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A post to cover several subjects -

Best rod for Skagit casting; Skagit casting works with most rod actions. The only one I would stay away from are those rods that stay straight in the upper two thirds, and force the load down into the lower one third of the rod. I believe that this is a take-off on the old Grant's Vibration approach, and there is at least one series of rods designed around this principle, though I can't remember which.

Here is how I look at rod actions from a Skagit casting and fishing perspective.
- Fast: load for casting develops in the upper third of the rod, can be difficult to feel this type of rod load. "High performance", good for situations of wind and/or where extreme distance casting is "normal" for fishing. Is an advantage for setting hooks on big flies with sunk lines and/or at long distances. These rods require a significant amount of line be worked into the cast before they start to feel "alive", and therefore are not ideal for fishing "in close". The "stiff" action is also "less forgiving" of casting timing, and when playing fish, or setting the hook on fish in close. Considering what the strong points of this rod action are, I reserve it for chasing big fish on deeply sunk lines/flies, at long ranges, and find that it is best suited to rods 13 1/2' or longer. The exception would be if one is fishing under circumstances of constant wind, but using casting distances of 75' or less. In this case, a short (12 1/2') rod with a fast action would be ideal.
- Medium: rod bends in a curve down to about the lower third of the blank, loading is easily perceived in the upper hand, but not overwhelmingly so. The best "all around" rod action. Is the most "adapatable" of rod actions, and covers most "average" fishing conditions well. This is my preferred rod action. It handles moderate winds well, throws sinktip lines and fairly large flies capably, covers distances that encompass where 90+% of flycatchable steelhead will be, is forgiving enough of casting timing that I don't have to be "on the ball" all the time, has enough power to effectively set a range of hook sizes, but is not so stiff as to "bounce" hooks out of fish at close range. If I could only have one rod action, this would be it.
- Slow: rod bends fully into the cork of the handle, loading is evident, even on very short casts. A very relaxed and easy going casting action. Very forgiving on casting timing, is perfect for fighting and hooking fish at close ranges. Loads well with a shallow D-loop, and therefore can be fished in pretty "tight' circumstances. This action does not develop high line speeds and therefore does not do well in wind, is not really suited for distance casting or heavy sinktips and/or large flies. This is to me, a very limited and specialized rod action that I would use only on rivers where my backcasting room was very restricted, but I knew that ALL of my fishing would be at close ranges (less than 65').

In my personal arsenal, I have rods of all actions, ranging from 12 1/2' to 15'. The medium actions, in lengths from 13' to 13'9", see the vast majority of the fishing action. The fast rods are employed for Chinook season, and nothing else. The slow rods are only used every couple of years, during periods of extreme low and clear water steelheading, and more for "just to do something different".
 

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loco alto!
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I don't know Skagit casting one iota, but I would add one point.

Moderate and slower rods use part of their D-loop recoil energy to unstick the line from the water surface, and still have ample energy stored to unload and launch the line out over the water.

Fast rods with a shallow load profile seem to use most of their unload energy for unsticking a heavily stuck line, and don't leave much unload energy for actually propelling the line forward. The shallow load profile and rapid recoil makes fast rods unforgiving to all but the smallest amounts of line stick
 

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Riveraddict,

Thank you for sharing your obvious wealth of knowledge. I just have one question. What exactly is skagit casting?
 
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