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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a chart for determining the correct window of tip weight in grains for various shooting heads? I'm interested in both Skagit and Scandi lines. I know this will be rod dependent but it would be great to get in the ballpark. Rio seems to be very conservative with this.

Thanks
 

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flailing less
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too many variables...

in this exercise to construct such a chart. Multiple manufacturers, countless iterations of length, density, fly size, casting ability to mention just a few.

A simple code (more of a guideline, actually) involves the fairly scientific notion that each section of fly line, sink tip, even leader must have fewer grains per foot than whatever is driving it in order to assure proper energy transfer and turnover.

As an example, if your Skagit head has 17 grains/foot near the tip, it will turn over T-14. If the Skagit head in question had only had 10 grains/foot near the tip, T-14 would be a struggle to cast effectively.

Get yourself a cheap grain scale and dial indicator, get to know your own line constructions, maybe get a copy of Al Buhr's book on fly line design. Then if you need to, you can build your own chart and be fulfilled. Odds are great you won't need to once you have a working knowledge of the physics involved.

That's my .02...
 

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Everything Spey casts great when you make sure rear half of the head has about 65% of the head weight but even that is not too critical.

If you need a sinking head for 6ft 3wt SH you can use 10ft T8 with a Trout Polyleader and have 17ft 110gr head. You can also use 15ft Spey line or heavy Scandi head tips. In the other end when you need a Scandi head for 18ft 12wt DH you can use heavy 625...475gr Rio Skagit short with any sink rate 350...500gr Scandi shooting head and have about 55ft 1000gr head.

When you need to fish very deep join T17 and T11. When you use a 9ft 8wt SH use 10ft tips and head is 20ft 280gr. When you use 7/8wt Switch rod use 15ft T17 with 10ft T11 and head is 25ft 365gr and when you have 13ft 8/9wt DH use 15ft tips and head is 30ft 420gr. Or join T14 and T8 when you need lighter and T21 and T14 or T11 when you need heavier etc...

Esa
 

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Skagit heads are pretty east to figure out, but it would be nice to see manufacturers give a breakdown on scandi and traditional lines in grains per foot from front to back. I guess that would require them to chop a 50' head into 50 pieces :eek:
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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Although I break these rules regularly, here's how I think of it for convenience and ease of casting:

<400 gr driver, 100 gr or less/10ft
400-600 gr driver, 150 gr/15 ft
600+, the sky's the limit.

these general guidelines have less and less bearing as the length of the head increases. Once you start throwing tips on heads 50' and longer, it becomes more and more rod/line specific. But these are the general guidelines I use.
 

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All Tangled Up
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Mostly covered well above but a few more thoughts:

Is there a chart for determining the correct window of tip weight in grains for various shooting heads? [...] Rio seems to be very conservative with this.
I presume we're talking the Rio MOW-vs-skagit weight chart....I agree this is conservative in the sense that those recommendations lead to rigs that are fairly easy to cast. From a fishing perspective, I don't see this as being a bad thing. In that context, I want my equipment to work for me, not the other way round.

Training, pushing equipment to its limits for sake of finding the limits, caught out in the wild with too little a gun for the fight, then of course it is a different story.

Skagit heads are pretty east to figure out, but it would be nice to see manufacturers give a breakdown on scandi and traditional lines in grains per foot from front to back.
Al Buhr's book, previously cited, has a table of gr/ft vs. line diameter. That plus a micrometer will tell you what you want to know. The table seems to be reasonably accurate, when I have measured out full lines then re-computed a weight estimate based on the measurements, it's usually within about 3% of what my grain scale says. On numerous occasions it's been more accurate than what is printed on the box :eek:

It's possible to over-interpret the gr/ft thing. At the end of day what matters is whether you can transmit enough energy into the tip to turn it over, and the whole taper is involved in that energy transfer factor.

Some further personal rules:

max tip length about rod length, plus or minus a foot. again, what is comfortable, not what is possible.

DC tips, will, not surprisingly, match well with multi-tip scandi or mid-belly heads of the same line rating, or, one size up on the tip. good starting point for T-material weight.

for steelhead-class longer heads and T-material (most of my experience with NextCast lines): 45-ish heads, comfortable up to T-11. 55-ish, T-8.

At the end of the day, there is really no substitute for just trying a bunch of things on the water and developing your own personal rules for tips. In addition to head weight and length, rod matters, line taper matters, fly matters, caster skill matters. Caster mood matters. There is stuff that some days I just don't want to deal with casting all day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many thanks

The input is very much appreciated. I picked up a copy of Al Buhr's book.
 

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JD
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The input is very much appreciated. I picked up a copy of Al Buhr's book.
Good on you. That little book is packed with useful information.

Add to that a "thickness gage" This is a spring loaded dial indicator gage. (available from Harbor Freight) It is more accurate for measuring soft materials than vernier calipers, and always excerts the same (small) amount of pressure on the line being measured.
 
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