Using Skagit Heads and Sink Tips for Casting Heavy Flies.

The bullet weight on the rabbit strip video was supposed to be a one and done.  After the Skagit cast killers  video I posted one short video doing a single spey with a heavy Skagit rig, thinking it couldn’t really be done very well because that is what we are led to believe because that is pretty much what we tell each other on Speypages. I believed therefore the Skagit poke or wrap was the obvious way to go.

Janusz Panicz, aka Cloner from Speypages saw both videos and stated in no uncertain terms on Youtube in the comments section below the video the following:

OK. Now I know why you came up with the previous video about Skagit cast killers. It’s not a problem of a single spey as a cast versus heavy tip/heavy-big fly It’s a problem of a poorly executed single spey in general. Plus while standing in slow current or stillwater with such a heavy setup you need a preliminary roll cast to get the tip and the fly to the surface. In fact with such a heavy rig waterborne casts are not any easier than waterborne casts or even quite contrary. If you’re able to carry out the snap part of the cast prior to the sweep than you should be able to carry out the single spey cast as well You don’t because you do not provide enough acceleration while pushing away with your bottom hand into the sweep. Easier said than done with a heavy rig though …(Janusz Panicz)


Ouch…(me) (sad face)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Cloner has been a great mentor so I took him at his word. I decided to give it a good honest shot with a strong effort, with the attitude that it could be done. To make it interesting I decided to put a very heavy weight to the fly, to the point of almost being prohibitive, to me at least. Low and behold I surprised myself. It could be done, I just had to believe it could be done. Think outside the box. Cloner was right. Proper technique did get the job done.

Then came the next challenge. If I could single spey this thing better than I could Skagit cast it, there must be a glaring issue with my sustained anchor casting too!

Ed Ward had pointed out some things I needed to work on in one of my videos and I had not improved on those issues yet. My buddy Greg Holt has been dropping hints for years.  So I know I have work to do. The problem, or maybe the solution to my casting issues, became that the heavy Skagit rig and the bullet weight revealed so many weaknesses in my casting that I couldn’t quit tweaking my stroke until I could cast the stupid thing. It became a challenge. 

If I could cast that unit either way – airborne or waterborne I will have learned near perfect technique because that’s about what it takes to make any decent cast with that particular setup.

I don’t want to just muscle it out there, I want to hit the sweet spot, with the least amount of effort required.

It was all about pushing my casting limits personally, although I won’t be trying it on a longbelly any time soon.

2 thoughts on “Using Skagit Heads and Sink Tips for Casting Heavy Flies.

  1. In regards to the double spey attempt:
    I applaud the effort. You may have noticed that the sweep was somewhat high and cut the corner, and dropped the front 2 feet of the head onto the water before the forward cast. That cost you kinetic energy and caused too much stick.

    As a favor to me, try this cast again but make the sweep path longer by bringing the rod tip further inside on the layover, then sweep with the rod angle flatter and don’t raise the rod into transition until it is past your right shoulder (you taught me this trick, I don’t know how you missed it!). Watch your anchor so that 1/2 of your sink tip is in the air before the forward stroke–you have a heavy load in that “mop” of a fly.

    I liked how you forced the line path out and around the laydown on the sweep, that is critical for preserving tension.

    If that advice works, I’ll send you my “tip jar” pay pal address.

    1. Thanks Greg, for commenting on the blog, I appreciate it a bunch! I worked a bunch on this video and the casting too and I’m glad to get some feedback. I’ll chew on this a bit and give it a whirl! A big part of the problem, which is similar to what you are saying, is that my hands went behind me. When that happens its much more difficult to get the D loop in the correct position! Thanks for sharing buddy!

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