Skagit Head for Euro Nymph Rod

Bent Undergrowth

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I'm thinking about picking up a 175gr commando head and 5' (20gr) floating tip for my T&T Contact 10'8" nymph rod. It'd be cool to have the option for distance if the urge strikes. Curious how the Rio Euro line I have on will shoot.

Anyone tried this or something similar?

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ddb

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I'd talk with T&T before trying that. Some Euro rods are very specific deigned/use built and can be fragile when asked to manage torque beyond their limits. Could blow up your warranty.

If OK, you will need at least a spare spool and probably a separate reel to handle the thicker head w/o kinking.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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I'd talk with T&T before trying that. Some Euro rods are very specific deigned/use built and can be fragile when asked to manage torque beyond their limits. Could blow up your warranty.

If OK, you will need at least a spare spool and probably a separate reel to handle the thicker head w/o kinking.
Good call, I'm definitely going to run it by T&T.

Currently using a fairly large reel that happens to have extra capacity on my Contact:
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It has 200yds of backing on it now, and I was thinking about adding more to fill it, but it's a nymph rod, so it's not like I need the large arbor diameter to retrieve a lot of line fast.

So I guess the question that remains is, will the nymph line function decently as a running line? I think it's fairly level, tapered at the ends. Curious if anyone has actually tried it.

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okaloosa

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I have tried an OPST skagit with my Hardy 10ft4wt and it casts great! but, and I hope Ard is not reading this, I enjoy indie and euro nymph fishing more with my high pressured tailwaters i fish since its a game of tiny flies and perfect drifts. But if I had access to large rivers with steelhead and long runs I would definitely utilize the skagit line even with the 10ft4wt...I do have a T&T contact II 10ft2wt and I would never use a skagit line on such a light expensive rod for the reasons ddb mentioned....
 

flav

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I know some guys use euro rods as trout Spey rods. Ed Ward (of OPST) used a cabelas nymphing rod himself before recently designing his own rods, so you're not doing anything crazy. I'd contact OPST as well as T&T, and find out what head weight they recommend. Euro rods don't seem to be rated the same as standard SH rods or trout Speys and you'd hate to overload or under load your rod. I use a 175 grain OPST on my 4 weight SH, but a 4 weight euro rod feels like an entirely different rod to me and feels like you might need more grains to load it correctly. I could be totally wrong on this, I've never fished a euro rod.
When it comes to the euro line as a running line, I'm sure it'll work. You won't get the distance you would with mono, but Skagit lines aren't distance lines, they're for throwing heavy flies and tips with no back cast room with very little effort. Personally I prefer coated running lines over mono anyway, I may not get as much distance, but I get better casts and turnover. So if you're ok with effortless 50-60 foot casts I think that euro line will get the job done.
 

okaloosa

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.you should have a blast with the lake run steelies and browns....That is where i think it will really shine.....with fish under 17 inches you dont really enjoy the fight as much because of the weight if the head....I just wish I had a skagit head 40 years ago on the Salmon River instead of chuck-n-duck.
 

ryc72

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if you keep blowing your anchor I’d consider getting a longer tip. seems like an awfully short head and tip for a pretty long rod. For context on my 11ft 3wt switch rod the 275 grain 13.5ft head and 7.5ft tip was too short for me...went with rios skagit max short which is 20ft long and was a lot easier to cast. On my 10ft 4wt switch a 300 grain 15ft sa spey lite skagit with a 7.5ft opst tip feels spot on for me. Let us know how it goes!
 

Bent Undergrowth

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I headed down to a local tailwater this evening to give the new stuff a try. Very pleased with the way the Contact handles the 175gr head. It's much more stable than i expected. I was only planning on trying it out for a half hour, but ended up swinging a stretch until well after sunset.

This will definitely be coming with me on days when I'm nymphing and want the option to get a little further out or swing some streamers.

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huronfly

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.you should have a blast with the lake run steelies and browns....That is where i think it will really shine.....with fish under 17 inches you dont really enjoy the fight as much because of the weight if the head....I just wish I had a skagit head 40 years ago on the Salmon River instead of chuck-n-duck.
That doesn't sound like a good idea to me... a 4 weight single hand for steelhead?? That rod would blow up.

The lowest I've went if 6 and that's with no current... There's a reason we use rods that cast a minimum 350 grains, and it's not to throw big flies!
 

okaloosa

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That doesn't sound like a good idea to me... a 4 weight single hand for steelhead?? That rod would blow up.

The lowest I've went if 6 and that's with no current... There's a reason we use rods that cast a minimum 350 grains, and it's not to throw big flies!
in 1979 I did a whole season in Pulaski NY on Salmon River with just a 7 1/2 ft 5 wt lamiglass.....caught plenty of steelies with it but never went over a 4 lb tippet. It eventially blew up on a snag, not a fish.....
 

ddb

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But King Salmon? One of those crashes the party and its game over.

The four weight is also on a longer rod and you actually give up leverage in that situation.

I have used some 10' 5wts on steelhead too but gave it up as the fight whacks out the fish and you have to spend a lot time restoring it before release. And even with 8 lb tippets, hot steelies fresh from the big lake ate that rod up in any current.
 

huronfly

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That's not a very ethical way to fish unless you plan on keeping every fish you catch. 4lb tippet is much too light too safely release all fish, it's pretty laughable honestly... Why any one need to go down to 4lb tippet for steelhead is beyond me.

Also as ddb mentions, a 7'6" 5 wt glass and 10'8" 4 wt graphite are much different animals. I could see fighting a fish on a shorter, light glass rod in light current... but the 4lb tippet is still ridiculous.
 

flav

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You gotta remember 1979 was a different time, the gear was different, techniques were different, heck even the fish were different. I grew up fishing the L Michigan tribs about that time and noodle rods, light line, and little nymphs were gaining popularity. I fished an ultralight ugly stick with 4 lb line and sometimes my old 8' fiberglass 5 weight on my local waters and caught a bunch of fish. Those fish were either holding in very cold water for the winter or were close to spawning when they entered the river, had little fight left, and I could whip them fast even on 4 lb line. I'd never fish that gear today, the bright fish available on some GL streams these days would rip me a new one.
 

okaloosa

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That's not a very ethical way to fish unless you plan on keeping every fish you catch. 4lb tippet is much too light too safely release all fish, it's pretty laughable honestly... Why any one need to go down to 4lb tippet for steelhead is beyond me.

Also as ddb mentions, a 7'6" 5 wt glass and 10'8" 4 wt graphite are much different animals. I could see fighting a fish on a shorter, light glass rod in light current... but the 4lb tippet is still ridiculous.
Flav is absolutely correct....fishing was very different then... we fished as soon as the water was released from the dam and the ice floated away.
we would be competing with lifters and snaggers in the same hole...the fish were very leader shy yet I did great...I did start making my own noodle rods and still have an 11 foot noodle rod that I used with both 2 lb and 4 lb stren line as leader. You learn to fight fish with light line and bring them in quickly. If you didnt the crowds on the Salmon River main holes would be ready to throw you in the hole if you didnt free it up quickly. I only used 4 lb tippet because that is what worked. I tried to go heavier but if you really want to bounce bottom with small egg flies and little lead you had to go light mono. I never heard of spey casting...there was no skagit back then, and I didnt like "chuck-n-duck" method. and there was no youtube
where you could see what worked for others....also, when the water was released daily back then the flows were VERY high, you could not work your way downstream casually casting like you do now. when the water was low in the morning there was too much ice to fish.
 

okaloosa

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I would love to fish the SR now swinging flies and hook into some big fish with heavy tippet and go mano a mano with them. But back in the day the best way to catch them was light line and noodle rods. I suggest purists stop reading now so as not to be triggered. I made the noodle rod pictured below using E or S glass and it is 11 feet and will just about double over it is so limber. You are hard pressed to break 2 lb tippet with it. cork tape was used for a handle. a small spinning reel or fly reel with fluorescent gold stren 6 lb main line and 2 or 4 lb tippet using a 3 way swivel and a single egg fly or single soft plastic egg. I could out fish anyone with this system...super light, super sensitive...you could feel every tick of the split shot on the bottom and you didnt need a full rosary bead grouping of lead as with chuck n duck. The fluorescent line was the indicator long before I ever heard of euro nymphing. It got the job done and fish were released unharmed. Dick swann popularized this method....you could tell the snaggers masquerading as fly fisherman if they had a martin multiplier fly reel loaded with 30 lb line on a short stout fly rod...
noodle rod.jpg
 

huronfly

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Thanks, I learned something new today, that was long before my time. Didn't mean to sidetrack this thread either...

That concept is just so foreign for me, as I sometimes get my butt kicked by fresh fish even using a 6-7 wt spey rod and 12-15lb flouro tippet.
 

okaloosa

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Thanks, I learned something new today, that was long before my time. Didn't mean to sidetrack this thread either...

That concept is just so foreign for me, as I sometimes get my butt kicked by fresh fish even using a 6-7 wt spey rod and 12-15lb flouro tippet.
I can't tell you how envious I am watching guys like you catch steelies and kings swinging flies nowadays....The ability of guys to share knowledge and dramatically reduce the learning curve via forums like this and youtube is amazing.
 

lookard

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I was using my Wetfly 11ft 4wt nymphing rod this Jan and Feb for the fish on the salmon river. Managed to land a nice 26 inch fish. I had to follow it down a little in fast water. That was scary. Recently, I got the opst 275 gr to try out on the rod. I had the 200 gr for it based on the opst recommendation chart, but it doesn't load that rod well. Well, fingers-crossed my covid test gets a negative been feeling the symptoms, and I can go out this weekend to try it out!
 
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