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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in both Scandanavian and Skagit casting and was hoping experienced anglers familiar with both would be able compare and contrast the styles and the merits of each for fishing.
Thanks,
Chris
 

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I'll take a stab at it, but wait for a real answer.

Both use shooting heads. Skagit shooting heads tend to be a little shorter and are usually fast sinking. Scandanavian shooting heads can be sinking or floating.

The big difference is that Skagit uses a prolonged anchor so that the fly, leader and some of the line have a chance to sink a bit. This strong anchor means the D loop can be smaller. Scandanavian on the other hand uses a LOOOOOONG leader and a very light anchor. Usually only the leader.

The casting strokes are a bit different too. Scandanavian uses a pure underhand cast. Skagit uses a modified underhand cast to accomodate the prolonged anchor.

That's my understanding...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Perhaps I need to clarify my question somewhat. I have a general uderstanding the fundamentals regarding the dfferences in terms of casting mechanics, lines required etc.

What I am interestd in is the merits of each style in terms of FISHING i.e. fly presentation, line control, angler fatigue (i.e. all day on big water in the winter fishing tips) etc.

Chris
 

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NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Please god not another Skagit casting thread. :eek: Where is that darn DVD! :Eyecrazy: I believe that it was documented in another post that you must be on the skagit in order to skagit cast. So I am assuming that you must be in Scandanavia in order to be doing it Scandy style. :D
 

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FLGator said:
What I am interestd in is the merits of each style in terms of FISHING i.e. fly presentation, line control, angler fatigue (i.e. all day on big water in the winter fishing tips) etc.

Chris
Fly presentation is probably the biggest difference. Ed Ward style Skagit Casting is all about getting a large weighted fly down FAST. Yes it can go deep, but getting down to the strike zone immediately and keeping it there is what it's really all about. within 75 feet, the Skagit style is probably more precise in terms of picking pockets and running a fly down a seam, but a great fisherman will find a way regardless of tackle or technique.

Both styles can be effortless, Line control is very similar (short heads, thin running line),if you put two masters side by side the Scando would cast farther.

Look at it this way, if you are going to chase Winter Steelhead in the Northwest, it certainly couldn't hurt to give a technique specifically designed for that fish in that locale a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm certainly not trying to beat a dead horse...only interested in this discussion in terms of a fishing perspective.
 

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Philster is right - the "Skagit System" is not really about casting - it is about fishing! Sure, there is a style of casting loosely known as Skagit casting - but it is a merely a delivery system. I think the greatest injustice here is that people tend to focus on the wrong thing - the casting - when really it is all about fishing.

I have spent alot of days fishing with Ed, certainly I was focussed on the casting style - as it is the style that allows the delivery and presentation of the fly that Philster refers to. Yes, I am impressed with Ed's compact, precise and efficient casting - but what really impresses me is how damn many fish he catches!

Ed's fishing system is all about concentrating on keeping the fly "in the zone". His short T-14 tips are designed for control of the fly, more so than pure depth. Most of his late winter/spring fishing is done with a 5 or 6' tip of T-14. The control that his line/fly system gives him that is important - by precisely leading the swinging fly he fishes the holding water from the seam right up into the soft water at the beach and it certainly helps that he is a frickin fish magnet as well. :smokin:

I love to cast longbelly lines - nothing gives me more enjoyment than watching a 100' belly unroll out onto a wide run - nothing except the fierce bend of the rod fast to a fish! While I still fish longbelly lines on summer rivers, my winter and spring fishing is done with a Skagit system - period.

So FLGAtor, to answer your original question while the Scandinavian system certainly catches fish, my money is on the Skagit style for pure fishiness.

Baldmountain, just to make sure that your growing bank of knowledge is a correct one - Skagit heads are invariably floating, only the short dense tips sink.
 

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I have never used a Scanadanavian type shooting head and I dont think I ever will. But I have been playing around with this skagit fishing system for a few years now. Here is what I like about it. I prefer the skagit line design for two main reasons. One is that I can throw a tank with this style line. Even with a 15ft head fo T-14 on it if necessary. Two is that the main line is a floater. The biggest problem in the majority of the rivers I fish is that you have to get the fly down into the slots where the fish lie. This tends to be a snag filled mess. With a skagit line and a segment of T-14 I can present the fly down at an angle to the fish in these areas while the main line is still up above the rocks, boulders, logs etc. Minimizing the amount of snags and lost flies. With long sinking lines I believe that you will spend more time tying on new flies than fishing in these areas. As the line will be draggin the bottom too much in order to try and get the fly down into these slots. And with other traditional lines such as mid belly lines or long belly lines you wouldnt have the casting ability or the control in such areas. Not to mention that there is very little need to cast beynd 80 or 90'. This is why I have gone with the skagit line/fishing system. Not to mention it is a lot of fun on days when the fish simply are not cooperating. :smokin:
 

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Peter/Chrome,
How do you guys deal with the extremely cold air/water temps that we experience here in the GL region with the short-bellied lines? Conceptually at least I am moving more and more towards the idea of short-bellied systems for the bulk of my tip work. However, for late season fishing I still will likely use my mid or longer bellied lines. To me it seems that there is a real advantage in not having to strip line when the water is just above the freezing point and there is a frigid wind blowing down the river. When it’s really cold I often even wear full gloves for my fishing. In my estimation this would be tough with a head system. Anyway since my experience of fishing with really short belly lines has been somewhat limited and yours have not, what do you think?
dave
 

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I dont worry about the really cold weather. Its a pain but I end up breaking ice out of the guides quite a bit in the winter. But it seems to be the best way to present flies from what I can tell. Trade off is either not catching fish or working to keep the guides clean? Ice off paiste seems to help to keep guides from freezing but they still do eventually. I have tried longer belly lines like the Rio Midspey for winter fishing but I am not sold on that idea yet? Plus the guides still freeze and you still have to clean them out every so often? :Eyecrazy:
 

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Yeah ice is always a problem more so maybe with the heads...but I guess I was thinking more along the lines of hands. If medium or longer length casts are required it must be brutal stripping in a wet shooting line in the winter with exposed fingers. Anyway, most of my fishing the last couple of years has been on wide deep runs without too many conflicting currents. In my experience mid bellies with heavy tips have worked fine as fishing tools for me on that water. I guess my biggest problem is casting heavy tips all day with the mid bellied lines. I am trying to make 70-80 foot casts with heavy sink tips and a 14 foot rod. I realize that 70-80 feet may not be that far to cast even with heavy tips but if I really want to be honest with myself... my technique / and or timing is not good enough to do this without beating myself up pretty good. I can normally pull the cast off but I often end up having to muscle the line out there with tons of top hand and it takes it's toll after a while. I put a buddies Skagit line with a 15 foot T-14 tip on my rod a while back and it was silly easy to cast the thing. That and after getting Dec's video and watching how he makes such efficient use of a Delta as a casting and fishing tool...it convinced me that it is time to change my philosophy, at least when casting heavy tips.
 

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I dont fish a lot when the weather is below 20 degrees outside. I have a couple pairs of simms fingerless gloves and I dont seem to have a problem getting cold. I use a camo gortex full glove on my left hand and the simms on my right. My left hand is the one that does all of the line stripping but never gets wet or cold. On really cold days I will use a pair of the goretex gloves. The ones I use are camo and were designed for duck hunters. They are very warm and dry and have the shooting finger built in which helps me with the line control when casting and stripping in line. My biggest problem is still the ice in the guides. I dont usually have any problems keeping dry and warm on the river. As for casting and fishing. I have the same problem when switching to mid belly length lines. I have always used WC's with tip two removed or custom built skagit lines. I recently purchased a RIO skagit line to use with a Meiser MKS 13689. I cant wait to get that combo on the water to see what it can do. But for fishability and casting ease I am a firm believer in the skagit fishing system. I can cast just about anything I want with any type of tip that I need to in order to present the fly to the fish in there zone. A little practice and a video or two and I think the skagit system is very easy to learn and works extremely well.
 
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