Underhand Vs Skagit??? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Underhand Vs Skagit???

Ok, after a whole lotta time looking at old posts, Dana's 3 part series on the Underhand casts and all of the information and video on the Speypages site, the Underhand method, and tackle is pretty darn clear. Thanks.

Now the Skagit casts are mentioned all of the time, as are Skagit Lines, and even apporpriate rods for the method. However, there is little in the way of constructive information about the actual casting methods of Skagit casters. There is a link to an Ed Ward article where he describes the DIFFERENCES between Spey Casting and Skagit casting, but the casts themselves are not terribly well described (this is not an atack on the article, I believe that it was true to, and accomplished its goal ie, showing that the two methods are dissimilar.)

Now we can gather the following (please correct me if I am of base)

Riveraddict and others have done a great job of describing why the Skagit method is an effective fishing tool in other threads so I won't repeat. They do a much better job of it than I could. Obviously the method has great utility, especially with sunk flies, so maybe we can shead some more light on it.

Ok we have the following:
1. Skagit Casts use short heads and shoot line.
2. Soft Rods are suitable for the method.
3. These casts use the water to load the rod.
4. The Perry Poke and a version of the Double Spey are commony used.

Now could someone please explain the dynamics of Skagit casts (what makes these casts work with these rods and these lines?)
And if I have missed something vital, please fill in the blanks.

A few questions which might help to aim your responses...

The Underhand Method uses Fast action rods and short heads, while the Skagit uses slower rods and similar length heads. What makes each work so well?

What are the differences (if any) in Skagit heads and those used in Underhand casting?

What is the difference in a Skagit Doublespey and a Spey or Underhand Doublespey?

Well, that should get this started.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 09:54 PM
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Hey Doc...

If you want to see Ed Ward doing his magic you should view the "Sandy River Spey Clave Video". If you can't find it locally you can purchase it for $29.95 from Mark Bachmann http://www.flyfishusa.com/ or from me @ http://www.redshedflyshop.com or you can order it from the Native Fish Society http://www.nativefishsociety.org/ A worthwhile non-profit organization you might consider joining if you are interested in the preservation of native fish species of the Northwest.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 02:37 AM
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Riveraddict is the best person to reply to your questions, Doc. He fished with Goran last year and I think they talked about these distinctions.



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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 03:13 AM
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I asked Goran last year about the differances between Underhand and Skagit Casting.

Goran's reply: "It's all the same. They are just trying to copy me!" :hehe:

Mind you however, Goran's reply was typical of his dry wit and he was not serious. Eventhough his reply was more in jest, I decided to change the subject.

Ryan S. Petzold
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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MJC,

I would love to get the video, but I don't have a TV or a VCR. Sorry.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 02:23 PM
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Underhand Vs Skagit

My understanding of the Skagit casts is you use the line in the water to load the rod during the double spay and the Snap/circle/T/C casts. The Perry poke is performed by laying the line in the water in front of you. You use the same casting stroke except with the Skagit technique use the line in for water instead of an airialized(sp) line to load the rod.

The important part of Skagit casting seems to be positioning the line on the water. That is the part I have not figured out.

Don't know if this makes sense to others but it is how I understand the casts.

Rich

Last edited by Ol Rich; 02-23-2004 at 02:31 PM.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 04:30 PM
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I am under the impression that the Underhand Cast can be used with any line though tends towards shorter lines but most of the videos I have seen on it use single spey casts and the stick does not last long.

The Skagit (mostly with sink tips and heavy flies) seems to generally be slower in forming - you just plant the line in front of you - the water loading referred to is because more line is in the water than with a typical spey cast so the water is helping to load the rod when you form your D loop. The belly is very short so the D loop is not very large and I am not sure that a "kiss and go" on the water would give you the same loading.

I think both Underhand and Skagit use alot of bottom hand and generally is a much shorter stroke than normally used for longer belly lines
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 04:55 PM
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Hey Doc...

Quote:
I would love to get the video, but I don't have a TV or a VCR. Sorry.
Well come over here on the Clearwater and visit me. You can sit in the shop and watch Ed do his thing.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 05:39 PM
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water loading

From what I have seen, tried, and heard Ed explain, I think Rick J hit the nail right on the head. No pun intended. The heads used in Skagit casting are so short that the traditional "kiss and go" just won't do it.

Ed's heads are 38 feet long, leaders are four to five feet. If you tried to make the traditional loop, with only the fly, the leader and a foot or so of line on the water, you wouldn't have enough anchor.

That short head is big and fat. It has a lot of mass in order to turn over big flies. As a result when you get all that mass moving, it has a lot of power. And I would be willing to bet that Ed and Marlow and the rest of those guys tried the traditional "kiss & go" and broke off a lot of flies while developing the technique they use today.

As for the rods, that's another matter. But I don't recall ever hearing anything of the likes of a 9140-4 brownie.

And now that Ed seems to have access to a computor, Maybe he can explain it himself. That is, when he gets back from guiding in all those famous places us mere mortals only dream of fishing.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 07:06 PM
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Anchor & underhand

Ed defenately uses the lower hand. Although maybe not a true underhand cast, more like a both hand cast.

On the subject of pulling the anchor, I don't know about you, but the thought of a big hook coming out of the water from in front of me, coming towards me, turning over in back of me, and then having another chance to whack me as it comes past me again, does not appeal to me! If that is not bad enough, you stand a real good chance of popping off the fly. That does not appeal to me either.

The best position placement of the anchor, for the most effecient cast, is going to be directly at your side, albeit out a rods length away for safety. Out in front will work, and is sometimes necessary when working in tight to the bank or trees. It is just not as effecient. Which means that you have to put more muscle into the cast to make it work. Anchor behind you is a gauranteed recipe for disaster. You'll pull the anchor every time.

And if all that is not bad enough pulling the anchor costs you in terms of lost effeciency.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 08:31 PM
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rod receives an additional load from the momentum of the backward moving line

Exactly,,,,,,,,the same as is you started your forward cast (single hand overhead) before the line straightened out. Sonic boom (crack) lost fly.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 09:27 PM
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Recient observations.

During my last two times on the river I noticed when I placed the line in the water in front and applied the proper power to my back cast (D loop) the line forming the anchor rotated in the water to face 180% with my intended target. The anchor ended up about a rod length out to my side. The cast would go out effortlessly. Too much power and I would jerk to anchor out of the water and too little would leave "the bloody L". I have to tell myself to "slow down, ease up and shorten the stroke".

Watch Ed and Marlo and the other Skagit casters and they are sooo smooth and relaxed.

Rich
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 10:11 PM
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Skagit Casting

If you watch any good caster you see how easy it is, no matter what line he casts! I just started useing long belly lines this summer (midspey, Kush tried a Skagit line so I tried a long belly) Don't think I'll use a long belly in the winter, Skagit line and cast are all setup if that not right bring on the band-aids

Brian

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 01:53 AM
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Skagit casting

Skagit casting... it's a method of casting in which the component parts have been specifically refined to work with a singular casting concept. That concept is a "sustained anchor". To describe this I need to first list the steps involved in the Skagit casting procedure.
1 - Hangdown = starting position of the line.
2 - Lift = a lifting of the line to a secondary position on the water.
3 - Set = the secondary position that the line assumes on the water.
4 - Sweep = a semi-circular "sweeping" movement that pulls the line around into the "firing" position for the cast, and also LOADS the rod for the cast.
5 - Turnover = a small semi-circular movement that takes place as a transition between the sweep and casting stroke. This movement maintains the load on the rod and eliminates the linear "back and forward" movement of standard casting methods.
6 - Casting Stroke = self explanatory.

All Skagit casts (Perry Poke, Skagit style DoubleSpey, Skag. style Double with Poke) go through the same sequence. The line is lifted from the hangdown and then set back onto the surface of the water in a position that will provide substantial water resistance against the rod when it goes into the sweep. This "setting of the line" or set, involves more than 50% of the casting line making contact with the water, and this contact is "sustained", in other words lasts for one full second or more. This move would absolutely kill any other method of Speycast. This is what separates Skagit casting from other Speycasting styles, and is the heart and soul of the sustained anchor concept. Following the set, the rod is put into a semi-circular sweeping movement. If the set has been correctly placed, one will feel the rod immediately load as soon as the movement of the sweep begins. The rod is swept around into the transition and then the casting stroke is applied. If all procedures are done correctly, the load on the rod is sustained from the beginning of the sweep, all the way through to the casting stroke. Because of this the actual casting stroke is a fairly relaxed procedure, especially when compared with other methods of Speycasting. The whole procedure looks quite similar to other methods of Speycasting, but it is its own deal.

"True" Skagit casting also involves the use of lines that have been developed especially to realize the most potential with casts that were "modified" to work with the sustained anchor concept. These lines are configured differently than other shootingheads, for reasons that should now be apparent. At this time the "formulas" are not available for public scrutiny, as I have already had one "experience" with some "fellow" anglers "borrowing" my ideas and not giving credit where it was due.

The article/s that I wrote previously about Skagit casting were done some years ago. Since that time I have really refined and analyzed more accurately what makes Skagit casting work. I now do not consider the Snap T/C - Circle Spey to be a Skagit type cast. These casts seem to work better with a sustained anchor, but they do not allow any adjustment in where the line lands in relation to the rod during the set of the cast and therefore do not produce the same casting efficiency as the Perry Poke or Skagit style Double.

Skagit casting is something that I have been working on for about ten years now. I don't claim to have invented it because some of the parts have existed for quite some time. What I did do was coalesce the existing parts, fill in the gaps, refine the thing, refine the thing, and refine the thing, and then name it. As far as I know, no one else is using a casting method that works STRICTLY off of sustained anchor principles. I guess, as self serving as it may sound, I am the "known" expert in the field (there are others that want nothing to do with any type of notoriety). There are no videos (completely covering the subject, anyways), no written manuals - just what happens to be in my head. I have done a few demos (not very well because I get very nervous in front of crowds), strictly for the purpose of showing that there is more than one way to "Speycast". I do do (haha! do do) casting lessons, but there are no Skagit lines commercially available at this time, so I don't really push this fact.

Sorry people, I cannot describe HOW to cast here. It is just too complicated to describe in writing. In actual practice it is similar to the other styles of Speycasting. I know that any written instructions that I have seen about them were about as comprehendable as the equations for the moon's orbit!

Riveraddict
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 02:07 AM
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Thumbs up O.k. Guys & Gals

There you have it. From the Master himself.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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