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Registered User
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been using scandinavian heads and now skagit heads. I have had great success casting both and love them equally. The problem is that I have never really tried either of them in a strong side wind. Which would be the better choice in a high wind situation? I would assume the skagit but as I am still a relative newcomer to the two hander I am not sure..

thank you for any and all comments and suggestions

Mike
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Which would be the better choice in a high wind situation?
I'd pick the skagit.
 

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Jack Cook
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Density

In wind you want to minimize your exposure to drag. The wind blowing a fat line all over the place far outweighs the advantage of more weight.

In big wind you want a short Scandi head in the highest density you can manage in the pool you are fishing. The high line speed will get it out there and the small profile will keep it straight in the wind.

Watch a few minutes of Distance & Delicacy and see what fishing in the wind is all about.

That said both Skagit and Scandinavian style fishers manage in the wind. Practice and master your technique and the environment will have little effect
 

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Junkyard Spey
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To each his own...

Yes Henrik does it very nicely but but I'm not Henrik. I'll take mass over finesse. I agree the bigger profile of the skagit might kite more but I think the mass of the skagit will cast better, at least that seems to be my experience.
 

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When I used to...

...to hunt, I was extremely proud of my Belgium Browning bolt-action in the super-hot caliber of 264 Magnum. Being young and cocky, I believed that super fast bullet velocity was the end all, be all solution to any problems encountered during hunting. I was not real happy when some of the national experts started debating the effects of wind on bullet trajectory - super-fast, but light calibers versus slower, but substantially heavier calibers - and the prognosis was that the slower, heavier bullets were less affected by wind.

In this case, substitute Scandi for the super -fast, light bullet, and Skagit for the slower, but heavier bullet, because the effects are the same... Skagit lines just plow on through.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...to hunt, I was extremely proud of my Belgium Browning bolt-action in the super-hot caliber of 264 Magnum. Being young and cocky, I believed that super fast bullet velocity was the end all, be all solution to any problems encountered during hunting. I was not real happy when some of the national experts started debating the effects of wind on bullet trajectory - super-fast, but light calibers versus slower, but substantially heavier calibers - and the prognosis was that the slower, heavier bullets were less affected by wind.

In this case, substitute Scandi for the super -fast, light bullet, and Skagit for the slower, but heavier bullet, because the effects are the same... Skagit lines just plow on through.
Nice analogy! Thank you for all the advise, looks like I will be better prepared for those windy situations.
 

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Hooked4life
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Floater vs. floater, Ed is right, the Skagit head will carry the day, for as we increase line diameter, the drag does not increase proportionally with mass. The drag goes up but the mass goes up even more. IOW, the bullet analogy.

But there's a big BUT!

Say we're casting a Skagit head with 10' of T-14 vs. a PT S2/3 head that will fish the same depth. The S2/3 head is much thinner than either the Skagit or Scandi floater and it's much more dense than the floater belly of either system. So its drag is significantly less than an equivalent floater. It'll slice a crosswind like a hot knife through butter.

To keep with bullet analogy, a full sinking PT head would be like a smaller bullet that was made of DU vs. a larger bullet that was made of lead.
 

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Thanks Peter...

...for this, "the drag does not increase proportionally with mass" - that's the perfect explanation.

So, I wonder, if someone were to Skagit cast an S2/3 Scandi head that was appropriately matched to the rod in weight for Skagit casting, what would the comparison results be then?

The other day I did get the opportunity to cast a friend's setup involving a Guideline full-sinker - which particular sinkrate I don't know - just to see how Skagit casting worked with a full-sinker. As I expected, it felt a bit light on the load for my preferences, but... let's just say this - it would be extremely interesting to put a radar gun on the two styles of casting...
 

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Junkyard Spey
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it would be extremely interesting to put a radar gun on the two styles of casting...
I hope you don't find any radar guns on your trip south:eek:
 

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The biggest problem with Skagit casting...

...is in the interpretation of that term, "Skagit casting". Unfortunately, there still seems to be no "true" consensus. Even here, in my neck of the woods, the PNW, the individual variance in interpretation is, well, incredibly varied! And, unfortunately, this circumstance dictates that the odds of people out in the Midwest and/or Eastcoast seeing this technique exampled in its most effective form, are fairly remote.

So, rather than sit here and argue about what the "proper" definition is, or who did what to achieve what and is-therefore-correct, I will use an approach that I've presented on these Speypages previously that seems to leave very little room for confusion. Skagit lines are manufactured to be proportionately heavier than other types of Speylines, why? Because they are intended to be used with a SUSTAINED ANCHOR casting technique! If this were not true, there would be absolutely NO POINT in producing Skagit lines! Think about it! And, if a rod/line combo can conduct touch-n-go type casts equally as well as it does sustained anchor type casts, then one of two conditions is in existence. Either the rod/line combo is weighted incorrectly for Skagit casting, or the caster is not employing correct, "pure", or true-to-the-method Skagit casting technique - or a combination of both circumstances.

OOOps!!! Put this under the wrong thread... oh well, *%#$ happens!
 

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Hooked4life
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...for this, "the drag does not increase proportionally with mass" - that's the perfect explanation.

So, I wonder, if someone were to Skagit cast an S2/3 Scandi head that was appropriately matched to the rod in weight for Skagit casting, what would the comparison results be then?

The other day I did get the opportunity to cast a friend's setup involving a Guideline full-sinker - which particular sinkrate I don't know - just to see how Skagit casting worked with a full-sinker. As I expected, it felt a bit light on the load for my preferences, but... let's just say this - it would be extremely interesting to put a radar gun on the two styles of casting...
Ed, I routinely Skagit cast my full sinkers when I'm in "get out of trouble" mode, as in having just totally misplaced the anchor, I resort to the Perry Poke. Since I'm adding an Underhand stroke to the end of the cast, I still can get a decent load and distance out of it. It may not be ideal, but if I can turn a disaster into an 80 footer, I'm a happy camper.

PT heads are 44' long out of the box which should fit the 3 - 3.5 rod length requirement quite nicely. When I get home, I'll post their raw weights. If the memory is still working, I recall that the raw 10/11 weight is 740 grains. I think a 10/11 S2/3 at full length would do a nice job for a Skagit cast line test.

A 10/11 S2/3 will do a better job at handling the wind, vs. an 8/9 S2/3 for the same reasons. So on windy days, when comparing lines of the the same densities, the heavier rated line will always be the better choice.

The next interesting test would be to see the difference in performance between a full length 10/11 delivered by a Skagit cast and a cut back 10/11 delivered by a Scandinavian cast.
 

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sushiyummy & C&R
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My take on the physics

I have both systems and I noticed:

From the ability to brake into the wind or derailed by a side wind, the Skagit heavier line will budge less. The Scando head- having a faster line speed (thus requiring less time in air to reach full unrolling)- will have less kite time. Tortoise vs. Hare- perhaps looking from a energy perspective, one could be a tortoise.

Being equal in amount of energy rod unloads into the fly line, the distance is going to come from loop size, trajectory (not a function of hardware), the length of time before loop unrolls.

From a loop perspective, the Scando usually forms tighter loops, giving it a superior wind cutting loop size, a superior form drag much like a baseball vs. basketball.

From an increased length of time for unrolling, Skagit's heavier head will have the advantage.

Perhaps what's amiss is that there is a difference in the amount of work energy put into a Skagit system than to an 'equivalent' Scando system, the water borne and 'heavier' anchor in Skagit affording more energy input.

Just my opinion, no calorie counting devices strapped onto my rods to prove this out yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, you guys really went deep into that one:) So now that I have read all of those posts one thing stands out....in the wind use the heavier line and in my case the skagit fits the bill. Thank you for all of your input and endless knowledge!
 

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One thing to keep in mind...

...is that Skagit casting was developed under actual, on-river fishing conditions inherent to the ALL-SEASON fishing circumstances found on the rivers of the PNW, with the sole intent of taking "fishability" to the extremes. So, yeah, wind capabilities are extremely good with a properly balanced and cast Skagit system. "We" were not out there trying to figure out ways to impress our fellow anglers with how tight of loops we could throw, or looking for compliments alluding to "gracefulness" - we left that for the Traditional practitioners, and the Scandi guys. Skagit casting came into existence for one reason - to be able to effectively fish a DH flyrod in as many circumstances as possible. The members of the mostly anonymous-to-the-public group I ran with in the "early days" of Skagit casting - the Intruder clan, if you will - the names of whom are generally only known by the dedicated steelhead flyanglers of the early '90's ("our" "heyday" of steelheading), were considered "hardcore" by those that themselves were looked upon as such (hardcore). ALL of us used Skagit casting, NONE of us switched to any other style of Speycasting. Once again, there's a REASON for this. An interesting fact to note, is that the individuals I am speaking of were SUPER INTENSE (as was I back then when I was younger) steelheaders, and that descriptor doesn't hardly even begin to touch on the severity of the steelheading drive we had back then. To say it one more time, there's a reason that Skagit casting was the ONLY casting of choice!

I have been told a few times that I seem to have an agenda of "pushing" Skagit casting. The truth is I really could care less what style of casting anyone uses, in fact, as far as I'm concerned, the more people that use other styles of Spey, the better the fishing is for me. What I can't let slide is incorrect information, or disinformation about Skagit casting. Anyone that looks back on all my "diatribes" on Skagit casting will see that such postings were always preceded by either one or the other of those factors -either incorrect or "dis" information. Unfortunately, much of this "bad info" occurs because of the varying interpretations of Skagit, and also, so few people actually have ever done or seen "true" Skagit casting as the term applies to "sustained anchor" casting. This is incredibly evident by the number of references here, and even on some casting media, that Skagit is for sinktips only, that Skagit throws big, open loops, has lower line speeds, you can do touch-n-go casts with your "Skagit" set-up -
I say BS! People come to these types of conclusions because they try Skagit for a while, long enough to "make it work" and then make judgements based off of that experience. Well, truth is, Skagit casting is just like any other complicated endeavor - it takes a considerable dedication of time and effort to get to a stage whereby one can TRULY realize the FULL benefits of the casting style. Skagit works GREAT with floating tips and full floating lines. Skagit will throw tight loops if you want it to, but in most cases it has the energy to achieve the same distance and/or wind penetration of the other casting styles with the use of a wider casting loop, which means a more RELAXED casting conduct. Why go through the "rigidity" in casting composure routine if you don't have to - it's friggen tiring! Skagit casting will produce VERY high line speeds, but if you don't need them, then once again, why put yourself through the extra effort? And yes, you CAN do touch-n-go casts with your Skagit LINE - and if they work well, then you can be diggedydadgum sure that indeed you are not realizing the full potential of your system in a TRUE Skagit capacity. In a way, this style of casting has one huge disadvantage - it's so/too easy to get started in, which then prompts participants to falsely believe that they've "got it down", even though in reality they are FAR from even being in the intermediate stages!
 

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Uhhhh, yeah, right!

Looks like I've got several trains of thought about different threads going on at one time here... oh well, to answer directly, Skagit has AT LEAST the capability of Scandi in the wind.
 

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After reviewing my posts...

...I gotta admit that I definitely got sidetracked into a bit of a rant here! To explain, I have been straining to "hold back" on commenting about a few things (in the interest of being "diplomatic"), and the "stress" manifested itself as that rant. This tells me that holding back is not the best course of action for me, so the kid gloves are coming off!

Line speed - I have yet to see any style of Speycasting "best" Skagit casting when it comes to line speed. As far as Scandi goes, the method surely throws the absolute, eentsy-weenie-est, squeeky tight, laser loops. BUT, in my observations of some of the most highly regarded Scandi/Underhand casters in the world, what that teeny, tiny loop does is give an ILLUSION of high line speed. Like I said previously, it would be very interesting to put an actual radar-gun comparison to the two methods of casting, using the exact same rod. I've seen the sharpest pointed casting loops swayed off track with only moderate breezes because, as "pretty" as the cast looked, it had no real power behind it. I look forward to the day when I can dig up the time and resources to dedicate traveling outside the PNW specifically for fishing and casting across the country. To get the chance to observe firsthand the merits that are made for Scandi casting versus Skagit casting. Perhaps I will get a real eye opening education - we'll see...
 

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Flyboy
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Great Posts RA. Don't sugar coat it, or feeling that you are "ranting". Those of us newbies really benefit from your willingness to share what is obviously some of the most extensive Skagit Casting experience to be had out there. You coming up to the Kanektok this year? Hope so. Great place to do a wind demo in the lower river when a big low pressure is moving in.
 

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Registered User
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
So today Randyflyfisher and myself fished the Maitland river and guess what.....a strong cross wind. So we thought what a great day to see what works best for us. Randy was running Loomis Stinger GLX 12'6" 7/8wt. with a
500 grain skagit head. I was using a Snowbee 6/7 12' with a 530 grain skagit. After that I used a 20gr. Scandinavian head while Randy used a 36gr Scandinavian head. The Scandinavian head casted like a dream but when it comes to a strong cross wind, we both agreed that the Skagit was the way to go. The heavier head sliced through the wind like butter and at great distances too! Mind you this is just what we found and what we felt comfortable with. I know that in the right hands either head works fine.
Thanks for all the replies!
 

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Vendor
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537 Posts
Mother Nature

Great to see this dialogue about line speed,mass and wind effects. Fishing myself here in the PNW as passionately as a Steelheader can get and of course useing all the above named casting styles and systems,there are some areas of gravity that take effect very regularly combineing the impact of wind over matter. As in the movie' River Runs Through It" we saw a fellow doing the line dance called a Shadow Cast,useing a Snowbee Line I might Add. The ability to manipulate a longer bellied, less "heavy line like a Scandanavian Short Head line in a horizontal plain is clearly more functional and effective in very windy conditions. Even with the line speed ,that can deliver the flies in excess of 200mph, heavier lines fail sooner. Recently I was working One of the Runs on Vancouver Islands Gold River in the early Afternoon ,about 2pm. typically the time for the tide changes and mountain shadows that cause strong up river winds. I changed my CND 600 Skagit set-up to a Scand' Floating set-up with smaller weighted flies ,small diameter leader and more horizontal casts with great delivery results. Line Speed was much easier to achieve with this set-up,almost a Loch Style cast. No Fish but in the zone none the less.
C
 
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