I have leads on a cheap (CHEAP) Batson IM7 13' 7 wt spey blank but in the reading, I note that the line size for this rates in the scandi ranges. While I am not an experience spey caster by any stretch, I am pretty much only familiar with casting the 13' versa-spey with skagit tips. As such, I 'was' kinda on the look-out for a skagit-essque set up based on below.
In the course I took, the instructor suggested for me, bigger and heavier based on my 'style' and size (big guy). I was down with that basically, because I know no different.
I have been trying to utilize what I learned on my 11' switch but am have difficulty in timing (I think that is the issue).
In researching more about scandi vs. skagit...I don't know. There seems a bit of a difference so am wondering if those 'in the know' could comment on this either way. So I am wondering...do I gamble on the new blank and build the scandi....or is skagit the 'way'?
For background...I am very experienced single hander casting big and small with rods ranging from 3 to 12 wt. All manners of single casting techniques are not an issue for me....though am new to 2 handing. I do consider myself, despite the instructors assessment of me, to be a bit of a finess fisher.
I have the same rod and the Airflow 'Rage' 425 gr is a very sweet line on it, like it better than a Scandi Compact or a skagit even though it has characteristics from both. Give it a thought.
Wait, so you are saying the Rage in the 425 doing scandi touch and go type casts...or have you added tips and are running skagit type of casts? Not sure I quite know what I am talking about but its what I am reading more than experiencing.
The Rage lines are what the instructor suggested...but again, through the skagit rod weights (13', 8-9 is what I used).
Sideline: I like the way I read scandi vs. skagit discussions.
"skagit is like driving a diesel truck, scandi is like driving a BMW 3mi" (or whatever model).
thanks for prompt response. I think I am 'there' but as a scientist, I tend to gather a lot of information before pulling the pin.
Technically the 'Rage' line falls under the Skagit category. Your cast will still utilize an anchor point, you don't wait as long as with the typical Skagit heads, but isn't quite a "touch and go" as with a Scandi line, sort of in between the two. I'm still learning the two hander game so I hope I'm explaining this correctly.
I started casting with a Skagit line and when I went to a Scandi compact it kicked my behind, had a fella recommend the 'Rage' as sort of a baby step to ween myself from from the oversized firehose and it's been a joy to cast. I fish it with a 10' poly leader or a braided leader in the same length.
Tim Rajeff & tom Larimer can explain the details much better than me.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Scandi or skagit
"In researching more about scandi vs. skagit...I don't know. There seems a bit of a difference so am wondering if those 'in the know' could comment on this either way. So I am wondering...do I gamble on the new blank and build the scandi....or is skagit the 'way'?"
Just my .02 cents but a 13 foot rod would be right at the bottom edge to use with a skagit type head. ** Edit below.
To over simplify this:
Skagit = very heavy grains, very short head to cast sink tips and heavy flies. Add to that the 'anchor' is 'sustained;' read that you let the sink tip SINK before you make your cast. Skagit's are not a dry line to fling small flies; they're there to chuck 'big heavy fluff.'
Scandi = Longer, lighter head (upwards of 100 grains over a dozen feet) with floating leaders or sinking poly leaders. And a 'touch and go' anchor as you cast. Rod length? Just about any thing you want.
Edit: I've done same with a 12 foot 3" Anderson (ACR) 8wt rod that was designed for just this sort of thing. Pure Magic! Handed rod to Nate Bailey and it was a 'Just sit down on the beach with the Dog' and have a smoke or two. Young guy just kept pulling line off the reel. Sent him home with the rod/reel and Steve G's line. A man in his element and equipment to match?
Although I'm in no way an experienced spey angler (in fact I just built my first one and haven't casted it yet) I wanted to weigh in something.
Like some others have been saying, scandi heads are designed for (among other things) the ability to do touch-and-go casts without the need for a long sustained anchor. Scagit heads are designed for the opposite.
When I was picking an appropriate line type for my spey rod, this was my most determining factor, and not actually fly size. While I do cast larger flies, I don't generally need heavy sink tips and will not usually want a long sustained anchor. This led me to purchase a scandi head.
Go for the Brit-Spey* – elegant, effortless and a joy. With Spey head 4 x rod length and thin running line for shooting (but not excessively) when required. Carry both floating and sinking fly lines and armed with a wide selection of 10ft polyleaders you are rigged for almost most all fishing needs.
Using this style I leave just the tiniest amount of fly line kissing the water on both airborne and waterborne casts - no difference. In fact, in both, the fly line is actually just on the point of leaving the water - as if taking off again like a float-plane - in the opposite direction to the final cast.
I'm in Colin's camp on belly lengths but I use my own leader system for handling depth situations. Using just a floating line and with un-weighted flies I reach fish in 5 - 7 feet of water pretty well. The more I understand my rods and lines the better and easier the fishing gets.
My shortest head is 55' and the longest is 70'. These make for some pretty laid back fishing.