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Hi all, I recently purchased a Rio game changer F/H/I/S3 skagit head. I have been fishing with the skagit max for about 4 years, and never fished a multi-density head until now. I have found it digs quickly into fast runs and certainly slows down the fly, as advertised. I found it hard to determine, however, how deep my fly was actually fishing. I would assume that will come with time. My question to everyone is—when fishing these heads, what is your go-to tip? I understand it depends on the run or pool, but everyone has a favorite tip. Thank you for any input, and tight lines!
 

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I do not use this head, nor do I have a "favorite" tip.
I can say that you need to use at least a type 3 tip to be functional. After that, the choice is yours, as long as you stay within the tip grain allowance of this head. There is no "magical" sink-tip, you just need to follow parameters and the flow/depth of the river you are fishing.


Mike
 

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If I'm using a multi density head, in my opinion, that means I'm kind of trying to maximize depth. Essentially, a multi density head with a sink tip is just a very short floating head with a very long sink tip that happens to be integrated (until the loop-to-loop tip that you add). So, I would add a 10-15' sink 6 (1 step up from the end of the tip, S3, in this case) or greater to get as much depth as possible. These replacement tips are all very similar grain weights per length independent of sink rate (10' of S3 is roughly the same grain weight as 10' of S8).

If using level T tips, here are the sink rates:

T8/White (6 to 7 inches per second)
T11/Green (7 to 8 inches per second)
T14/Blue (8 to 9 inches per second)
T17/Black (9 to 10 inches per second)

The problem with just using sink rates to determine your tip with these T-tips is that they all weigh a different amount. T8 is 8 grains per foot (80 grains for a 10' tip), T14 is 14 grains per foot (140 grains for a 10' tip). So, you can be limited in how many grains your line can handle. As a rough rule, your head has to be at least 500 grains to "enjoyably" handle 10' of T-14.
 

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For Gamechangers in 500-525 grain window I like 10ft T-11, 575-600 grain window 10ft T-14. I find those combos to cast like a dream! These lines dig really deep when used right.
 

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While there are a few heavier sink tips that are genuinely tapered, most of those are lighter and intended to be used with more tapered heads. Most commercial sink tips you use with a skagit head are either completely level, like the t-stuff, or only very subtly tapered the last few inches like the Rio replacement tips. So they cast virtually identically. So you can have pretty decent confidence that there is not much difference. Likewise the multi-D skagit heads have approximately the SAME gr/ft along their length (what matters for casting turnover) as the corresponding floating skagit head. They are just thinner at those points and so sink, and at faster rates depending on how much smaller the diameter. So you can expect them both to cast and turnover tips the same as well. Depending on conditions you may notice the multi-d lines cutting through the wind a little better - again because of the thinner parts. But in reality “favorite” probably would have minimal basis in casting qualities - so you can rest easy on that. I suppose people could have favs based on material or loop quality, or prefer to weld their own.

But there is one thing you could play with, and that is if you like a different gr/ft on a particular line. Sink rate and gr/ft are two different things that just happen to be related in the t-stuff tips because they use more of the SAME density (in grs per unit VOLUME) stuff resulting in greater sink rates. Likewise you can get the same sink rates in your tips by using the same gr/ft but smaller diameters. This is the strategy of the Rio replacement tips. These come classified in terms of a number (e.g. #8) that sets the gr/ft and a sink rate controlled by the diameter.

So what you could do is experiment with those Rio tips to find if you like a specific gr/ft best with a particular game changer head. The thing about skagit heads is they are by design overkill, and generally can cast a huge range of tip gr/ft, so you may not find it matters much. For lighter, more delicately tapered lines it would make a much bigger difference. But you would also be able to build a set of tips that have both the same length and weight for different sink rates, and some people, including myself, enjoy that consistency sometimes. But that is more of an aesthetic thing. For skagit heads I find I don’t really have a favorite. Sometimes, if I’m using a heavy enough rod and line and depending on my mood, I might feel at the moment I’m really enjoying casting 13’ of t17, but I know this is subjective and that the actual properties that objectively matter are only length and gr/ft for the casting, and independently the sink rate for the fishing.

On multi density lines you may prefer them because they swing differently, for presentation, and not just for the relatively minor extra depth. In my opinion that is both what they were mainly designed for, and what I really like about them most. So if you are not forced in a given situation to use t14 and up you might also find you enjoy being able to use a shorter, lighter tip to get the same depth, and trying some Rio replacement tips could magnify this difference.
 

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Hi all, I recently purchased a Rio game changer F/H/I/S3 skagit head. I have been fishing with the skagit max for about 4 years, and never fished a multi-density head until now. I have found it digs quickly into fast runs and certainly slows down the fly, as advertised. I found it hard to determine, however, how deep my fly was actually fishing. I would assume that will come with time. My question to everyone is—when fishing these heads, what is your go-to tip? I understand it depends on the run or pool, but everyone has a favorite tip. Thank you for any input, and tight lines!
I’m fishing the 725 grain GC
Hi all, I recently purchased a Rio game changer F/H/I/S3 skagit head. I have been fishing with the skagit max for about 4 years, and never fished a multi-density head until now. I have found it digs quickly into fast runs and certainly slows down the fly, as advertised. I found it hard to determine, however, how deep my fly was actually fishing. I would assume that will come with time. My question to everyone is—when fishing these heads, what is your go-to tip? I understand it depends on the run or pool, but everyone has a favorite tip. Thank you for any input, and tight lines!
I’m using the 725gr GC F/H/I with 10 feet of T14. I I intend to try 15 feet of T14, but haven’t got to it yet. Using it on an old Sage GFL 10150-4 and feels like it will handle the extra 5 feet.
Cheers
 

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Hey Jg,
I'm generally using straight mow or opst tips on my intermediate heads or f.i.s.t./gamechangers.
That sink more than the head of course.
One thing I noticed is because the heads sink the anchor sticks much more as a result and I personally like dropping the head weight. For example a rod that I would fish a 525/550 skagit max on I'm using a f.i.s.t. in the 480/510 range to throw the same tip and getting a slower and deeper swing.
I do it because I don't like the feel of casting a heavily overweight line.
It has occurred to me that if I was to fish a multi density head in the normal grain window that I could probably use a fast sink polyleader is a tip or at least a light mow tip.
Why?
So I could get a slow winter speed swing into the bank when the rivers up without hanging bottom.
I'm likely to try it this weekend as the rivers around me are way up right now.
I'll let you know how it goes.
In the meanwhile I'm curious if anyone else has tried that yet?
Regards,
Lief
 

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I am curious, hopping on this thread: Has anyone use a Rio Gamechanger as a Scandi body? A 23 foot 450gn F/H/I/S3 and say, a S6 15' tip (or similar) which is essentially a 580gn scandi versitip. Would like to compare to the intermediate scandi body. Wondering if the floating portion inhibit the slow swing incomparison to full intermediate.
 

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I am curious, hopping on this thread: Has anyone use a Rio Gamechanger as a Scandi body? A 23 foot 450gn F/H/I/S3 and say, a S6 15' tip (or similar) which is essentially a 580gn scandi versitip. Would like to compare to the intermediate scandi body. Wondering if the floating portion inhibit the slow swing incomparison to full intermediate.
I love that Gamechanger F/H/I/S3 with 10' S6 or T11 tips on my 11' Hardy Demon...lifts out of the water very smoothly and allows for easy casting single spey, snake roll etc....very nice line to cast and control ..
 

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In the relatively shallow spate rivers I fish the Rio Game changer F/H/I with iMOW tips of various ratios swings beautifully. My fly hunts right where I need it to swing. I use unweighted flies, and two bead or at most 4 bead bead-chain eyes.
 

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Use the 15ft Rio replacement tips in type 3,6,8 and that should cover you in most situations. The 15 ft really helps with less stripping. I throw them with the FIST line and it’s great
 
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