The Tongariro Roll Cast

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2018 at 1:37pm
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Kyle Adams demonstrating the TRC at the August Trout Fest in Turangi.      Note the parallel placement of the slipped line.    Everything has to be in line with delivery cast to the target 
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 4:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2019 at 4:49pm
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Hi All      After more then 10 years promoting the TRC through casting clinics at the National Trout Centre and helping dozens of anglers riverside I am pleased to announce that from 2019 The Manic Tackle Company has taken over the promotion of this beautiful New Zealand invented fly cast.  
 
Way back when I first saw it performed I immediately realised its potential and spend a huge amount of time struggling to come to grips with all the details needed to perform it well.   In the process I developed my own style which is somewhat different to that of the originators I tried to copy.    Regardless of style it is not an easy cast to learn and for that reason its userbase has not grown fast.     To make progress easier I developed a 4 phase teaching method, which has been widely adopted.     Throughout that time my main concern has been that with few practitioners this cast could have easily faded away or what would be worse could have been reinvented and renamed by someone from overseas.   
    
Now that its future is secured I can step back and let others continue its advocacy.    For me it is mission accomplished.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Cheeko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2019 at 9:12pm
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Nice work Herb and I heard that the day went well from Kyle. Hard to believe its been over 20 years since I was shown the TRC by a couple of the Turangi crew. Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2021 at 7:43pm
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Latest development with a slightly modified  TRC is casting sinking shooting heads with single handed rods.     For that it easier to use a shorter shooting head say 24' for a 9' rod.    

The real issue here is to get as much of the sinking line air born into the D-loop to reduce the anchor as much as possible but without blowing the D--Loop out.     Another problem is that you can hardly see the black shooting head.   This makes it difficult to know the amount of anchor or its best placement.   While practicing I found it helps to attach a big globug to the leader which can be easily seen  and that helps with placing the anchor.    It also provide "stick" and thus prevents the anchor/D-loop from blowing out.    One last tip is to use a near frictionless mono shooting line like the RIo Slick Shooter and not  a  coated floating running line.   The latter has too much resistance that forces the head to turn over sooner and reduces distance.    This also applies to integrated sink tip/head lines. 

However,  there is no substitute for drilling out an overhead cast with a shooting head that easily sails 100' or more.    The TRC is only needed if there is no back cast room.  

Sadly Scientific Anglers have discontinued their sinking shooting heads.    Hard to understand why as they are the ultimate distance rockets.    Then again I am old school and have only recently been told by a few young bloods that I am over the hill and can't adapt to modern fly fishing.    Come to think I have been told the same about 20 years ago by another keyboard warrior.   Luckily I have enough shooting heads to last me until I will drop off the perch.  However,  I hope to  postpone that departure as long as I can if only to annoy the "know-alls".   Just recently I spied a full type 6 sinking line at H&F in Rotorua for $60 which they could not sell.   I quickly bought it and at home turned it into 3 shooting heads of various lengths, and casting weights......... for 20 bucks each.    Not bad!!!

Cheers

Herb






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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2021 at 8:53pm
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One way to pass the 4 lockdown time is to practice casting.    Should have been on the Tongariro by now but level 4 came a few days before my trip.    Never mind will be there in September.     As I have said elsewhere I have practiced roll casting with sinking shooting heads.    My latest heads are 3D+ untra light scandi S2,S4,S6 I hav added a 1m tip of Sink 7 to practice with.    The 1m tip is to increase the sink depth if needed.    The whole head weights only 14 grams with the tip another 1.5grams.   The shooting line is 25lbs high vis mono.  The casting rod is my 9' #7 CD XLS.    I have so far focused using the TRC setup for Spey casting, largely since I am already in that groove with phases and timing.     Since the heads are only 6m with the tip 7m there is no need to slip line.    Instead   I only sweep the line loop forward to create extra anchorage.     All the setup moves are on a low angle to avoid blowing the anchor.   I am quite surprised how easy it is to blow the anchor with this fast sinking shooting head.    I would have thought otherwise.     For my practice I used a large tuft of wool instead of a streamer but have used one in practice before the lockdown.
Luckily we have large grassy park next to our house and with the recent rain a small depression retains a large puddle.     This is my Covid Spey casting practice pond.    I asked my wife to do a bit of filming to show how easy it is to get big distance Spey casting these heads with a single handed rod.    Of course they also overhead cast like a rocket.    The casts averaged about 25 large steps, probably about 75-80'.    Got a bit further on our little lake but that is off limit during the lockdown.   Unfortunately the dark shooting head is impossible to see in flight but you can see how the line rockets out to give you some idea 

Cheers 

Rainbow

  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 2021 at 2:08pm
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Unfortunately I can't upload the video clip onto this site but will try to get it on Youtube.
Looking at the TRC which up to now has been only used for upstream nymphing its ability to cast sinking shooting heads adds further to its usefulness for single handed casting.

Cheers

Rainbow

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.Good news    I finally uploaded my recent Spey casts with sinking ULS 3D S2,4,6 shooting heads,     The cast on the river were made with an extra 1m S7 tip and a size 4 woolly bugger which is as big as you will ever need for trout in this country.    I looped the extra tip on to see if it was possible so that I could increase the sink rate if needed.   The head cast really well even with a 1.5m S7 tip.     I am sure it will cast well with a single spey, snake roll or perry poke.     However,  since I am already practiced with the TRC with long headed floating lines I simply adapted my set-up for the sinking head.   The main difference is not slipping extra line.    The forward motion puts the water loop forward which increases anchorage and really loads the rod.     No need for a double hander or heavy Skagit outfits.

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Thanks for your posts Rainbow. I checked out that video and it looks like a very efficient cast with a very compact anchor.

Will also follow your experience with that guideline head, as I have been looking at something like this for a while.

As a ‘less than regular’ contributor here I thought I’d offer an opinion. I started fishing with a 6wt two handed (both full Spey and shorter, switch rod format) for the bigger central nth island rivers. Like an earlier contributor suggested, I think the enjoyment and novelty factor is significant. Id suggest however that a two hander by its nature is mechanically more efficient than a single hand rod.

I’m not an old fella by any means but I’m feeling more fresh after a day on the water with my two hander, and WAY more fresh after two days straight of relentless casting. The pulling action of the bottom hand drives a lot more power, more efficiently than the pushing action of that one hand on the single hand rod, not to mention the torque through that wrist. The increased rod length together with more power from a driving lower hand increases launch speed, and the longer head required for these rods also tends to land the fly further away, due to that extra 10 feet of unfurling. I’d also add that the skagit setup is very useful in the wind - I remember a day on the Whanganui last year skagit casting a wooly bugger on a medium length head and very short (3 foot) leader of 12lb test was the only way to get it out there. Everyone else had given up and gone home.

Similarly, 1 month ago on the tongariro, a short skagit head plus floating tip was the only way to get an indicator rig out into a 40 plus knot headwind. I did however have to land it pretty hard!

Ps I originally wrote this for your other post ‘Why skagit?’ bit having now read the other replies I can see that you were talking more about floating versus sinking heads, so I’ve posted it in here instead 😁
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Thanks for the technically reasoned  reply.      In my long experienced fishing for spawning run fish one has to present ones flies to them on the bottom as this is were they rest on their migration to their spawning sites.    You can either do that with a bomb when upstream nymphing or with a sinking line when swinging down and across.    For a long time now the latter has been practiced with sinking shooting heads of varying densities.     Normally these heads are cast overhead but this is not possible with willows etc close behind.     A few of us have practiced roll casting these single density heads which has opened up additional fishing water.    Recently we came across the ULS 3D sinking shooting heads from Guideline, which make distance roll casting much easier.   The difference and I have pointed that our in the Why Skagit thread is that they have the casting weight already integrated in their delta profile whereas the Skagit system has the casting weight in the floating head and the sink weight in the attached tip.    All of the ULS head sinks,   How fast and how deep depends on the density configuration of the triple  sections.     In the Skagit system once the line hits the water the floating casting weight is an impediment as it holds up the sink tip.    To overcome this problem the sink tip needs to be unnecessarily heavy to get down on a steep angle and  often needs help from  a weighted streamer.     As you know tip and head need to be weight balanced otherwise the rig would not cast well.    As a rule of thumb to achieve the same sink with a Skagit outfit head, tip and fly would be twice as heavy than a sinking Uls 3D head or a single density shooting head, none of which requires an additional floating head casting weight,

As you can see from the video clips distance Spey casting  with a 250 grain ULS head is not difficult at all, even with a single hand rod.     The best thing of all is that once the head has landed it sinks and does not skim across the surface spooking fish as a fat floating head does.

Of course the ULS heads can be cast in all the Spey styles with a double hander.    I have not bothered with any other than the TRC set up as I am alread dialed in to that for my upstream nymphing and apart from a few adjustments don't have to learn something new to achieve the same results.  

To be absolutely clear if I can get out to were the the fish are and down to them without the help of  a floating casting weight head then that method make more sense to me.     Try those Guideline 3D heads, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers

Rainbow

   




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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Stevoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 2021 at 4:23pm
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That makes sense Rainbow. Totally agree that it is counterintuitive to use a floating head when you are trying to get down to the fish - it works against the sinking effect of the sink tip, and creates a hinge which also affects bite detection. This is why I use a sinking skagit head such as Airflo FIST (which sinks at 3 ips at the tip). I also use sinking 3D Scandi lines on the two hander, especially in the summer months when i am fishing lighter flies nearer the surface (eg 1 foot below the surface).

I do however like using a single hander for days when it I know that I will be doing a combination of upstream nymphing and also wet lining. I do this regularly especially on a busy day when everyone else is nymphing - in the afternoons I typically wet line/skagit fish my way back downstream to the car, and hit the spots that the nymphers leave alone eg - the tailouts of pools, or runs, that are left alone by the nymphers in water that is difficult to wade, or overgrown with vegetation.

You have got me more curious on those Guideline heads, do you just use a 9 foot rod with those?


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2021 at 12:28pm
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I got a lot of 9 footers which I mainly use  for nymphing and wet lining but lately I have tested the TRTCD fly rod combination.   Just yesterday I tried out the 10' essembly with the 14 gram S2/4/6 ULS head with an additional 1m S7 tip and a #4 woolly bugger.     Unfortunately the distance is hard to see in the glare but believe me it flew out a long way.

Cheers

Rainbow

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2021 at 4:48pm
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More Guideline ULS 3D+ S2/4/6 shooting head Spey Casting in New Plymouth.    Also an overhead cast with the same head to show how well they fly 

Cheers 

Rainbow 


https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/614130768

https://vimeo.com/614128552?from=outro-local

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/614127154


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2021 at 9:03pm
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Last weekend I had a chance to Spey cast the fastest sinking ULS 3D shooting head from Guideline, which a friend imported directly from this company in Sweden.   As with other ULS heads I used my TRC set-up but had wondered how I would manage my anchor with this fast sinking head that has a sink rate of S3/S5/S7.   Surprisingly after a few trial casts to refine my timing I found no big anchor management impediments even though there was glare on the water making the black line quite hard to see under water.   With a few adjustments I got the timing dialled in and the casts simply sailed out.   Unfortunately the head was connected to a floating, coated shooting line.  Such a line provides a lot of mass and considerable friction, which causes the short head to turn over too quickly resulting in a considerable loss of distance.     In some of the casts it turned over so quickly that the head nose dived instead of the loop straightening.     It is clear that these short heads really fly with a mono shooting line, which is lighter and creates far less friction.   This is also what Guideline recommends.   This S3-S7 head sinks like a stone and may sink a bit too fast for a normal Tongariro flow but will certainly come into its own when the river is coming down after a good fresh and becomes ideal for swinging streamers.

 Cheers

 Rainbow 

PS    Not surprising I have had quite a few inquiries by mail, phone or in person from people wanting to buy siuch heads.     I have seen some on TRademe but have also heard that a NZ company will bring in some Guideline products.       

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2021 at 10:35pm
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Trial cast my new 12 gram ULS 3d fast sinking S3/5/7 shooting head.    Head is a bit light to pull sunken mono shooting line from the water so had to keep big loops in my lips.    Had a mark on my shooting line at 85' and most casts reached that far.   Would go further with a 14 or 16 gram head.     But cant complain most Spey casters I see on the Tongariro dont even get as far as that with their bigger rods.

Cheers

Rainbow


Lot more videos on this link

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2021 at 3:05pm
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Good News!     Sporting Life of Turangi is now selling the Guideline ULS 3D shooting heads.    My recommendations are S1/3/5,   S2/4/6,  S3/5/7   These three will cover most Tongariro situations.     Match line grain weigth to your rod. 
Cheers

Rainbow

Ps Only use mono shooting line such as RiO Slick Shooter or similar.
The ULS heads are only 6m long and braided mono (especially when wet)  or coated shooting lines have too much mass and friction, which turns the heads over too quickly.     This reduces distance considerably.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2021 at 12:59pm
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My latest Spey casting practice in New Plymouth casting the Guideline 12Gram ULS 3D S3/5/7 fastest sinking shooting head with a #6 9' CD XLS rod .   Casting Style is modified Tongariro Roll Cast.   https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WsnvgXNs-Bw

https://youtu.be/QejSNf5_yJ8

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wvzxdjMXo

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Rainbow

  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2022 at 10:22am
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Visited the Tongariro to take a few photos for my pending article on Skagit fishing and had this video taken by a friend.     Unfortunately it started to rain just as we started filming so this is the only take and not a very good one at that.   However it still shows how these Guideline shooting heads cast with little water disturbance.     Sporting Life has them now for $90.      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bCcacFP71Zo ;

Cheers

Rainbow
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2022 at 10:40am
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Mid June I held a Spey casting clinic for TALTAC on the Tongariro using the modified TRC to cast the new Guideline sinking shooting heads.     The response was great with the course fully booked out,      As expected success varied across the participants but what really impressed me was the enthusiasm to learn.      For myself I found it much easier to teach the more compact version of the TRC than the original for upstream nymphing with a floating line.      The sleek  mono shooting line is so forgiving that even a not so good setup results in a useable distance cast.     Whit these 6m heads it is easy to blow the anchor even with the greatest sink rate combination.      For a beginner it helps greatly swinging a big globug or a globug/ small streamer duo.      The globug volume anchors the D-Loop really well and greatly improves every cast.     It also catches fish!!!!!     Before leaving Turangi I called in at Sporting Life and they told me these new shooting heads a flying off the shelve or in their shop off the display wall.      If you intend to get one these are my recommendations for the Tongariro.  Guideline ULS 3D+ in S1/3/5,   S2/4/6,   S3/5/7.      S stands for sinking and the numbers are for inches per second.

Cheers

Rainbow
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2022 at 11:41am
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The NZ Fishing News published my article on Skagit but because of space constraints omitted some critical points.

Here is the full article.

The Quiet Evolution Of Skagit

By Herb Spannagl

 

The two most important laws of fly fishing are that you must be able to cast the fly to the fish and thereafter present it in such a way that the fish wants to eat it.  It does not matter what else you do well.  You might be a great trout spotter, artisan fly-tier, fearless river crosser or be kitted out with the most expensive gear but if you can not accomplish those two essential feats all your other efforts will count for nought.  What I am talking about is casting and line handling mastery, which in fly fishing are quite surprisingly very often  underrated abilities.  I have fished the Tongariro River since 1970 and over the years I probably see more anglers there in one day than I see elsewhere in a full fishing season.  I see the frustration of those with limiting casting skills, either not getting out to the fish or worse getting smacked by a heavy Tongariro bomb.

 Unlike other moving objects a fly line only travels forward as long as it turns over.  There are many casting styles to accomplish this but they all belong to one of two methods;  Overhead or Spey casting.  Every fly fisher knows what overhead casting is so I need not describe it.  Spey casting is less well understood.  Its principle characteristic is that the line instead of stretching out on the back cast forms a D-Loop whose bottom leg remains briefly anchored to the water.  

 Spey casting with its long and colourful history in northern Europe has in recent decades enjoyed a spectacular global revival, especially so in the United States.  There anglers fishing for Pacific anadromous steelhead and salmon have developed a casting style named after the Skagit River in Washington State.  Like many things “American” Skagit has eventually found its way to our trout fishing scene in New Zealand.  Here alongside the heavy promotion of double handed fly rods Skagit style streamer fishing has enjoyed a substantial following, especially so on the Tongariro River.    

 It is the evolution of Skagit style fishing in the New Zealand setting that I want to critically focus on in this article.  With the popularity of this style my analysis is bound to be controversial and I anticipate that a vigorous defence force will rises up to confront my evaluation.  I am a technical fly fisher and judge most aspects of this sport only on their technical merits.   In other words I ask myself, does whatever I am looking at actually makes sense?  To put it bluntly to my mind there are better ways than traditional Skagit to get flies down to deep lying fish.  

 On the Tongariro most Skagit outfits are used to target spawning run rainbows, which stubbornly hug the bottom of the river.  They do not feed and only occasionally intercept a fly, which must also be presented at depth.   

 A typical Skagit set-up consists of a short but heavy floating section, which acts as the casting weight to propel an attached sinking tip and at times a weighted fly.  A thick floating head, heavy sink tip and weighted fly have to be weight/mass balanced to cast well.  Therefore the total casting payload can be quite substantial and this demands a matched rod to deliver it.  On the Tongariro I have seen many such outfits that are hugely out of proportion with the typical three and a half pound Taupo trout.

 So what are the benefits of Skagit in New Zealand?  The few that I can think of are:

1. Anglers do not require a back cast and can fish in tight quarters.  

2. The accumulated mass of the thick floating head, sinktip and weighted fly has great inertia and this aids in loading the rod and cast very large flies.  The latter brings up the question why suddenly one needs a 6” fly to catch trout.   

3. The floating head also makes it easier for beginners to manage a reasonable delivery cast with not so perfect casting skills.   

 In addition to the accumulated weight of such an outfit there are several other disadvantages of the Skagit system.

1. The moment the floating head lands on the water it becomes a hindrance because it impedes the sinking tip from sinking freely.   

2. The bulky, often “high vis” coloured head skims unnaturally across the surface and this has been shown to spook fish.  

3. The sustained anchor casts normally associated with Skagit are very noisy and lack the elegance of other fly casting techniques.

4. In a river the fastest water flows at the surface.  This swings the floating Skagit head and the fly faster with less time in front of fish than if it were in a slower current deeper down.  

 Luckily this presentation can be done without having to take all the above mentioned handicaps on board.   Scandinavian anglers use a range of sinking shooting heads to Spey cast to trout and salmon.  At the beginning of last winter I fished at the Waimarino river-mouth at Lake Taupo with several other anglers.  After we all pulled out I learned that one of them had fished with a triple density Spey- castable shooting head made by Guideline of Sweden.  I had a trial flick with this new line , which to my astonishment sailed out much further than I would have expected.  Back home I did some research.  The Ultra Light Scandi 3D (triple density) sinking shooting heads come in a range of sinking densities for fishing from close to the surface all the way to the bottom of deep pools and fast currents.  Design-wise they become less dense but heavier towards the back to conform with typical Spey line design logic.  This seeming contradiction has two purposes.  As the casting weight is already built into the rear it makes them Spey cast really well.  The same feature also delays the turnover for very long Spey as well as overhead casts.  This is only half the story.  They also become lighter but denser towards the tip, which sinks faster. With this advanced design there is no need for a heavy floating Skagit head.  They sink immediately they hit the water and sink at a very shallow angle.  ULS 3D shooting heads only weigh 12-18grams or 185-280grain and are ideal for use with single hand and short double hand rods.  Because of their light overall weight they need to be cast with light, near frictionless mono shooting lines to achieve maximum distance.  

 Where will this trend go?  Good ideas get picked up by competitors very quickly and this can be observed in the gradual transformation of the original Skagit system.  We now see intermediate and even twin density Skagit heads and twin density iMOW tips with sexy names coming ever closer to these Scandinavian ULS integrated density sinking shooting heads.  I am sure common sense will prevail and the battle between between Skagit and Scandi will be largely one of geo/political name retention.

 With the absence of bed altering floods in the last few years willow seedlings are sprouting on almost every Lower Tongariro gravel beach; with some already big enough to make normal overhead casting difficult.  I have tried to Spey cast my normal, single density shooting heads but with mixed results.   Luckily during the winter I got my hands on a couple of these new Scandinavian sinking shooting heads, which are marketed by Guideline as ULS 3D+ shooting heads and are now imported by Sporting Life in Turangi.   

 My muscle memory is already programmed for the Tongariro Roll Cast set-up and with a few refinements this has become my “goto” method to easily Spey cast these shooting heads 80plus feet from both banks with my 9’ single hand rods.  Surprisingly with these short heads anchorage becomes quite critical and far to often I could hear the anchor blowing out behind me.  Maybe the problem is my single haul or the angle of the rod during the forward stroke?   I needed a solution.  This came via an additional 1m tip I had initially made up to increase the sinking of the front of the line.  This extra head length anchors my line much better and has massively improved my delivery casts.

ULS heads are very versatile.  Guideline videos show them casting these heads with a variety of Spey casting styles and short double hand rods.   

 Sadly, I am in the twilight of my fly fishing life and of what little that might be left I did not expect to encounter something as innovative as this new fly line invention.  During my last couple of trips I was keener perfecting my Spey casting with these new ULS heads than actually catching lots of trout.  Sound crazy, I know but for me the magic of fly fishing is the journey rather than the destination.  This new challenge makes me feel years younger and masks a lot of my normal aches and pains.   I am already looking forward to the next winter rainbow runs in the Tongariro.  

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