Skagit Flexibility - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Skagit Flexibility

I know Skagit lines are supposed to be good with shorter rods and heavier flies. Will they work well with longer rods and lighter flies? I know the presentation will be less delicate, that's okay.

For background, I'm just beginning spey casting. I don't think there's enough people doing it where I am to have instructors or anything, so I was just going to dive in. I was thinking of getting a Skagit line, because from what I've read Skagit casting is relatively easy to learn and requires less room behind the caster. But, everything says longer rods are easier to learn on, and I'd like an all purpose rod.

Casting very heavy flies is something I could definitely use, and a shorter rod might be convenient, but I don't need either getting started.

I was considering an Allen Olympic rod, probably 7wt 13'. I will use a cheap, fairly nice off brand 7/8 reel I already have.

What would you say is the easiest setup to start spey casting? Am I on the right track, or should I get a standard spey line, or go for a shorter rod with skagit?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 11:27 AM
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Thumbs up Skagit=Versatility=flexibility..


Two of my main Fall steelhead rods are over 14' and they both cast my Skagit flights very,very nicely.The versatility of the Skagit line and its "do it all" capabilities,I have stated before in other threads.The ability to loop tips on the end of the Skagit head,from tapered floater,for grease lining and light fly presentation, to light through medium to heavy sink tips and flies can not be overstated,and when cast properly the Skagit line is not splashy or noisy,in fact,if cast correctly Skagit casting can and is very stealthy,with little in the way of water disturbance.

As far as Skagit casting being easy to learn,yes I suppose you are correct if you just want to chunck a fly out there ........but to really master it there is a lot of technique involved,and doing things correctly,if you want to cast this line system in a stealthy, efficient manner...there are plenty of instruction video's by Ed Ward and others on mastering this type of casting.

I believe you are on the right track if, "do it all" "versatility" and "flexibility" are what you want in a line system.


Wild Bill.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 04:43 PM
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Trouty, I'm not as expert as many others on this board, but I can tell you about my experiences as a do-it-yourself learner.

I started with a fast, 12 1/2 ft seven weight paired with an Airflo delta taper. This combination was difficult to learn on, because the timing had to be quite precise. I traded the lot in for a much slower/softer rod of the same length with a Rio 400g Skagit. The difference was huge for me. Quite quickly, I was shooting line and casting much further and with more accuracy with half the effort. Like Wild Bill says, though, it takes some time and practice to make it work efficiently.

Skagit casting is also referred to as sustained anchor casting, because you are laying out your anchor on the water for a somewhat longer period than you do with Scandinavian style or "touch and go" casting. As a result, there is a much wider, more forgiving window as far as timing goes. I would highly recommend learning with a Skagit set-up for that reason. As well, get a good instructional video - it will shorten the learning curve substantially.

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
- Duke Ellington
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:11 PM
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The Rio 3 disc one with Simon Gawesworth the best deal in terms of money and quality of instruction,in my very humble 2 years experience opinion.
I agree with just about everything these guys have said.;"..when cast properly" being a key point...and with the skagit,it`s easier...easier to learn
with a longer rod too.

I started with a [2009]Batson kit 7 wt[seemed brittle and too heavy],then a Meiser 4/5 switch[my main rod for the Truckee],then a low end Redington 7 wt [sc3-very nice $150 fishing stick],then, [!!]
a Meiser Troutmeiser Conversion 93126[holy crap!]which is where I should have gone 1 st,btw..
I built every one except th43 Redingon.The last [5th]came out pretty good.

I like to go walking my dog [literally-his nam,e is Gus] at night and practice but it`s hard on the line-the concrete and all-but still worth it for me......anyhow,enough already.

Go long.Go skagit.It`s easier that way.

This forum is a great resource,ain`t it?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:55 PM
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Your 13'-7wt will be fine. It is a "short" two hander. Your 7/8 reel isn't going to cut it unless it's 4" in diameter. 7/8 wt spey rods take a minimum of a 9/10 reel.

A 570 Compact Skagit or 575 RIO Flight is about right for that rod. If most of your fishing is surface/near surface I'd stick a 540 Airflo Rage floating skagit head on it with a couple 3 poly leaders.

Lots of good dvds but the very best for skagit casting is Ed Ward's Skagit Master.

Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp
FRSCA-Founding Member

How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 10:50 PM
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You should select a rod which would be suitable for your targeted fish and try out some rods before purchasing if possible.

I assume based on your handle and indicated location (GA) that most of your fishing would take place in Georgia and that your main targeted fish would be trout, smallmouth, etc. If this is the case IMO a 7 wt rod might not be the best choice, you could be way overgunned.

The size of flies you'll be using most of the time will also help in determining what delivery system is best suited.You could then decide skagit, scandi, or maybe a skandit or rage.

Good dvd's and instructors can shorten the learning curve a lot. Enjoy.....
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 12:27 AM
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Trouty, do you live anywhere near Savannah? If so, I may be able to help with some basic (and free) instruction, but it will be a few months out. PM me if Savannah is close and I will try to work with you.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 10:51 PM
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I would jump on Nextcast's offer.

A gem in your back yard ... In all regards.


Bob Meiser...R.B. Meiser Fly rods
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 10:00 AM
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Coastal Georgia

You've gotta look and see where you're going to fish, and for what.

I've fished many of the SE Georgia estuaries and had a great time. Many at night, too. St. Simons area was especially hot. There it was all floating, swinging a streamer in the tidal flow. That works for speyrodding. Another type of salt fishing there is under the dock lights and I don't know how a spey rod would help you.

Best of luck, have fun in the journey.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:02 PM
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I second the Meiser recommendation. Bert (Nextcast) is excellent on instruction and tuning your line to your rod. Don't pass up the opportunity. Well worth the drive from where ever.

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