ZAFisher

Single Handed Spey and Skagit Casting

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Reaching out to anyone with experience with the lighter end of the above style ie 275 grains and below....

I have been doing lot of reading and video watching with regards to:

 

1. OPST's Commando (integrated and heads)

2. Rio Skagit Trout Spey (integrated and heads)

3. Rio Trout Spey (integrated and heads)

4. Airflo Rage Compact (heads only)

5. Airflo Super-dri Switch Float (integrated only)

6. Scientific Anglers Spey Light Skagit (integrated and heads)

7. Scientific Anglers Spey Light Scandi (integrated and heads)

 

I am wondering if there was anyone who has used any or all of them?

Rod set up is a 10' 6wt.

From my reading I have deduced something along the lines of 250-275 grains should work well (3wt Spey according to Rio)

My understanding is that the OPST, Rio Skagit Trout, Airflo Rage Compact and SA Spey Light Skagits will all need a tip whilst I could use Versileaders / Polyleaders on the Spey lines if I want extra depth, but they are quite capable with straight mono leaders. Did I get this right?

Ideally I want a full floating set up for for our Yellowfish; with the possibility of a floating/sinking leader tip for use in winter when the fish move to big slow moving pools

 

Help.

There are NO outlets here that carry these lines so its a bit of a risky prospect choosing sight unseen

 

 

Edited by ZAFisher

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Complex question.  Generally speaking, anything that says Skagit will require a heavier tip.  Scandi lines use light tips. polyleaders or only mono leaders.  Also, tip length and weight for a 5 or 6 weight single hand rod is going to be a light to medium tip.  The "Light" Mow/iMow may work or else polyleaders up to around 100g, preferably 50-90g.  I'd suggest you also go with an integrated line.   I'd go with the Commando over the others but...

 

there's another integrated, short head:

 

http://royalwulff.com/products/ambush-short/

 

Not sure about the durability of this line (esp. running line).  The core strength of this line is 28lb.   This line is new and I have not tried it but I would say the 250g (not 275g) would be the ticket for a 5/6 single had rod, used with tips up to around another 80g.  The Airflo Saltwater/Steelhead polyleaders are ideal.  Come in sink, fast sink, extra fast sink, clear intermediate, floating.  10' or 15' your choice.  A full set of those is genuinely worth it.   I'd maybe stick with the 10' ones, except I'd go for the 5' clear intermediate and add another 4' to 5' of 20 lb mono.

 

Caveats:  A 10' single hand rod with a normal butt handle design is harder to use for single hand spey or skagit IMO, then a 9' rod single hand rod overweighted by 3 line weights.  Even better would be a 10.5ft rod with an extended butt.  I'd rather two hand cast than single hand cast any 10'+ rod.  YMMV

 

How fast action and powerful is your rod?  Personally I prefer a mod fast rod with solid power in the butt to do single hand or Skagit work, and a faster action rod to use Scandi lines, for overhead, or for dual use Scandi/overhead.  Again YMMV.

Edited by Killiefish

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Also, you should try to get a diagram of the head shape/profile of any of the lines you mention.

 

The reason is that for what you are wanting to do, the profile of the head makes all the difference, with the heads that are more weight forward being probably the easiest to use in the manner you are attempting.  The Rage head, for ex, is intermediate between a skagit and scandi head.  Scandi heads will cast farther if no or low wind.  The extremely short, more weight forward head designs cast better when you add heavier (relative to polyleaders) tips.

 

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I second going integrated. I have the 215 grain Commando head and its awesome on my Redington Classic Trout 9' 5wt. I totally hate mono running line though. Wish I would've spent the extra for the integrated line. I also believe you will need tips. I'd call the shop or use the chat option if you're going online and talk with someone. You can tell them what rod you have and let them make recommendations.  

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Thanks guys.

 

Killie, I believe you 100% when you talk about head profile making a difference.

Any idea what the OPST profile looks like? I already did some digging and did not find anything.

I must admit that the OPST option is interesting, it seems Ed Ward was one of the pioneers of this sort of casting and has tinkered just a little bit with lines.

I suspect integrated would be best, but have this nagging thing in the back of my head that I would like to be able to swap between Scandi and Skagit heads, BUT I will listen to your reason, as it would not be the first time that my desire to cover all bases would actually cost me....

 

I'll load the rod tip up with some lead and take a photo so you can have a look at the profile.

 

1. I re-built the handle for DH use as an experiment (lock down boredom) but have not actually used it yet. I can remove the lower handle section if I don't like it (bit of a tinkerer) The cork I have on hand is of very poor quality so I am a bit embarassed to show it to anyone. So bad that the epoxy squeezed between the voids in the cork and pushed out to the surface of the rings making final shaping a pain. Oh well.

2. I found an Airflo Delta Taper 7/8 Floating Ridge Line in my flyfishing cupboard. Physically old, but still on the packaging spool. The 45' head weighs 22 grams / 340 grains.The rod is strong enough to cast it easily (I was amazed actually)

 

 

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Scandi lines have a longer front taper and are best for throwing smaller, lighter flies, like nymphs, soft hackles, and small light streamers. Skagit heads are designed for throwing heavier weighted flies. Most line makers recommend using a weighted tip for skagit lines and regular leaders or versileaders for scandi lines.

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I'm studying for my Master Casting Instructor certification so I do a shitload of single hand Spey casting these days, and the Rio SH Spey lines are a pure joy to use.

 

However, you seem to have overlooked them in your list of lines. For the rod you have (a 6wt single hand rod) you should choose the 6wt Rio SH Spey line.

 

I use the Rio Single Hand Spey lines for a lot of my light-weight fishing now because they are so versatile. I've got the floating and floating/intermediate versions in both 4 weight and 6 weight outfits.

 

If you want something a bit more advanced, try the Snowbee XS Roll cast line. It only comes in a floating version though.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I found this online (Bottom is OPST Commando 150 gr + AIRFLO 10´ Salmon/Salt Polyleader, Sink 5, top is OPST Commando 450 gr + 10´ T14 ).  It appears that the lighter OPST heads are more gradually front tapered for poly use, while the heavier ones are more bullet shaped and could be used with heavy (even level) sink tips.  The 275g is probably somewhere in between. 

 

I get the idea of trying to cover both Skagit and Scandi, but my guess is you would be o.k. with the tips designed specifically for the Commando head at ~275g or 10' poly tips or else light Mow tips on the Wulff Ambush Short.  Realize that the Wulff Ambush Short and the Commandos are super short heads, 15ft or so, and the Rio Single Hand Spey lines are long, 33 ft or so.  I'd view the Single Hand Spey lines as more scandi lines.  Line taper and head length choice depends on fly size and wind conditions, as well as what species you are targeting. Also if you don't need to mend the line but are just looking for easy distance, I'd look strongly at the Wulff Ambush Short - but it's running line is sorta thin.  If mending is an issue (in surf I don't think you have much need) then a thicker running line and a longer head may be better.  Not to say that the Rio Single Hand Spey lines are bad, and as Graeme indicates they are very nice, but I think they have more application in river settings.

 

 

Commando-profile-150g-450g.JPG

Edited by Killiefish

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1 hour ago, Killiefish said:

Not to say that the Rio Single Hand Spey lines are bad, and as Graeme indicates they are very nice, but I think they have more application in river settings.

Probably, but that's where ZAFisher is talking about fishing. Yellowfish is a river fish.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Gents,

 

Thanks for advice.

 

Graeme - I'm looking for a line that will help with steep and / or overgrown banks right behind me - would the longer head of the Rio SH Spey lines be a hindrence or a non-issue do you think? You should recognise the trees in 2nd of the attached photos....

Out in the middle of the river, there is obviously no issue, but I tend to hug the banks, but  I would like to be able to OH cast if I want to (too many wants perhaps)

 

A really apealing prospect is that the local Rio agents actually have the Rio SH Spey lines here in South Africa (accidental order methinks) so I could just buy one....

 

Killiiefish, Inasmuch for now at least I'm looking at FW, I can think of a few coastal rivers and estuaries that are wadeable but back casting room is non-existant and tree-fish eager fly-takers, so a Skagit set up might just open them up to me, and if I understand the concept correctly, will allow me to throw big or heavy flies on a lighter rod which would suit the smaller quarry better.

 

Note: photos are not mine and unfortunately not me holding that pretty big Large Mouth yellowfish

 

Vaal River 01.jpg

Vaal River 02.jpg

Yellowfish - Small Mouth.jpg

Yellowfish - Large Mouth.JPG

Edited by ZAFisher

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Posted (edited) · Report post

10 hours ago, Hirdy said:

Probably, but that's where ZAFisher is talking about fishing. Yellowfish is a river fish.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

My mistake; I was confused.  I guess the Rio lines are fine for that.   And the problem with the Wulff Ambush line is terrible mending ability so go for a line with a thicker running line. 

 

Side note:  If one wants a 33 ft headed line that comes in integrated form, and can be used in fresh or salt (also has float, int, sink varieties) check out the Airflo Beach lines.  Might be a bit more durable than the Rio lines.  Similar taper design I think.  Google Echo Boost Beach line.  Not cheap, tho.

 

The lines have a long front taper so no need for tips, just mono.  These are two hand overhead lines that can also be used for single hand rods.  Overlining isn't needed - suggest 230g to 250g for a 5wt single hand rod.

 

[sorry for crappy formatting below; the data are on the Echo website]:

Echo Beach Lines (Integrated, full line length is 110 ft in all cases, head length 33’-34’)

Item Head wt - Lngth Front Belly Rear Running Line

 

Beach Float WF6 250gr 33 14 16.5 2.0 77

Beach Float WF7 285gr 33 14 17.5 2.0 76

Beach Float WF8 320gr 33 14 17.5 2.0 76

 

Item Head wt - Lngth Front Belly Rear Running Line

 

Beach int. WF5 190gr 33 13 16.5 2.0 77

Beach int. WF5 Clear 190gr 33 13 16.5 2.0 77

Beach int. WF6 230gr 33 14 17.5 2.0 76

Beach int. WF6 Clear 230gr 33 14 17.5 2.0 76

Beach int. WF7 265gr 33 15 17.5 2.0 76

Beach int. WF7 Clear 265gr 33 15 17.5 2.0 76

Beach int. WF8 300gr 33 15 17.5 2.0 76

 

Item Head wt - Lngth Front Belly Rear Running Line

 

Beach sink6 WF6 220gr 33 14 16.5 2.0 77

Beach sink7 WF7 255gr 34 15 16.5 2.0 76

Beach sink7 WF8 290gr 34 15 16.5 2.0 76

Edited by Killiefish
more data

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Hey ZA - take a look at North Fork Composites Spey blanks, ~1/2 price & sometimes free shipping in the US

Their FASY 1409-4 is assumed to be quite similar to RedGreens' building on Pac Bay 1409-4.

I just got their 1510-4, it's unsanded & a full 15' - 1st go thru w/CCS gives me 445.7 grains and an AA of 77, so an ERN of 16.33.

 

More later & stay safe & sound ,,,

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22 hours ago, ZAFisher said:

Reaching out to anyone with experience with the lighter end of the above style ie 275 grains and below....

I have been doing lot of reading and video watching with regards to:

 

1. OPST's Commando (integrated and heads)

2. Rio Skagit Trout Spey (integrated and heads)

3. Rio Trout Spey (integrated and heads)

4. Airflo Rage Compact (heads only)

5. Airflo Super-dri Switch Float (integrated only)

6. Scientific Anglers Spey Light Skagit (integrated and heads)

7. Scientific Anglers Spey Light Scandi (integrated and heads)

 

I am wondering if there was anyone who has used any or all of them?

Rod set up is a 10' 6wt.

From my reading I have deduced something along the lines of 250-275 grains should work well (3wt Spey according to Rio)

My understanding is that the OPST, Rio Skagit Trout, Airflo Rage Compact and SA Spey Light Skagits will all need a tip whilst I could use Versileaders / Polyleaders on the Spey lines if I want extra depth, but they are quite capable with straight mono leaders. Did I get this right?

Ideally I want a full floating set up for for our Yellowfish; with the possibility of a floating/sinking leader tip for use in winter when the fish move to big slow moving pools

 

Help.

There are NO outlets here that carry these lines so its a bit of a risky prospect choosing sight unseen

 

 

I've been fishing a LOT with a 10ft 6wt Sage XP ... also with a Sage Z Axis 11ft 6wt. On both I use RIO Outbound lines both Short (30ft head / 265 grain) & regular Outbound that has I think a 35 foot head / 275 grain (on the Z Axis). I have no need or desire to try out Skagits and such. Both rods cast well with the Outbound lines ... or Wulff Triangular Taper Intermediates.

 

Sorry if this was not much help. Catch a Big One! 

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Also I am getting early next week a Scott L2H 11 foot 6wt to employ on Spring time Schooligan Stripers. They (Scott) rates the rod using Skagit & Spey line lingo ... so maybe I'll give some a try. But out of the gate I'll be using RIO Outbound, for sure.

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1 hour ago, Killiefish said:

 

 

Google Echo Boost Beach line.  Not cheap, tho.

 

 

Wouldn't these be Airflo lines? (thinking Echo Flyfishing / Rajeff Sports)

I spent literally hours on the Vision and Loop websites and YT channels.

Vision have some pretty nifty lines it seems; their Hybrid lines go down to 110g (without tip) again another line I want to try, but I think it would be smart to go with something less exotic to start with hence my looking at Rio and Airflo offerings mostly.

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