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I have been fishing a Windcutter interchangeable tip line over the last couple of years and have been very happy with it...however, after reading all of the posts regarding Skagit lines I am beginning to feel like I am missing out on something. I would like to try a Skagit line but first I would like to get some input from those in the know.

My qusetion:

Should I get a Rio Skagit line or purchase the cheaters for my WC interchangeable tip line? I will be using the line on a 13' 8wt. rod. The Skagit line of choice would be the 8/9 at 550 grs. I have a WC 10/11/12 for which I could purchase the cheaters, although it would still end up being lighter than the 8/9 Skagit line. Am I splitting hairs here, or would I notice a difference? How would the Skagit line perform differently then the WC w/cheater assuming grain wts. were close?

Thank you for your thoughts!

RR
 

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I'm very interested in hearing from those who've actually tried both the new Skagit lines and the WC with Cheaters as well.

I'm not sure your assumption about the relative weights of the 8/9 Skagit and the WC 10/11/12 will hold true, River Rat. That is, I'd like to hear for sure what just the head of the WC 10/11/12 along with the appropriate 5' Cheater would weigh in comparison to the Skagit line without Cheaters or tips. With both at 27' that should be a fair comparison, I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fshbm,

The WC 10/11/12 weighs as follows (data from chart on The Fly Fishing Shop website, I am assuming it is accurate):

Body: 378grs. + 5' cheater (10/11/12) 93 grs. = 471grs. Add to this a 15' tip from the WC 10/11/12 @ 166grs. = 637grs.

Compared to:

Skagit 8/9 is 550grs. + 15' tip from WC 8/9/10 @ 129grs. = 679grs.

Pretty close...or is it?

Is the difference in weight as well as its distribution going to make a big difference in casting performance? If so, how will they feel different? Hopefully we will get some feedback from those who have compared both options.

RR
 

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River Rat, I'm a definite newbee, so take this with a grain of salt.

I have a Sage 14' 8wt FLI with a WC 8/9/10 with tips and cheaters. The 5' cheater realy wakes up the rod on the short casts I make. On the small streams I fish a standard WC head would land on the opposite shore. With light stuff it doesn't make a big difference, but with the #6 and #8 tips it definitely does. I can only imagine that the Skagit line would be a bigger step in the same direction. Getting the grains required with less line out.

I'm probably gonna order one soon. I realy like the versitility that Rio offers. Between the WC & Skagit bellys, the 4 cheaters, and the tips, the possibilities are endless.
 

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i have tried both in the 7/8 category. i think it comes down to wheather you like a loopless line or if the loops don't bother you. the weight and the tapers are pretty similar and the performance was very similar. i personally don't like the loops for the cheaters cause they always seem to hang up in the guides when landing a fish. if you are used to loops in the belly of the line it certainly would be cheaper (around $35) for the cheaters. i see you are in my area so if you want a chance to give it a try send me a pm.
 

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try the 10/11/12 Wc without the tip 2 and with your sink tip.I believe that has a 25 ft head vs a 27 foot head on a skagit head.depending on how that works, you can fine tune it with the cheaters.it is worth a try.I have a couple of skagit heads and a bunch of wc's.I plan on using some of the old wc's in that way when needed.Beau
 

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Peter,

Some of your obserbations are interesting. I've been working a 7/8 Skagit line on the SR for the last two weeks and I have had a very different experience.

I'm throwing a cheater with a 5' section of T-14 at the end and anywhere from a small marabou fly to a bunny spey. Neither of which are super high drag. I am using a water load with C spey and Double Spey.

The 5' of T-14 was perfect because it got me down to my fishing depth very quickly but didn't hang up much.

I have not found that it crashes at all. It certainly isn't as delicate as other lines in the fashion that it lands. However, the SR is running very low with gin clear water right now and I have no concerns about it spooking fish anymore than other lines.

As far as the asthetics of the cast, once I found a stroke that was good for me this rig was throwing some of the tightest loops that I have thrown.

We may have different standards for what is smacking a rig into the water.

I will agree that people need to cast them before buying them. I think the fact that you and I see them differently is good evidence that individual preferences will play a large role in whether people like these or not.

Gillie
 

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Peter just on small thing:

they cast very heavy and require a high casting effort,
If you are expending a lot of energy you are not casting these lines right. Going lighter defeats the purpose of skagit casting. These lines really work best at thier given line rating for most rods I have cast them on. I think Ed has detailed in earlier posts that one of the main purposes of these lines was for easy casting which I think a lot of folks will agree with.

It should be really easy casting. If it is not something aint going right.If you are feelking it in the arms and shoulders you are pushing too much and not letting the rod cast for you. Get that rod loaded up and let it literally cast for you. The forward cast should be nothing more than a slight flick.


-sean
 

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Bottom line

Peter_s_c said:
a WC 7/8/9 at 54.5 feet is 525 grains while a 7/8 Skagit with 15 ft. 7/8/9 tip runs in at 559 over 42' and with cheaters + T-14, it's around 660 over 42'.
If you have put a 7/8 Skagit line on a 7/8 rod it is the same as putting an 8/9/10 (maybe a 9/10/11, I don't have the specs handy) WC belly section on the same rod. With the exception that the Skagit line is two feet longer.

Add a fifteen foot tip section made up of any combination of floating, intermedeate, or full sink stuff. Cheaters, T-14, poly leaders, factory made fifteen toot tips (left overs from old WC's), any grain weight or sink rate, it doesn't matter. To this add a short (five ft max) mono leader.

Yes, the total grain wieght of everything, tip included will be more. But again, it doesn't matter. When using the sustained grip method, all of that tip is on the water when you make the cast. So what you have left to form the D-loop is only the short 27 foot belly. And if you subscribe to Peter_s_c's Casting Weight Model, only the top half of that is contributing to the loading of the rod. That is precisely why you need that sustained grip. The other half of the equation is that you need all of that weight/mass that is in the short head in order to pick that tip up off the water and carry it and the big fly that it was designed to cast.

And if you get overly aggressive with your cast, like most of us are used to doing, you will pull the anchor, every time.
 

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Sean,
When I first took the Skagit line out I was overpowering it. I reread some of Ed's posts and rewatched one of video clips and now it is just a soft forward cast.

Peter,
When I was overpowering it it tended to crash, but with the soft forward flick that Sean is describing I don't find it crashing to he water.

Gillie
 

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loco alto!
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Comparing a Skagit line that I built on Ed Ward's specs to a chopped back WC 9/10/11 of the same length (28') and grains (400 gr), the Skagit line feels lighter. Perhaps because my "Ed" line has 5' of 10/11 wt line at the rear whereas the WC steps direct to ~ 12 wt line. Ed's design places less line mass at rod tip. Both lines load my rod (Anderson/Burkheimer 13' 6/7) to the hilt, and demand virtually no forward stroke. Yet the lines cast very different. Ed's line casts, whereas the WC shocks the rod tip. Very noticeable difference.

I don't know if the commercial RIO skagit lines incorporate this rear-taper design. Can someone answer this question? I can't imagine that its just a "level" line as suggested.
 

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I think the difference between 470 and 550 grains would be noticable - they would both cast but depending on your rod characteristics I am not sure which would be better - I would think with skagit lines or WC equivalents you would want to upgrain if anything. I have the Scott 1287 and while I liked the 7/8 skagit on that rod the 8/9 really lit it up and this is counter to what the line weight would tell you.

Regarding casting these lines - when you dial in the stroke it is effortless!! And that is out to 80+ feet and beyond. I think they are going to cast better than a cut back WC as the mass and diameter of the lines are bigger and just seem to do an easier job of turning over. Watching Scott O'Donnell cast them tells me they can be cast at great distance with accuracy, and no heavy splashing even with heavy bugs and tips. I know I was using much to much energy when I played around with them.
 

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loco alto!
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well, I'm wrong, as from Brian's post elsewhere it seems they are level after all. I suppose that's good for the consumer who wants to fashion their own RIO-esque skagit line by hacking the front end from a WF11/12/13F, but not so strong in the innovation department (sorry but I expected more...)
 
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