Skagit head length - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Skagit head length

I've lined up my 15' rod with a 22' Skagit head. Ive heard that it should be 2 - 2.5 times the rod length, not including poly tips or leaders.

I was just wondering what the importance of this was. I was learning to cast with it the other day and had no troubles with the fundementals of casting and the snap T.

Should I be adding an 8 foot skagit cheater?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 02:03 PM
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If you're having no troubles with the fundamentals, what would be your point in adding a cheater?

So far I'm not a fan of the compact Skagits. The standard 27' length feels good and casts well on my rods from 11 1/2' to 14'.

Sg
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well that's what I was wondering. Is there something else that I might not be understanding as far as mechanics of the rod / line matching. It seemed to be working fine, but I'm also just learning. Is this going to cause a problem for me down the road or with other casts?

It will be different the next time I'm out as I won't have an instructor with me to correct things as the come up.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 02:54 PM
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Wasn't the 2.5 rule a rough estimate (starting point) for scandi heads?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:08 PM
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the original rule was 3 to 3.5 times rod length for skagit systems but this included the tip length - it has now been lowered down as a minimum around 2.5 or even lower - ed suggests a lower minimum at 1.75 but this requires careful timing and control.

Normally you would use full tips, not polytips with a skagit setup but for lighter lines the polys can work - assuming you put on a typical 10' tip (maybe a MOW) this would give you 32 total feet or a 2.1+ ratio on the very low end - if you are not having trouble with this setup then you are likely fine.

I love the shorter skagit systems for total ease of casting all day with almost no effort. I will say I do not use rods in the 15' range - more 10.5' to 13' and these do very well with short skagits.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:18 PM
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My principal rods are both 13 ft long. The Skagit heads I use are 23.8 and 24.5 ft long. That's about 1.6 times rod length, give or take. They fit wonderfully.

I think you probably have to make a more leisurely swing with the shorter heads, so you don't pull your anchor.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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So I guess as long as it seems to be working then carry on like normal. Will the shorter skagit have an impact on pulling heavy sink tips and big heavy winter flies from the water? Or will that be negated by the fact that it's still a 600 gr line, just in a shorter length?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 03:49 PM
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Take a look here for interesting discussion on grain weight and head length issues

http://forum.skagitmaster.com/index.php?topic=867.0

Generally the shorter head length in the same grain weight will more easily launch big stuff as long as you are long enough so as not to pull your anchor - I think you are really close to the bottom length ratio with your system. If you went to a standard length RIO skagit at 27' with a 10' tip you are at 2.46 ratio which is a pretty nice place to be but stick with what you have and see how it goes
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 06:34 PM
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I get along great with a 20' Skagit and a 13' rod. So I think you will be in great shape. I'm assuming you are using 10' to 15' sink tips?

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'm going to continue with what I have set up and see how I continue to advance. I guess the real test is going to be when I attatch my sink tip and heavy fly.

If I find then that I am struggling I'll have to revisit my set up and see if it is a material problem or a mechanical one.

Cheers!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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A famous caster and an expert in the art of skagit casting once commented to me that people should forget cheaters and just learn how to cast. So I would say to you, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

It should also be noted that cheaters have been discontinued by the line companies that once sold them.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Skagitmeister, I was casting with a 10' sink tip (I think it was T14) so I think that is what I am going to start off with. My instructor gave me the sink we were using to to keep, so I guess I'll just build a tip selection up around that as far as sink rates go.

MJC, good to know that the cheaters are discontinued. Thanks for the heads up.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:11 PM
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Your head makes a D loop; right? So with short heads the D needs to be a smaller font size. with a longer length of head the font size needs to be larger.

But both are shaped like the letter D.

If you "write" the letter D with huge arm motions that are too big for the length of head....., you wont have enuff line to make a big D font size . So you will pull it off the water and blow it when you start to go forward and launch it. The D kinda winds up looking like an n


If you write the D with small motions but haven't used enuff of the provided length of line to form the letter D, there will be leftovers, and the leftovers stick on the water.


_D


When you go to launch your D, the leftovers will drag your D down from out of the air, man.

Bummer.

so the key is getting the right length of line matched with the right size of arm motions that write the D without leftovers, and without overdoing it, i guess. Who cares about ratios if you're making the right kind of D.



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Last edited by speyday; 02-02-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:36 PM
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It should be abundantly obvious to anyone having read & understood the pronouncements of the original Skagiteers that 3.5 does not equal 1.75.

3.0 to 3.5 ratio was the original recommendation for Skagit head + tip to rod length

This has morphed some, firstly below 3.0, then approaching 2.0, and now 1.75

With rod length used not increasing, and sinking tips only being only morphing into MOWS with some tweaking of tip length, the only item left to significantly alter to get to approaching the 1.75 ratio is the head length. Guess what - we have the burgeoning short Skagit head market.

What seems to be lost in this obsessive morass of recommendations for ratios, rod length, head size & tips is the simple truism that such ratios are provided as recommendation for the 'optimum' performance of said set-up.

Using a Speyline, eg 75' head, you don't have to have all of the 75' head beyond the tip top ring to be able to make a perfectly good cast. Similarly, you don't need a *whatever* ratio to be able to make a perfectly satisfactory cast with a Skagit + tip.

Whatever ratio you may choose, or have with the set-up on your rod, you just need to make adjustments to the casting stroke components to make perfectly satisfactory casts


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 12:58 AM
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I find with shorter skagit lines, it becomes more important to let your anchor sit in the water a little longer before your sweep otherwise, I find it easier to blow the anchor with short skagit heads, so you try to compensate by dialling back the power too much and you movements loose their crispness which makes for lousy casts.

That said, 1.65:1 head: rod length is as low as I've gone and it casts nice.
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