Skagit Casting Troubles? Try a high, slow, sweep…

When it comes to Skagit Casting technique there seems to be a lot of talk about ripping the line across the water to make a big white mouse to load the rod.

From my experience, a lot of casters don’t know what exactly to do with that loaded rod but used correctly it can be a  powerful way to cast sink tips and weighted flies.

But for me, I use a different Skagit Casting Technique to cast sink tips and weighted flies that is much less difficult pull off and very effective for Skagit Casting.

Generally, The shorter the Skagit line, compared to the length of the rod, the slower the sweep must be. A shorter rod with a longer line requires a flatter faster sweep to keep the fly from sinking during the sweep and keep the tension required to form a nice big D loop.

 

I recently tried the Airflo Skagit FIST 510 grain head on my Beaulah Classic 12’6″ and found it to be a little fussy to cast compared to my floating Scandinavian shooting heads or floating Skagit heads with 10 to 15′ sink tips.   I spent a little time getting used to the FIST with a 10′ 90 grain sink tip and a non weighted to a moderately weighted fly.  My best casts by far came when I used a Double Spey with a high, very slow sweep.  

Its a very easy cast to pull off and it doesn’t take much back casting room, which worked out well since I didn’t have much at the time.  There is no real acceleration involved in the sweep, or peeling, ripping or tearing the line off of the water.  Just a high, gentle sweep that provides a large enough D loop with very little effort.  

You end up with a pretty light anchor using this cast and it flies well.  You can punch the forward cast out there a little, in fact, if you really want to jack it out there it almost requires a little extra on the forward stroke since the D loop is only decent sized and not as big as it might be if the sweep were flatter and maybe just a tad zippier.  But Skagit heads are so bulky they really don’t require much acceleration to make a decent cast, so with the high, slow sweep you get a decent enough D loop to get the job done with minimal drama precluding the forward cast.  

6 thoughts on “Skagit Casting Troubles? Try a high, slow, sweep…

  1. mi e´stata regalata una SAGE 15´ TCX quinta generazione con uno SCANDI long F 35 gm. quale tipt e´consigliabile , non conosco il limite della suddetta canna . 43 / 44 / ? non riesco a trovare nessuno che possa rispondere alla mia domanda. potete voi aiutarmi?

    1. very light 10 or 15′ sink tips such as Airflo 10′ or 14′ fast sinking polyleader or lighter. That is a very powerful rod. A Scandi head of 41 grams would be better to load up the rod, but your line might be fine also, good luck and thanks for asking!

  2. line spid credo che il mio spey usando scandi shcort multitip, non sia perfetto , credo che la coda sia un po corta per uno spey come visto nei tuoi filmati, li parli di un long body, ma non vedo nel mio negozio rio long body. Consiglio da te???? GRAZIE

    1. Thank you Brutti. I do not think your System is to short. On a Spey rod a good rule of thumb is that the sink tip or floating tip should be at least 10 feet long or the length of the rod give or take a few feet. The shooting head can be about 1 3/4 the length of the rod approximately. A 13′ rod can cast a 20′ shooting head with a 10′ sinking or floating tip. For a sink tip, a 3′ leader and fly is fine. For a floating tip a 7 to 15′ leader is fine. So if your spey rod and line system falls within these Parameters or comes close you should be fine. If you are having problems it may be because you are sweeping too fast or too high. Try sweeping very very slowly and see if this helps. If not, try a little bit longer leader and see if that helps. I hope this is helpful to you. Thank you for your question and let me know if this helps you. If not feel free to ask more questions my friend….Tim

  3. Your video totally denies the CMCL theory and its principles 😉 (which is false BTW). Some Skagit only casters would call those practices you demonstrate “Skagit cast killers” or “you don’t do that with Skagit”. With Scandi, sure, why not but Scandi is different from Skagit. Sure it is a bit different as shooting head profile but it’s subject to the same rules of physics. Period.

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