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'Skagit' Taper Blanks and Rods
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Author Topic: 'Skagit' Taper Blanks and Rods  (Read 11942 times)
David_of_Gondor
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« on: December 23, 2010, 08:17:27 PM »

Hello folks,

Been lurking here for a little while but now I'm legit.  As with a lot of folks, skagit style casting and gear was a revelation for my fishing and casting, kudos to the experts.  Anyways, a questions for you folks on skagit style rods.  I'm a rod builder with a fair bit of experience with spey and switch rods so excuse the techy question.  Although its hard to generalize with spey gear, my experience building spey rods suggests that typical (if there is such a thing in the spey world) skagit style blanks have a regressed taper meaning the blank gets 'softer' in stiffness as you approach the butt of the rod rather than stiffer as in a progressive action blank.  This is typical of the Bob Meiser's MKS series and the Loomis Roaring River Dredger series.  So the question, why a regressed taper for skagit style casting and lines?  My understanding is that the 'softer' style blank helps maintain constant rod load during the sweep, thrust and forward stroke but I've never been happy with my own understanding of why this type of blank taper.  Your comments would be appreciated as clear understanding of the reasoning is hepful to me as a builder. 

Dave.

   
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camosled
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 04:43:05 PM »

One critical element of a good two hander is a damp tip.   If the tip section is stiff and the mid portion softer with a progressive, but smooth flexing butt section, you get a rod that casts heavy heads well using the sustained rod load you mentioned and casts lazer tight loops with dry lines, in lighter weights.   If the tip is not sufficiently stiff, the rod sends waves down the line with the lighter lines and doesn't stop the energy at the tip at the end of the forward stroke.  Slower rods require less effort, and your timing, while it still has to be good, isn't a critical as with a faster action rod that loads and unloads as you back off on the power or stop altogether.  Softer rods also cast in close better and more efficiently than progressive/stiff butt/softer tip rods...But if you put enough grains on it, you an slow any rod down.

Don't know if this helps...

JM

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riveraddict
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 09:52:24 AM »

Dave,
   I'm no "rod engineer", but judging by "feel" from casting, I don't think that the Loomis Dredgers are regressive in action, but rather progressive. The MKS's are for sure regressive. As far as "performance", Skagit casts can be performed with any action of rod. In general, the faster the action, the better the caster's timing must be to realize the rod's best potential. Faster rods give the best performance in conditions of wind. Moderate actioned rods provide better feedback to the caster through "feel". Regressive actioned rods excel at distance casting, in my experience. However, a regressive action would not be my choice if casting "accuracy" such as being able to slide casts under overhanging trees was a significant requirement of angling circumstances.
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David_of_Gondor
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 06:52:03 PM »

Thanks folks, the feedback is very useful.  RA, I may be assuming incorrectly that you were involved in the development of the Dredger series?  If so, just wondering as to your insights into why those rods have the action they do versus the Stinger series (a contrasting action from the same company)?  They are very different and I am curious as too why the Dredger series uses the style of taper it does, given that they are specifically made for Skagit style casting?  I would assume that their style of taper is used for specific reasons, just wondering what those might be?  Thanks again folks.

Dave.
   
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riveraddict
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 11:08:07 AM »

Yes, Steve Rajeff engineered the Dredger designs with my input, as were the Stingers designed with Leif Stavmo's input, and the Greasedliners with Steve Choate's input.

The Dredger action has a couple of purposes. As regards casting, the deeper flexing profile is conducive to holding a continuous load better than a more tip-flex profile. This trait is most advantageous for casting in tight-quarters circumstances and also for casting "clunky" rigging such as short sinktips and/or weighted flies because of a more prolonged "holding" and then "releasing" of casting energy. This action produces better "feel" or caster feedback also. In addition, when it comes to playing fish, a deeper flex profile allows one to bear more pressure onto a fish while still retaining good dampening characteristics against "shock". These are all characteristics that I have found to be of the most advantage through the broadest spectrum of fishing circumstances. The tradeoff is that the Dredger action is not an "ultimate distance" type of rod, or the best at punching flies into headwinds, or at setting hooks at long distance. In the case of needing ultimate distance,  casting into headwinds, or long range hooksetting power, then I do in fact choose to use the Stingers in a Skagit casting capacity with excellent results. This is a good example that no one rod action "does it all", along with the fact that Skagit casting is not restricted to one type of rod action.  
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:23:05 AM by riveraddict » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 11:19:50 AM »

One other thing to note about the Dredger action is that the deeper flex profile means that it "easily" produces and then holds a load through constant motion, constant load technique and is thus a "finesse" caster... one must load the rod purely through proper technique PRIOR to the casting stroke. The actual casting stroke is then mostly a "releasing" of that stored energy into the forward cast with very little additional power applied into that forward stroke - the rod does the casting so to speak. Casters that "hammer", "pop", or push hard into the forward casting stroke will not realize the casting potential of this type rod action because their particular casting stroke literally overpowers and overloads an already loaded rod!  
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:26:25 AM by riveraddict » Logged

David_of_Gondor
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2011, 01:55:29 PM »

Thanks Ed, your explanation makes perfect sense to me.  It also makes sense to me that no one style of rod does it all, besides it wouldn't be nearly as fun as a rod builder if all a person needed was one spey rod.  Everybody's preferences and casting stroke are different in the end I guess; comments made by Low Holer about fast versus deeper flexing rods specifically for Skagit Casting reinforce that point.  Thanks for the insights.

Dave.
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