Scandi head - floating tip, or polyleader or both? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Scandi head - floating tip, or polyleader or both?

What's the "normal" line setup for a Scandi head to skate flies? I only have experience with Skagit heads and sink tips. I have SA tip kit that came with a floating head and I don't know if it's needed, or if a tapered floating polyleader is used in its place. My gut is telling me to leave the floating head out and just use the floating polyleader, but figured I should ask first.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:11 PM
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Traditionally Scandi style shooting heads used knotted or knot-less tapered leaders of lengths up to 20ish feet long, but most were in the 6-12 foot range. Today, more and more folks use Scandi heads in conjunction with poly-leaders and smallish flies to get away with leaving their skagit head and heavy duty sink tips at home.
If you are fishing a skagit head with that tip kit, then yes you will want to use that floating tip and a short leader, say 3-6 feet long. However, this set-up will not be ideal because you will be fishing essentially an overloaded Scandi head. This set-up will make softer presentations difficult to achieve. You should not use a longer leader with this because the amount of stick will be too great, I'm not saying that you cannot do it, just that you are making things tougher than they need be. If this tip kit is in conjunction with a DDC style driver, then again yes you will want to fish that floating tip instead of the poly leader to keep your rig within the specified grain window.
Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. It sounds like I should probably omit the float tip in lieu of the floating tapered polyleader when using the Scandi head. FWIW I did try the Skagit head and floating tip, but like you said, the presentations were clunky.

For the sake a clarity, this is what I'm working with:

11' switch rod, SA Spey Lite Scandi & Skagit heads and the SA Third Coast 10' tip kit. The polyleader is the Salmon/Steelhead 10' clear floating tapered leader from Airflo.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:30 AM
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FWIW, I have heard people say that when using a floating tip on a skagit head you want your leader to be at least as long as the floating tip.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 10:47 AM
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Well, I’m asking a similar question above!!! This far though, I have found I like my Scandi head with a long tapered leadered. Still working out the formulas, but I like the tapered leader to be the length of the rod. I’ve been using 50lb down to 12lb to achieve a good turnover, and the way the fly lands with a tapered leader is really nice.

But, I have done this with a Skagit as well for windy days. Skagit compact, 10’ homemade floating tip (essentially a floating MOW, 15’ tapered leader, on a 15’ rod. It’s awesome, and really rocks out there when the wind picks up!!

For you, using an 11’ rod, I’m not sure what lengths should be. I’ve only ever fished 12’6” rods to 15’ rods. Nor am I familiar with the head you have. With my setup, my Skagit with floater becomes 35’ ft before tapered leader, and my Scandi head (no tips) is 38’ before tapered leader. This has worked for 13’6” rods to 15’ rods for me. I suppose necking it all down for you might be good?? Hope this helps.....even a little!!

I only use the floating tip on the Skagit to get the desired length. It’s all about correct length for your anchor and casting stroke.....I’m sure you know all of this. But that’s how I gauge it. If the anchor is blowing then I know I’m too short. And if I can sweep and have the anchor straighten out in front of me before firing, then I know it isn’t too long.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:35 PM
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You can control the anchor by the size of the D loop you throw behind you. Longer lines and leaders, bigger d loop, etc. and vice versa. So, it's not that it is too long or too short - that is up to you to manage with your D loop size. The same rod can throw a 20 foot head or a 100 foot head, and it can throw a 7 foot tip or a 20 foot tip - it just depends how you set up your d loop.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:29 PM
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To the original question- with the scandi head, you want to leave the floating tip from your skagit head out of the equation.

Scandi head, then either a tapered leader or a poly leader and a tippet. I use sinking poly leaders when I want to swing down a few inches, but for the most part go with a hand tied tapered mono leader in the 16 - 18 ft range.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:59 PM
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I fished a scandi, for the first time, last weekend with both poly/versi leaders and longer tapered mono leaders. I personally found the airflo 12lb 15ft mono leader tied straight to it to begin with then I added 18” of 8lb maxima to work best for my stroke. I liked the feel of the long mono over the poly leader, but I’m starting to think that I didn’t have enough leader tied onto the poly
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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This is probably a personal preference, but does anyone use a loop at the end of their tapered leader over the more traditional blood knot when connecting the tippet? I like using a tippet ring on my trout lines, but I don't think that's a good idea here.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by east high View Post
This is probably a personal preference, but does anyone use a loop at the end of their tapered leader over the more traditional blood knot when connecting the tippet? I like using a tippet ring on my trout lines, but I don't think that's a good idea here.
I just use a surgeons knot. Double or triple depending on the size of the leader.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 05:53 PM
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I use 15ft 30lb flouracarbon plus 5 -8ft 15lb leader
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:05 PM
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I would start with a rods length mono leader/tippet. 60/20/20 formula starting with a 25-30# butt. Work your way up in length until you quit blowing anchors. 15' OA length seems to work best for me and either of my 11' or 13' rods with almost any size fly. I tried loop to loop for attaching tippets but they always broke at the handshake if I made a bad cast and got hung up. Now I just use blood knots when building leaders and attaching tippet. They can be a pain to tie at first, but a little practice and you'll become pretty quick at it. When I trade out the mono leader for a polyleader to fish subsurface, I use a small barrel swivel at the poly/tippet connection instead of tippet rings. They're easier for me to handle, alot cheaper than tippet rings, and the fish don't seem to care! Good luck!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:02 AM
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I haven't read all the other posts closely so excuse any redundance, but scandi heads (incluiding the SA Scandi Lite) are usually designed to be used without tips, unlike skagit heads.

You can build your own mono leaders or use a 10' poly leader plus a long tippet. Experienced scandi casters can manage about any of length of leader, but while you're learning, use a leader that is plenty long, 1.5 times as long as your rod at least. (I use an 18-20' leader on a 12' 4" rod.) The real advantage of scandi casting is the single spey cast that sticks only the leader and none of the head as you form your D-loop. A long leader will help you learn to do that.

There are places where shorter leaders are desirable, like with fully sunk lines, heavier flies, and skating flies, but casting with them is trickier. If you want to skate your flies, you might consider single hand casting them until your scandi casting is on firmer ground. You can use a much shorter leader and work the fly more easily. Scandi casting is great way to go, but I see so many beginners fighting their single spey casting with leaders way too short, and losing all the benefits.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:56 AM
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Completely agree with CULVERSPEY!!! Longer mono leader makes t&g casts a breeze... plus it keeps the head farther from the fish (stealthy!!!). Despite other SP members' suggestions to go longer, I beat my head against the wall for a while and kept using short mono leaders. My "logic" was I needed a shorter mono leader to help turn the fly over. I was dead wrong. Immediately after moving up in length, single speys and other casts became super easy. Then all I had to do was experiment with leader butt diameter to achieve the turnover I wanted. I wish I would have listened to these guys a long time ago...
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:10 PM
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Another key is using smaller fly. No matter what experienced caster is, a 20' long leader won't turn a heavy fly at all.
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