I've finally put my toe into this brave new world, having tried a T&T 1409 with a Skagit head and sink tips briefly, and being impressed by the ease of casting it to moderate distances. Yesterday I spent the morning on the Skagit river, testing a new 650 grain Rio
Skagit line with a variety of rods.
I'd made up a set of 5' and 10' Cheaters, weighing 66 and 121 grains including braided loops, from a $2 DT10F. (Does that make them cheatin' Cheaters?
) Most were paired with an eleven-foot, 205 grain section of T-30 leadcore.
I started with a slow G. Loomis 15-foot 10/11 and a barbell eyed Double Bunny on tandem 1/0 hooks that can frighten small children. The rod handled it all with the 10-foot Cheater, but was better with the five-footer. A 15-foot, 9/10 Bruce & Walker very slow action worked well with the 5' cheater and a smaller weighted fly. The same rigging performed better on my Sage 9150; its faster action moved the assemblage in lively fashion. My Sage brownie 9140-4 handled the same rigging well, but was better without either Cheater. I then switched to a 15-foot, 121 grain intermediate mono
tip, which seemed a perfect balance on the 9140.
Finally, with care and trepidation, I tried the same cheaterless combo with the 121-grain tip on my 13' 4" Solstice. Precious handled it with no sign of strain! (Cue the "Twilight Zone" theme music.) Perhaps a 550-grain Skagit and short Cheater would be an optimum length and balance. But really, I'd be hard-pressed to justify another Skagit head at this point. Truely, a go-anywhere line.
I used the same amount of Skagit line, later measured at 63 feet, with all rods. I was learning, so not trying for extended casts.