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  1. #1

    Default Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    Hi, again,
    As I indicated in an earlier post, I am new to the world of skagit & spey casting. I am still experimenting and having fun doing it. I do want to share a little of what I am finding in my limited time working on it. Then, I want to ask you a question about loop avoidance!

    I finally purchased a 175 grain Commando head and a couple of 5 ft. tips (one slow sinking and one floating), which I am using on an 8+ foot 4 wt. full flex graphite rod. Actually, the casting is going fairly well. I originally tried using running line that I took from an older floating WF line. That actually worked fairly well and did avoid the coils that come with mono line. I did have to see how the Lazar line works for running line, though; so I now have it on the setup. (I'm still working on stretching the Lazar and will hopefully get it under control (OR go back to using the floating WF level running line).

    OK, now my question. I dislike loops and have avoided them for my fly fishing. I usually use a nailless nail knot between fly line and leader. However, I understand that loops allow us to be more flexible in "spey-style" casting. As you have probably seen, there are numerous youtube videos on connecting fly line to leaders. Here's one example:

    I am thinking of the possibility to attaching my Lazar line to the Commando head using a method similar to Tim's above. I know nothing about the core of a Commando head or whether this idea is feasible. While I realize that I'm probably just wanting my cake and eating it, too, it would allow a much smoother line to reel in when catching fish. It would also allow me to have some of the head inside the rod on some occasions. (I really don't know how or if that will work yet.) At this point, even the very small knot of the loop to loop of Lazar and Commando is a bit of a pain for me.

    Any of your ideas will be most appreciated. Cheers and Happy Fly Fishing from New Mexico/Arizona. Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    I've never tried something like that, but I don't think it's a good idea... Mono can get knicks/cuts etc, so you may find you have to cut some sections off over time. I would have opted for the commando smooth... Just my 2 cents.
    Danny

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    Most lines I buy today have a welded loop and I use my simple double braided connector to affix leaders to lines and tips. This avoids cutting off a welded loop while at the same time protecting the welded loop from damage. I've been doing this since 2010 and have no problems with my connections.



    That's a connection to a DT #5 RIO line

    This is a double loop.


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  4. #4

    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    Thanks, Ard
    I have the braided material to make double braided loops. (haven't tried it yet!) Do the braided loops go through the guides more easily than other loops? Tom

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    I only use them on the very tips of my lines, all my lines (including some new bespoke Skagits) have seamless integrated running lines behind the heads.

    I did have a Ballistic Launch line in 540 grain weight that worked well but that loop to loop connection at the front where you connected the 15 foot floating tip was a pain in the butt getting it through the guides of my rod. I sold the line and had another custom line made.

    For custom lines to fit your particular rod you could contact Steve Godshall at the RB Meiser rod shop in Medford OR. That's who I turn to for lines because I do not like the loop to loop head to runner connections.

    I'm pretty sure that once you would tell him what rod you use he may be able to create 'full Spey Lines' for you. They are the stuff in my opinion and are the only lines I use. I have SGS lines, some old Beulah Elixir full lines and also some RIO and SA Mid Spey lines that are full 120 or 140 foot lines.

    Don't get confused when I say 120 foot line, they still have a head which may be anywhere from 37 to 55 feet long. They just have a fused vinyl coated running line behind the heads like a standard 5 weight DT or WF fly line.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
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    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    That looks extremely tidy for a loop connector on a light line Ard. Had to dial in my mind on how light a 5WT flyline loop is to put it in perspective.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    I wouldn't do that. Like huronfly said, the end of a mono running line get chewed up and needs to be cut off regularly and that wouldn't work so well with a short, thick shooting head like the commando. You could do the same thing with a coated running line, pulling the core of the runner up into the fly line. I've never done it, but I've seen Steve Godshall do it. If you bought one of his running lines he'd probably do that sort of connection for you.

    I had the same issue with the commando, I like to strip the head into my guides in some situations. Since I prefer a coated running line I bought the commando smooth and now there's no loop to loop to deal with between the head and the running line. The only issue with the smooth is the running line is a bit stiff, but but nothing like mono, and one quick stretch at the beginning of the day and the coils disappear.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops



    Episode 2 of Loop Improvement

    Hi Everyone
    Thought I would get back to you with an update. Thanks for your ideas; I did NOT try the idea of inserting Lazar line into Commando head. I did, however, take a less risky approach to smooth out the connections between the Commando and the Lazar line. I will try to add a couple of pictures showing the 1/16 inch heat shrink tubing that I used as well as the finished product. It seemed to help my line slide through the guides a bit easier; but in almost all cases, I was casting with the entire Commando head just out of the rod anyhow. The heat shrink tube can be easily (carefully) removed from the line when it's time to cut off some of the worn Lazar line. [ATTACH=CONFIG]16318[ATTACH=CONFIG]16319[ The setup is working quite well for my 3 wt. and 4 wt. 8+ foot rods. I wasn't sure how the 3 wt. would handle the 175 grain head, but it does well.

    No fish today, but I had a lot of fun casting and trying 3 different rods!! Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9

    Default Re: Micro Skagit, Lines, and Avoiding Loops

    I won't do what's in the video on a perfectly fine new fly line.

    Google OPST Commando Smooth and SA Speylite both are integrated lines and we had the Ambush, Airflo streamer and Airflo float before those two and all integrated lines. Spend your time fishing or tying flies.
    I've tried them all and they all worked.

    I tied my mono/lazar/mirage running line directly to the shooting head loop with a double duncan loop knot. I've tried different knots and I think double duncan loop is the best. just cut the knot to change the head. Beware tho, this will leave a scar on the shooting head loop. So there is a price to pay for it.
    I don't always catch fish; but when I do I scream like a little girl.

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