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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to get a handle on this fairly new wrinkle of using short Skakgit heads on standard or even shorter length rods. The guys at OPST have several tantalizing videos but they leave many questions open ended. Such as:

Are standard 9' rods designed and able to handle the different torques of Skagit casts?

Are some standard blanks made specifically for this style of casting?

In one handed mode, don't the shorter rods make it harder to lift and air out heavier sink tips with larger flies?

Appreciate insights on these matters and any experiences you may have in this field.

DDB
 

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I am trying to get a handle on this fairly new wrinkle of using short Skakgit heads on standard or even shorter length rods. The guys at OPST have several tantalizing videos but they leave many questions open ended. Such as:

Are standard 9' rods designed and able to handle the different torques of Skagit casts?

I have test cast many SH rods with OPST and RIO Skagit Trout lines,,, From 6'9" to 9' long,,,all had no problems.
Light coat of candle wax and proper assembly of rod sections is important with any Spey casting.


Are some standard blanks made specifically for this style of casting?

Not necessary with the ultra short heads. They all work fine.

In one handed mode, don't the shorter rods make it harder to lift and air out heavier sink tips with larger flies?

Relative to floating lines, the sink tips do require better timing and D loop formation. When the tip is too heavy just change lighter/shorter tip.

Appreciate insights on these matters and any experiences you may have in this field.

DDB
My observations.
Regards,
FK
 

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JD
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Would someone from the Shenandoah Valley please tell me why you would need a sink tip to fish that water? Water that most any kid could skip a flat rock across with three, or less, skips? :confused: :roll: Gheeez, A.J. McClane & Lee Wulff would be rolling in their graves.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JDJOnes,

I fish smallmouth too --often on wide stretches and over deeper holes in the Shenandoah and Potomac. Also fish Great Lakes steelhead rivers with similar sections. Then there are the big southern impoundments built by the Democrats.

As for the preferences of the gurus of the past there is no way of knowing but... I think Lee Wulff would be all over the Skagit/short rod innovations. Remember he used UL rods of the time on Atlantic Salmon In Canada and the new line/rod combos expand efficient cast reach thus making previously unfishable spots exploitable. .

McClane also fished big Western waters where the easy cast, long distance, features of Skagit systems really come to the fore.

But then they might not have wanted to give up their bamboo rods and silk lines.

DDB
 

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JD
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Yeah, A.J. was always touting his HCH seven-ish ft boo rod that weighed a scant 2-3/4 ounce, or something like that. Turning over long ultra fine leaders just right & dropping the fly on the water before the leader came down. It was rumored A.J. McClane could lay out nice loop with a broomstick. And Lee fished for Atlantic Salmon using his little six ft boo rod, his own triangle taper line & a Hardy click & pawl reel. Those guys had it nailed!
 

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I am trying to get a handle on this fairly new wrinkle of using short Skakgit heads on standard or even shorter length rods. The guys at OPST have several tantalizing videos but they leave many questions open ended. Such as:

Are standard 9' rods designed and able to handle the different torques of Skagit casts?

Are some standard blanks made specifically for this style of casting?

In one handed mode, don't the shorter rods make it harder to lift and air out heavier sink tips with larger flies?

Appreciate insights on these matters and any experiences you may have in this field.

DDB
Such interesting bunch of posts so far....

Here are my answers:

1. Yes, standard single hand rods will work with the OPST and ultra short skagit (Rio Trout Max). They will single hand overhead casting, spey casts, and the best: perry poke.

2. I have never built a custom rod using blanks but I do know that these chunky heads do need a stiffer backbone rod like the Echo. Avoid the soft, full flexing rods made by Rainshadow.... I use an Echo single hand 8wt 9' rod with my 5wt switch rod OPST head and casts a mile without all the hauling and false casting of single hand lines. I am lazy so I have switched over all my casting to spey casts even on single handers...

3. The short rods will easily lift out the short head (11-15') and the sink tips easier than using a longer skagit head. I will cast out single handed an OPST head with 10' T8 and heavy fly with ease. The standard spey procedure for roll casting: Lift rod out slowly, sweep, then fire out. Again, the Perry poke is the best for this line - plus the anchor is in front of you so you don't worry about hanging up on bushes behind, weeds on the side, high banks & trees nearby.


Just remember, the short chunky OPST heads are 75gr heavier than the standard weight lines: my 4wt 11' switch rod takes a 225gr OPST or 275gr Rio Trout Max or 300gr Rio Skagit; my 5wt 10' switch rod takes a 275gr OPST or 350gr Rio Skagit; while my 7wt 12' spey rod takes a 375gr OPST or 460gr Airflo skagit head.
For single handers it's the same - take your current fly line weight and subtract 75gr to get the correct OPST head.
For Rio Trout Max, take about 25-30gr off your line weight for the correct weight.

I prefer to use the OPST heads whenever I fish now - just makes easier casting of big heavy flies or in my case multiple flies.
I know it's not really a dry line where you present delicate dries, but it can be done using a 10' light MOW floating tip or the new OPST 5', 7' and 10' Commando float tips with a tapered trout leader (I am going to try this out for the first time this weekend at the Provo & Weber rivers)...

Here is a funny video about using a single hander with an OPST line- it demystifies the application of these ultra short chunky skagit heads:
 

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Does anyone have experience of using Commando heads on bamboo rods single handed and up to 12 ' double handed, they look interesting.

Thanks,

malcolm
 

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AJS Reels
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Does anyone have experience of using Commando heads on bamboo rods single handed and up to 12 ' double handed, they look interesting.

Thanks,

malcolm
I have a glass double hander, similar action to bamboo, it casts a opst 325gr head nicely. So well that its my number one choice for a Skagit head for it after trying a few :)
 

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Boo and Others

Does anyone have experience of using Commando heads on bamboo rods single handed and up to 12 ' double handed, they look interesting.

Thanks,

malcolm
I have a 7' 5wt single hand Boo that i have tried a few heads i made from a cut down 10 WF line, 160 grain and 200 grains(similar lengths to OPST's and they surprised the hell out of me when used with the Laser mono running line..... I purchased a Trout Max 200 grain in Taupo NZ a couple of weeks ago and was using them on a Burkeheimer 6- 9'3"DAL on the Tongariro fishing with AJSReels and had a great time....hooked up on a few nice fish....but i will be getting a couple of OPST heads for our waters here.......a hell of a lot of fun .....:smile2:
 
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