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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent the last two days fishing with the new Rio Skagit line and thought I would share some observations and questions. I was lucky enough to have the line loaned to me by Nick at Oak Orchard Fly Shop. I'll start by saying that I'll likely end up buying the line from him.

I was fishing an Orvis Trident 12'6" 8 weight which I feel is more of a 7/8. It has a nice progressive medium fast action. I lined it with the 7/8 Skagit line. The water I was fishing requires about a thigh deep wade to occasionally waist deep. For reference sake I am only an average caster.

I started with a 12' Rio 7" per second polyleader that I cut back to 10' because I don't like the thin taper at the end of it. To this I had ~ 3' tippet. This cast reasonably well but did not load the rod as much as I would have liked and I didn't get the line stick that I was hoping for. I was trying to follow some of Ed's advice and load with full water contact and then have a soft effortless forward stroke.

The I switched the polyleader for a 15' type 8 9 weight tip. With this the line loaded up nicely as long as I continued to maintain a lot of line stick and unloaded the rod against this. My biggest limitation was that I'm not that skilled at managing loops of running lines. When I got the loops under control and the timing on my cast right I could easily cast the whole head and shoot ~25 - 30 ft of running line behiind it. By my calculation that is a 27' head, 15' tip, 5' leader, and 20' running line. That's ~67' and it was easy when I nailed the timing. With rod length that put me fishing 60 - 70 ft out (always loose a few feet from waves in the line). At least for me this is the range I get most of my grabs.

I think I finally got the hang of what Ed is talking about with maximal conatact with the line and the water. I was on river left and spent the day double spey casting. I actually found that a brief pause after my set up before I went into my D-Loop allowed the line to settle on the water and I got a better load pulling it off the water.

I do want to try the 8/9 before I make any decision on a line but so far I this line fishes well on this rod.

There has been discussion on the site about whether GL anglers should start out with these skagit lines. I don't know if they are the best starting point, but they are going to be very useful in the GLs. I had tried heavy sink tips on this rod before and it was always a chore to throw them, Today they sailed easily.

The biggest downside I see is going to be in the dead of winter when stripping in the running line will result in iced up guides.

I'm wondering if guys with more skagit experience would reccomend the higher line for a rod like this ? Also looking for tips on managing the loops of running line to optimize shooting.

Gillie
 

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skagit

if you are only shooting 30 ft that is 10 strips.Last week I was just dumping 15 strips on the water and it shot out nicely.I usualy make a loop at the mid point.When I go to make a loop at say 5 strips I change my grip by reversing my hand and holding the mid pt line with the side of hand opposite of my thumb side pointing down river .hard to explain but tangles less because the line in the loops are not crossing.You just grip that way and then turn your hand back to the normal position to strip the second loop.turning your rod so the guides are to the side helps the line go out, also.Beau
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That explains some of my problem. For 30 feet I was only doing ~4 - 5 strips. I thought by forming bigger loops I would decrease tangling, but it also put some of the loops on the water. I'll have to try more smaller loops.

Gillie
 

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Spent two days last week fishing with Scott O'Donnell and spent most of that time using the Skagit lines. First I will say I was using way too much effort to cast these lines! And second you can really load up a rod with alot of grains with these lines and they just fly and take anything along for the ride!!!

Gillie - your comment about the pause is a good one. Scott says to wait a full second after the dump on a double or Snap T. And the casting rhythm is very slow and easy but continuous.

I was mostly using my Scott 1287 and while the 7/8 (450 grains) was really nice on that rod with standard 15' type 3 and type 6 tips the rod really came alive with the heavier 8/9 (550 grains) especially when throwing big, heavy flies. Also used this line on my Anderson 13'3" 7 wt and it was awesome.

On my way home stopped off on the N Umpqua - water at summer flow conditions - managed to hook a rock and broke off a tip and 5' cheater!! Bummer! Broke at my loop - did not pull out but actually broke the line core that had a piece of mono threaded over it and whip finished! By the way there are a fair number of fish in the system! We did not hook up but saw a number of fish in the runs and saw a couple fish hooked.
 

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Running line: fore and aft

Gillie:

Here's an easy way to reduce the tangles and water drag on retrieved running line: Rather than try to manage loops in your hands, pull in a few strips and let the line hang in the water in front of you; now pull in the same number of strips, pass them behind you and let them hang in the water; if necessary, pull in the same number of strips and let them hang in front of you; etc.
 
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