surf skagit

fatbillybob

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I'm on a WestCoast surf skagit journey. It seems like few are using spey rods in the surf and some overhead cast with say a rio outbound short or some spey,scandi,skagit set-up. I'm happy to keep the best parts of covid. Covid forced me to focus close to home learning to surf fish the beach. I got hooked on it. Montana, Colorado, and Florida were out for 2020. I bought a giant stick (7wt 14ft sage) , SA freightliner 520Gr skagit head and 10ft T11 MOW fishing 2 flies. Man! I'm effortlessly punching 70-100ft casts in the surf! A 60ft cast is almost as easy as a 5wt rollcast for torut and I really don't know what I'm doing. I have no flat water around me to figure out how to properly anchor and load my rod with whatever skagit cast I'm doing. It could be a snap-T, perry poke, single spey thing, I don't know. I have watched many Youtube vids and all the casts are mixed up in my head. So I can do some kind of single spey I'll call it dynamically as the waves are washing around my line. It isn't that easy with such dynamic water pulling my kine every which way. I got the wrong strip basket. I like the idea of making exactly what works for me from Target buckets and bungiee cord. It seems that sometimes you want a deep bucket (wind) and sometimes a shallow (shoots line better)? I'll have to work on that next. Back to casting I have found I sometimes revert back to overhead casting with just a false cast or two. Even overhead this is way easier than a singlehanded rod. The power of what 2 hands can do and a long rod are quite addicting. This rod is my .44 magnum flyrod. I was also surprised that if you vary the leader length you kind of balance the out the weight of the fly(s) and you can put out a decent presentation that lays out pretty nice. Reading about the differences between skagit, scandi, and spey made it sound like skagit casting was like dropping bowling balls in the water next to fish. Socal fish around Torrance beach are few and far between in the winter. My hook-ups are scarce. I'm looking forward to our progression to spring and then summer when the action is hot. My fiend is at the beach with me still slinging bait and rubber artificials. Even he is way down in fish counts from our summertime 4-5 fish an hour.

I made this investment in learning how to 2 hand because I would like to try Steelheading one day in the PNW. I also fish off flats boats in florida quite often. We fish with 7+ wt rods in the wind and by the end of the day my arm is jello. I hear how easy it is to 2 hand cast and hope I can learn to skagit cast off the flatsboat to catch more fish. I know nobody who does that. I think it can be done. The question will be how big a splash those fish can take?
 

LOC

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Coolio, it sounds like you are having fun!

To put things into perspective, the rod path on a single hand rod and a two handed rod are going to be the same.
A two handed rod cast on a boat a jetty from land and water are all going to have the same rod path. It should be no problem to make a skagit cast from a boat with the proper adjustments.

If you are worried about spooking fish then stick to a scandi setup. It would be the same as a single hand setup with a floating line typically used in flats fishing.

I think as you get more proficient with the two handed rod you will discover the limitations are few...
 

flav

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Man you're brave. The surf is not a place I'd ever want to do any sustained anchor casting, and is definitely not where I'd like to learn. I'd stick to overhead casting when the surf is up and save the Skagit for days when it's flat. Overhead casting that 550 grain Skagit plus a MOW is way overloading a 7 weight Spey. For overhead casting get yourself an outbound short 9 weight head (375 grains) in a intermediate or slow sink, and chuck that when the surf is up. Floating lines get pushed all over in the surf and it's hard to feel any takes, a sinking line gives you a straighter connection to your fly.
 

fatbillybob

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I really like the 2 hand stick. It is just cumbersome because it is so long and I hit things with it. I think I get the concept, but never held one in hand, of the switch rod.

On the grain weight I'm clueless. It seems that different manufacturers are different recs in grain weights. So If I go SA I stick to their recs. If OPST I stick to theirs. OPST for example is around 350 grains. I just followed the SA chart and it said 550 grains and I don't know what the rod is supposed to feel like. SA lists the grain weight by actual manufactured rod vs just a 7wt generic rod. These lines are costly when you add them all up. I would love to take my 7 and cast a bunch of lines including scandi lines and see what works for me. But that just isn't happening. It would be an education I would not want to pay for. I'm too cheap to spend $100's for a bunch of lines to keep the one 100 dollar set-up. SA's scandi line is 380grains.

I considered the Rio Outbound exactly as flav said either overlining it with 8wt or 9wt but I did not know if you could skagit cast it and I wanted that option and I wanted to learn on a real skagit set-up. I like skagit in the surf because I don't need to look behind me for people and dogs that seem to magically appear out of no where. Even waist deep in surf overhead casting 70ft means my backcast can hit people. I think it will just be a matter or time on water to blend with the dynamics of what goes on in the surf. 1st time I went out with all this gear I was so distracted I filled my waders. There is a lot going on. Surf flyfishing is the hardest fly fishing I have ever done.

I do not know if you can skagit cast the rio outbound short? One thing I like about that line is it is integrated so you don't have the bump from head to running line. But one thing lacking in the outbound is an easy visual demarcation from it's head to it's running line. The SA freightliner has a dramatic contrasting color black section about 2 ft long showing the end of the head. I like to see this section because the rod seems to load best when i have that much head out. All this could change. I'm such a newbie at everything 2 handed that I could just be spouting uninformed BS. It's my new journey and will undoubtedly have some wrong turns that will give the old salts a chuckle.
 

LOC

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I really like the 2 hand stick. It is just cumbersome because it is so long and I hit things with it. I think I get the concept, but never held one in hand, of the switch rod.

On the grain weight I'm clueless. It seems that different manufacturers are different recs in grain weights. So If I go SA I stick to their recs. If OPST I stick to theirs. OPST for example is around 350 grains. I just followed the SA chart and it said 550 grains and I don't know what the rod is supposed to feel like. SA lists the grain weight by actual manufactured rod vs just a 7wt generic rod. These lines are costly when you add them all up. I would love to take my 7 and cast a bunch of lines including scandi lines and see what works for me. But that just isn't happening. It would be an education I would not want to pay for. I'm too cheap to spend $100's for a bunch of lines to keep the one 100 dollar set-up. SA's scandi line is 380grains.

I considered the Rio Outbound exactly as flav said either overlining it with 8wt or 9wt but I did not know if you could skagit cast it and I wanted that option and I wanted to learn on a real skagit set-up. I like skagit in the surf because I don't need to look behind me for people and dogs that seem to magically appear out of no where. Even waist deep in surf overhead casting 70ft means my backcast can hit people. I think it will just be a matter or time on water to blend with the dynamics of what goes on in the surf. 1st time I went out with all this gear I was so distracted I filled my waders. There is a lot going on. Surf flyfishing is the hardest fly fishing I have ever done.

I do not know if you can skagit cast the rio outbound short? One thing I like about that line is it is integrated so you don't have the bump from head to running line. But one thing lacking in the outbound is an easy visual demarcation from it's head to it's running line. The SA freightliner has a dramatic contrasting color black section about 2 ft long showing the end of the head. I like to see this section because the rod seems to load best when i have that much head out. All this could change. I'm such a newbie at everything 2 handed that I could just be spouting uninformed BS. It's my new journey and will undoubtedly have some wrong turns that will give the old salts a chuckle.
That's a big jump between the OPST 360 and the SA line 550?
I would think the OPST Skagit head recommendation would be light for a 7wt 14' rod. The Sage recommendation is around 500.

I have a IMXpro 51111 with a 360 Skagit Scout and 8' of T8 on it for reference.

What Flav is suggesting with the Outbound Short line is strictly for ovehead casting not to make skagit casts in the surf.

I take my setup in the surf and I find what works best for me is letting the water dictate the cast. After I finish my retrieve if I have flat water behind me I'll use a Skagit cast. If I don't, I'll do a water haul into one back cast and send it back out. False casting that head and tip setup should not be necesarry and is a bit sketchy. I would suggest going to a park and practice a two handed pick up and lay down or better yet make the trip down to the LB casting club. Besides practicing the movement experiment with exactly how much line you need to load the rod on one back cast for maximum efficiency. Get in the habit of starting your back cast with your rod tip right at the water. You want to remove all slack in the system for a pick up and lay down cast especially in the surf.

I have found the best skagit cast for the surf is a Snap T, sweeping with continuous motion into the forward cast.

Ok good luck and have fun out there!
 

fatbillybob

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Thanks! Yes I'm having a great time figuring this stuff out. I see you are in SoCal and you know LB casting club. I have never been to any of their meetings. I've been surf fishing off RAT beach (super close to home). Sounds like we are close. Once November came the fish seem to go away maybe for warmer water? I thought I wasn't fishing the right flys but the bait guys I know are not catching either...or way less than summer time. I've been fishing 2 flys at the same time a white chartreuse clouser and an orange thing I don't know the name of. It might be suggestive of a shrimp but looks sort of baitfish looking. Maybe I'll see you on the water sometime? Covid has use shutdown again so it's time to fish more. I would not mind trying to rent a jetski somewhere and cover/explore more water around here.
 

LOC

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Thanks! Yes I'm having a great time figuring this stuff out. I see you are in SoCal and you know LB casting club. I have never been to any of their meetings. I've been surf fishing off RAT beach (super close to home). Sounds like we are close. Once November came the fish seem to go away maybe for warmer water? I thought I wasn't fishing the right flys but the bait guys I know are not catching either...or way less than summer time. I've been fishing 2 flys at the same time a white chartreuse clouser and an orange thing I don't know the name of. It might be suggestive of a shrimp but looks sort of baitfish looking. Maybe I'll see you on the water sometime? Covid has use shutdown again so it's time to fish more. I would not mind trying to rent a jetski somewhere and cover/explore more water around here.
Ah yes, winter time things tend to slow down for the surf species. It's a good time to practice your casting.
Wow jet ski fishing could be fun and at minimal at least a adventure. If you do end up straddling a engine a good place to start close to home is the kelp beds around Malaga bay and a very productive area North of you is the Pipe at Dockweiler.

LBC and casting, I have fishing friends who are instructors and are members at the club.

I've done seminars there as well.
 
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