Skagit Casting Help - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Skagit Casting Help

I really got into spey casting this this year especially skagit casting when i was working as a guide with Mike Mccune. I was doing pretty good by the fall but now it's seems i'm rusty and it's much harder to correct things without advice from an expert.

My first question is what is a realistic distance you can achieve with a skagit setup? I'm not talking casting champ competition distance just a good realistic fishing distance. I am pretty consistent with casts 70 feet and in but when I try to get to shoot more line than that I end up with a big loop so the mid part of the belly hits well before the tip or the fly. Any idea what i'm doing wrong?

BTW i'm using a VT2 7130 with a 650 grain skagit head
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 12:33 AM
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I would venture that you are not stopping the rod tip high enough and aiming the cast too low. Perhaps too much upper arm and not enough bottom hand. Even when going for distance, the casting stroke can be pretty short - I would highly recommend getting a copy of the Rio tape and watching Scott and Mike in the skagit section. On the forward stroke they really pull the bottom hand into the belt, which stops the rod tip high with a tight loop aimed slightly above parallel to the water. I think you should be able to hit 80 to 90 feet without alot of trouble.The off shoulder cast really sets up this high rod tip nicely
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 02:50 AM
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Handle-Kodiak Commando

Alot of the issues you are experienceing are likely coming from the same place as the handle you use on this site. There is no real hurray , distance is better achieved with style and stroke. As Rick J mentioned there is a point where your rod tip is too low and where your are overpowering your cast. A distinct stop must occur on both pick-up and outbound! Cackhanded is ideal for Skagit style casting techniques but not absolute.
Slow down 50% and take it from there. You will feel the load...you might also want to consider that the 650 is a bit much for your needs!
C
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 11:33 AM
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I don't think I'm qualified to critique your casting stroke nor would I want to make any firm statements on your line choice but I would suggest you try fishing that setup with a 500 or 550 grain line and see if you find the results more to your liking.

I know Bob Pauli and some others on here advocate using 650's on 7 weights but for my stroke at least, they are no where as pleasant to fish as a line in the 450-550 range. While not your VT2, I fish a 450 on my 13' for 7 and a 550 on my 13' for 8.

Hardy-Davidson

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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The reason I go the 650 is because that's what was recomended to me. Maybe i'll try some lighter grain lines.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2008, 11:28 PM
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Match

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Originally Posted by Kodiak Commando View Post
The reason I go the 650 is because that's what was recomended to me. Maybe i'll try some lighter grain lines.
Well Mr. Commando you will be very pleasantly surprised once you have your matched set-up, you will be smileing ...unfortunately one of the reasons many people overload their lines is to feel the load quickly;thus creating a quicker feeling of doing it right when in fact it is the exact opposite.
Enjoy your casting and you will enjoy your fishing
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:15 AM
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I have never cast that particular rod but am not totally convinced it is over-lined. It has something to do with what you are throwing in terms of tips and fly sizes.

I use a 550 on my Scott 1287 (I seem to remember that Mike McCune actually liked a line slightly heavier than that) and a 650 on a Gary Anderson 13'3" 7 wt and they do very well with those lines. They do ok with lighter lines also but the heavier lines do a much better job at tossing 10' to 15' of T-14 and large tube files than the lighter lines. I would certainly try a lighter line and see how it compares, especially if you are not throwing heavy suff.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:41 AM
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Hello Kodiak,

P.M. Delivered.

R.W.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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I don't thinks its too much line either just because It was what Mike recomended to me and it's what he uses for alaskan trout fishing. Obviously since i was a total greenhorn i took the advice of a famous spey caster!

Also I am throwing a lot of big stuff. Going after 10 pound trout with big tube flies or articulated nasties with 12 feet of T-14. I would think the 650 grain would help with that.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 01:54 AM
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7wt with heavy Skagit

Kodiak,

I'm really following this thread. I'm over in Anchorage and we fish probably the same rivers. I throw the same stuff and I'm thinking of going heavier than a the 450 that I'm at now. I'm heading down to Washington in a couple weeks to throw lines and to see how what I'm trying to do here compares to what they do down there. Is our water that much different? What is the difference between a 10# bow and a 10# steelhead in Washington? Hum. Now I throw long lead cables on the end of my line too to get 6" flies down. I just don't have the answers, but will work toward them. I'll let you know what I find out down there. I'm trying to line up some beer buying for some time throwing a line to see what they do there. Beer is good, talk is good, line throwing is great.

It's been a long winter.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 11:13 AM
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Different lines...

...for different jobs. I don't know exactly how big your "big nasties" are, but they are probably in line with the stuff we use up on the K-tok for 'bows. To throw big stuff you have to go by the adage of "it takes mass to throw mass". In your case the 650 Skagit on a 7 weight is going to enable the casting of very large flies and heavy sinktips on a lighter class rod, but it is not going to be the "ideal" rigging for getting maximum casting distance. If you want more distance with that rod you are going to have to drop down in line weight which of course also means that you will no longer have the necessary mass to throw the really big stuff. Most 13' 7 weights that I've messed around with will reach out to 85' or a bit more, but that's with a lighter tip and traditional type steelhead fly (unweighted, size 2). You have to choose your lines and their weights according to the function that you desire. By the way, the 70' range with very big nasties on a 7 weight is about as much as you should expect from that class of rod.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 12:54 PM
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...Most 13' 7 weights that I've messed around with will reach out to 85' or a bit more, but that's with a lighter tip and traditional type steelhead fly (unweighted, size 2). You have to choose your lines and their weights according to the function that you desire. By the way, the 70' range with very big nasties on a 7 weight is about as much as you should expect from that class of rod.
When I first read this post, I thought "70ft? Not bad." How much more water do you want or can fish with a heavy sink tip and big fly? This board has some very skilled fishermen, so I don't doubt fishing with the aforementioned gear at far distances is no big deal. For most, I'd think it's a stretch. I'd wager that most people don't really know what a 100' cast really looks like. With a typical Skagit head, we're talking about shooting 58' of running line not including leader. When I want to consistently reach out beyond 80', I fish a mid length to long line: 70-90' belly and tip. I ain't chucking out massive flies though and the conditions and applications are probably different too.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 07:31 PM
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No question 100' is a long cast with a skagit system - and if you are casting 4 to 6-inch big flies 70 feet that is a great cast. With lighter flies and tips though 90 feet certainly seems reachable if you count the cast from the caster - assuming a 15' tip and 3' leader, you have 45' out the tip plus a 13' rod you are at 58' leaving just over 30' to shoot.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 08:13 PM
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KC,

Drop me a pm when you are in Anchorage and the water is soft. I have a assortment of SA lines that we can put on your rod and you can see how it feels.

Agreeing with other posts, you have big power and big distance and there is a very narrow cross over point. Keep the skagit for the lifting power and be happy with 70' + casts. If you want to go for the distance, get a line appropriate for distance. Keep in mind that as you go from skagit to distance, you stroke will also need to change. Long cast long stroke, short cast short stroke is the montra even with spey casting.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 04:03 PM
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Vt2 7130 & 650

A very sweet combo that will do anything you would like. The rod will also handle the 550 and 600, but the 650 is automatic.
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