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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 25 years ago I was living in Salt Lake City and had gotten into single handed rod steelheading pretty good--Snake River, Grande Ronde, Deschutes, Salmon, Clearwater and B.C. Made a business trip to Vancouver, had a lesson with Mike Maxwell and had him build me a 13' 8 wgt for a double taper line. It's graphite and has a slow action--right down into the butt of the rod. As luck would have it before I could get started in spey fishing I took a new job in Kentucky and you guessed it, the rod has never been fished, and only out of its rod case a few times. The spey clave article in The Fly and Fish (or Fish and Fly) magazine rewetted my appetite and I began reading. My DVD watching and reading tells me I want to be a Skagit caster rather than a classic spey person, but I have no clue whatsoever what line I would need for this rod. My gut is telling me probably something like a RIO Skagit line (450 grains) with a set of cheaters and tips. I have fished salt, freshwater and lots of places over the last 50+ years of fly fishing and believe I would love the spey experience. I know this is a shot in the dark question, but would appreciate any experienced reflection on this problem that anyone is willing to share. Or do I put the Maxwell rod in the museum and buy a modern rod? Thanks bunches.

Salmoed
 

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JD
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Well,,,,

Aside from the fact that you're in Kentucky,,,,:whoa: which I just my way of saying I don't know what you're gonna do with a Spey rod in Kentucky?

I think your decision of becoming a Skagit caster rather than a traditional style caster, fits the rod. And for that rod, probably somthing in the neighborhood of 450 to 500 grains for the head and about 100+/- 20 grains for the tip. I wouldn't worry too much about cheaters. A 13' rod gets along fine with a head of 27' floater + 12' (sink) tip. That gives you 3X rod length for the total working part of the line. If you want to use a 15' tip that would also work. As would a 10' tip. Have fun. Hope to see you at Sandy some day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maxwell Rod

JD, thanks for the help. I'll do what you suggest. SA or Rio? I live on the Ohio River and fish below dams for stripers on the fly. A striper of 10 to 15 lbs or wipers in the 5 to 10 lb range are fun and the spey rod will be perfect for that situation. My youngest son is getting ready to move to Portland, OR so guess what. We lived in Portland for approx 5 years many years ago and I am looking forward to the Deschutes and the other magnificent rivers in the area. Thanks again for getting me started.

Salmoed
 

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JD
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Rio or Airflo

There is a post on the board today comparing the Rio & Airflo Skagit lines. Someone makes reference to a more in depth comparison done by the Golden Gate Casting Club.

Personally, I like the Ace Short Head by Vision. Although they are kind of hard to come by. Gary Anderson carries them. Also Deschutes Angler. S.A. is also supposed to have a Skagit head available. But I haven't been able to find out too much about it yet.
 

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JDJones said:
There is a post on the board today comparing the Rio & Airflo Skagit lines. Someone makes reference to a more in depth comparison done by the Golden Gate Casting Club.

Personally, I like the Ace Short Head by Vision. Although they are kind of hard to come by. Gary Anderson carries them. Also Deschutes Angler. S.A. is also supposed to have a Skagit head available. But I haven't been able to find out too much about it yet.
Good points from Jim here, just a short add on. The ACE is a 'scandi head' rather than the shorter 'skagit' type. Major difference (well, there are a lot more) is a 'skagit set up' will have a total head length of 3-3.5 times the rod lenght. A 'scandi' set up will be more along the lines of 4 to 4.5 the rod length.

The casting stroke with a scandi is very similar (all-be-it more "compact") to a 'regular' spey cast due to the longer head length. For me, I never could quite get the 'timing down' with a skagit head (As JD could well tell you watching my clumsy efforts using his rigs), but you could just about hand a scandi head rod set up to anyone and have them shooting out line with just a few casting practice casts.
 

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JD
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yeah but

What Fred has are the regular length Ace heads. They also make a short head and a long head. The short series is more suitable right out of the box for a Skagit setup. The regular series wouldn't have enough grains left after you cut it back. And you would be cutting away most all of the front taper.
 
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