Single hand Skagit (sort of)

Single hand Skagit (sort of)

Viking Lars | Saturday, 12 September 2015

This week, I've tested a "light" Skagit line on my single hand rod for salmon and sea trout. The plan was to try and see if I could down scale a "true" Skagit outfit to fit a more Scandinavian style speycast, and still be able to cast and turnover very heavy sinktip and heavily weighted tube flies.

The scenario, as seen in the video, is a narrow, and VERY deep part of one of my preferred rivers. This particular sections runs from an electric powerplant (with a dam) through a forrest. NO room for backcasts what-so-ever, so speycasts are an absolute necessity.

There's no even room to throw a deep loop in behind one self, only option os to anchor beside your self, or a little upstream.

In this water, salmon and sea trout hold deep, very deep indeed, and even a souble hander makes no sense as there are overhanging trees. Own bank is some what overgrown with weeds, so a full sinking lines would mean I would have to begin the retrieve for a new cast as the fly is mid-river to avoid snagging.

Which is why I prefer a sinktip-style line for this fishing, The floating back part makes it possible to mend the line and keep the fly just outside the weeds on the dangle.

So, I was pleased to see that Rio has announced light weight Skagit heads (light as in Skagit-light :-). I got hold of a 200 grains head, and went out to test it.

I had on a 10´T-8 MOW-tip, and was not sure whether or not the line would turn over the tip and a heavy fly. But it did - with ease, even! I'll try a 10' T-11 next week and see how that goes. The impressive part is how this line pulls up a T-8 tip and heavy fly, with very little effort on my part, and even from a less-than-optimal anchor position. I didn't cast very far in the video - maybe up to 15 meters, but 20 is easy, I'd say, and probably also on the limitof what this rod/line combination will comfortably handle. But that has yet to be explored.

The setup certainly feels heavy on the rod (a 6-wt), but I'll be casting the same setup on a 9'6" 7-wt next week, and see if that feels a little better. The fun part about casting such a heavy line in a light outfit is the experience of how far weight will really go, even with relatively low linespeed. Reaching for distance with this outfit will overload the rod, I'm sure, but still, that remains to be tested.

The umtimate advantage is the ability to cast and fish very heavy tips, and heavy flies, on a light rod, and it's defintely a line and a setup that'll be part of my armoury for late season from now on. Overhead casting the setup is exciting to say the least :-).

Have a great weekend!