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Which style do you use for spey casting?

  • Traditional style with speylines (wind cutter spey, XLT, TT Spey, etc)

    Votes: 259 32.5%
  • Scandinavian style with shooting heads

    Votes: 190 23.8%
  • Skagit style

    Votes: 399 50.1%
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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would be interesting to see what style of spey casting people here prefer for their fishing. To see if there are any differences between salmon and steelhead speyers I post two polls.

Limited the styles to the 3 major ways of speycasting, traditional, scandinavian and skagit.
 

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Use of Skagit lines versus standard spey lines

Where I use two handed rods in N California, I have very limited room if any to make a standard D loop on the backcast. So I'm basically using my 3 Skagit lines. Also, I'm still the recovery stage of 3 bicep tears and a tear of the bicep head. There is less trauma/pain with the use of the Skagit lines than with normal lines.

Thanks to a suggestion from Chris Andersen of Sage to try floating tips on my Skagit, I have been using floating tips w/my Skagit lines in the tight quarters. The fish are surprised because no one could get to their lanes with a one handed rod or a standard Spey line and classic casts. With my Sage 5120 and a floating tip attached to my Skagit 450 and 15' leader and a couple of feet of tippet. I can get one to two rod lengths of line out, the 27' head, the 15' floating tip and 15' leader out with no backcast room. So I can reach out 60 to 70' to drop a dry fly or a light hackle into a fishing lane.

Last but not least, if you have room for a back cast, the Skagits will laser a floating tip or sinking tip with a big fly way out there with an overhead/hand cast. You need room behind you for a rod length, the 27' head, the tip, leader and tippet to correctly do this cast. Strong winds are basically not a problem. I will be using Skagit lines and sinking tips for the up coming winter ocean perch season. This overhand/head Skagit cast works with all of my rods from the 5120 to the TCR9129.

My standard Spey lines will be used on places on the American and Yuba where a classic cast can be done and the Lower Rogue and the Chetco. The standard Spey lines and spools are getting pretty lonely the past few months and will stay that way for a few months.
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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You might get more valid data if you seperated out steelhead fishing into winter v. summer run or surface v. sub-surface presentations. I know quite a few of the PNW guys will fish a long belly for summer, surface (and even light tips) fishing and gp to a Skagit set-up when waters get colder and deep sunk presentations are needed.
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Grampa Spey said:
Where I use two handed rods in N California, I have very limited room if any to make a standard D loop on the backcast. So I'm basically using my 3 Skagit lines. Also, I'm still the recovery stage of 3 bicep tears and a tear of the bicep head. There is less trauma/pain with the use of the Skagit lines than with normal lines.
Have you tried a scandinavian shooting head for your steelhead fishing? As long as fishing with a floating line, a full sinker or a moderate sinking tip the scandinavian stye is really effective when casting from places with little place for the D-loop.

I must admit that I don't know very much about the skagit style. I have just seen some videos on the Net and a demo by Ed Ward when he visited Norway this spring, so I guess there are advances with the style that I don't see. I would not questionable the use of the skagit style with heavy tips, as I really could see why that is necessary, but with floating line fishing I can't see why that extra disturbance on the surface is necessary when a single spey in most cases is all you need.
Of course it's possible to do a single spey with a skagit setup, but is it then a skagit cast??
 

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Norwegian speyfanatic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sinktip said:
You might get more valid data if you seperated out steelhead fishing into winter v. summer run or surface v. sub-surface presentations. I know quite a few of the PNW guys will fish a long belly for summer, surface (and even light tips) fishing and gp to a Skagit set-up when waters get colder and deep sunk presentations are needed.
That's a good point. But I think that is a little difficult to do know since there are allready some who has voted. I enabled multi options choices for those who use more than one style. I myself really enjoys both the traditional style and the scandinavian style for my salmon fishing in Norway.
 

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Longline

for summer work and Skagit for tips, and in tight quarters where midspey and longer are difficult to manage. I prefer minimal stripping, where it can be managed.
 

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I'm not a winter steelheader . . . most of the time I fish full floaters or intermediates (much like my Atlantic salmon fishing). So I use a traditional style most of the time (XLTs and Carron Jetstreams). Plus, I prefer the efficiency of not shooting and stripping. This year, I also fished the Scierra HMS shooting head system. I really liked the way it performed and intend to explore its use even more. I'm sure I would use it more if I fished winter steelhead where fishing slow and deep is necessary. I'm sure I would also explore Skagit if a more deeply sunk presentation was called for.
Bill
 

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Hi all

fascinating discussion:)- seems like theres a real division between summer and winter work - what do you do in the summer when the rivers are big rain runoff filled or does that not happen? Here the rivers change quiet dramatically even in spring/summer so the setup depends on the river conditions/ flows. Fish are still there just in different spots and tactics- wish things were as clear cut as winter/summer:))

Will
 

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loco alto!
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With high flows in summer I'll stick to the floating line provided the water is warm enough for fish to move to the fly.
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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I usually do not switch to a floater until July when all the runoff from snow in the mountains is done. If we have heavy rain and the rivers rise considerably in summer I will throw tips also.
 

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hmmmm

`traditional' should be DT lines,,i was under the impression most forward taper type lines for speyrods came along recently(i have no clue about the ~between~between alexander grant and the Wullf trangle tapers),so why not just crunch it out and down each and every `style' tactic,then everybody knows,including the manufacturers,that is,if the lurkers would bother to log in and post :tsk_tsk: :chuckle:
 

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Traditional

Still not confident in my understanding of "Skagit Style' other than it appears to be a short headed line used w/ a "sustained anchor" casting form, ( lots of loops to carry and associated stripping ). Definitely hair splitting here, but Skagit casting seems a step closer to gear fishing with floats, ( he said fearfully ). As to Skandinavian, I've no clue, but personally would be skeptical of a style referred to as "American", ( as in, "what is that ? " ). Some ABCs here would be appreciated. I will say that I appreciate the increased flexibility, ( more like forgiveness in my case ), that a longer head provides. A bit more or less line outside the rod tip when cast is not quite as critical. Also; when you really need to reach that lie on the very far side a bit more of that longer head outside the tip, accompanied by a bit more grit, might get you there.
 

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`i thought'

it was a sinktip spliced or connected to a section of floating line,then connected to a `running' line like mono,i know nothing about any special cast that is `skagit',i just cast as i would any other sinktip line,i will step back (WAYYYY BACK) and let the sparks fly now :eek:
 

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Steelhead

I use skagit lines 99% of the time when I am steelhead fishing now. Doesnt matter to me if its winter or summer, sink tips and or floating lines, big flies and or small ones. A student can serve only one master..........:D
 

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Still not confident in my understanding of "Skagit Style' other than it appears to be a short headed line used w/ a "sustained anchor" casting form, ( lots of loops to carry and associated stripping ). Definitely hair splitting here, but Skagit casting seems a step closer to gear fishing with floats, ( he said fearfully ). As to Skandinavian, I've no clue, but personally would be skeptical of a style referred to as "American", ( as in, "what is that ? " ). Some ABCs here would be appreciated. I will say that I appreciate the increased flexibility, ( more like forgiveness in my case ), that a longer head provides. A bit more or less line outside the rod tip when cast is not quite as critical. Also; when you really need to reach that lie on the very far side a bit more of that longer head outside the tip, accompanied by a bit more grit, might get you there.
Scandinavian type fly fishing is with ~40' shooting heads, and range from full floating, floating head with inbuilt sink tips (not added sink tips), intermediate heads, through to full sinking heads of type 5/6 (sinking 5 or 6" per second). Usually, only a leader or tippet is added, perhaps 13 to 16' for floating/surface/just subsurface work, or short leaders 3 to 6' for sunk tips or sunk line work. The casting style is 'touch & go' like single spey casting, but often with the emphasis on 'underhand casting' ie. using your top hand grip as a pivot, and pulling the lower hand firmly into your belly to deliver the rod speed & casting stroke.

Clearly, all the shooting head is outside the tip top ring in the cast, and you shoot the running line like Skagit casting.

As others have said many times before, both Skagit & Scandi casting means that you don't require so much back room for generating the D loop, and thus both methods are useful in tight quarter situations under your own bank, yet you can still shoot out a long line to the fish.

Hope that helps.

Mike
 

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I'd have to say that the majority of my fishing is done with skagit heads. whether I'm actually casting in the skagit style is open to interpretation. I prefer the snake roll and the snap-t over anything else and I'm not sure where those would fit, nor do I lose sleep over it since they work and I'm happy. Having said that, I recently bought a Delta short for my little 6126 Sage, and I've been attempting to learn to single spey.(really, what better way to fish a floating line and a skater?) If you're looking for some cheap entertainment complete with minor injuries, come on down to the Clearwater some evening...AJ
 

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Hooked4life
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Scandinavian shooting heads for the most part until December when I switch over to long bellies to avoid stripping line in the cold.
 
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