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Hi Everyone,

In the past, I've always used a Rio Windcutter with the middle floating section replaced by the compensator and then a sinktip to get down deep. Now I have an 8/9 GPS and an airflo 8/9 skagit head that I'd like to use too. I was wondering what method people think gets and keeps your fly down best?

Can you get down just as deep using a floating skagit head or the GPS body as you could with the windcutter and the sinktip compensator? It seems like you'd get down better with the windcutter/compensator setup because of the intermediate sinking section, but if you used heavier tips, could you get your fly to the same level (and keep it there through the swing!) with the skagit and floating lines?

Thanks a lot for all your thoughts on this.

mike
 

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Mike,

Rio's compensator [intermediate sink rate tip 2 -- the middle section] causes a fly to fish 6 inches deeper than using the floating tip 2, in 3 mph water. To make up for not using a compensator, add length to your sink tip.

If you are using T14 or LC13 sink tip material, add and additional 3' of sink tip to the lenght you are using with the compensator [in average steelhead water, say 3 mph].
 

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Sinking tip equivalents

I have used type 3 and type 6 tips, 15 feet each, with a WC for a 9wt. What would be the equivalent lengths for T7 and T14 tips? Thanks for your help. My understanding is that the major advantage of T14 is the ability to turn over large flies. Jon Wayland
 

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I may not know exactly the answer here, but I do know this: On my 5/6 GPS, I can use my type vi and vii tips, but have trouble with levering the tip and fly out of the water. (These tips are from my Rio Versitip 8wt single hand, 108gr and 15' each.) Part of the problem likely lies with my shorter rod (12'). I found myself doing all kinds of sloppy circle speys and pokes to get a cast off--all of which would be easier and more effective with a Skagit head.

Fishing depth may be one thing, which can be improved with all kinds of combinations of tips and compensators, etc., but it's my understanding that using a Skagit set-up allows one to cast bigger flies and heavier tips with greater ease.

Just my $.02 from my limited experience...

Tom
 

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Why not just use a compensator with the Skagit line and then your tips - you can get both 5' and 10' sections - depending on your rod length you might exceed the recommended length of a skagit system a bit but you should still be able to cast it if you can cast the WC with the same tips and flies
 

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The Compensator

and cheaters are two different things. The cheaters are 5 ar 10 foot sections of loating line to extend the belly. The compensators are intermediate sinking sections that are 12' long for #7 to 15' for #12. Of course the compensator can be cut and looped to give a shorter intermediate section, but this would make it fish a little higher in the water column. Personally I do not think a few inches in depth is going to make a big difference, unless it is very cold and you almost have to floss them.
 

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the cheaters come both as floating and intermediate - in a package of 4 - two floaters, 2 intermediate in 5' and 10' lengths. Expect you can buy individual ones also
 
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