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Dom
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Discussion Starter #1
People keep mentioning the term mass moves mass when it comes to explaining scandi heads vs skagit and what they do. All basic stuff here. Now lets talk skagit lines in particular. One could call a t14 tip an industry standard. Question arises why big store skagits have less than 14 grains per foot at the front end? Shorts have more. I tend to think that continuous taper without light spots for the lack of a better term is a better system than having a skagit head with thin front taper that transitions to heavy sink tip.

What are some 22'+ skagit heads out there with at least 14 grains of meat on the business end?

Just a rant.
 

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Broken Down Spey Freak
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I'm not a skagit guy and I'm not sure I'm following your thought process. Most of the skagit head I've seen/used had no taper. Same with T-tips. Now there are tips that have taper. For instance I have a set from S/A, head and tip wallet. The head does have a taper but I think it's more because of the tips it's designed to use. All the tips, float to S6 have some taper to them. These are not your regular T-tips and I'm not sure how they compare.

Dan
 

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Fishes with Wolves
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Find one of the old beer can heads if you can. Alternatively, get one a little heavier than you need and cut the front of it to suit your needs.
 

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Good question, I don't have an answer for you but I'll certainly be following along.
My first thought was "that's why I don't like Airflo skagit tapers"
Perhaps they have changed that with their new Driver lines. They may be taking a page from the Vision heads they make that have a sliding density towards the front end but I'm speculating.
Anyway I'm assuming your disregarding intermediate and f.i.s.t. game changers etc.
What would be your suggested methodology for weighing these tapes, short of chopping the end off? Would measuring out the front taper and laying that on a scale would be accurate enough?

Lief
 

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I assume they mess around with tapers and see what works and what works well and they have come up with this. A heavy skagit does seem to throw t-14 and a weighted fly "pretty" well-ish.
 

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People keep mentioning the term mass moves mass when it comes to explaining scandi heads vs skagit and what they do. All basic stuff here. Now lets talk skagit lines in particular. One could call a t14 tip an industry standard. Question arises why big store skagits have less than 14 grains per foot at the front end? Shorts have more. I tend to think that continuous taper without light spots for the lack of a better term is a better system than having a skagit head with thin front taper that transitions to heavy sink tip.

What are some 22'+ skagit heads out there with at least 14 grains of meat on the business end?

Just a rant.
I can remember fishing enormous "flies," some that where six inches or longer. It was said that Steelhead would attack big flies harder than they would a smaller fly. Rods where longer, stronger too. A hand-full of guys would cut skagit heads out 12wt DTs and those heads where level.

I think most of us figured out steelhead are just as likely to crush smaller flies and that truly-massive flies have been reduced/refined ever since. I think that skagit heads with more forward taper actually reflect this trend.
 

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no expectations
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Couple years ago i went down the rabbit-hole and bought a micrometer and micro scale. I started putting different head measurements in my notebook (Ridiculous! I know....). I found 2 things from this effort: 1. Almost all mainstream floating “skagit” heads are just level lines for most of their length (only taper is usually in final 1-2 feet); and 2. The floating heads i thought cast the smoothest have a slightly beefed up butt section and continuous taper. No surprise there as who doesn’t like a smooth loop. But this style “skagit” head is very few and far between. To date, that list would be Rio Scandi Body (near your skagit weight), Nextcast Zone, new SA skagit, and a lesser extent AirfloRage. Again, no surprise that these are the floating heads that have rave reviews if one were to read through the archives.

Of course, with all that said, I haven’t fished a full floating skagit head with T-14 tip in a couple years. My personal light-bulb moment was a casual comment from Steve Godshall that went like “...why are you using a big heavy tip with a floating head if you’re only trying to get down a few feet anyways...”

good discussion that i’ll be following and hope some of the smart-kids with actual knowledge contribute
 

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Dom
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Discussion Starter #8
...why are you using a big heavy tip with a floating head if you’re only trying to get down a few feet anyways..."
Well, at times conditions calls for the fly that's best of casted with a substantial tip such as t14 be it if its only fished 2" deep. In fact just yesterday I was fishing blown river where big flashy fly was in order and I was focusing my efforts in only 2' deep slow water. 2.5' heavy mow was the tip of choice.
 

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no expectations
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Well, at times conditions calls for the fly that's best of casted with a substantial tip such as t14 be it if its only fished 2" deep. In fact just yesterday I was fishing blown river where big flashy fly was in order and I was focusing my efforts in only 2' deep slow water. 2.5' heavy mow was the tip of choice.
We all use what we have confidence in. My earlier post was just a ramble on the topic of floating heads with heavy tips.

My answer to your original question is same as a couple of the other replies....get a beer can skagit, or a heavy current skagit and cut off the front 2 feet
 

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This is exactly what originally pushed me into buying an 8wt spey rod, as I certainly wasn’t needing an 8wt for the size steelhead I was hooking (on rare occasions). I’ve been moving to smaller/lighter flies for the most part since then, and generally my Skagit set up only ”goes up to 11“. Definitely agree though that there are times and places where T-14 is the ticket, I just find myself avoiding those situations more and more precisely because I just enjoy casting a lighter fly, lighter line, and lighter rod so much more! Not trying to preach that one way is better, but I think you’ve hit on one of the issues with the big fly Skagit approach.
 

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Its all just tools in the tool box. Most rods I fish are under 13' 2". Many are under 13". I make sure I have a selection of skagit heads that work for each situation. I love my Beulah rods and matching heads. I also love my Commando heads. When the chips are down and conditions suck (high bank, overhead, etc) throw on a Commando Head. When things are reasonable go with a longer taper. There is no wrong way to do it. Just make sure you have what you need so you don't have to make the trek back to the truck.
 

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registered text offender
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how are you weighing/measuring that front foot ? are you including the loop ?
 

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Dom
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Discussion Starter #14
how are you weighing/measuring that front foot ? are you including the loop ?
Im not. Just based on the fact that it is visually apparent that t11 mow floating section is thicker. Cores are the same therefore I don't think there are other possible variables to justify chopping the head just to put it on the grain scale.

Just to be clear, skagit shorts are fairly beefy. On that note, I might try giving those new 15' long mows a go and pair 20' skagit with them on rods that calls for 23' head. I like shorts on sub 13' stick but anything longer than 13 for me feels better with 23'+. Paired to 15' mow tip the head effectively would be 25'.
 

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I'm not sure what I'm going to do when all my "beer can" Skagit heads are worn out and trashed. The Skagit head needs no taper on the front end because it's going to be looped to some kind of tip, either level or tapered. A taper on the front of a Skagit head creates more problems than it solves. I'm also partial to the 27' Skagit head. It's long enough for my leisurely casting style without pulling the anchor, which often happens when I tried shorter Skagit heads.

I don't use T-14 because it sinks too fast for my usual applications. I use tips; some are tapered; some are level. In either case, the beer can Skagit remains a perfect delivery vehicle. I don't fish 6" long Intruders, but I do fish a lot of steelhead flies in the 2" to 4" range, sometimes weighted with coneheads or dumbbell eyes.

I have Ballistic Vector series floating lines for the times and places that I want to get all delicate like and make postcard perfect casts with smaller size 6 and 8 flies.
 

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Interesting thread.

Question: In regards to effectively casting T-14 (and heavier) tips, does the weight per foot of the front end of a Skagit head matter or does the stiffness of the front end of a Skagit matter? Or both?
 
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Just a rule of thumb for me but t14 very is comfortable on a 570 gn 23’ and up and t17 on a 630 gn and up. I do use a lot of airflo skagits. The short front taper on a skagit, when it is there, is more with a mind to making the loop to loop more reasonable as far as I can tell. There used to be a rule of thumb you would hear to not use more tip weight than half the weight of the head but that is way more that I usually find fun ... or necessary. But maybe when heads and tips are so heavy and dense the niceties of matching for a smooth turnover can go out the window a bit. It sort of feels like it sometimes.
 

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Dom
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
What would be your suggested methodology for weighing these tapes, short of chopping the end off? Would measuring out the front taper and laying that on a scale would be accurate enough?

Lief
I've tried to come up with a way to put last few feet on a grain scale without making cuts but I've given that idea up. If we are talking same manufacturer, say Rio, and take their Rio max 550, and compare last 3 feet to a floating section of a medium (t11) aka 11/gr per foot tip, it's visually apparent that head doesn't have enough mass for a smooth transition. Unless they add more micro air beads (or whatever they use to make them buoyant) on their MOW tips all things are being equal.

It's a different story with sinking heads as one couldn't make a judgment visually. Head would need to be sacrificed to determine that.

I was very surprised how much difference the taper could make. Just few seasons ago I was fishing SA Extremes. Even in 440gr @ 22' it was a honey to cast t11 with. No weird hinging. After a short break from skagits I stocked myself with Rio Max heads thinking they will serve me well as specs were much like SA Extremes I fell in love with few years back. But as the story goes first few outings with a couple 475 and 500 heads paired to t11 was eh to say the least. It was visually evident on the forward cast when the loop straightens out, there is that weird flat spot where tip and head meets.

It is surprising how much different two identical heads on paper feels when casting. Im talking 520gr SA Extreme @ 23' vs 525 Rio Max also at 23'. Completely different animals.
 

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Dom
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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting thread.

Question: In regards to effectively casting T-14 (and heavier) tips, does the weight per foot of the front end of a Skagit head matter or does the stiffness of the front end of a Skagit matter? Or both?
That's a good twist. I would think weight is a much bigger factor though.
 
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