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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am trying to make a very shorthead skagit line for an 11' 5wt. TFO rod. According to Simon this rod needs a Rio skagit 350 or 500 (floating).

I read Curt's recent post about a super short head line for Meiser's 11'7" 5/6/7 rod and was inspired to build one for my trout spey. I also looked back throught the forum and saw Riveraddict's posts about shorter skagit lines.

Curt spelled out his line formula pretty clearly: the total head including tips was 2.25X the rod length. Obviously this works well for him.

My question for Riveraddict is: when you wrote about the 2.25X length being a good minimum for skagit heads, were you talking about the total head (w/ tips) or just the belly (to which tips are added)?

I am thinking that I will want my total head to be a bit longer than 2.25X 11' (or 24.75') but maybe not. I will mostly be using the rod to cast for distance, from the edges of treelined stillwater.

Also, I suppose I will have to do my own playing around but has anyone figured out a good skagit grain window for this rod? I am new to building lines, how much faith should I put in rio's 500 grain recomendation? That is a lot of weight to put into a 25' head.

That's about it for now. Any help would be apreciated- especially clarification from Riveraddict or anyone who has experience with this particular rod.

Thanks, Eric
 

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A Skagit head without tip is 27' add 8' of T-14 for a tip and you are now at 35' which puts you at a 3.0 ratio. (Which is fine). If absolute minimum head lenght is an issue the 9 10 11 windcutter belly measures in at 23' and 307 grains which puts you at 31' or a 2.6 ratio.
 

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Eric,
I'd be interested to know more about your planned presentation, water, target species, and space you're planning to use this setup in. My idea with that short line was to fish in tight spaces on small to moderate sized rivers in cold water--hence the desire to fish T-14. I wanted to be able to fish effectively in places others pass up. I don't use that setup where distance is important. In those situations, when I still want to fish deeper, I either fish a full sized Skagit line and Rio Big Boy on a bigger rod, or fish Scandinavian heads on lighter rods.

The 2.25x is total with belly and sink tip. If you can find any way to do so, testing to find the best loading weight for your rod is absolutely key to getting the line right. I used the 2.25x partly because of my intended use and to test/verify Riveraddict's finding. Even staying within the more 'traditional Skagit' (?) guideline of 3-3.5x rod length, you'll find you can fish effectively in many tight spots. The real keys to distance and control are 1) finding that right loading weight to make the rod really sing, and 2) using a mono or equivalent running line (the Monic .024 is GSP based and better than any mono I've tried) to minimize drag from the running line. The line speed that results will make distance possible and wind resistance and accuracy much easier.

Carl
 

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...

Carl gives some right on advice.

In general, rod length/line length ratios for Skagit casting translate thus:
- 3.5 times rod length will give you the best "ultimate distance".
- 2.25 times rod length will give best "tight quarters" fishing attributes.

The "best" all-around length ratio, one that would fish well in most situations, is 3.0 times rod length.

All these ratios are for your TOTAL line length, in other words it INCLUDES the sinktip.

Keep in mind that packing the same amount of grains into a line that is only 2.25 times rod length as the 3.5 ratio, means that the shorter configuration will not have the "delicacy" in presentation as the longer ratio line. However, this factor can also be translated to mean that though one will lose some "unobtrusiveness" in presentation with the shorter line, the characteristic that gives cause to this factor does in fact enable shorter lines to effectively handle larger flies and/or denser sinktips, and/or cast in conditions of greater wind.

The fact is that no one line has the capability to "do it all". One should consider what the majority of circumstances their fishing entails and then "tune" their line configuration towards meeting that end.

As for the TFO 5 weight, I would give a try of 460 grains (including sinktip), and use either the Airflo CCT-200 @ 10 grains per foot or the RIO T-8 @ 8 grains per foot as my sinktip material. This "combo" is at least in the ballpark for most 4 to 5 weight Speys that I've tried.
 

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Ed,

Please notice that Rio T-8 has really density of 9.1 gr/foot.
I have wighted severals of the Rio so call T-8 coils, and all of them gave the same result.

Salmo
 

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Salmo,

Thanks for the heads up. Being that it is as such, it looks as if CCt-200 and T-8 are close enough to one another as to consider them in the same category as regards function/capability.

In general, I recommend that for any Spey rod rating under 6 weight, that the CCt-200 and T-8 be the material of choice. Both produce less "lifting" resistance than does T-14, something to consider when using "ultralight" Spey's. T-14 can also be used on these rods, but in my experience only when using head lengths on the shortest side of the length spectrum, plus really not recommended for anyone except accomplished casters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much to everyone so far.

I plan to use this setup mostly for stocked (gasp) stillwater trout, so delicacy is not as big an issue as distance. If I get my fly to them, they will bite. For these fish I will mostly be using an intermediate tip.

I would also like to use it for wild trout rivers such as the Yakima. In this situation, I will probably be mainly streamer fishing, so again, a delicate presentation is not a must.

Here's what I'm thinking: I make my skagit head ~20' and 380 grains w/o the head (assuming a target of 460gr.)- I can then alternate between 15' rio 5wt. multi tips for more delicate work (total head length of 35' or 3.2X rod length); and shorter, denser tips for tight spaces. DOes that sound reasonable?

Also, I have already tried the rio OB 8wt. line on this rod for skagit style casting and at only 330gr. and 37', it seems both too long and too heavy. Does this mean my skagit casting abilities need a lot of work or am I just mistaking the 'too light' feel for too heavy?

Finally, If I make my skagit body out of intermediate line will it behave the same as a floating line? Will I need to make it lighter to adjust for more water loading? Should I stick with a floating body?

Thanks again everyone,

Eric
 

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Salmo: Would you mind letting me know your line configuration for your Meiser 12'6" 4/5? I have the same rod as I'm looking for a Skagit setup. Many thanx.
 

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Initially I was using Rio 350 gr with 9’ of Rio T-8 ( actual density 9 gr/foot).

However since most of fishing is done within ca. 40-50’ and I don’t use very heavy flies ( the flies I use for Rainbows, average 3-6lb with some in 8-10 lb range) are articulated leaches in white/pink ( flesh fly) lightly to modestly weighted) I opted for shorter modify Ariflo Skagit 6/7 ca. 360 gr . The Airflo cast smoother then the Rio and out of the box is 440 [email protected]'
The modified head plus 7’-10 ‘ of T-8 brings the total weight to 420-450 gr.

I cut the 6/7 line 5’ form the front, placed the shorter peace on the balance and was cutting the other peace toward the back until the combined weight of the both parts was ca. 360 gr. The shorter and longer parts were then spliced together. Such a “surgery” allowed me to maintained the original front taper of the line for smoother cast, together with the original loop.

If you make a cut, 1’ form the front, and cut back the rest to bring the weight of both part to 360 gr, the head will be slightly shorter ( moving toward the back of the line the gr density increases). You can avoid completely splicing by simply cutting the 6/7 form the front and finishing the tip of the cut line with braided loop.

Conversely, you can extend the length of the head by removing the unwanted peace of the line form the heaviest part (level belly). Out of the box 6/7 has 14’ front taper, 13’ level belly and 3’ rear taper.

Depending on which version you chose, the final belly should be within 23-26’ plus tip.

Salmo
 

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Salmo

I just bought some Rio T8 from Aaron at River Run Anglers a couple days ago. After you gave your gr wt for T8, I just weighed a 15ft chunk of it, and it came to 120 gr. That give me 8gr per ft, on a calibrated digital scale.

Maybe different lots weigh in differently. This is my second purchase off the same spool from Aaron, and have come up with 8gr per ft both times.
SA
 

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Here my comments I made last fall after I have purchased few, 30' coils. As you can see even Rio labeled the material at 17.8 g ( 275 gr) in metric system.
I don't think it really matters from fishing point of view:

http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showpost.php?p=166699&postcount=1

"I got my hands on Rio T-8 sinking material. I should say T-9, because the real density is 9.2 grain/foot.
The Rio label says 30’/240 gr and in metric system 9.1m/17.9 g.
I have actually weighted 30’( 9.1m) coil and it weights 17.8 g ( 275 gr ) which is in line with metric value they put on the label.

The sinking coating material is Extremely Durable.!!! I had a hard time to remove is with dull part of the knife blade.
The core is made of a hard monofilament ( 20lb test).
When I slip 4” piece of the T-9 into braided loop or spey line core applied a generous amount for polyurethane glue and let it dry, the connection has survived 6 hours with static weight of ca. 17lb without any damage."
 

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Length Please?

Salmo,

What is the final length of your modified airflo skagit that you are describing in these posts?

Thanks,
Lane
 

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I am right now in the lower 48 and some of my gears gears including the head you are asking for are in Alaska. The length if I remember correctly came ca. 24-25'.
 

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polyurethane glue

When I slip 4” piece of the T-9 into braided loop or spey line core applied a generous amount for polyurethane glue and let it dry, the connection has survived 6 hours with static weight of ca. 17lb without any damage."
What is polyurethane glue and where do you get it?
 

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Sulubond 1120 is a moisture-cured polyurethnane glue.
Aquaseal also belongs to a family of polyurethane glues(adhesive)

Salmo
 
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