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.
Just another day in paradise...