What Line and Tips Are You Fishing?

Unknownflyman

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Its amazing how much the tech has changed, I mean when I first started Commando heads and the like were not even invented. I'm fishing a commando these days a 375 grain and a 400 grain but I wouldn't mind a couple of other options, I still have my Airflo 24` skagit head and it works really well on my 13`but its a big line for my switch rod.



I`m using Mow tips for now, T-8 through T-14 and use the 2.5 float and 7.5 sink or the 5 and 5 tips in each size and one 10` float for skating. And that's about all I have right now for my semi new switch rod.

I don't really have low flow swinging except for the floating and really high water tips, all last spring the rivers were very high and I`m not sure T-14 would have been enough weight.

Part of me wants to try some longer tips but the other part is like add a two foot cheater then the mow tip.
 

ryc72

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On my 8wt 11’0” switch rod I use a 550 grain rio skagit max short with 5/5 t11 mow tips. 40lb lazer line as running line. Casts awesome. On this rod I’m hesitant to go with a shorter head like opst until my casting tightens up as I’m pretty sure I’ll blow my anchor. I also have a 10’0” 4wt switch rod and for that rod I do like the short head. Have a 300 grain integrated sa spey lite and 7’6” s4 opst tip. The head feels a touch on the heavy side...gonna try a 275 grain next time and see how that feels.
 

thirdcoaststeelheader

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A 225gr OPST that I am using on a single hand 6wt. A 360gr Airflo Skagit Scout and a 275gr OPST that I run on single hand 8wts. A 480gr Airflo Skagit Switch (1st gen) and a 375gr OPST that I run on switch/spey rods. I have other heads in my head wallet, these are my go-to ones and the others don't actually end up coming out.

With the 225, mostly versi/poly leaders or floating tips that I try and make from unused fly lines. On the ones I run with 8wts, an Airflo Flo tip in t-7 or a homemade floating tip.

I had a tip wallet for my single hand rod configurations fall out of my jacket pocket into the river last spring that had several tips in it. Kind of kept things minimal when replacing what was lost.

With the Skagit Switch or the 375gn OPST welded t-material in various sizes. I have a set of SA Third Coast Textured tips that are 160gr at 12’, from what I recall. There are four or five of them with different sink rates. I have not fished them; they are still tied up with pipe-cleaners. Looking forward to seeing how they work.
 

Unknownflyman

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I did really have problems with anchor on the short commandos at first with my 12`9" echo spey and it was better with my 11` switch, I had to really stay tight and have plenty of overhang, and I don't like overhang, It feels different and there is a loss of power for me.

Like anything I just got the movements down, I still think I could benefit from longer tips but I side angle cast a lot because of tree hazards like in that picture, I find I'm less likely to loose that anchor and it is a harder heavier tighter cast where a longer tip might be a hindrance. I`ll probably buy one to test it.


I`ll have to look into those third coast tips, I'm casting a 375 or 400 on my 11` 7wt switch. Some of them are getting very sophisticated with different sink densities and reverse sink properties for more control and performance, Mow tips might be a thing of the past too.

Ive had really light unweighted bulky large flies pull the mow sink tip up, which of course was making me angry, I wanted to go down and the sink tip was mostly down. The action was nice but there is a lot less action with that kind of fly a foot and a half under the surface.

The other problem not that I think of it as long as we are chatting, I need a lot of weight to get down in a fast flow, then of course I get in the bottom third of a run and its too heavy it doesn't swing well, so I end up dragging and stripping.

Maybe these new tips keep the tip more flat through the swing? I dunno?
 

dillon

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I don't fish winter steelhead much so I seldom use tips. However, when water temps drop into the 40's in the fall I do. I like Airflo flo tips in t7 and t10. In regards to high water tips comment above, I will often use the t7 tip. In high fast flows steelhead in the rivers I fish will often travel near the bank in shallow water because it's easier than navigating the heavy flow. In low clear water they will seek cover in the deep fast water, therefore, requiring a heavier tip to get the fly down. I also like an intermediate Skagit head over a floater in some situations. A little extra depth is gained and it swings truer than a floater as surface current won't push it.
 
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flav

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My need for a Skagit is limited, I primarily fish for summer run steelhead. I do carry an old Airflo Skagit of 23 feet and 450 grains for my favorite setup, a 12'6" 6 weight. I pair it with 10 feet of T-8 or T-11. I also carry an old 10 foot intermediate tip from an old versi-tip for summer or early fall days when the wind is howling up the canyon and my scandi can't cut the wind.
I also fish a 175 grain OPST commando smooth on a 9 foot 4 weight. It's paired with 5 to 10 foot poly leaders, an intermediate is my favorite, for stripping or swinging streamers.
 

tcorfey

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Redington Dually Spey Rod in the model 7130-4. It is 13’ and a 7wt rod, I went to Steve Godshall for a line and am using a 30# no stretch Quantum .038 diameter integrated running line attached to a sgs Skagit head 22.9 feet with a grain weight of 519. I use this with various 5' and 10' tips in floating, T11, Z12 and T14. I will also use Ard's leader system using a T11 section embedded into the leader.

Tim C.
 

huronfly

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Heads I have now are:

200 grain OPST commando
350 grain OPST commando
350 grain wulff ambush
440 grain SA adapt switch
390 grain airflo rage
420 grain airflo skagit switch
480 grain airflo skagit switch
476 grain SGS intermediate skandoid
480 grain aifrlo rage
480 grain rio ishort
510 grain airflo skagit compact
510 grain airflo skagit comp. intermediate
540 grain airflo skagit comp. 2.0
530 grain airflo delta II

Depending on scenarios and head choice, I am either using salmon/steelhead polyleaders, medium mow tips, t6, t8, t11, t14, t17, or 15' 110 grain rio replacement spey tips.

Unknownflyman, have you tried 15' foot tips? These cast great as they have a 3' tapered section in the front, and swing nice and uniform too. I like them on the commando as well, they can help if you are blowing anchors easily. I couldn't imagine using a commando on a 12'9" rod...
 

Unknownflyman

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I have not tried anything over 10` but I`m not having any trouble with anchors anymore I was just speaking to in the beginning and casting a commando on my 12`9" echo spey. It really worked well once I modified my style.

On my 13` Sage 7wt I use the airflo 510 grain 23` skagit head. I have other lines but this is the skagit section. I don't really fish my echo anymore, my friends got me hooked on sage rods and old deathstar 7wt 11`7" and a 12`6" sage one and that was all I needed to see.

I have my eye on a 7wt 13`4" Zaxis from a friend that rod casts a skagit and mid belly line really well. I really like the Zaxis I understand the cult following. Its a used rod but I could pick it up reasonable.


I got a note from OPST today they are releasing new intermediate heads which I will have to look into.
 
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thirdcoaststeelheader

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I saw something about them coming out with intermediates a while back, but never saw anything after. Are they releasing them now?

Looked on their site and didn't see them, but did notice their Fly Kits. Might be a digression in this thread, but has anyone tried these kits?
 

Bigfly

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Lined up my Sage X 6wt switch with a new 425gr Rio Skagit max Gamechanger.
Casts nice....I too was blowing anchors.
Has the steel head green/blue tip section.....way fishy. The rest of the line is day-glow Yellow/Orange, and then add the grip shooter red section, and it reminds me of a Tequila sunrise.....not sneaky enough for me....I may band the yellow section with a sharpy.
Will bump up to 475 gr next time.
I carry two wallets of tips 10' and 15'.
Also throw in a couple Tungston cones to tune my fly weight.....
It's almost time to swing!!!!

Jim
 
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The op

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The past 4 days ive fished hard,,dismal hatches and rain,its a week or 2 early still here for mayfly mayhem,,so out came the 11'3 3 weight switch(snapped it on a fish),a 9ft 5 weight and 10ft 6 weight singlehanders,opst commando integrated 200,225 and 250 grain lines with 5,7 and 9ft t8 tips to brilliant 1,2 and 3x trouthunter fluoro swinging and stripping pretty standard beadhead woolybuggers from size 4 to 8.
Had a blast,caught big fish(10lb plus is big for these parts) and lots of them.
So im going to have to replace my switch as i cant get parts for it anymore (thats what i told her anyway) and the short sage 3 weight trout spey seems to be calling me.
 

flytie09

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I have several double hand rods from the Echo Classic 10'6" 6/7 weight up to a 13'6" 7 WT Meiser Highlander. Fiberglass, Graphite and Bamboo. I also have a wide variety of Skagit shooting heads. From the OPST Commando, Airflo, Rio and SA Skagit max short heads in 400-700 grains. Each have their pros and cons. I personally like Airflo lines from the construction of their loops, markings and their durability and performance. Most are floating...but I do have a few intermediate heads for heavy dirty water days. Most places I fish on the Great Lakes...a switch rod is the perfect tool.

For tips.....I have 7'-10' sections of level T tips from T8 up to T20. I'm most commonly using T14 9 days out of 10 if I have a Skagit short head on.

I also have a few of the Airflo Rage hybrid "skandit" heads from normal floating to the super secret handshake hover/intermediate series. I can't say enough about these lines. They offer a lot more finesse than a traditional Skagit yet a little more power to punch through a solid wind than a Scandi. Perfect all around tool for a switch rod on the larger Great Lakes tribs. I usually pair these with a 10' Poly or Versileader from Hover to Extra Super Fast sink rates. If I really want to swing deeper through a hole I might couple a 7' of T11 with one. Versatile enough that I can keep the T-8 tips on, tie on a sparser fly and still launch a single or double spey cast.

And lastly the single hand skagit lines....the OPST Commando. I have a couple of these. One for my 9' 8 WT single hander and one for my lighter switch rods. I'll use a 5'-7' section of T8 with these. I started playing around with these lines because while I like bombing in open water.......sometimes a switch rod is too much. When water is up and I'm forced to fish the back channels......swinging a heavy fly on a single hander is perfect. Brush and tree branches everywhere? Well this used to be go back and drink and tie flies day......Not any more. I can work a nice juicy fly around these obstacles with zero back cast with the OPST. I thought I had retired my single handers for good.....nope.....they have new life.

How do I keep sense of it all and organized? Well....I'm a total freak I guess. I carry them all in a Berkley soft bait binder sorted from lowest to highest grain weight. Keep the labels and stickers from those line boxes, throw them in a ziplock baggie together with that line and you can it identified and for perfect use years down the road.

berkley soft bait binder.jpg

A leader wallet with all of my sink tips. I have a color code system that I use with colored shrink tubing to keep all of these sink tips straight also.

greys leader wallet.jpg

Has it created a boom to the industry? You better believe it. If you get serious about it...........you can get sucked way down the rabbit hole. Off to my psychologist now.
 
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The op

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I have a sa spey lite skagit intergrated 240 and 2 8ft 3rd coast tips in int/sink2 and sink3/5 on the way in mail.
Will compare it to opst 250 and their tips.
 

The op

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The sa spey lite intergrated arrived today.
With only 1 hr casting time to spare,heres a qick 1st impressions vs opst.

Smoother casting,still a clunker but not as much as beastly opst,the arp (audio reference point?) Is a real nice touch,nicer loops i think the tc tips help alot with that,they are awesome i gotta put one on opst,better handling running line,better grip due to texture,less likely to tangle.

Shootability,shoots good,cant say yet if it shoots any better than opst as opst shoots good,and is 10 grains heavier if that makes any difference.

Even though the textured running line has only a light texture,i can imagine it will wear a groove in my finger after alot of stripping.
 
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Choptanked

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I have a 200 grain OPST Smooth on a 8'8" 5wt for single hand spey. Currently using a 7.5' OPST Riffle tip with that setup. OPST also sells a 5' tip, which you see in some of the Ben Paull videos on their website. Man, that guy can cast.

For those doing single spey in the 5wt range, what are your theories about tip length? 5' vs. 7.5' vs. 10'. Which is best? When would you use one over another?

Thanks.
 

Unknownflyman

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I have a 200 grain OPST Smooth on a 8'8" 5wt for single hand spey. Currently using a 7.5' OPST Riffle tip with that setup. OPST also sells a 5' tip, which you see in some of the Ben Paull videos on their website. Man, that guy can cast.

For those doing single spey in the 5wt range, what are your theories about tip length? 5' vs. 7.5' vs. 10'. Which is best? When would you use one over another?

Thanks.
I`m not really set up for single hand Spey, But I know OPST has suggested sizes for the line grains.

I would fish a 5` tip and leader on a 8`8" rod, it really depends how tight you cast, I cast commandos on 12`9" and 13` rods just fine, but its casting in a phone booth style casting, which is what Ed Ward focuses on.

I cast touch and go with much bigger movements.


Anyway welcome man!
 
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