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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

New two-handed caster here, having an issue with skagit casting on my VXP 7133. I have a Skagit MAX Long 525, 27' in length. I consider myself a competent human and single-handed caster, generally.

So, to try to make this short - out this week with my buddy, I'm casting the same rod with an Airflo Scandi Compact 460 at 33': no issues, decent loops. Switch over to the skagit head, 9' of T-11 and a large intruder and I'm just not able to make it sail very often. I'm a newbie, but with my buddy's 12.5' Beulah with a 20ish foot head it's much easier to get the head out of the water on the rip.

I'm thinking a shorter skagit head would help, given that the Rio website recommends that line for 14' rods and longer. The Long is 27', the regular MAX is 23'. I'm sure a good caster could make it work, but I'm looking to make it easy on myself and I think 4 feet is significant in this case. If I can make the scandi head work at 33' with a snap T, I'm thinking a 23' head with a 9' tip would give me a similar ratio. I'm looking for a line that I can cast with a compact stroke without trying to flail around like Gandalf to get the head out of the water. I do plan on seeking out a lesson or two this winter/spring as well.

Would the 4 feet make a big difference? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
 

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The 4 feet could definitely make a difference. You may not be allowing your D-loop to form properly, ie rushing the forward stroke so that you have too much anchor in the water still. You may also be cutting your tip inwards and across as opposed to out and across from your body again leading to an insuffucient D-loop for pulling the tip out of the water but those are just a few of many possible issues.

For what it's worth, I have the same rod and fish an Airflo 540 skagit compact on it. I have easily fished 12.5' of T-14 and a weighted fly on this setup, not pretty but if flies out there for sure. This fall I tried out a compact skagit 510, with T-11 tips, as its also supposed to be a good casting grain weight for the rod and could only get one decent cast out of 4 and really had to work at it. I had the exact same problem you are with not having any power or consistency of the line on the outgoing portion of the the cast.
 

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Jimmy.

Welcome to the forum.

The short answer is NO. 4' won't make a hill of beans difference. Your stroke/timing for casting your scandi line and your skagit head are very different. I would suggest that you slow down a little bit and you will see better results from your Skagit head. I would be willing to bet that if you are not seeing the distance/turn over/power that you would like from your skagit head that you are likely blowing you anchor. Let that fly marinate for a 1/4-1/2 second longer before you go into your sweep/D-loop and watch your D-loop form.

In the same breath, Take your lift SLOWER from the water to get your head/fly free. A fast lift does not break the water tension and makes moving a heavy tip and fly very difficult to start your cast. Also try to roll your fly and tip to the surface directly downstream of you before starting your cast, this makes things very easy on you. Roll cast directly downstream and drop your tip to the water as your line unrolls downstream. At this point your line will be straight and tight with no slack and your fly and tip will be on/near the surface. As soon as you have done this start your cast then, do not wait. Roll downstream and as soon as your fly hits the water start your cast.

Lessons are very worthwhile as well. even a single 2 hour lesson can make a huge difference.

Hope this can help you out a little bit.

Cheers.
James
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses guys...I do realize that the scandi/skagit tempos are different and was referring more to the ratio of the line to the rod length. The blown anchor/quick lift is definitely not the problem and indeed the problem I'm having is the opposite - the tip/fly is not pulling off the water enough and I have to exaggerate the motions and work harder generally to get it all off without pausing in the stroke. I find with my buddy's rod with the short head I can fare much easier with an effortless, continuous stroke. So hard to diagnose casting problems over the interwebs, though.

I may get the shorter head not expecting to solve my issues but rather to be more in the zone of what would be acceptable with the rod. Like I said, just wanting to know if the shorter head would be more in line with what is normally used with that rod.
 

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"I may get the shorter head not expecting to solve my issues but rather to be more in the zone of what would be acceptable with the rod. Like I said, just wanting to know if the shorter head would be more in line with what is normally used with that rod."

I'd say not at all in terms of head length. My favourite line with that rod is a WA45 which is 30' long and I fish 12' Type 3,6 and T-10 tips off of it. It's definitely something with your casting, which can probably be fairly easily fixed. You just need someone to show you what you are doing wrong and how to change that. I'd go this route as bad habits are much harder to get rid of the longer you do them. The shorter head will be a band aid, it'll cover the wound but won't heal it. My opinion anyway.

Mike
 

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Hi there,

New two-handed caster here, having an issue with skagit casting on my VXP 7133. I have a Skagit MAX Long 525, 27' in length. I consider myself a competent human and single-handed caster, generally.

So, to try to make this short - out this week with my buddy, I'm casting the same rod with an Airflo Scandi Compact 460 at 33': no issues, decent loops. Switch over to the skagit head, 9' of T-11 and a large intruder and I'm just not able to make it sail very often. I'm a newbie, but with my buddy's 12.5' Beulah with a 20ish foot head it's much easier to get the head out of the water on the rip.

I'm thinking a shorter skagit head would help, given that the Rio website recommends that line for 14' rods and longer. The Long is 27', the regular MAX is 23'. I'm sure a good caster could make it work, but I'm looking to make it easy on myself and I think 4 feet is significant in this case. If I can make the scandi head work at 33' with a snap T, I'm thinking a 23' head with a 9' tip would give me a similar ratio. I'm looking for a line that I can cast with a compact stroke without trying to flail around like Gandalf to get the head out of the water. I do plan on seeking out a lesson or two this winter/spring as well.

Would the 4 feet make a big difference? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
You seem like a reasonable, competent honest fellow. Reading your post, I think you have already answered your own question. You like a short compact stroke and you want to make it easy on yourself.

If you like the short head I say go buy yourself one. I grant you permission my son. Nothing wrong with a 23' head on a 13'3 rod, or even a 20' head if thats how you roll. Its a good thing!
 

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Jimmy.

Yes it would seem that I misunderstood the issues you are having. Your line ratio is not your problem. If your fly is not leaving the water on your forward cast you could have an anchor placement issue or a sweep issue or not allowing your Dloop to form before going into your forward stroke or a combination of all or any of the above. A 525 grain 27' skagit should have no issues at all moving 9' of T11 and a substantial fly. It is difficult to diagnose casting faults over the internet for sure. I think Mike may have already nailed it with not letting your D loop form fully before your forward stroke.

Another thing to think about is that your 7133 VXP may not be loading very deep with the 525 skagit. Even though this rod is marked as a 7wt, I feel that this rod much prefers to be lined as an 8/9.... it is a stiff/fast/tip action rod. If you, your friend or a local shop has a heavier line that you can try that might be worthwhile as well.

And as Skagitmiester says, if you want to get a shorter head you should. See if you can try before you buy to get a good match for your rod and your stroke.

Cheers.
James
 

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Keep everything straight!

What you describe is often a symptom of poor anchor placement in relation to cast angle. As an example, if on a c-spey, your anchor is too far upstream and you are making a quartering cast downstream, especially with a slightly longer skagit head, it will be hard to sweep into the d-loop and pull the sinktip, leader and fly in line with the target. It would require some awkward arm movement in order to get everything moving so that it slides into alignment on the forward spey. A short skagit head would make this less of an issue as you would have an easier time sliding the fly into an adequate anchor position (conversely it also is easier to overdo things and blow the anchor).

Another issue is that you are losing tension in the d-loop. If the junction of of the sinktip and floating line are dumping into the water before the forward spey, that's usually a sign you are pausing in your cast, which is a big no-no with short skagit lines.
 

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Quick, easy answer is shorten the head and lengthen your tip. I would try 20-23' head with a 10-13' tip. I think a 9' sinktip with a very long skagit head does not anchor well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone!

I will get a shorter head but also try to be consistent with the anchor placement and get a few hours of instruction in there at some point soon. Cheers.
 

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try stripping in 4 feet of the head into the guides and try your same stroke and if it works - there is your answer with your particular stroke. I prefer the short heads as I don't want to work any more than I have to and I use a very short hand arm stroke.

I think Mike may have hit it when he said you might be cutting the corner with the longer line - unless you go out and around you will not get proper load on the rod. It helps to get the line set as close to your body as possible so that any out and around motion will allow max load.

The other thing to watch out for is that you are not hooking the line behind you as this causes all kinds of problems with slack and lost energy. To help solve this, make sure you do not break your wrist during the sweep - this will help direct that D loop into the 45 thrust direction. If you break your wrist this will allow the line to hook behind you too far
 

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Another thing to think about is that your 7133 VXP may not be loading very deep with the 525 skagit. Even though this rod is marked as a 7wt, I feel that this rod much prefers to be lined as an 8/9.... it is a stiff/fast/tip action rod. If you, your friend or a local shop has a heavier line that you can try that might be worthwhile as well.

..........x2
 

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The 4 feet could definitely make a difference. You may not be allowing your D-loop to form properly, ie rushing the forward stroke so that you have too much anchor in the water still. You may also be cutting your tip inwards and across as opposed to out and across from your body again leading to an insuffucient D-loop for pulling the tip out of the water but those are just a few of many possible issues.

For what it's worth, I have the same rod and fish an Airflo 540 skagit compact on it. I have easily fished 12.5' of T-14 and a weighted fly on this setup, not pretty but if flies out there for sure. This fall I tried out a compact skagit 510, with T-11 tips, as its also supposed to be a good casting grain weight for the rod and could only get one decent cast out of 4 and really had to work at it. I had the exact same problem you are with not having any power or consistency of the line on the outgoing portion of the the cast.
X2.
I just sold my VXP7133 last month. With heavy sinktips and flies, Airflo Skagit 540gr. I think mine is the older 27' head.
 
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