A Spey cast anchor consists of the fly, leader and a few feet of the terminal portion of the fly line [floating or sinking] in the water. This is the head [fly line] to leader junction you mention.
- With heavier sink tips such as the 24-foot Big Boy 300, 400 or 500, cast as above.
- With lighter sink tips [very roughly 140 grains or less], many, if not the majority of, Skagit-head-casting anglers allow the sink tip to submerge below the surface to provide sufficient anchor to load the rod during the forward stroke.
Generally the leader and fly [without any fly line] form the anchor.
Simon Gawsworth refers to the anchor point by calling it point-P. His definition being where the line meets the water. As noted by all of the above comments, how much line or leader, be it sink tip or floating line, will differ depending on whether it is an "airborne" anchor. As in kiss & go single spey or snake roll. Or a "water borne" anchor. Where the tip is static in the water, being purposely allowed to sink in order to provide bite. Ala Skagit style.
When Underhand shooting heads were built taking a short lenght of DT line it was necessary to use only leader as an anghor because weight difference along the head was not much. They also needed long leaders to balance flight behavior and to ingrease the time loop took to unfold.
Modern S/H:s have heavier rear bellys and lighter and longer front tapers so they have no trouble to lift from anghor. Most likely they need some line to attach water not to cause anghor slip too much. They also fly with tight loop without wiggle unless very high speed is used.
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