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Author Topic: Easy skagit head formula for single hand rods?  (Read 27721 times)
Waskocreek
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« on: January 26, 2012, 09:10:19 PM »

Here's a thought for those who have converted single handed rods to doublehanders. There must be a way to come up with a formula for making skagit heads based on rod length and AFTMA. Obviously it wouldn't give you an exact match but just something to get you in the right direction.

I have been asked about this a number of times lately but seeing as I don't own a rod of this type yet, I'm not sure how to answer. Does anyone have any ideas?
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riveraddict
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 08:53:17 AM »

   "Uplining" by 3 line weights seems to be a fairly reliable, general "formula". Example, for a 4 weight rod, casting standard 4 weight flies, use the weight of a #7 line - 185 grains as the target figure. Keep in mind that individual casting "style" will influence whether or not these weights may end up feeling a bit too light, too heavy, or just right. But, in general this "formula" should get most everyone "in the ballpark".       
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swingman
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 09:21:39 AM »

I like the uplining by 3 wts tip, going to file that one away.

What i did to dial in a 4wt conversion rod, bought a 360gr airflo skagit on ebay, let a bit of the head out of rod and cast, kept doing this in 6" increments until it felt right (to me), then the old splice and dice method to make her a whole line. It is a touch expensive; but works. If you watch ebay a lot you can  sometimes  find cheap heads.

 
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Waskocreek
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 09:22:05 AM »

So, using this same 4 weight example, if one could cut back a short skagit or single hand skagit to 185 grains this would be a good start? And would that take into account tips?

What about length? I'm thinking 2.5 times the rod length, tip included, would be a good start.
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Waskocreek
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:24:20 AM »

I like the uplining by 3 wts tip, going to file that one away.

What i did to dial in a 4wt conversion rod, bought a 360gr airflo skagit on ebay, let a bit of the head out of rod and cast, kept doing this in 6" increments until it felt right (to me), then the old splice and dice method to make her a whole line. It is a touch expensive; but works. If you watch ebay a lot you can  sometimes  find cheap heads.

 

Good idea. Did you do this with a tip and fly attached?
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riveraddict
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 10:14:21 AM »

   The uplining by 3 is meant to achieve a Spey-castable line via standard singlehander lines. In other words, if you put a "standard" 30'ish floating singlehanded 7wt line onto a 4 weight rod, it should be quite Spey-castable with standard 4 weight type flies. However, if one wishes to cast tips and/or larger/heavier flies, then the weight of the "upline" - in this case the 185 grains of a 7 weight line - is the figure used for selecting/creating a Skagit BELLY (exclusive of tips).
   2.25 to 2.75 times rod length seems to be the most workable Skagit line length (including length of tips) for conversion rods.           
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Waskocreek
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 11:34:25 AM »

Thanks Ed. That makes perfect sense.
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swingman
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 09:08:22 AM »

Wasko,

Sorry I missed your question, I did do it with a small length (2') of t-8 4' of leader and a size 2 throw away fly. I probably could have tweaked it a bit better, but she does the trick.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 10:02:14 AM by swingman » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 10:39:46 AM »

   Uplining a singlehanded rod by 3 weights for singlehanded Spey-type casting is a trick that's been around for a very long time. It's been an Alaskan guide "standard" for fishing canopied side channels for 'bows or silvers where backcasting room is severely limited since at least when I first started guiding in AK (early 90's). Back in those early days of my AK guiding, my personal favorite rod, a 10' 5 wt Loomis IMX uplined to an 8 weight shootinghead line, performed absolute wonders with singlehanded Spey-type casts. Of course, bear in mind that this uplining is a tactic aimed at yielding a FLOATING line that is DEDICATED to Spey-type casting. In other words, this upline will probably feel too heavy for consistent overhead casting. In my experience, this "upline by 3" recommendation is very reliable for yielding a WORKABLE Spey-type casting line on most rod actions and makes. However, on some rods, particularly fast actioned rods, "upline by 3" may end up a bit light for "perfection". So, on fast actioned rods it may take an upline of 4.
   Now then, to work up a Skagit line for sinktips, the weight of the entire floating upline is used as the basis for the weight of the intended Skagit belly. So, using as an example, a singlehanded 4 weight rod rated to cast a line of 120 grains. To create a dedicated Spey-type casting floating line for this rod, we uplined it to a 7 wt floating line, AFTMA 185 grains. To produce a Skagit belly, we take the weight of that floating upline - 185 grains - and use that figure as the target weight of our Skagit belly. The next consideration for working up a Skagit belly is to figure the needed length of the belly. To do this one must first determine intended overall length of line (including tips), along with the length of tips to be used and rod length. I've found through experience that an overall line length ratio of around 2.5 times rod length to be very useful, so that will be the target. We'll also use T-8 MOW's as the intended tips to be used as that's what I'm using on my 4 weight conversion and they are 10' long. My 4 weight conversion rod is about 9' long (8'9" plus 4" lower handle addition). So, 2.5 times rod length = approximately 22', minus the 10' length of the MOW tips = 12'. So, I'm looking to work up a Skagit belly of about 185 grains @ around 12' in length. That's pretty much "how it's done"... hope it makes sense!          
      
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 08:27:32 AM by riveraddict » Logged

swingman
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 11:20:07 AM »

Ed,

Thanks for the tip(s) it make sense, I will have to weigh the line I made, curious to see it its in the 185gr range. I am kind lazy when it comes to dialing in a line, my fault on that, you have it nailed for sure.
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riveraddict
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 11:29:59 AM »

Swingman'
   It's nice to have a scale and weigh lines and thus be able to record for future reference the weight and length of lines used on any particular rod and how they worked/felt. Even with commercially manufactured flylines there can be a difference of 20, 30 grains amongst individual lines of the exact same model. That variance can make the difference between "nice casting" and "awesome casting", particularly on very light rods (20, 30 grains is a much higher percentage on a 150 grain line as opposed to a 500 grain line).
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 05:07:03 PM by riveraddict » Logged

swingman
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 12:20:45 PM »

Ed,

I have a scale, sometimes laziness gets in the way, I'm the guy that added dirty dishes to full dishwaser and ran clean cycle again. Instead of emptying it out. Yeah I know, wife pitched a bitch about that one....
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riveraddict
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2012, 05:02:08 PM »

   One thing I should say is that the 2.5 ratio I selected for use in the example, is to "condense" available weight into a fairly short package. This then "ups" the capacity of the particular rod for casting either/or bigger/heavier flies, and/or sinktips, and/or casting in conditions of wind. Another plus, for physically fit and athletically gifted anglers having unusual characteristics of stamina (note, very heavy sarcasm here), is that the shortness of the line allows strip retrieving to a fairly close proximity to the angler while using streamers. Thus, one can retrieve the fly to within a visual range to confirm or deny whether or not the fly is being pursued by a fish and if not, one simple roll cast slips the back of the head out to the rod tip and a subsequent cast can be made with minimal "extra" rod/line manipulations.   
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middlecalf
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012, 08:03:17 PM »

Ed sorry, I got lost at the end of your recipe.  Is the skagit 'belly' 22' or 12' in length?
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skagit mist
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 12:39:23 AM »

Here's a curve ball, skagit casting with a true single hander. I fish a 8100-zaxis with skagit heads, factory built, single hander. You can still achieve the stroke, and power to cast, I also allow room in my running line for a haul at the end of it all. It adds distance.
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