FlyTyr203

Too many grains! Help me with my over-weighted 2 handed fly rod

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Hello!

 

I hope you can help me.

 

I don’t have an overweight two handed fly rod :-)

What I do have is a TFO Pandion 13’9”, 9wt, and - I feel - too many grains. Question: any way to lighten its weight without buying a whole new set of fly lines? (My current setup is: 30 lb floating running line, 600 grain RIO Skagit iFlight shooting head, and the RIO iMOW tip (currently 150 grains).

 

You see, not understanding anything, I went to the fly shop and showed them the rod. The rod states it is meant to cast 700 to 750 grains. However I found it hard to cast so I went on the TFO website and found the following recommendations for my rod model:

 

Two-handed overhead casting:
525-600 grains
20-28 foot heads

RIO Skagit Max Short
RIO Skagit iFlight
RIO Skagit iShort
SA Skagit Extreme

 

So for TFO to say it’s a 700-750 grain rod is quite off the mark. But I don’t want to rant. I want to fix this...

 

Basically my problem is that I am asking the rod to cast 750 grains, though 600 grains is the recommended upper limit for overhead casting.

 

My question is: IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO *NOT* ADD ANY MORE WEIGHT TO THE 600 GRAIN SHOOTING HEAD? (I’d rather not “perform surgery” on it if possible.)

*My understanding is that it is OK to cast the floating shooting head without a tip (what kind of a leader would I need, or do I just add 3 feet of 12lb mono?) 

*Any way to make it intermediate or sink tip, again adding no weight or only a nominal amount? 

 

Can you help me? I’ve recently become unemployed and would rather not spend another $90 in tip and shooting head.

 

THANK YOU!!

 

John

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The rod label most likely is for standard sustained anchor and touch n go spey style casting.  You will typically want to drop the amount of grains when overhead casting.  With the TH rods, forget the weight designation and just refer to grains.  My thoughts are the scandi style heads will be better for OH casting than the skagit heads.  You might have to get another head.

 

There are folks on here that are big into TH overhead casting.  Hopefully they'll chime in.

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The weight your casting now like Dr. Bob posted is per their site is not for overhead casting style. Adjusting line? I would be buying a lighter head also or a 550 to 600gr integrated. But then again, it usually takes me a line or 5 before I get it right.  Good luck.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I don't think cutting your heads you already have is the best solution, or even a good one for that matter. For that rod I think 550 grains would be the upper limit for good casting ability without using all the power the rod can bring to bear.

 

EDIT: You want to have extra power and guts left over to deal with wind and weather. If you're trying to pierce a head wind or tail wind (there's pretty much always wind when saltwater fishing, and it's almost never where you want it to be coming from), you're going to be casting harder into it. You need that extra power to be able to still cast the line. If your rod is maxed out in nice weather, it'll fold in half on you and be a total flop. Trust me on this. You'll do much better with 550 in a head wind than 650 or 750. I have a rod which is slightly more powerful than this one and for me 525 grains is the upper limit. 450 would be a better match but at that point I might as well just use my 10wt single handed rod instead.

 

Your tip is OK, but the Skagit head you have is too heavy. Check out Sierra Trading Post, they've got a ton of Skagit heads (floating and intermediate) for sale currently at a steep discount. Look for the ones around 400 grains or less, those will be the ticket. 

Edited by RedGreen

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Zero overhang.....before ditching the line try this: bring the head into the rod guides a foot or two and then make your cast.  The rear portion of the head will shoot through the guides (don't fear the rattling!).  This will get you by until you dial in the best line weight for you.

 

And....you need to add a tip to all skagit lines...floaters included.

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

10 hours ago, FlyTyr203 said:

Hello!

 

I hope you can help me.....


I

don’t have an overweight two handed fly rod :-)

What I do have is a TFO Pandion 13’9”, 9wt, and - I feel - too many grains. ...

 

You see, not understanding anything, I went to the fly shop and showed them the rod. The rod states it is meant to cast 700 to 750 grains. However I found it hard to cast so I went on the TFO website and found the following recommendations for my rod model:

Two-handed overhead casting:
525-600 grains
20-28 foot heads

RIO Skagit Max Short
RIO Skagit iFlight
RIO Skagit iShort
SA Skagit Extreme

 

So for TFO to say it’s a 700-750 grain rod is quite off the mark. But I don’t want to rant. I want to fix this...

 

 

I believe those recommendations are for a different rod, a Deer Creek 8/9 13'6" rod.  TF's list for your 9wt Pandion is:

Two-handed overhead
580-640 grains
20-26 foot heads

RIO Skagit Max Short
RIO Skagit IFlight
RIO Skagit IShort
SA Skagit Extreme
OPST

 

Having said that, my limited experience with TF's recommendations for overhead casting is that they are on the high side.

Edited by GregPavlov

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thank you all!

 

*Greg, you’re right about my numbers being off.

 

*Squish, grazie mille! I’ll try that technique.

 

*RedGreen, thank you for your help. A few questions:

  • You state that 550 grains would be the upper limit of castability. Not doubting you at all, just curious about how you reached that conclusion... It’s just that it would mean I don’t have an 8 or 9 weight rod, but a 6 weight, wouldn’t it?
  • YES there are good lines on sale on Sierra Trading Post!!! Including the SA  Skagit Extreme that TFO recommends, in 360, 400, 440 and 480 grains. Thank you!
  • So, RedGreen and Squish (and anyone else who can help me), assuming there’s a general agreement that a 400 grain shooting head would probably be the best thing to try, what tip weight would you suggest I add to it - and what happens if I add a heavier tip (such as the 150 grain tip I already have) in, say, windy conditions?

Below is a chart I found on Red’s Fly Shop:

“Determine whether your rod needs Light, Medium, Heavy, or Extra Heavy tips.

Light - These tips feature T-8 for a sinking section (with a sink rate of about 7” per second) and are most suitable for Skagit lines of 475 grains and less.

 

Medium - These tips feature T-11 for a sinking section (with a sink rate of about 8” per second) and are most suitable for Skagit lines between 475 and 575 grains.

 

Heavy- These tips feature T-14 for a sinking section (with a sink rate of about 9” per second) and are most suitable for Skagit heads of 575 grains and heavier. 
 

Rod Weight Sink Tip Needed Grains per Inch
 2-6 weight rods LIGHT MOW Tips  T-8
 5-7 weight rods MEDIUM MOW Tips  T-11
 8-9 weight rods HEAVY MOW Tips  T-14

 

Thank you all so much! I appreciate everyone’s advice.

 

John

 

 

 

 

Edited by TimS
Please don't post commercial links here - thanks

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In this video I cast 35ft 635gr shooting head over snow using Pandion 13'9'' #9. I have cast 60ft 840gr head over grass using similar very long casting stroke but it did hit ground a lot but it was because of head length not that the line head was way too heavy. Rod bend comes from the casting distance in the first place and heavy head casts far but casting stroke needs to be wide.

 

Esa

 

 

 

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If you cast too light line you sacrifice lots of performance. There come conditiond when heavy line can scare fish but I cast Scandi tapers which land smooth even heavy heads. Learn to use two casting cycle casting!!! It is the first back cast which can become limiting factor for line weight. So strip the line so short that it lifts so easy that the back cast comes good and there you shoot the whole head plus at least one feet of overhang out of rod tip. Shoot to back cast because usually there is head wind when SW fishing and it helps. If there is rare tail wind perhaps shooting head out to first forward false cast works for you but I shoot the head out to first back cast because because of shoot the first forward cast can suffer slightly. But then the last back cast line loop comes good when rod is stopped high. Then the Drift which makes possible to use very wide and long casting stroke which is essential when casting far and to avoid Tailing Loops.

 

Esa

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Esa

 

Forgive me if I am wrong but your cast in the video looks to be all arc and little translation. When we meet up in Aug you have to show me this cast with this rod and line because to be totally straight with you I did not like this rod even with just 500 grains.

 

Could not use your cast with all the false casts as the waves would have dumped me back onto the beach by the time I was done.

 

 

I have to find out how you manage to throw such a heavy line on this rod.

 

Mike

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Mike, most likely even short 800gr line head would be too much when wade fishing deep water but I have not tried. I think the Scandi taper has positive effect to casting because it straightens smoothly and the rear of line head being very heavy has positive effect when the fly hits water it won't kill the cast too much.

 

Esa

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22 hours ago, Squish said:

 

And....you need to add a tip to all skagit lines...floaters included.

 

@Squish I'm curious about this statement. I finally honed in on the right short skagit head (Airflo Intermediate 420 grain short skagit) for 2 hand OH with a Beulah Classic 8/9 Switch. Heavier heads did not cast well. The 420 grain casts great and allows me to shoot a lot of running line, but the head still seems to land in a pile. I have only used 6 to 9 ft of 20 lb straight fluro leader/tippet with a loop to loop at the end of the shooting head. Do I need a tip section between the shooting head and leader to help eliminate the pile at the end of my cast? If so, what is suggested grain wt of  the tip section for this setup?

Edited by ginclear

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1 hour ago, ginclear said:

@Squish I'm curious about this statement. I finally honed in on the right short skagit head (Airflo Intermediate 420 grain short skagit) for 2 hand OH with a Beulah Classic 8/9 Switch. Heavier heads did not cast well. The 420 grain casts great and allows me to shoot a lot of running line, but the head still seems to land in a pile. I have only used 6 to 9 ft of 20 lb straight fluro leader/tippet with a loop to loop at the end of the shooting head. Do I need a tip section between the shooting head and leader to help eliminate the pile at the end of my cast? If so, what is suggested grain wt of  the tip section for this setup?

Yes....skagit heads require tips.  They are essentially an incomplete line without.   It will lay out much better, though never as mooth as a WF or scandi so don't expect that.  The tip connects to the head and the leader to the tip.  

 

For 420 grains you could use 85 to 100 grains, but not heavier.  I should think 85 grains would be your best bet with a 420 grain head, so this will put the total weight at 505 grains.

 

 RIO replacement tips are very good.  You can get 10 footers in 85 and 95 grains (floaters to fast sinking).  You could also get the 15 foot tips and cut them back to whatever length and weight you need.

 

If 420 works, you will need a lighter head and match it to a tip so your total weight (head and tip) equals roughly 420 (give or take)

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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You may find that inclusion of a top takes you back to square one. For over head casting you have to include the weight of the tip. So you may have to buy a new lighter head to get back to 420 grains in total.

 

mike

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