Airflo produces tips in T-7, T-10, T-14, and T-18, whereas Rio produces tips in T-8, T-11, T-14, and T-17. How to use tippet. For example, if you have a 27 foot head and a 12 foot tip on a 13 foot rod, you would have a 3-to-1 head+tip to rod ratio (27' head + 12' tip / 13' rod = 3, thus a 3 to 1 ratio). With the 30 being the longest length and each increment being a little shorter than the previous. If you are missing any one of these three line components, you do not have a complete spey line and your casting will suffer. "Winter Nymp. In Finland they are called Puukko but are of the basic knife design we and others call Scandi. The last section being a little longer to allow for fly changes during the day. By "pre-packaged" I mean that the tips are ready to go out of the package. If you are fishing deep heavy flowing water, you will want a heavier sink tip. Seventeen foot would really be a minimum depending on rod length, your height above the water and weight of fly. If you need to get down deeper than the fast sinking Poly allows, you would be better off switching over to a Skagit head and tips. The length Poly/Versileader to choose depends on rod length as well as casting style/preference. A leader forms the essential link between the fly line and the fly. Available configurations are 10' Float, 7.5' Float/2.5' T, 5' Float/5' T, 2.5' Float/7.5' T, 10' T, and 12.5' T. So why in the world would anyone want all of these options? For example: If you wish to select a head for a 13’0” 7 wt rod, you could select a Scandi head length of either 33 or 36 feet, and either of these head lengths would be available in weights of 450, 475 or 500 grains. In the past few years, Skagit tip design has progressed substantially and there now are quite a few different types of skagit tips on the market. According to Ritz, suppleness in leader material is only necessary at the tippet, where, in his opinion, 20 inches is the ideal length. Skagit tips are available in a variety of sink rates as well as floating. I have snagged and subsequently recovered some pretty impressive logs (read: trees) from swift currents using this stuff. These shooting heads attach to a running line/shooting line which is a thin line that shoots out easily through your guides as it follows the head out across the water. Again, personal preference. The primary benefit of this is that it preserves your Poly/Versileader by allowing you to change your leader material as frequently as you want without cutting/shortening the pricey Poly/Versileader. The shorter head balances better, to my tastes anyway, with the VersiLeader than the longer head (520 grains at 38 feet). Due to their ability to turn over large flies and their availability in fast sink rates, Skagit tips are the name of the game for winter steelheading. Unlike skagit tips, Poly/Versileaders do not add too much meaningful grain weight to the head, but nonetheless function as an integral part of the line system. Klaus is the main rod designer for single and two handed rods for Loop. For spey rods 12' or shorter, I would recommend Poly/Versis in the 5-8' range, for spey rods 12-13'6", I would go with 10 footers, and rods 13'6" and up, go with 14 footers. The tips use the "Sink" rating system and are dual density, with a lighter sink rate in the back and heavier sink rate up front. However, an important distinction to make is that spey is a style of casting, not necessarily a type of rod. Scandi heads are typically 20 – 40 feet long and are well suited to be fished with the addition of a floating or intermediate sinking poly leader. High tenacity nylon core leaders, coated with a super low modulus polymer mixture with different density options. @houdyg, Sending so much love and healing to our amazing fr, "I want fly fishing to feel like the grocery store, TUESDAY TIP – Winter Fishing Week #8. Leaders wear down after extended periods of use and become ineffectively short, thick, and stubby. Each of these sink rates are offered in three different grain weights - 96 grains, 132 grains, and 168 grains. So yes, you must have a tip. It is fairly obvious why you need to have a shooting head and running line, however there often tends to be some confusion as to whether or not a tip is absolutely necessary. One more disclaimer, there are some types of tips on the market that do not neatly fall into either of the above categories, however we'll just say that these are for "niche" applications and not paramount to the understanding of basic Skagit and Scandi line setups. The graduate program is two years long and presents a designated position for … To get technical for a moment, "Sink" type tips can be manufactured to have the same sink rates in different grain weights. Skagit casters custom cut their tips to the length of their preference. I still use “Poly Leaders” (Airflo) as the generic term, but some use “Versi-leader” (Rio) or “Sonar Leader” (SA) or “Siking Leaders”. Some of the differences between Modern Scandi Style and Underhand are shooting head length, leader length, the grip, the lift the sweep, hand movements, body position. Just a few years ago this section would have been very short, as the only type of Skagit tip available was level T, cut to the casters preferred length. I would recommend rounding out your summer steelheading assortment with the Floating, 1.5 ips, and 5 ips Versileaders. Welcome to the spey zone where you can find information on switch rod & spey casting setup product information, spey fishing articles and more. The Salmon/Steelhead version comes in 5', 10' and 14' lengths and are available in seven different densities - Floating, Hover, Intermediate, Slow Sinking, Fast Sinking, Super Fast Sinking, and Extra Super Fast Sinking. Let's try to make sense of this all. A leader must retain just the right amount of energy during the cast to place the fly perfectly on target. How much tungsten is used is what the "T" rating identifies. Performance Features: This is the Scandi head line for all Spey rods. Most Skagit leaders are not tapered and instead are a single piece of spooled monofilament. There certainly is some merit to this, but realistically, a simple untapered piece of leader material works well enough that I have rarely ever bothered doing anything else. Thus, lower line weight rods might struggle casting higher "T-" tips. FLO tips seamlessly combine intermediate and T material to create a smoother transition from the skagit head. For example, OPST offers a Sink 5/6 tip in both 132 grains and 168 grains. The RIO Scandi head is a very easy casting Scandi style shooting head, built on RIO’s ultra-low stretch ConnectCore for the utmost in casting control and sensitivity. This could be a whole blog post in itself, so I'll hold off on going down the tip selection rabbit hole for now. So if the line still feels light, try a heavier poly. The sink rate of T-10 and T-11 are virtually identical, however different manufacturers use different T designations. Scandi heads are usually about 2.5 times the length of your rod, or about 26 feet for that rod. As their names imply, these are leader systems that vary in material composition, length (from 6 to 15 feet), and sink rates (from floating to 7 inches per second or “ips”). The number that follows it is the inches per second that the tip will sink. A spey cast is deemed a spey cast when the fly line is cast under the rod tip on the back cast (as opposed to over the rod tip in a traditional fly cast), AND is allowed to anchor onto the surface of the water (near or slightly in front of the angler) before makin… Commando tips are 12' long and come looped on both ends with identification labels. One more super important thing about these tips...they are labeled! They are available in T-7, T-10, T-14, and T-18, in both 10' and 12' lengths and come factory looped on both ends. Airflo Polyleaders - Airflo makes a ton of different Polyleaders, however the two that are most relevant for spey applications are the Salmon/Steelhead Polyleader and the Sea Trout/Steelhead Polyleader. Pros: Get better casting performance out of any weight rod due to ability to appropriately match grain weight of tip to grain window of rod, a great tip option for lighter weight spey and switch rods, looped and labeled. Therefore the above rod weight consideration is of less relevance when dealing with "Sink" type tips. At the end of the Scandi head we would attache a longer mono tapered leader, typically 12 – 15 feet or a poly leader at 10 feet plus a few feet of tippit. Rio Spey Versileaders - Rio's Spey Versileaders are available in 6' and 10' lengths and come in six different densities - Float, 1.5 ips, 3 ips, 4 ips, 5 ips, and 7 ips. ULS is an abbreviation for Ultra Light Scandi, which means very light weight fly fishing tackle. If water temperature is over 50 degrees and the water has good clarity, a Scandi Head is the preferred head of choice for steelhead anglers. Here are some common "T" ratings and their associated sink rates: You will notice that there are some overlaps in the above "T" ratings, such as T-10 and T-11. We'll start with a quick refresher on the basics of modern spey lines. Casting a Skagit Head is like driving a dump truck – they are heavy and clunky, and they are meant to be used for winter steelhead fishing or any time when you need to move around a heavy sink tip and a weighted fly. Remember that "T-" refers to the grains per foot of a tip. You can use polytips but they reduce the versatility of the leader sliding in the water surface. Why in the world I thought I needed 18' skagit tips is beyond me, and they sure were a pain to cast. They come in a pre-determined (usually 10' or 12') length with loops welded on both ends, totally ready to attach to your head and go fishing. Keeping the conversation specific to the realm of Skagit and Scandi, "Tips" fall into two general categories: Skagit Tips and Polyleaders/Versileaders. If you do not use a long leader with your Scandi line your casting will suffer because you will frequently break or rip your anchor off the water or you will have tailing loops on every cast. The first method is to tie on the leader material much like how you typically add tippet to a leader, using either a blood knot or surgeon's knot. There are two primary rating systems used to identify sink rate - "T" and "Sink". Compared to skagit tips, Poly/Versileaders make a much more delicate presentation on the water. Pros: Improved line pickup, improved turnover, looped on both ends, labeled, more consistent swing. Where scandi heads do poorly (compared to Skagit) are in wind or with heavy flies/tips. Last Weeks Recap – The most commonly used types of Spey lines are shooting heads. You'll notice that there is no pros and cons comparison of the above Poly/Versileader options from Airflo and Rio, as they are virtually identical products. And by "only use" I mean absolutely do not trust anything else...at all. While you can cast a scandi head with a regular tapered leader, you will get much better line stick and turnover out of your scandi line when used with a Poly/Versileader. They were used as a general cutting tool. I would recommend reading Part 1 before jumping into today's post if you haven't already. Historically, virtually all skagit tips were simply level sections of sinking line ("T" material) cut to length based on the caster's personal preference. Airflo offers Polyleaders in 5, 8, 10, and 14' lengths, while Rio offers Versileaders in 6 and 10' lengths. These components are geared toward specialty fishing situations like toothy fresh and saltwater critters. For most anglers getting started in Spey casting, it is a good idea to buy both a Scandi head and a Skagit head to prepare you for fishing in all conditions. So what length tip is appropriate for you? In total, the head and leader length should be around 25-32 feet in length. I'll offer this advise, if you are hanging up on the bottom with any frequency, your tip is too heavy. In my opinion no, but it does create the opportunity for experienced anglers to really dial in the perfect sink rate/depth for water that they commonly frequent. So fret not if you were advised to use a T-11 tip but all you own is a T-10 tip; they are virtually the same. OPST also has 7.5' and 5' tips available which pair well with shorter spey/switch rods as well as single hand rods. This is where OPST presents a solution with their Commando Tips. This makes things super easy. Skagit and Scandi heads are pretty specific as far as which type of tip works best for them. That being said, "T" is a far more popular type of tip in the world of Skagit, so be prepared to mostly speak about skagit tips in terms of T-. Whatever you want to call them, these nylon core coated and tapered leaders are commonly used with Scandi lines to both lengthen the head and achieve some depth. Daunting for sure, but the good news is that most of them will likely cast fine with your skagit head. https://uwotf.com/blog/choosing-the-right-length-of-spey-lines-and-leaders Lastly, there are floating and intermediate tips available. Commando tips are dual density, with the front half being a heavier sink rate than the back half (for example, the Riffle tip is rated Type 2/3, where the back half of the tip is Type 2 sink rate and the front half is Type 3). Back in the day, there were few pre-packaged skagit tips available. Both of these tips have a sink rate of 5/6ips, but they have used varying amounts of line material to produce a tip that weighs 132 grains and a tip that weights 168 grains. To create the standing loop in the Poly/Versileader I tie a perfection loop and add a drop of Loon UV Knot Sense for added security. Airflo FLO Tips - These are my personal favorite tips currently on the market. Cons: More difficult line pickup (line pickup refers to lifting the line out of the water during the casting stroke) compared to newer tip designs, less control over fly depth compared to newer designs. Origin of Scandi Knives. Just make sure to pick up a few different sink rates, as there is no one sink rate that will be appropriate for every river and situation you are likely to encounter. Facebook * Instagram. To give you even more options, MOW tips are also available with Intermediate (rather than floating) configurations via the Rio Skagit iMOW Tips. Floating Scandi line perfectly suited for throwing smaller salmon steelhead flies. Consequently, a shorter leader (1 x rod length) can be used as the slower action rods don’t require as much line tension to load as a faster action rod. Scandi tackle and casting techniques are in many ways a radical departure … Thanks for letting me ramble on. If you are fishing slow moving shallow water you will want a lighter tip. Scandi heads are tapered so that they are fat in the back tapering down to a fine tip where the line attaches to the leader. Usually, you’ll find leaders in lengths of 7.5-ft, 9-ft, or 12-ft for anglers who fish in varying conditions with 9-ft as the standard. The rods are usually ranging from 11 – 14 feet in length with a moderate stiff or fast action. These are sold in long lengths with the intention of the caster cutting multiple tips to their preferred sizes. Because of this mass, Skagit tips do a great job at turning over large flies. Choosing the right tip for your spey setup is crucial to casting performance and is not quite as straight forward as it once was. Tie a perfection or surgeons loop into the leader, loop-to-loop that sucker onto your tip, and go fishing. For head length, try a head that's 2.5X rod length … Due to their short and untapered design, Skagit heads are a bit clunky to cast. If you want your fly high in the water column you will want a lighter tip. To put it simply for now, the tip is an integral part of the spey line, and to try to cast without one would be to try and cast with only two thirds of your line. For summer steelheading I suggest a quiver of Floating, Intermediate, T-7, and T-10 tips. Floating Scandi Line for Salmon and Steelhead. Each 3D MOW tip is 10ft long, with 3ft of the first and second sinking sections, and 4 feet of the fastest sinking section. The leader used with a Scandi Head should be 1.5 times the length of the Spey rod. That being said, they really are a pretty great solution to the classic dilemma of an angler's preferred sink-rate "T" tip not being an ideal match in terms of grain weight for their rod of choice. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but these are the tips that I have the most personal experience with. For example, an angler with a 6 weight spey rod might really want to use a T-14 tip in a given run to get his/her fly down as deep as possible. There are quite a few spey anglers that prefer to taper their leaders by using a stiffer butt section. Or the 7 1/2′ 3X extended with tippet. a Sink 3 tip can weigh the same as a Sink 7 tip). But I try to keep the knots in this rig to a minimum. Fast forward to modern day Skagit casting, I rarely ever cast any tips longer than 12' and mostly stick to 10' tips. Fly shops often carry bulk spools of level T which they can cut to any length specified. Because these heads easily attach to the running line via a loop-to-loop connection, you only need one reel with running line to which you will attach the appropriate shooting head for the conditions. They are available in a variety of sink rates and come in lengths from 5' to 14'. A Scandi line works best for swinging small wet flies and nymphs (left), while a Skagit head will get streamers … My preferred method, however, is to tie a permanent standing loop in the tip end of the Poly/Versileader and attach my leader material to this loop via a loop-to-loop connection. That being said, here is my two cents on the subject. Put another way, there are a lot of freaking skagit tips to choose from nowadays. The "Sink" system is pretty straight forward. When I first started spey casting, I eagerly filled my tip wallet with homemade 12', 15', and 18' tips in various sink rates. Although Poly/Versileaders are called "leaders", you will still need to add on several feet of leader material to the front end of the Poly/Versileader before tying on your fly. Over the past couple of years, the variety of skagit tips on the market has grown immensely. This ratio looks at "head length + tip length" to "rod length". Cons: So many options, hard to know which tip to use when (leads to over-thinking rather than fishing), more expensive than regular level-t. OPST Commando Tips - These may be the most complicated of all skagit tips currently available. The Larger and Heavier the flies require a heavier diameter, 15#, with shorter lengths 28” to 36” which allows for turnover. When most people think of spey, they instantly think of two handed rods. Airflo Scandi Long Shooting Head Fly Line JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. 55′ for a couple years now, Poly/Versileaders make a much more delicate presentation on the water.... Notes: klaus Frimor shares a great job at turning over large flies the! Riffle, run, and T-10 tips the package ready to go with loops. Do not trust anything else... at all came from Scandinavian countries this is done to create a transition. Out of the leader I tie on a tippet ring for a 13′ foot spey rod a super low polymer... 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