Why Skagit?

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    Posted: 09 Nov 2020 at 6:10pm
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I am struggling to get my head around the sense to use this fly casting method and associated equipment in New Zealand.    Considering its considerable uptake, especially on the Tongariro Rv. such a statement requires a considerate explanation as in the following:
 
1.The one and only purpose for this method is deliver a fly to the depth fish are holding, which in the Tongariro is near the bottom.
 
2. For decades this has been achieved with sinking lines and or sinking shooting heads cast with single hand rods.  
 
3. The only advantage (as I see it) of a Skagit set-up is that it does not need a backcast and therefore can be delivered with minimal back cast clearance.
 
4. Apart from that this method has considerable short comings.
    a.  It is essentially contradictory since it requires a heavy floating    section to deliver a heavy sinking tip and in some cases a weighted fly.
    b.  Not only does the casting set up cause unnecessary water disturbance which is further added by the thick floating portion spooking fish as it swings above them.     This certainly does not help any angler following.
   c.   Whilst this method can also be used with a single handed rod most use a double hander, which combined with the oversized fly line is much heavier to handle than sinking shooting head cast with a single handed rod.
 
So why did this method achieve such a popularity?    The answer in my opinion is a. its US origin (to which we Kiwis are highly susceptible) and b. strong marketing.   
 
The tragedy in all this that in our fixation (the one eyed leading the blind) to go with Skegit we have been largely ignorant that Scandinavian anglers have been casting the full range of sinking shooting heads  (Scandi style) much more elegantly and with minimal disturbance of the fishing water.   
 
 
Of course there is always the option of doing a traditional 100' overhead cast if the back ground allows it.
 
Anyone interested in this method should view this video by Klaus Frimor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQpuXosSSCk    
 
He also covers  casting sinking shooting heads.  
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 12:25pm
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Il hand you one of my flys that I use down here in winter and see how you go with a single hander LOL  4 inches of rabbit fur zonker strip on a 6# single hander..... good luck! 

Shooting heads come in sinking and multiple density sinking heads (Skagit and Skandi) and have done so for quite a few years now, so not sure why you think that they are all floating? 

Your only discussion is around about fishing the Tongario only though Rainbow.  That's a very limited area to discuss.  The popularity of the style has boomed due to the larger rivers that have high populations of trout such as the Clutha and Rangitata etc...  Rivers that make the Tongario look like a trickle.Wink 
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

The tragedy in all this that in our fixation (the one eyed leading the blind) to go with Skegit we have been largely ignorant that Scandinavian anglers have been casting the full range of sinking shooting heads  (Scandi style) much more elegantly and with minimal disturbance of the fishing water.   

I think you will find that most people that pick up double handed rods end up fishing both Skagit and Skandi.  Maybe you see people with double handed rods and assume that they are fishing Skagit.   Both options suit different waters.  For example you cant deliver the fly I was talking about in my last post with a long skandi line, however if the situation allows it I typically will fish the longest head I can, as I prefer the casting style.   Skagit is a tool to get big fly's out far and into deep water, both further out and deeper than you can with a single handed rod. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 6:10pm
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Thanks for the comments, Frazer.     It was in either 1975 or 76 that I spent three days on the Rangitata at Peel Forest.     I fished with a single hand #8 Winston fiberglass rod a 8m lead core shooting head and round and crap memory mono shooting line with a quite large black Hairy Dog wet fly.  Despite these shortcomings  I had no trouble casting this set up across the widest braids.    I also found that the lead core sink rate was more than I needed as it consistently scraped the bottom.     Nevertheless I caught a 24 and 17 lbs salmon on this gear and the only trouble I can remember was the time and distance it took to land both fish.     
With todays tungsten loaded sinking heads, near friction less shooting monos and modern graphite rods huge distance casts and bottom dredging are a breeze.   
My post was solely about casting fast sinking shooting heads to reach fish that hug the bottom irrespective of what river.     As I am fully aware of the difference between the two styles my question is why do you bother with an oversized Skegit outfit if you can cast a sinking shooting head that in much lighter but sinks faster huge distances with a Scandi cast.    As I said before if back casting room is available as it is in most braided salmon rivers I would not bother with a double hander and use a #8-9 single hander, Type 6 or 7 shooing head on a oval mono (i.e.Rio Slik Shooter) shooting line and just fire out 100'+overhead cast with only one back cast.    Such a set up would handle a 4" rabbit fly no trouble.    Again apart from the fact that any of the Spey casts do not need back casting room I see no advantage in either distance or sink rate.    I am also puzzled why we suddenly need huge and heavily weighted flies to catch trout.  
Klaus Frimor uses only a 24' fast sinking head with a short leader to minimise his anchor for his under hand cast.    
 
Cheers
 
Rainbow
 
Ps       "Skagit is a tool to get big fly's out far and into deep water, both further out and deeper than you can with a single handed rod".    Frazer, if you believe that than you obviously have never cast or fished a fast sinking shooting head with a good single hand rod.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jofly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 7:01pm
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I haven't had a lot of experience with this but I did have the pleasure of filming people that do know.  The main benefit I found personally is the ease and pleasure of casting although I must say I haven't caught that many fish yet.  I am much better at nymphing. 

Don't know if you have seen these but I will leave them here. You will notice it was only partly filmed on the Tongariro:



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 10:48pm
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This isn't that Skegit casting technique does not deliver flies or catch fish, the sole reason for this post is that underhand Scandi style does deliver full sinking shooting heads better, with more refined gear and far less water disturbance as demonstrated by Klaus Frimor in the video.   Isn't that enough to make you think?    
 
My interest in sinking shooting head casting is primarily because I winter fish for spawning run trout, which do not really feed and sit in the slower moving water right on the bottom.   If I lived in the middle of the South Island I would include salmon in the above sentence.    Since back casting room isn't always there I am keen to add Klaus Frimor's style to fish tight settings without changing anything gear wise.   I prefer to use light single hand rods that do both jobs .
 
A 250 grain type 6 or 7 full sinking head cast with whatever hand rod sinks faster and holds deeper throughout  the swing than a same type sinking tip that is held up by a finger thick floating head with combined weight in excess of 500 grain or much more.    Winter wetlining is all about getting a swinging fly down deep and keeping it there using the most logical ( lightest) gear and delivery technique.    It is ones personal choice to do that with a single or double hander.    
And while we are at it.    Neither can I see any sense to use weighted streamers, which are so popular with Skegit practitioners.   I prefer my unweighted streamers to move freely; reacting to every current variation.   To help with this I have lately used  a rod length leader that gives the fly much more freedom to move up and down and in and out.    The reason for this is my belief that a bait fish away from its protective habitat signals its vulnerability to any predator.  
Cheers
Rainbow  
 
My Skagit History
I also got lured into the Skegit thing.    I spent weeks learning to cast the heavy rig with a 12.5' double hander on a flooded gravel pit.    When I was ready I did a trip to the Tonga and let fly on the Lower Bridge Pool.    A Snap T and the following sweep ploughed the water into foam.    The heavy line shot out to the other side and on the swing the thick floater skimmed across the surface on the way back.    Eventually I hooked a 3 pounder that hardly bent the rod.   I fished on for an other hour ploughing the quiet pool into froth but eventually asked myself: " what I am I doing here?"    I put the rod in its tube and since then haven't taken it out again.    That was 5 years ago.  
 
 
   
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2020 at 9:08am
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Saw those a while back Johan.   Really well done bro Cool  Your really pulling some class videos together these days! 

We all know far too well that you believe that a single handed rod will cover every style of fishing, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is WRONG Rainbow.  I'm just not quite sure why you want to have a pop at anyone that wishes to broaden their horizons and try different styles?


From your discussion its obvious that you have extremally limited knowledge of double handed fishing so to make judgment calls on it with such sweeping comments shows complete arrogance. 

Where is the troll button lads? Ermm   I wont be commenting again on this thread! 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2020 at 10:04am
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Frazer, you obviously havn't studied Klaus Frimor's clip and what he says about Scandi Spey casting sinking shooting heads.    Nothing to do with double handers.    Your problem not mine.   
 
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: 12 Nov 2020 at 12:44pm
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More brain food for those who do not want to fish with a fly line a thick as a garden hose.
 
 
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: 07 Apr 2021 at 6:02pm
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As have said previously to get down to bottom hugging fish  I can not see the sense of tying on heavily weighted flies and using heavy sinktips that need to be cast with floating heads as thick and heavy as  a garden hose when all you need is a good old fashioned HD fast sinking shooting head.    

Something to think about!!!!!!

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: 08 Apr 2021 at 8:49pm
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Let me spell it out again      This thread is all about Spey casting a sinking shooting head without the need of a floating head to provide casting mass.    There is no better way to get down to the fish with minimal disturbance and one rig is all you need.     Is that so hard to understand????????  People have been fishing in this country with full sinking shooting heads since the seventies.    I was one of the first to do so after was given one by a visiting US angler and got shown the double haul by another US angler.  What is new is that a few of us are starting to Spey cast them now when there is lack of back casting room.     Have a good look at the videos you will definitely  learn something new.   

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: 09 Jul 2021 at 4:21pm
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 Only recently I had a chance meeting with Jim Allison of Turangi who as it turned out has been developing multi density shooting heads for Scandinavian company Guideline.    This company in now producing a range of multi density shooting heads with a triangular or Spey profile.     This profile has the mass/weight at the rear of the head, which helps to load the rod when the D-Loop is fully formed.     Jim imports heads, which he has judged good for wet lining the Tongariro.    I was lucky to get one with a sink distribution of S1,S3,S5.    The head is 6m long and rated for #6/7 single handed rods.     I used it on the TRYCD #7/8 10'.    Right from the start I banged out huge casts both single hand with haul and double hand when using the extended rod butt.     With the relatively short head anchor placement was a bit tricky at first as well as forward cast timing and power.    However, after about an hour's practice on a little lake in New Plymouth my big casts became more and more consistent as I relaxed with better timing and power application.    These 3 and 4density Guideline heads are a massive step up for wet lining or "swinging" as the new in- crowd now calls it.     For those of you who are not terminally knotted on "swinging" with a floating garden hose I can honestly recommend changing over to one of the Guideline 3D heads.    https://guideline.blog/2021/05/24/sink-rates-depth-control/
https://www.guidelineflyfish.com/products/flylines/shootingheads/guideline-skjutklumpar/uls-3d-ultra-light-scandi-102865-p0000066297
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glwsMraAYbU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osVkJQ_hKKY

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: 10 Jul 2021 at 1:17pm
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Hi Frazer you have really take the words out my mouth.     Thank you.    

Cheers 

Rainbow
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Personally I could not give a continental how people want to flyfish.   However, I care very much when some slow learners want to perpetuate bull**** against very clear logic and confuse lesser experienced fly fishers.   The difference between the Guideline ULS 3D+ sinking shooting head and the Skegit system is quite clear.  Skegit uses a heavy floating head (casting weight) to propel a heavy tip (sinking weight),  In the Guideline 3D head the casting weight is already built into the rear of the delta shaped head to provide the ideal casting mass in the D-Loop.   It is important to note that casting weight is not the same as sinking weight.    So in a nutshell the sink weight increases towards the tip while the casting weight increases towards the rear of the head.   It would be easy to create a delta shape in a single density sinking head but this would mean the the rear would sink faster than the tip, which of course would not fish well at all.  That is why these sinking heads use a multi density design to sink tip first on a shallow angle.  What are the advantages of such heads:

A. They weigh far less (a #8 head is only 240 grain irrespective of its sink rate configuration) A #8 Sink3,S5,S7 head still only weighs 240 grains.

B. Because in the water-column the whole head sinks into slower water and therefore swings slower and holds a fly down deeper.

C. Since they do not need a floating casting weight they sink easier and quicker as both the casting weight and the sinking weight is distributed along the density integrated head.  

D. They can be overhead, Skandi and Skegit cast with single or double handed rods.

E. As there is no floating head swinging on the surface these sunken heads do not disturb fish.

F. It is my firm belief that in New Zealand these heads will make the Skegit system completely redundant.

 

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: 20 Jul 2021 at 11:27pm
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Off to the Tongariro on Thursday so have been doing some practice casting these sinking 3D heads in a biggish puddle left by the recent rain near my home.    Not ideal but it gave me enough anchor to progress.     This afternoon I went to town to fill up the car and carried on to the Waiwhakaiho Rv on the otherside of town.     I have added another meter of Sink 6/7 to my USL 3D+ S1,3,5 head, which makes it a 7m head weighing 18grams.     

With the tide going out there was quite current flowing in the wide channel.   This made it more like a proper river for wet lining.     At the moment I am using a more compact sustained anchor TRC setup, which is starting to produce pretty consistant Spey casts of around 90'with my 10' #7/8 TryCD single hander.     All casts are made with a haul.    Overhead with a double haul the head rocks out well over 100'.      We shall do some filming on the Tongariro and I shall post a few clips on this forum.

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: 06 Sep 2021 at 7:20pm
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Good news    I finally uploaded my recent Spey casts with sinking ULS 3D S2,4,6 shooting heads,     The casts 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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(Post moved to ‘The Tongariro Roll Cast’ section)
Fishing is the answer, what was the question?
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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 3:52pm
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After watching a review of the Airflo FIST multi density Skagit head I could not help the impression that even the diehard Skagit folk are slowly coming around to the Scandinavian logic of casting multi density shooting heads, some of which have  the casting weight already built into the sinking head.   Since good logic always wins out in the end  I venture a pediciton that the two methods will  gradually morph into one and that will be towards the Scandinavian way.  

Cheers 

Rainbow


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snuffit. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2021 at 4:29pm
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The F.I.S.T is hardly new technology, have used them since 2015, of great benefit in higher flows as the head really digs in and slows the fly's traverse through the pool.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2021 at 3:09pm
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I had a great week on the Tongariro with my new Guideline ULS 3D shooting heads,    They surpassed all expectations, even though I was already confident during casting trials in New Plymouth.     Only used single handed rods for easy casts across some wide lower pools.    Definately a step up from what is practiced now,

Cheers

Rainbow
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