Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: steelhead country
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!