Compact Skagit or Scandi on your trout rods? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Compact Skagit or Scandi on your trout rods?

Decided to fart around with some old single hander lines today after getting off my butt and getting around to fixing my 2/3 trout spey, then digging up my 2 weight single hander to wiggle it

I've been fishing the trout spey rod with a host of lines so far - Rio Skagit Max Short, and assorted WF and DT trout lines. Then I started thinking about the flies I fish when I'm using a shooting head - and about half the time it's one or two soft hackles - which the Skagit's raw horsepower isn't needed for. So I looked at an old double tapered #8 I had sitting about - and started slicing. First I made a 12' short head - which I actually tried out first on the 2 weight single hander but realized the guides are just waaay too small and the running line to head connection couldn't get through the small guides.

Then I tried it out on my 12' double hander and it was doing well - but then I started thinking that a bit longer might not be terrible, so I chopped 20 feet of the other end of the the DT line and created essentially a homemade Scandi - the DT has about 10 feet of tip taper, the rest is belly. I couldn't get the damn thing to weld together to save my life for some reason, so I nail knotted a length of 30lb Maxima to the backside, tied a triple surgeon's loop, and presto. I haven't water cast it yet, but getting it out in the yard - the 20 footer was casting nicely and turning over the test fly - a bead headed #10 leech with the hook bend cut off - quite nicely. I am going river fishing tomorrow for the first time in a while - was just going to make it a single hand game, but now I'm going to take a single hander and the two hander. I need to make up to it ever since I broke it back in September and neglected it for so long.

So it got me thinking - how many of you guys are fishing a Scandi type line on your trout speys over a skagit line, or are you doing the long belly or Ambush route instead? Scandi type lines are the only ones I've not played with much - because at the outset I was told that Scandi lines are harder to cast when I was first getting into two handers.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 08:01 PM
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On a trout Spey/switch my personal attitude is anything other than a Scandi is for when a Scandi might have issues - Scandi is the default. They are much more of a joy to cast. They are a tiny bit different, NOT harder. Heavier denser heads are for bigger or heavier flies, big honkin' sink tips, if there is a big wind sometimes, and even on occasion for social fishing or other places where space is cramped. Skagit heads are a compromise (for me personally) when I can't get away with something more elegant. As much as I like the ambush lines, they are in the "skagit" category too. On light and airy trout spey/switch rods it seems like a shame to use anything that unnecessarily detracts from the feeling of elegance.

I don't want to make it sound like the "can't get away with a Scandi" situation is rare. It isn't. I'd say for me it's about 50/50. But the bumper sticker for me would read "I'd rather be using a Scandi". Get one especially designed for light tips and then you will be in heaven.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 08:28 PM
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I think we are lucky that the lines offered today make better casters of us all

Im more interested in what brands you like

I enjoy airflo scandi but Beulah has done great with their new v2 and tonic

I started skagit casting a year ago and went from the rio flight to the skagit short. I made the mistake of thinking most lines are equal. I have some 40-50 lines and really should part with most of them. I can still land a fly softly with these
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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On my single hand rods I've been a big fan of Airflo, Cortland, and Scientific Anglers lines - on my two handers my dedicated heads/two hand lines are mostly Rio. Once I thrash my Rio lines I'll probably be switching them out for Airflo or OPST depending on the rod.

I like the point made about elegance - Skagit lines land with the elegance of a fat guy in a kiddie pool - at least they do for me, so if I can use a more subtle approach for a lot of that fishing, I'm in. Streamer fishing or big wet flies, Skagit is great for. But for # 10 or 12 soft hackles - it's a bit more than necessary. At least with a 200 grain line. Wonder when someone will come up with a "one weight spey" and use something like a 75-125 grain compact head to match it - just to do it.

I will say that I am really digging the shooting head / single hand rod thing too - it makes casting more fun, more efficient, and I can use lighter rods to throw the flies I want to throw to target the smaller meat eating fishes - a 1-2lb bass is way more fun on a 4-5 weight rod than a heavy 8 weight and a 12 inch trout from my local waters would be considered "big" - before I discovered shooting heads I would still fish the lighter rods and big flies, but casting would become a chore and distance was a lot more limited. Playing with a couple of my home-made heads today with my 6'6" 2 weight single hander, I was launching a #10 tungsten bead head leech all the way across the yard with almost no effort. If I can figure out how to work the back end of the line so it would fit through the guides, I've got a winner for hitting some pools on some small streams I fish that open up too far for a 2 or even 4 weight to hit with a standard trout line, and my standard trout casting abilities with said 2-4 weight lines, and I could fish poppers on my 2 weight for bluegill and get a 30 foot cast with it - that would be a real hoot.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 01:52 AM
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I have an ACR 1073 that Steve Godshall built. Since the beginning I have been trying to find a skagit setup that will work for this rod and I but we have been unsuccessful. I would really like to find a skagit that will allow me to comfortably throw tips and weighted flies (sculpins in particular). As it stands, this rod has a scandi bias. Steve built me a 27' scandi line at 265gr and this rod just comes alive when you cast that thing. It throws poly leaders fairly well with soft hackles and small steelhead flies but streamers are almost a no go with that head.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 07:12 AM
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Great thread going on here; 'One size does not fit all' as they would say.

When choosing a rod/line to fish with I start with the size of the expected fish, then the choice of fly, then .. etc/etc.

Most of the time I get it right but I've found a few 'I wants' will just not work. That's what it sounds like in the postings above. Or to use the old tounge in cheek: "The Spirot is wolling but the Flesh is week." (Spelling intended.)

fae




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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheepdog8404 View Post
I have an ACR 1073 that Steve Godshall built. Since the beginning I have been trying to find a skagit setup that will work for this rod and I but we have been unsuccessful. I would really like to find a skagit that will allow me to comfortably throw tips and weighted flies (sculpins in particular). As it stands, this rod has a scandi bias. Steve built me a 27' scandi line at 265gr and this rod just comes alive when you cast that thing. It throws poly leaders fairly well with soft hackles and small steelhead flies but streamers are almost a no go with that head.
I think you have the answer inside your question. Steve is very good customizing for what you want, and he is also good at telling you when what you want is not really possible. Ask him. I know I have no problem with smaller zonkers on my 250gr (3wt 10'6") Meiser switch rod, but I use an ambush or chucker for that.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 04:27 PM
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I prefer scandi lines on my trout two handers. With the scandi I can swing softies, use a sinking poly for medium weight streamers, and a scandi is great for nymphing with an indicator. Much more versatile than a skagit unless you like to toss heavy flies and tips. My favorite lines are Steve Godshall creations.
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"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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So a little update - I got out on Wednesday to the river, took my homemade line, along with my Skagit setup. The river was already really low - so a lot of the runs that I wanted to fish were more of a single hander game - but there were a couple stretches that opened up to about 70 feet of water. Running the 18 foot head with a tapered mono leader of about 15 feet was working well. I'm so used to sustained anchor casting with the Skagit that I took a bit to get used to a touch & go type cast but I got to the point where I was hitting 50 foot casts pretty regularly. Got a few grabs from willing cutthroat - and one that was a HARD yank that didn't sink the hook that I'm sure was either a BIG cutty or more likely a summer steelie.

Later in the day I switched out to the Skagit setup with a polyleader and landed my first fish - and having been T&G casting took a bit to get back into SA casting mode. I was surprised that the short Skagit head would actually cast pretty well with touch & go casts and didn't overpower the rod. My homemade line isn't perfect but it was very good. Certainly would make a good nymphing setup but I didn't do any indicator fishing - it was all about the swing for this trip.

On an unrelated note - I discovered it's time to retire the waders I'm using (or rather, I have a good excuse for upgrading) because the crotch of my waders developed a nasty leak, much to the surprise of my 'bits' - that water, despite being low, was cooooooold.

I think I"m going to change out the mono running line I'm currently running - which is 25lb Big Game hi viz for 20lb - the lighter head, I think, would get a bit more distance with the thinner, lighter line. I played around in the yard with using 14 lb P-Line (which I use a lot of on my bass gear rods) and it seemed that the homemade heads had a much easier time shooting line than with the heavier 25lb stuff.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:26 PM
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Old Sage 490 RP 9' 4wt - the original! has been converted to a mini-Trout spey rod. I have re-purposed this rod with an OPST Commando 175 grain Skagit head, 30 lb Lazerine (mono) and a 7' 3 ips sink tip. this rig works great for mid-sized Trout streams. Head is like a 6wt. Give OPST your rod specs and they will get you a reply with a recommendation. I love this rig!
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