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.