Peter thanks for that answer.Just one last question about skagit heads? I know there is a relationship between tip length,rod length and head length. Whats the relationship between grain weight and what the tip can weigh when comparing all the above. I hope I made that clear. Is their a loose or general rule,or do I just keep adding on till it won't work assuming I want to go deep. Again thanks slack
Very well done Peter. I hope you don't mind me jumping in on this one.
There was a time I theorized tip length should be 1X rod length & Head length (especially Skagit) should be 2X rod length, the sum of which would be the desired 3X rod length which used to be the go to standard for Skagit setups. I was wrong on that. I now use whatever it takes to do the job. Within reason, that is.
The secret to matching sink tips to lines is a little understood term called "mass density" which means weight/length, in our case grains/foot. Since fly lines are tapered, you can not simply divide the weight of the line (head) by the length. And, for the purpose of this discussion, we are only concerned with the weight of the last foot or so of the line. Remember, we are speaking of density here,, not just diameter. Trying to compare diameters of floating line and sinking line (tips) is like apples & oranges.
Although there are complex mathematical formulas for figuring out all of this, we don't have to go through all the headaches. It's already been done and charted for us. And it's laid out in common sense format in Al Buhr's book on How to Design Fly Lines. Although I could copy & paste a couple lines of that book here, I won't. Buy the book. It's only $20. It'll save you that amount many times over, not to mention the hours of frustration it will eliminate.
FWIW: I am not associated with Al, or his book in any way. I just feel it unjust to step on his toes by posting copyrighted material.