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Discussion Starter #1
Well I've just ordered a new Sage FLI 14' 8wt. I know this is a new rod, so I don't know if any of you have cast it yet. I'm yo-yoing between two lines. The windcutter with tips, and the new skagit line & tips (I don't think the new line is available with tips?).

Most of the fishing I do is between 30-75ft. If my thinking is sound (and that's a big if), the new line should be perfect right? 27ft head+ 5ft cheater+ 15ft tip+ 4ft leader= 51ft + the rod length.

Would the standard windcutter be able to load this rod at short distances since the head alone is roughly 47ft?

I don't expect a magic combo on a silver platter, just a few opinions to steer my wallet. Go with the recomended weight skagit to maximize short casting and suffer long, or go a weight up on the windcutter to load it up at close distances?

Any opinions would help, including line weight recomendations. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Peter, if it were a single hander I could write you a book. Being a two-hander though my review would be pointless. I don't have enough background to make a fair assessment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
peter-s-c said:
Craig
Also, IIRC, the Windcutter belly is 24', not 27' so that would make a difference too. That would bring it down to a 39' head + leader -- a much nicer short casting rig.

Peter
The 27ft was refering to the head length of the new skagit line by Rio. On the regular windcutter I've heard the head is 47'. With a 15' tip and a 4' leader, wouldn't it take 66' just to get the head out?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After reading Rio's pages a few times it finaly penetrated my thick skull. They count the 15' tip into the head length. In essence the new skagit line is just a WC belly with a cheater fused to it. The difference is basicly zip. So the WC with tips gets the nod. Way more versitility and I'm used to how density comped tips fish anyhow.

Now I just gotta figure out 7/8/9 or 8/9/10.
 

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"If you buy a WC multi-tip that's too heavy for your rod then throw Tip 2 in a drawer, you end up with a fairly versatile 39.5' system that loads the rod properly."

Huh? Curious as to how/where you're coming up with those numbers?

On the 9/10/11 WC Interchangealbe tip, for example, without Tip 2 you have a 22' head (2' of rear taper and 20' of body). Add on the 15' tips, and you've got a 37' head that, without the addition of at least a 5' Cheater, probably won't load the rod very well (the shortest Cheater would be another almost 90 grains). The rear taper, body, 5' Cheater, and 15' tip will give you a head of 42'--or 3 times the length of a 14' rod (3 times rod length being generally considered the minimum for a Skagit line). Without the Cheater, you've got a very short head.
 

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Data from Fly Fish USA

CraigSC said:
Well I've just ordered a new Sage FLI 14' 8wt. I know this is a new rod, so I don't know if any of you have cast it yet. I'm yo-yoing between two lines. The windcutter with tips, and the new skagit line & tips (I don't think the new line is available with tips?).

Most of the fishing I do is between 30-75ft. If my thinking is sound (and that's a big if), the new line should be perfect right? 27ft head+ 5ft cheater+ 15ft tip+ 4ft leader= 51ft + the rod length.

Would the standard windcutter be able to load this rod at short distances since the head alone is roughly 47ft?

I don't expect a magic combo on a silver platter, just a few opinions to steer my wallet. Go with the recomended weight skagit to maximize short casting and suffer long, or go a weight up on the windcutter to load it up at close distances?

Any opinions would help, including line weight recomendations. Thanks
It might be impossible to get a Wind Cutter line heavy enough to load your road for Skagit casts. For example, my Sage 6126 has a recommendation of the WC 91011 for Skagit casting. :Eyecrazy:

Below is the data for eight weight rods from FlyFishUSA. These recommendations were developed by Mike, Scott and Sage reps:

8-weight rod matched with 550 grain (8/9) Skagit line.

Rod length 13’6’’ or under go with straight Skagit 550 (no cheaters).

Rod length 14’ formula = 550 Skagit plus 5 (5 foot cheater).

Rod length 15’ formula = 550 Skagit plus 10 (10 foot cheater).

Send Mark and email and ask him what he recommends or contact Chris Andersen at Sage.
 

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speaking of the fli1408 and the skagit lines. i have both together and there is hardly a piece of open water to try them on. the rod feels like pretty standard 8 wt and has a nice action that feels like its between a euro sage and the t&t. if anyone in our area (western NY state) would like a test drive i would be happy to see what others thought of either of these new additions. send me a PM and we will see what can be arranged. the skagit line is a totaly different animal than any wc combination i have tried. i am the last person i though would have anything to do with "skagit maddness" but i think this line at least could have a definite place in our GL waters. i don't intend to learn skagit casting but a head that loads a rod and turns over big flies at thirty feet is just what i have been looking for. we have plans for testing this stuff this weekend and if the weather permits i will try to post a review.
 

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"Rio says the entire head is 54.5' long"

At least with WC 9/10/11 Interchangeable model, which they use as the illustration on the back of their boxes, 54.5' is only with Tip 1 in place. Tip 1, the floating tip, is longer than the sinking tips--by 2.5' (10' level, 6'6" taper, 1' level tip) according to Rio's numbers. The head with one of the sink tips is only 52' (15' tip instead of the longer floating tip).

I've measured the 9/10/11 Interchangeable Tips WC that I have, and while the floating tip wasn't quite as long as advertised, the other tips were spot on (15'). The rear taper and body of line were almost exactly 22' as listed by Rio. Tip 2 is pretty much exactly 15' as advertised (the Compensator being slightly shorter at 13'). Fact remains, that without Tip 2, the head is shorter than what most argue to be the appropriate length for a Skagit line with a 14' rod (not suggesting that is a "rule" SSpey, but it is what many use as a guide). Ultimately, my point was that the Cheaters can be viewed as necessary from both a length and weight perspective.

I use the 9/10/11 with a T & T 1409-5; Tip 2 removed and Cheaters put in its place. It loads the rod nicely, but if anything, at least when using Rio production tips, it could be slightly heavier. Without the Cheaters it is both shorter and lighter than what I'd like. That's all I'm saying.

P.S. SSpey: after reading the link you provided, it appears the line recipe, for a 13' rod in that case, comes out right at 3 times length (just a hair short). What was your point in including that link? I guess I don't follow.
 

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"Also found a discrepancy with Tip 2 -- supposedly 19' on the website...."

We're evidently using vastly different numbers from Rio. I have the schematic from the back of the box they ship the WC in (which illustrates the 9/10/11 Interchangeable Tips model) right here on my desk, and it lists Tip-2 as 15' in length (which mine measures). Guess I'll have to take a look at their website more closely?
 

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Specifications of the 9/10/11 WC Interchangealbe Tips line according to the box:

Running line: 85.6' (26.2 M)
Back Taper: 2' (0.6 M)
Body: 20' (6.1 M)
Tip 2: 15' (4.6 M)
Tip 1: 17.5' (10' level, 6.5' taper, 1' level)

Total length: 130' (40 M)
Head length: 54.5' (16.5 M)

This is exactly the same diagram they show on their website for the 9/10/11.

http://www.rioproducts.com/pages/flylines_prodpage.asp?product=21330&useMet=0#chart

Although, the line specifications they show in print do not match up. My measurements of my 9/10/11 correspond with the diagram that appears on both the box and the website, however (save that my floating tip measures right at 17'). I didn't see any other diagrams, but didn't look that much. If you have a link to the one you're using, I'd appreciate seeing it.

Should be noted that not all heads are 54.5', as they vary with line weight designation. Also, as pointed out before, factory sink tips are shorter than the floating tip they use for their head length calculation on the diagram.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just got of the phone with Sage. Yesterday their staff had 4 FLI 8wt's on the Queets for product testing. The guy I spoke to agreed that the wind cutter 8/9/10 would be a good match and very versitile. The interesting part was his review of the new Skagit line by Rio. He said in over 20 years he hasn't seen a line and rod match so well. Fished all sorts of tip including lead core, and the concensus was unanomous. He said casts to 90+ft were effortless and 60+ft was no problem without shooting any line at all. He strongly recomended I get one for tip work.
 

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SSPey said:
the really short heads work just fine. I was just thinking tonite how my 13'9" Burkie fishes fine with a 37' head (includes tips), definitely shorter than the "skagit" rule of thumb. There are no rules.

SSpey

I've been playing with 37 to 40 foot heads a lot lately (three weeks) :saeek:

Could start a NEW trend (lol) :D
 

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Craig,
Which Skagit line did they throw on the Sage? By the way, don't be in a hurry to abandon the Skagit line. I'm headed to pick one up tonight to play with for the next week and I know there are a bunch of guys on lake Ontario playing with them.

Gillie
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Gillie, I called Sage back but the tech staff left untill moday. I'll find out then.

On a side note: the one handers are the best bang for the buck I've ever seen. The fit and finish is typical Sage perfect, and the action is VERY similar to the old T&T Vectors. For $200-$300 that's tough to beat.

Gillie, you've actualy seen guys using spey rods properly on Lake O? I grew up out side of Watertown and have fished the tribs for about 20 years. 95% of the guys I've seen use running line and split shot...ala chuck-n-duck.
 

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Craig,
I know of about a dozen guys doing it and I know that there are more than that out there. It certainly isn't common to see it but it is a slowly growing trend. The big rivers, ie Salmon, Black, Oswego, Genny, and Niagara, all have suitable spey water.

Gillie
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Those rivers you just named are my whole reason for switching to both hands. They are my usual haunts. I'm glad to hear there's a few guys out there actualy fishing. I've always got a laugh out of guys using a $1,000 set-up to launch lead.
 

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Peter,

The guys I know just got the lines. Mostly C Spey and Double Spey. My personal opinion on local casting is a rather jaded one. I don't think there are more than a handful of qualified casting instructors in the region, and I am not one of them.

As far as a beginner deciding on a method, I think if someone starts with a Skagit head and learns that techinique from the beginning they will be fine. They will have to muddle and read and ask a lot of questions but I think they will undergo the same process with more traditional tachniques also.

It's interesting because Black Francis and some others have been doing a very similair technique to Skagit casting for years. They have been using big heavy Rio Clouser lines with sink tips and leaders to fish closer in and with heavy flies. These are some of the guys who are now trying to use the Skagit lines.

That all being said Craig a WC probably is a good all around staring line because it will let you do a number of things.

Gillie
 

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fishbm, my point wasn't so pointy, I only wanted to illustrate a line recommendation that comes out shorter than 3X rod length. Just a bit shorter, but shorter nonetheless.

At least a few well-heeled casters on this board, including the head skagiteer, use a WC belly + 15' more on a certain 13'9" rod. That line is somewhere around 37'-38', a few feet shy of 3X rod length. The shorter line is nice when wading deep.
 
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