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Dom
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Discussion Starter #21
Oh and one more thing... I am a big Rio line fan. Been using them for years and been extremely pleased with them. But Flights and recent MAX heads are a bit of a disappointment unless you use 575+ heads or stick to t8 and lighter replacement tips. Im glad they recently released those new 15' MOW tips. Pairing those to Short skagits might be the ticket for those 13' plus 7-8 rods and have a nice continuous beefy taper all the way and effectively having a 25' head and 10' tip.
 

Dom
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Discussion Starter #22
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
Good point but they are capable to make a quick step down for welded loops. Their MOW tips are good example. Thick 17 grain stuff thins down to a nice tiny loop.

Im talking my line problems too far am I? 馃お
 

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You're much more analytical and scientific in your approach than I am. I tried a bunch of heads over the years and settled on Zones and Coastals for my winer fishing- mostly zones.The zones are a little longer, tapered, and with tapered tips cast more like a power scan that can haul., and I enjoy the more relaxed casting stroke. My two winter rods, at 12 1/2 and 14 ft, take the same grain window, so if I'm floating, I rig both, one with a floating and second F1. I use fifteen ft tapered tips on the 14 ft rod, 12's on the 12'6. If I go to t11 or 14, I use 12 on the 14 and 10 on the 12 1/2 ft'er.

If I need to get deeper, I'll try a heavier fly first, but I need a heavier or longer tip I'll go to the coastal. I think about all the stuff you're thinking about, I just don't worry about the details of why, just fiddle til I find solutions. Engineer/artist.

Good discussion.
 

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Indeed, this is a very good discussion.
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.
I do have to wonder the obvious about your experiences between the Rio Max vs the SA Extreme: do you think there is any chance that your short break from Skagit casting factors in at all? Not sure how much of a break you mean, but I often have some pretty clunky Skagit casting after fishing with other lines for a period of time. Just curious
JB
 

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I'm learning a lot from this thread. One thought that keeps pushing into my head: once you start tapering a Skagit head and/or tapering the tip and making it longer... is that kinda like a Scandi? Just a thought. I like hearing the different solutions that we all come up with to fill our quivers of lines and heads and tips, for fishing various waters.
 

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While the conversation truly is interesting, I wish I could say I've learned something here. I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just that I don't see a definitive answer and I'm not sure how best we might find one. I've had the same questions regarding the new SA Skagit that offers a "full taper" throughout the head. Granted it's been done before, but how does it compare to the beer can? Is there really any proven advantages? I dunno, but I'm very curious in a good way.

So far it seems that we have agreed that it takes more grains to move heavier tips and that's somewhat obvious. The other is that taper is mostly irrelevant unless the terminal end of the head is thinner than the sink tip it's attached to. That seems sorta obvious too.

I enjoy fishing since more often than not there isn't a clear answer, but from a physics standpoint I would think there would be one here regarding skagit heads and tapers. I'll be revisiting Al Burr's Fly Line book and hopefully finding some rough answer.

Thanks for a stimulating thread.
 
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Dom
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Discussion Starter #27
Tapered skagit with tip attached will especially become a scandi but too heavy for the same given rod. SSVT and SSV kits are essentially that, 23' light skagit with tip attached. Bump that line system by 2-3 weights and you have yourself a skagit system.

It's been about 3 years now and I've fished nothing but multi density scandis and longer stuff. Stringing up a skagit was a childs game. Don't get me wrong, I could adjust my casting very quickly but afrer casting my buds rod Ive rigged with SA head it was evident that my outfit wasn't balanced well. Same tip, same fly, im tossing 7127 Burkheimer, 500 max, t11, and his damn Redington 7wt 13' SINGS with 520 SA. I know 7127 is not a skagit rod nor was my old 1196 Scott, nor his wimpy tip Redington.

Skagit short on the other hand paired to t11 on 7127 sings.
 

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I know 7127 is not a skagit rod nor was my old 1196 Scott, nor his wimpy tip Redington.
I think anything can be a skagit rod. While I prefer the powerful tip of my MK's, I also love to chucks compacts skagit on my original highlander classic, a rod with considerably more bend in the tip. And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I have a 6 ft 2 wt glass rod that had all the backbone of overcooked spaghetti, and it's a riot with a MOW tip rigged as a scandi. Those echo glass rods shine as skagit suckers. Makes me want to squeeze in finishing my 7 wt glass two hander.
 

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In my early spey days, trying to duplicate the legendary/allusive spey driver line, mainly for 15 foot 10/11 rods, I spliced a lot of long belly lines and skagit lines. I used salmon-sized double tapers, salt water WF lines (which fortunately, didn't curl up like telephone lines in winter steelhead-cold water). I also made sinking tips, level, tapered, multi-density, etc. Some worked well; others were mysterious disasters. I didn't worry much about a proper taper to connect with tips. An .098" behind the front loop would turn over junk just fine, and if it splashed in the Skagit River, it didn't seem to matter. In time, I found that a front diameter above .065" would handle my 15 foot tips very well.

If you want to experiment without financial ruination, buy Aventik or Maxcatch skagit heads on eBay for around $20.
 

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Just a rule of thumb for me but t14 very is comfortable on a 570 gn 23鈥 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.
Not all are the same. One SA SKG X I have has at least a yard of back taper before going level. After 6 or 7 feet of level belly it tapers forward to the loop connection. The head is 21 feet total. I didn't use my micrometer - simply foldedthe head in half making it easier to see the where the line begins to taper. It is labeled 440 but is actually 463 grain.

Does that mean it isn't a Skagit - but more scandi??? I cast the same t-12, t-14 tips and fly types with it as with an Airflo Skagit Compact 493 which is nearly level for the entire 22 feet, but not quite level.
 

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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?
It is primarily a function of grains per foot, and of the entire length. I imagine that if stiffness mattered then companies would make their shorter/lighter lines and longer/heavier lines having different coatings, but they don't.
 

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It is primarily a function of grains per foot, and of the entire length. I imagine that if stiffness mattered then companies would make their shorter/lighter lines and longer/heavier lines having different coatings, but they don't.
Good observation. I asked the question because relative stiffness matters or used to matter for the construction of single hand fly rod leaders.

In addition, I suspect that the last couple of feet of most Skagit heads are lighter based on grains per foot than some of the sinking tips. My intuition is that the overall weight of the Skagit head and inertia attained during the cast matter for casting heavy sinking tips.

'Stick' seems to matter; full sinking Skagit heads are generally lighter than regular floating heads.
 
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A lighter sinker will raise up to the surface easier for the cast, than a heavier one. For sure. And with "heads" I think most just choose the easier, lighter option. ;)
 

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Not all are the same. One SA SKG X I have has at least a yard of back taper before going level. After 6 or 7 feet of level belly it tapers forward to the loop connection. The head is 21 feet total. I didn't use my micrometer - simply foldedthe head in half making it easier to see the where the line begins to taper. It is labeled 440 but is actually 463 grain.

Does that mean it isn't a Skagit - but more scandi??? I cast the same t-12, t-14 tips and fly types with it as with an Airflo Skagit Compact 493 which is nearly level for the entire 22 feet, but not quite level.
The platonic form of a skagit head - a pure section of level line - while working wonders as a tool for certain things is almost by definition clunkier casting than anything that tapers at all towards the tip. I鈥檓 sure lots of companies try to fudge things in that direction, but I wouldn鈥檛 want to try to decide when it stops being a 鈥渟kagit鈥.

I talked to one very experienced guide in BC who asserted very strongly his belief that any line that had any long, constant gr/ft section was clearly poorly designed from a pure casting perspective, and it is hard to argue the point in terms of the physics. Cheapness of construction, check. Ease of turning over the biggest tips, check. But the optimal requirements for energy transfer from the back to the front of the line when casting - I agree, the linear density would have to be changing constantly, whatever your idea of 鈥渂est casting鈥 was. Still, it is amazing how well even a double taper can cast.
 

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The platonic form of a skagit head - a pure section of level line - while working wonders as a tool for certain things is almost by definition clunkier casting than anything that tapers at all towards the tip. I鈥檓 sure lots of companies try to fudge things in that direction, but I wouldn鈥檛 want to try to decide when it stops being a 鈥渟kagit鈥.

I talked to one very experienced guide in BC who asserted very strongly his believe that any line that had any long, constant gr/ft section was clearly poorly designed from a pure casting perspective, and it is hard to argue the point in terms of the physics. Cheapness of construction, check. Ease of turning over the biggest tips, check. But the optimal requirements for energy transfer from the back to the front of the line when casting - I agree, the linear density would have to be changing constantly, whatever your idea of 鈥渂est casting鈥 was. Still, it is amazing how well even a double taper can cast.

OK. I'll just go back to the blanket-statement that "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." - which may be correct in some cases. The Airflo Skagit Comp I have a single one of, with the slightest forward taper starting from about seven feet from the front loop??? Looking at the loops themselves - seems they are skinny with intent of making a neater loop-connection while the slight forward taper is intended to dissipate energy into the tip, by design???

And the rear has about two feet of taper.
 

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.......
I talked to one very experienced guide in BC who asserted very strongly his belief that any line that had any long, constant gr/ft section was clearly poorly designed from a pure casting perspective, and it is hard to argue the point in terms of the physics.
......
Still, it is amazing how well even a double taper can cast.
Once upon a time, the coolest and grooviest fly casters would make floating line heads out of double taper floating lines by cutting the DT line in half and welding the thick portion of the cut head to a long, narrow diameter running line. Most would drop down one line weight for this set up.

That custom-made floating head had a long, level butt section. The American fly anglers who introduced me to this design has no trouble making long, efficient, well-controlled casts.

In regards to 2-hand casting, it would seem that the limitations imposed by the D-loop rod loading favour weight stacked at the rear end of the head. But for those using short, compact Skagit heads on 13 foot or shorter 2-hand rods, stacking the weight at the rear of the head would likely result in little or no gain.

Out of the window, what do we observe? Nobody manufactures a Triangle Taper style Skagit head. NextCast stacks the weight at the rear of all its heads but does not make Skagit heads.
 

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Perhaps it is casting style
Once upon a time, the coolest and grooviest fly casters would make floating line heads out of double taper floating lines by cutting the DT line half and welding the thick portion of the cut head to a long, narrow diameter running line. Most would drop down one line weight for this set up.

That custom-made floating head had a long, level butt section. The American fly anglers who introduced me to this design has no trouble making long, efficient, well-controlled casts.

In regards to 2-hand casting, it would seem that the limitations imposed by the D-loop rod loading favour weight stacked at the rear end of the head. But for those using short, compact Skagit heads on 13 foot or shorter 2-hand rods, stacking the weight at the rear of the head would likely result in little or no gain.

Out of the window, what do we observe? Nobody manufactures a Triangle Taper style Skagit head. NextCast stacks the weight at the rear of all its heads but does not make Skagit heads.
Perhaps it is actually one's own casting style that determines which skagit-head design one prefers: A relatively heavy level (crude) head like those cut from DTs - versus - any one of the more current option with more design?
I mean - for a while there I was under the impression that one had to "skagit cast" skagit heads.

And you're right about NC. Well, at the least they [ NextCast] doesn't name them so, but doesn't mean anglers aren't taking them for skagits by rigging them and casting them as such.
 

Dom
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Discussion Starter #38
My intuition is that the overall weight of the Skagit head and inertia attained during the cast matter for casting heavy sinking tips.
I like the fact that you brought that up. The fact is that even a scandi line would have enough of the inertia to turn over t14 but that doesn't mean it is a balanced outfit in my opinion. So far my opinion is that a properly balanced skagit system would require equal or more grains at the tip in relation to the sink tip for it to work 100% to it's potential. Manufacturers can and do welded loops with heavy stuff without the need to taper more than 3" down. Good example are X heavy MOW tips, I mean thats 17 gr/ft we are talking here and it has no taper to it at all so I think at this point we can leave that out of the equation.
 
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