing on the south island, a bit of an anomily
it seems but trout are opotunistic feeders so would proably smack a mouse pattern or similar if skated across the top, when i was there last time i used
almost exclusivley elk hair caddis and tilt wing caddis as single flies or lead fly on a dropper rig, the caddis family of flies are great for all trout in all areas around the world, the elk hair caddis is a good visual pattern, iv even tied the wing in bright red elk hair as more of a strike indicator and still had trout happily sip it down mistaking it for the real thing i guess.
cheers for the wet fly info, i will ponder a few patterns to bring with me, im a firm beleiver in showing fish what they havent seen before to, nymphs ties with solid flash bodies worked a treat last time to, silhouete of a nymph but then the flash to trigger a repsonse of an otherwise tight lipped fish.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:15 AM
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Mike - you might look for regular sinking tips such as type IV to VI - don't really need to use T material for tips - these standard sinking tips will work better than your poly leaders as they will have more mass
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2010, 05:49 PM
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Mike Thomas Mike Thomas is offline
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Ok. I gave the Skaggit head a go on the Tongariro, I used a 10ft very fast sink Poly leader and 10ft of nylon to a cone head wooly bugger. The casting was great, when I got it right, But I was not getting deep enough so next time I will try to get some T12 and add a short tippet to get down as deep as I can. Because I was not getting deep enough I simply changed the fly to 2 Nymphs and added another few feet of nylon and cast upstream. This got down to the strike zone really fast and I managed to hook a few fish.
The next time I go I am going to try 20ft of straight nylon to 2 nymphs for upstream work and 10ft of T12 and a shortish length of nylon for downstream swinging, how deep do you think this will get the wet fly? I think maybe this will get deeper than adding a sinking tip of fly line?
All the best.
Mike.
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  #13  
Old 07-21-2010, 09:22 PM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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you could use t14 if you had to, i think that is about as heavy as most people go on here for fishing deep fast water.
It would be worth while casting a bit upstream to allow time to get to the depth required if you are fishing down and across, or fish a heavy fly with tungsten eyes and a nymph off the back, what ever it takes really to get the fish to eat, i personaly dont like the idea of egg bombs but if it gets the results then why not, a good mate of mine who has fished all over the world once said the fly he went back to time and time again was a chartruse and white clouser with various lead eyes etc, it would get smashed hands down over any other pattern, be it nymph, wet fly what have you, its an intersting suggestion as when i look back over most of the fish I have caught a large % of them have been on clousers and clouser variants, Bob clouser came up with a great pattern many moons ago and its still a very reliable patternfor alot of situations, i think its fair to say patterns have evolved out of neccesity, people have a bad day on the river and start thinking, this leads to new patterns that work well, but the bare bones basic flies still do very well.
So as a lead fly with mininal resistance the clouser is still an awsome pattern for this, with a trailer nymph for those fish that are being picky about what they eat, you choose the colour, the above example from my mate was from his findings,maybe black and pink, or red and white .... what ever, if they start hitting the clouser i would do away with the nymph and just fish the lead fly, less chance of tangles etc.

As far as your rig goes i probably wouldnt fish a long leader off the end of t12 or 14, its just not needed, i think t14 will go down at around 12ips (some one correct or clarify that for me) which is plenty fast for any river i would imagine, however i remember fishing the Hiranouey(spelling?) river on the south island and it was probebly to fast to fish even with bombs and t17, there was a rock out in the middle of the river that had a 3meter stationary wave on it, i think most fish i saw there were all within 1m of the bank as it was simply to fast.

At a stretch you could use 12ft, i wouldnt go as far as 15ft though, i know i have tried a5ft of t14 on my 8wt and while its castable it was not very user friendly, that was with a 570gr compact skagit, maybe on a longer skagit head it may work ok but on the compact it wasnt very nice to use, your leader only need be upto 6ft with your t12 etc tips, i would use flurocarbon but thats up to you.
The skagit set ups will work well for what you need, you just need to refine it a bit and you will work it out.
Cheers
Nic
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:45 AM
kiwinoz kiwinoz is offline
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Mike,

In most of the water we've been discussing you would be in the strike zone with whatever system you can equate to a T-300 (Teeny). This line will go down at 6.5" per second and the head is 25ft long. I reckon if you find a tip section that'll match that and pull your skagit head down with it (might need to be heavier?) then you'll be fishing deep enough to swing flies through most of the downstream pools.

It would be great to have a range of tips though. Somewhere like the Bridge Pool you'd get three changes and be able to fish all of that water very effectively. I would use a T-400 or heavier in the top of that pool (7.5" per second) and back off to something thats getting you down around the 4-5" per second in the lower section.

Note: I'm only using the Teeny lines as comparison because they're the only shooting heads I've used that I can really compare sink rates (with floating backing). I have fished WF HD's on single handers for the most part and only had a little bit to do with the shooting heads.

I'm really interested in the outcome of this debate because I'd like to use a similar system. I guess the question is how many extra grains (over what length tip) do you need to pull your Skagit line down at the rates mentioned above? Your line has a 450grain head right?

Once we work that out then you'll hook a lot of fish on the swing that others won't be able to reach. The middle part of the Major Jones is a perfect example of somwhere your switch & skagit set up would have it all over my roll casting with the big Ol Orvis I have (SH).

Hope this helps? Look forward to hearing more on the subject either way!

Kurt
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  #15  
Old 07-22-2010, 08:55 AM
ozswitch ozswitch is offline
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not so much a debate, more like throwing some ideas around, the skagit system is sink tip system that has the heavy tip sink and not the line, although it will go down a little at the tip, thats as far as i know, any t tips 8 or up will go 6ips and more, being a thinner material than normal fly line should mean faster sink rate with less resistance.↲
There are a few folk on here that use full sink scandi heads and with great results to, my good mate has just bought a bunch of scandi heads from float to type 6 sink i think, will let you know how they go.
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