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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK this should start a fairly lively debate. For you hard core skagit casters I am looking for the ultimate Skagit rod/line combo! No restrictions in price, length or MFG just that it must be in the 8-9wt range for a spey rod. GO!
 

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Junkyard Spey
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There is no way to answer your question by anyone other then yourself. What might be the ultimate for one of the Skagit "jedi masters" may be a piece of junk for his contemporaries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Options

I am looking for options here. I am looking at purchasing one but I cant go out and cast every rod ever made? So if I can narrow it down a little by those in the know as to what they like and why. Then it will help me narrow it down and test the ones I am interested in.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Chrome,

The CND Skagit Specialist is liked by many anglers. I can't do much about you trying all the models but I can arrange a test drive for the above rod if you'd like.

Please! your feeding this lowering of the standard...
Speyhead,

Whose standard would that be?
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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The new Meiser MKS 13'6" rod is a kick ass rod. It excels with shortheads but also shines with mid belly lines. Mike Kinney and Bob Meiser hit perfection for me in this rod.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Yes, highlander2 and I cast it with a long belly, and it is very capable of casting one in the proper grain window. The 13'6" MKS rod works well with all belly length lines of the proper size, which is exactly how Meiser designed it.

But to get back to the original question of which rod is best for Skagit casting, the answer is it depends on the person doing the casting and his preferences for rod action and rod length, which was already posted in the first response to the question.
 

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It's interesting that so far, most replies have been non-replies. Far from a Jedi master, I'm still at the "Grasshopper" level as regards Skagit style casting. Buit it would seem to me that this style of casting (sink tips, heavy flies that have plummeted to the bottom) would benefit from a stump-puller of a rod, with a strong tip... no, make that strong everything. But is there no enlightened preference for a certain action speed: fast, slow, or medium?
 

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loco alto!
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Just keeping track of this topic over time, I would also guess that by design, and by practitioners, that a lot of the these rods do in fact have stout tips that send load to the mid for power.
 

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Here we go again!
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My 02 cents.....

....for what it's worth (from another grasshopper).

If you want to call casting a short head using the Perry Poke, snap T or Dec Hogans modified underhand techniques Skagit casting (as many do) I can reccomend the Fly Logic 13 foot 8 weight and the CND Skagit specialist, as well as Meisers 13' 5/6/7. They work great with Airflo Delta lines and SA short heads as well as Windcutters with the compensators and tips.

I still am trying to get a grip on Riveraddicts "True Skagit" style, and will probably have to make a pilgrimage to the Sandy clave to find the light on that subject.

As a side note, the Meiser and CND rods also excell with the long belly (XLT), but the Fly Logic didn't produce satisfactory results for me with long lines. However, of all my rods, if I had to pick just 1 to "Fish" with (as opposed to casting for pleasure), the Fly Logic 8 wt. would be it. It is an awesome fishing machine and each time I pick it up (with an Airflo 8/9 Delta) it just plain works perfectly for me. It is one of those magic "This rod and this line only" combinations. It's a fishin machine! I can't seem to put my other rods down, but when the steelhead are in thick the F.L. 1308 will be with me.
 

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If I had to pick based on what is now available to the public from a non biased point of view I would have to chose two rods. The first would be the 131/2 ft MKS by miezer, running a close second would be the 8139 by Burkiemer. They would both be lined with cut back 9,10,11 windcutters. One setup for the skinny water and the other one for the dark green troughs next to shore, that I think would be heaven.
 

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“Ummm, Jedi knight want to be?"

I haven’t really discussed this on earlier threads because I can’t really explain why I prefer my Skag Special for Perry Poking heavy tip work. Even just a WC with tips, I’ll reach for my Skag Special. For floating line, I’ll grab the Loop Yellow 13 or 14 footers. If gas hadn’t got so jacked up last summer, I would have used my Salar with a floating long line on fat water farther away.

I know you are really asking why a particular rod in best suited, for the Skagit cast, but it is hard to explain. If you read Ed’s narratives on the cast and then try it on the water, it would seem that a medium action tip is ideal for the manipulation of a buttload of line getting all tangled up in front of you. Add in the factor of heavy tips and a weighted fuchsia colored crow on the end and that is where the deeper butt of the rod comes in when casting back out on to the water with more of an underhand movement after Perry Poking it.

Now I’ve heard it said that an older Sage 1409 can match the action of the tip on the Skag Special, but it does not have the reserve power in the butt. I don’t know, but I do know that for heavy tip work, Skagit Style or otherwise, it “feels” the best out of the nine rods I own. When the river is up and you gotta get down next to the bank in fast colored water with your back up against the trees and brush, it works.

That doesn’t help does it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Desire

I currently own 4 spey rods at this time. I am looking for something that will excel with short to medium length lines. W/C, SA short, custom built short head lines or skagit lines maybe a Mid Spey would be the longest line used on it. The primary purpose for this rod will be fishing late fall, winter and early spring using tips and large flies on medium to large size rivers where the wind can be a factor. My preference is for rods that feel light in the hand and I prefer them to be in that 8-9wt range and less than 14ft long for what I "think" I am looking for here. My primary casting style is DS, snap T, perry poke variation. I hope this helps.
 

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Two Skagit Outfits.

Skagit "outfit" is a better term, IMHO, because a matched rod/line combination is necessary to achieve "Skagitdom."

My Skagit outfit is a T&T 1307 with 38-foot head consisting of a WC8.9.10 body [300 grains, 23' length head] plus a tip-1 from the WC 9.10.11 [150 grains, 15' long]. This 450-grain system casts even barbell lead eye articulated leeches effortlessly. Effortless is defined as the force required to cast a 5-wt single-hand fly line 30/40-feet. This setup has landed steelhead from California to B.C.

Any sink-rate 150-grain tip-1 can be used and 166 grain or heavier 15' tips may be substituted without degrading ease. This setup was shown to me by Mike McCune of Oregon, as was the second outfit.

The second Skagit outfit I used, too briefly, is a Loop Yellow 14' 9-wt and I apologize for forgetting the line setup Mike McCune engineered. It too cast with total ease.

It is my opiinion that discussing specific rod/line combinations is the most, and probably only, meaningful way to offer useful information on this subject.
 

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Bob,

I agree with "Skagit Outfit".... In fact one step further, and more accurate still would be "Skagit System".

As with all angling: The ideal rod/line/angler marriage comes about, or evloves as a direct result of the individual seeking the ideal tools to best meet his or her's fishing requirements to meet conditions.

And this can always be accomplished in many ways....Totally dependent on the indidvidual's prefered direction.

In truth.....Most any fly rod action/recovery/length can be used for this system, and the term "Skagit Rod" becomes semantic.

One of the most effective tools Mike Kinney had in the boat on the days that we fished earlier this month was a 9' fast recovery, rather soft tipped 8 wt.

This balanced to his "Deer Creek" shooting head/running line, tipped with 12 ft. of SA type 4 sink tip.

The rod/line marriage allowed Mike to systematically swing the seam as effectively as any two handed rod we had in the boat.....Within it's distance allowance.

...... Which in reality was nearly always in the bucket for the water that Mike choose to use it.

In every sense of the word it was a sweet "Skagit Rod" because Mike was using it as such.

Throughout the days we fished, Mike would utilize rod lengths from 9 ft. to 15 ft....With rod line wts from 6/7 to 9/10 to maintain the system of both delivery and fly presentation.

...Each rod with an individually balanced shooting head designed to maximize it's targeted distance delivery......But basically always delivering the same amount of sink tip grainage, and similar flies.

To Mike a "Seam is a Seam" and they move around in direct relation to the various hydraulic levels/conditions of the river.

In Mike's hands the various rods, with balanced lines allowed the seam to be fished most effectively.... Regardless of it being 30 or 110 feet away.

I think an issue to consider is not only what tool the angler wish's to use to best reach the seam....But once there....Also best allow tight line swing technique to keep the fly lethally swimming through the the seam, at a proper depth, for as long as possible with each presentation.

Many rods with various actions and recovery rates will allow the angler to do this.

I'd say that for every 100 successful anglers that utilize shooting head/sink tip swing technique with two handed change of direction delivery, there could be 100 different rods that will effectivly perform the task.

I have always felt that the greatest fun is finding out which rod best fills the bill throughout the day of fishing, and learning/improving angling technique in the process.

Meiz
 

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Here we go again!
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Gotta agree with Meiz

Fishing these long rods (and often not-so-long rods) effectively is a matter of identifying the water/fish situation and having the right system to effectively put and keep a fly in the bucket in the manner you desire to fish, and that is something you'll have to figure out for yourself. This is why it is so fun to play with these rods and lines, casting purely for pleasure and learning about yourself; your style; your abillities; your preferences in approaching certain situations. After some time has passed you will have something like 3 or 4 magic rod/line combinations for specific situations and a whole arsenal of "Plan B" possibillities. But you will be able to identify a situation, pull out the tool for the job,and go confidently forward. You'll also have a wall lined with rods and boxes spilling over with lines, splicing materials, scales, tools and what not. As far as obsessions go, this is a healthy and fun one, and one that is constantly changing and developing, never dulling and always challenging.

Rods will be bought and sold, lines will be stockpiled and a few magic marriages of these will rise from the pile.

Mine so far are:

The Fly Logic 13' 8 weight with Airflo delta 8/9. The full floater cut back a couple feet and used with poly leaders. Casts itself. Magic!

The CND Skagit Specialist with a Windcutter 10/11/12 floater cut back to 23 feet from the color change, looped, and used with a #11 comensator and sink tips from the 8/9/10 WC. Total length just over 50 feet, about 740 grains. Throws like a cannon, dredges deep. Took a 20 pound salmon on this not long ago.

Meisers 1356 with a Delta 5/6 and poly leaders (the 10 foot "trout" leaders from airflo, lighter grainage). Great for shad and half pounders.

These are my Skagit set ups. I have some magic combos for long bellys too.

So in fairness, and with the premise that individuals will fine tune systems for thier own preference, why do't we all share our magis Skagit systems :smokin:
 

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One Rod?

The "Ultimate Rod" would be one rod that could accomplish with perfection all fishing tasks that one might run across. The truth is that there ain't no such critter. One rod cannot be expected to cover all fishing situations with equal ability. This is exactly why we have so many different rod lengths, actions, and line ratings.

I think that the real question is what rods/rod actions/rod lengths/line ratings provide the most flexibility as far as fishing capability goes. To begin to answer this question, let me first say that Skagit casting can be accomplished with just about any action of rod, but each particular action is going to present its own advantages and disadvantages. Having said that, the first thing that I would like to do is eliminate slow actioned rods from the list of most capable candidates, which should be fairly easy to understand as this action of rod is very limited in the type of lines it can cast (not good with fast sinkers), the size of fly it can cast (not good with heavy or wind resistant flies), and it also doesn't develop enough line speed to deal with situations of wind.

Next, I would like to remove fast actioned rods from being in the running. This is probably up for argument from some folks, but here are my justifications. Fast rods work great for casting into strong winds and/or for achieving maximum casting distances, which is an advantage if the majority of one's fishing is under such circumstances, but this capability comes at the sacrifice of performance in the close and medium ranges, and also when casting in tight quarters. Even though modern-day hype for Speyrods is all about mega-monster distance casts, the reality of fishing contradicts, in most instances, this particular industry mentality. I've stated this before, and it is one of the fundamental truths of steelheading by which I live - there are far more fly-catchable steelhead within 75' of where you can wade than there are further out.

The rod actions that I have found to display the widest range of steelheading capabilities while Skagit casting are the medium to medium fast actioned rods. This category of action allows for one to achieve very good casting distances, yet it also maintains precision and consistency at close and medium distances. There is enough flexibility in these types of rods to work well in tight casting quarters, but also (with modern-day fast recovery graphites) the power to punch through moderate winds, cast heavier or wind resistant flies, and cast sinktips. These rods also are flexible enough to allow an angler to substantially pressure hooked fish without tearing or bouncing the friggen' hook out of the fish's mouth (poor landing rate seems to be a common complaint about most Speyrods).

There is one more aspect to consider with rod actions. Skagit casting, when properly done, uses a CONSTANT/CONTINUOUS LOADING from the sweep of the cast on through to the casting stroke. This third dimensional torqueing of the rod produces better energy transfer when the rod has a fairly flexible tip, but that tip must also have a fast recovery rate. The "best" Skagit rods tend to actually feel fairly "whippy" on the upper portion of the rod, especially to anyone that is used to casting with the other Speycasting methods. In fact, it is common for non-Skagit casters to overpower and "collapse" these rods during casting because they are used to "popping" or "hammering" into the casting stroke. Skagit casting produces the vast majority of its load during the sweep of the cast, which means that there is very little physical input required of the caster during the casting stroke itself. This is why Skagit casting does not produce the fatigue or physical strains of other Speycasting methods.

to be continued later...
 
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