RIO's new Skagit lines - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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RIO's new Skagit lines

After a lot of pleading and pleasing, tinkering and testing we have finally completed manufacture of our new Skagit Spey lines. The lines have just come off the manufacturing run and are packaged and ready to be shipped out to dealers this week.

To those that don't know, Skagit casting is a style of spey casting that utilizes special short and heavy spey lines with fast sinking tips to easily load a rod. Skagit casting encompasses a minimal amount of effort by using a very short and compact casting stroke and is perfect for casting in really tight quarters.

The Skagit lines have only a 27ft head with a welded loop to which you attach a 15 ft sink tip (or a length of T14). These lines come in four sizes: 450 grain (7/8), 550 grains (8/9), 650 grains (9/10) and 750 grains (10/11). This weight and the unique taper design makes this about the easiest way to make a spey cast.

The lines will retail initially for $75.

Unfortunatley I am away on the road for the next week or so. Anyone who would like more info on the Skagit lines, or even Skagit casting, contact Zack Dalton here at Rio ([email protected]).


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-25-2005, 07:10 PM
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Data from FLYFISHUSA re Rio's new Skagit lines and fitting them to rods

New for 2005, Rio proudly introduces the Skagit Spey Lines. After extensive field-testing by noted casters Mike McCune, Scott O’Donnell and Ed Ward along with others in the spey community, the new Skagit Lines are ready for the market place.
Available in: 450 grains 7/8, 550 grains 8/9, 650 grains 9/10 and 750 grains 10/11.

Based on the McCune-O’Donnell formula, Rod/Line match ups work out as follows:

7-weight rod matched with a 450 grain (7/8) Skagit line.

Rod length 13’6’’ or under go with straight Skagit 450 (no cheaters).

Rod length 14’ formula = 450 Skagit plus 5 (5 foot cheater).

Rod length 15’ formula = 450 Skagit plus 10 (10 foot cheater).

8-weight rod matched with 550 grain (8/9) Skagit line.

Rod length 13’6’’ or under go with straight Skagit 550 (no cheaters).

Rod length 14’ formula = 550 Skagit plus 5 (5 foot cheater).

Rod length 15’ formula = 550 Skagit plus 10 (10 foot cheater).

9-weight rod matched with 650 grain (9/10) Skagit line.

Rod length 13’6’’ or under go with straight Skagit 650 (no cheaters).

Rod length 14’ formula = 650 Skagit plus 5 (5 foot cheater).

Rod length 15’ formula = 650 Skagit plus 10 (10 foot cheater).

As you can see from the above the basic Skagit line/rod formula will depend on rod length with the enhanced use of the Skagit Cheaters (cheaters of matching size). The cheaters will come in both 5’ and 10’ lengths, both in floating and compensator (intermediate) formats round out the formula. When selecting the appropriate set of cheaters follow the Skagit number, for example a 550 Skagit is a 8/9, use a 8/9/10 Skagit Cheater.

Below you will find a run down of Sage Rods with appropriate Skagit Line match-ups;

6126-3 WindCutter 9/10/11 off the back loop (23’, 320 grains).

7141-4 (this one doesn’t follow the standard format) Skagit 8/9 550 grain + 5’ 8/9/10 cheater.

8136-4 Skagit 8/9 550grain

9140-4 (another one that doesn’t follow the per-se chart) Skagit 8/9 550 grain + 5’cheater

9141-4 Skagit 9/10 650 grain + 5’ cheater (the “teacher’s” pet is awesome with this!)

9150-4 two choices here (1) Skagit 8/9 550 grain with 10’ cheater. (2) Skagit 9/10 650 grain with 5’ cheater.

10150-4 TCR Skagit 10/11 750 grain +10’ cheater (10/11/12 Cheaters).

As you can see form doesn’t necessary follow function. In that rod/line weight can be adjusted based on rod action, see 7141 above. Although not an exact science the above charts are generally user friendly with some exceptions as noted above. No doubt other rod companies will have these same non-match up/match ups.

Skagit Lines are purely a design for use with sink-tips. To be sure most fishing will be with type 6,8 and T-14 tips in 9,11,13,15 foot lengths. With 15’ being the standard sink tip length. Aqualux as well as type 3 tips can and will apply depending on strategy or seasonality.

The Skagit Lines are new and are proving to be an effective tool in the art of spey casting. The idiosyncrasy of rod to line match ups will continues to emerge in the coming months as spey casters give these lines a try.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-26-2005, 03:36 PM
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When picking a Rio Skagit head, if you want 550 grains for the rod should you go with the 8/9 which is 550 or should you choose the 7/8 which is 450 and get the additional grainage from the sink tip that you are attaching.

I'm looking for a line for my 12'6" 8 weight and based on the chart above it seems that the 550 line would be reccomended but I have also seen posts that this size rod would fish best with about a total of 550 grains.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-27-2005, 07:15 AM
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For those interested I have been digging through old posts and found what I think is an answer to my question. Scott O'Donnell wrote:

"First I want to thank you for your excellent support and explanations of the skagit heads and cheaters. But I do need to correct you on one small detail. Changing from #9 to #10 15' tips (etc) is not going to dramatically change the load on any rod. The change is going to be very slight if any at all. The incredible density of the belly is such that it wants to turn over just about anything no matter how heavy. The problem with these lines is when you try to cast a tip that is too light, say 100 grains, it will tend to windmill. However this problem can be overcome by adding an extra five feet of cheater.
During the cast, the sink tip stays mostly in the water and acts as the anchor, the belly is loading the rod. Once the rod is unloaded and releases the line it becomes the belly's responsibility to turn over the tip. I believe you saw an excellent example of this during the spey days. Eddie said that he wanted approximately 550 grains to load one of his rods, so he figured to use the 450 with a 100 grain tip, the result was poor, as you saw. We lined the same rod with the 550 and a 190 grain tip and all of a sudden the rod was transformed into a magic wand."

Based on this and some other things I've read it sounds as if the reccomended grains should be in the head and then the sink tip is additional. Once I put a line on my rod I'll update how it's working.


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