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Spey Is The Way
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Discussion Starter #1
I have some questions about sinking tip type Scandi heads. Lines like Guideline and the new SA Ultimate Scandi Taper.
1. What kind of leader do you use with these heads?
2. Do you want a heavier, lighter or the same weight as a floating head for said rod.
3. Is this type of line a lot harder to cast?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Scandi & Skagit Hack
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319 Posts
Sinking Scandi

With sinking scandi I use both Rio's versi-leaders and Airflo Poly leaders. The Rio leaders are heavier than the Airflo. So with a heavier fly I will use a Rio, smaller lighter fly a Airflo.

As far as grain weight for the rod I stay in the rods recommended grain range.

Casting is the same except for the lift. To get the line and the fly to the surface of the water and create a decent anchor your lift needs to be much slower. You can also do a roll cast from the dangle to get your fly and line off the bottom of the river.

Personally I like lines that are at least dual density. Tip being slightly heavier than the front section of the head. With a dual density line and a leader heaver than the front of the line your line will slice through the water column at an angle allowing for more line control.

A good example of this would be level T material versus IMOW for skagit style casting. I believe the IMOW tips have a level T front with the back half being an intermediate so you get the line through the water column at an angle versus hinged. With level T and a floating skagit line you get a hinging effect between the line and the tip, giving you less control of the line. Notice both of the major manufacturers of Skagit heads now make an Intrmediate head?

Guideline makes dual and triple density scandi lines and I believe the new SA scandi lines are available DD. Vision makes them as well. I have fished the Vision and the Guideline and both are very nice lines. The older Rio heads were available in dual density but I have never fished them. I can't remember the proper name of the Rio heads, but I believe they were the ones with the back half of the line was an olive green color.

My personal opinion for fishing scandi line with submerged flys a sinking line is a necessity. A floating scandi line is great for top water flies and for testing out rods at a clave but not an efficient tool for fishing for steelhead where I live.(Mid-West). I do use floating scandis for fishing top water for smallmouth.

feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Hope this helps.
Rich
 

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flailing less
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490 Posts
Scout, that's a ton of pertinent information!

One thing I could add that might be useful for anyone dabbling in multi density heads--

In my own limited experience casting multi-density scandi heads (the Rio F/I in particular), I felt as though the sinking part of the head was definitely "stickier" in terms of tension in and on the water than the equally grained full floater.

Because of that I had to make a longer path during the lift (slower too) in order to extract as much of the head as possible from the water before attempting a reposition. I also had to carry the reposition higher in the air and land a shorter section of it to anchor, and begin the forward stroke even sooner than with a floating head. The gentle "flick" of a floating scandi with a nylon leader became a more purposeful, steady effort with the heavier set-up, with less room for error.

Unless my casting skills somehow improve radically, I will likely prefer one less line weight on a given rod when using multi-density--a 9/10 AFS F becomes an 8/9 F/I for me. Your results may vary, and a stiffer rod action might make all the difference, but you cast what you have...

Secondly (and counter-intuitively), I often ended up using a poly leader with 66 grains even when I wanted to use a 32 grain one--it could be that the more powerful intermediate front of the multi density scandi head was overpowering the 32 grain poly? I'm not sure, I just noticed that using a heavier poly tip (like a Rio 66 grain versi) gave better energy transfer with minimal hinging and fewer blown anchor problems.

Regardless, the adaptations in technique are more than worth the effort to learn, and the multi-density heads fish much more effectively in nearly all cases where a sunk fly presentation is preferred.
 

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All Tangled Up
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677 Posts
I have some questions about sinking tip type Scandi heads. Lines like Guideline and the new SA Ultimate Scandi Taper.
1. What kind of leader do you use with these heads?
I use a short section of mono, as I do with any other sinking tip system.

2. Do you want a heavier, lighter or the same weight as a floating head for said rod.
Compared to what? This may sound weird, but, honestly, I don't really do that comparison explicitly. I see these lines as sort of being their own creature. I adjust by feel to the rod and my own casting style. Looking at my notes for line-rod matches, I am noting that, for the matches I like, the total head weight for the system is coming in around the same weight skagit belly I would use on the same rod. So if you compare to a typical compact scandi, heaver. But I am mostly fishing the LTS lines, which are 42' uncut, or the NextCast SalarFinder 45, which works out about the same length or a little more with a 10-12' tip. Note that this is considerably longer than either a compact scandi head, or a Rio SSVT with 10' tip, so the comparison is not the same. If you compare to a floater of similar length, say a NextCast 45, it is in the same weight ballpark.

3. Is this type of line a lot harder to cast?
Compared to what? And configured how? And fished where? This is a personal, situation-dependent question IMO. All other things being equal, a full-sinking system is a little more trouble to deal with if for no other reason that, as already discussed, you have to take a little more care to extract the line. But it depends. If, at one end of the spectrum, you have a short configuration, like the Rio SSVT with 10' tip (this will be about 33' overall head length), straight mono, in a run with moderately fast water stretching evenly the width of the run, that is really not very hard to extract or cast. A few small adjustments to your single spey will take care of it. If you are fishing a run with very soft deep water near the bank, the sort of water even an intermediate line sinks quickly in, full of rocks, you may spend most of your time unwrapping the line from said rocks. The longer the line (and shorter the rod), the more of a problem this is going to be. If for some perverse reason you have taken a 40'+ full-sinking head and attached a 15' fast-sinking poly leader, to create a line with 55'+ of sink material, you will probably find that quite painful to deal with on a typical 13'-14' steelhead rod.
 

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Scandi & Skagit Hack
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319 Posts
Mono

I forgot to mention that when I use a sinking line I never use much more than 5' of Maxima off the tip. Unlike the standard rule of a mono leader the same length of your rod with a floating scandi.
Rich
 

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Undertaker
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1,326 Posts
sinking scandis make little sense

I have both a SA intermediate Skagit head and a Rio Scandi in the 510 to 540 range. I commonly fish 15 feet of sink tip, up to T-14 with the Skagit and can throw the rig across the river with a heavy fly. That Scandi head is a bear. If I put on a sinking leader and a heavy fly, getting the rig out of the water on my forward cast is problematic. Don't get me wrong. I love the Scandi for summer fishing and near surface fishing, but I have recently decided that's all. The advantage of a Scandi line over a Skagit is that it is quieter and easier to mend. When I am trying to reach a steelie 4 or 5 feet deep in the river, I see little benefit in the quieter landing of the Scandi and can generally mend the Skagit well enough to get the drifts I want. Hence, I would suggest that unless you are content to fish within a foot or so of the surface that an intermediate (S1 or S2) Skagit is a better tool for winter fishing than an equivalent Scandi.
 

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Carp aficionado
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1,215 Posts
The new SA UST lines that have sinking tips do not perform well with polyleaders. They were made to throw straight or tapered mono off the end. The floaters, I was told, do handle polyleaders fine.
 

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Registered
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1. If want to sink the fly with the line, a short leader. I use sometimes 3 foot leader in this case.
If just want to control speed of the fly with the line, then you can use same length leader as normal.

2. About the same weight is ok. Maybe length of the line matters more.
Shorter is easier to lift...

3. No. Just roll it to surface after the swing, then do the spey.
Actually, many times, for example in windy conditions, these are easier to cast than floater or intermediate.

I wrote a short story about these;
https://chasingsilvermagazine.com/posts/which-lines-should-i-use/

Miki
 

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All Tangled Up
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677 Posts
Actually, many times, for example in windy conditions, these are easier to cast than floater or intermediate.

I wrote a short story about these;

Good point about the wind. Also I like the comment in your article about changing lines more often than changing flies.
 
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