They excel at throwing small flies and light leaders. Winston has rolled out the new “micro Spey” classification of Spey rods. Depending on grain weight, Rage heads are 26 to 32 feet long, falling right in between the typical lengths of Skagit and Scandi heads. Add both rod and line to your cart to save! I have found that 200 grains on this rod is a bit heavy for "optimum" singlehand Skagit/Spey (I do haul on these casts) for me, especially for casts beyond 40ish feet. Some lines are good for all around utility work. For the remainder of this post, I am going to focus on Skagit Lines and Scandi Lines as these are the two line systems that are most appropriate (regardless of skill) for the vast majority of spey anglers around the world. Ok fine, I was trying not to muddy the waters, but I will also acknowledge that there is a new crop of lines out there which have integrated running lines and heads (eliminating the loop to loop connection which typically exists between the head and the running line), but we'll save that for another post. Essentially, the Rage splits the difference between Skagit and Scandi heads for anglers wanting more versatility. They also reward a more compact casting stroke which is generally more efficient and less susceptible to casting flaws. It has all of the grace, ease of casting, and presentation benefits of a traditional Scandi head, with fewer of the drawbacks. When you are first starting out with spey casting, it is difficult to know your casting stroke and how it relates to grain weight preference, so don't worry too much about this and just go with the grain recommendation for your rod. Featuring the Advanced Boron III technology, fast action Two-Handed rods designed for trout fishing offering a Very lightweight, powerful rod that can generate very high line speeds. 1) Cut the hook off of your fly, stand in one place and practice for an hour, minimum! HEADHUNTERS SAYS OPST brought us the first proper Spey lines for our “Micro” or “Ultra-light” Spey rods.After several years of planning and design, OPST has released a line of rods designed by guru Ed Ward. These rods were designed by Skagit legend Ed Ward and represent decades of dedication purely to sustained-anchor two-handed casting. When used correctly, these rods can open up a whole new world of casting and fishing possibilities on your local waters, by letting you utilize two-handed techniques once reserved for salmon and steelhead anglers. Engineered with micro-texture technology to reduce surface friction, these switch lines allow anglers to overhand or Spey cast with ease. Shown above: a variety of Skagit lines being prepared for rigorous testing. Micro Skagit Commando Head The Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (OPST) Pure Skagit lines are micro skagit lines designed for all rod types, but originally for single hand and double hand trout-spey rods. I can say without a doubt, that there was absolutely no singular topic that caused more widespread confusion (and panic) than that of Spey Lines and their subsequent components. Boom! My intention throughout this post series is to break down the primary components of a modern spey setup (rods, reels, lines, tips, and leaders), identify the various options on the market, and discuss the differences therein. Rio scandi versitip spey fly fishing line #5 - 3 tips. Good, you're gonna want to take a seat and make yourself comfortable, this may be a lengthy conversation." The INTOUCH TROUT SPEY line is a very easy casting, short head style line for anglers using light two-handed trout Spey rods, and regular single-handed fly rods (just check the grain weight to match).Each line is built on RIO’s ultra-low stretch ConnectCore for maximum sensitivity, and has a seamlessly integrated running line for ease of use. This video runs through RIO's series of Trout Spey lines, and explains when to use each one to get the very best performance from a Trout Spey rod. We think they’re onto something, and after fishing OPST’s new light weight Commando Skagit Heads on tiny single handers this past summer at Alaska West , we think the advantage is undeniable (see them in action in the video below! Get a FREE Rio Fly Line credit (up to $100) with the purchase of this rod. Additionally, it's shorter length lends itself better to the compact strokes required to cast Skagit heads, making it easier to transition between the two line systems. The exact grain weight within the above suggested grain windows you choose for your rod will depend on a) which rod you own, as different rods perform best with higher/lower grain weights, and b) your casting stroke and preference. Fly Fishing Guide Service, Fly FIshing, Fly Fishing Gear, Fly Fishing Equipment, fly fishing gear guide, Fly FIshing Guide, fly fishing guide service, Fly Fishing, Pacific Northwest Fly Fishing, Washington Fly Fishing Guide, Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide, Olympic Peninsula Steelheading, steelhead, spey, spey casting, spey lines, spey cast, river salt outfitters, Fly FIshing Guide, Olympic Peninsula, Olympic Peninsula Steelheading, Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide, Washington Fly Fishing Guide, Winter Steelhead, Steelhead, Fly FIshing, Pacific Northwest Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing Guide Service, Spey Casting, Spey Rod, Easily casts large flies and heavy sink tips (winter steelheading), Great line speed and heavy mass cuts through wind easily, Good castability close in and further out, Year-round versatility due to ability to throw both small and big flies, as well as both heavy and light tips, Greatest all-round versatility, the only spey line system with the ability to do everything, Most beginner friendly due to deep loading of rod and subsequent increased line feel. I would suggest thinking of these sinking heads as niche items. 330 Gr. Recent introductions of new Trout Spey lines mean that anglers finally have access to the right Spey gear for chasing resident trout in Montana and beyond. We have a dedicated article on micro skagit here for all the information you could possibly need on this: Micro Skagit in the UK? Also, micro speys are intended to be cast with both hands, whereas switch rods can be used with one or two hands, theoretically. #5.5 - 390 Gr. The world of trout spey (or whatever moniker is most popular at any given time) is constantly evolving. This is the first of a three part post series on the topic of Demystifying Spey. A long line caster delivering a 14'0” rod will feel comfortable with 55' to 65' of aerialized line grain beyond the rod tip. Oh yes, the confusion is real. Hot off the Press: 23 tips to improve your Skagit Casting Power and Distance. Scandi heads are a great line choice for summer steelheading when small flies and light tips are the norm. Buy a Scandi head if: you are a summer steelheader, you mostly throw smaller flies and light tips, you enjoy a refined and smooth casting feel, delicate presentations are important, you already own a Skagit head. Scandi heads are longer than Skagit heads, typically 30 to 40 feet in length. The same reasons we fish spey rods for steelhead are good reasons to use them for trout. Many fly rod manufacturers are also providing suggested grain weights for their rods, so take a look on their websites. Most modern Skagit heads are 18 to 25 feet in lenght, with some new additions to the market being even shorter. Get a FREE Rio Fly Line credit (up to $100) with the purchase of this rod. Spey Line Recommendations RIO has done extensive research to determine which lines go well with a number of different rods on the market. 330 Gr. The rod is a 9' 4/5 weight singlehander blank that has been built up as a miniature doublehander. Up until a couple of years ago, all Skagit heads were floating. In other words, I am going to keep things fairly basic, speaking hopefully in layman's terms. NEWSLETTER ^ Back To Top. This is still the scenario where they are most appropriate, however they are a perfectly good option for year round and summer steelheading as well. floating vs sinking). Skagit lines are significantly heavier than conventional salmon lines and consist of a short floating belly section and a selection of interchangeable tips. I want to hammer this point home: a typical Skagit head is floating and for the vast majority of anglers a floating Skagit head is the best choice. These rods blend the joy of spey and trout all into one rod. I go doublehanded when casting further than that, or when throwing larger, weighted flies. Let's cover one thing real fast - proper pronunciation is "SCAD-JIT". Spey reel loaded with a Skagit line system. Thin floating fly lines, micro thin fly lines, sinking fly lines, sink tip lines, midge tip fly fishing lines, streamer fly lines & pike fly lines. Copyright © 2021 Field & Stream. The 4 weight is the most popular, but anglers wanting to increase the fun factor for trout get the #3. A shooting head is essentially a short heavy chunk of fly line which is responsible for loading the rod and delivering all of the power in a cast. Skagit casting isn’t really much different than any other style of Spey casting. The BIII TH Winston Micro Spey was particularily senstive when it comes to feeling your line swing in the current. Our 132 grain tips work best for rods from about a 6-weight spey to an 8-weight switch, or about a 325 to 400 Grain Commando Head. The Commando Smooth is designed to be used with our Micro Tips and Commando Floating Tips, from 5 to 10 feet long. I have spent the past several years as the general manager of a large fly shop in the Pacific Northwest. While this is great in heavy or uneven currents, it can be frustrating in softer water as hanging up on the bottom can become a frequent occurrence. There are a couple of good resources available for finding grain weight recommendations for your rod: https://www.rioproducts.com/learn/spey-line-recs, http://echoflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2018-Spey-Rod-Line-Weight-Recommendations.pdf. We have a good review for you and some line recommendations as well. When Winston introduced their new series of two-handed rods, aptly named the BIII TH MS (Micro Spey), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one (or three!). They can be used year round and are really the only appropriate choice for winter steelheading when heavy tips and large flies are the norm. Skagit heads achieve the above characteristics by compressing the entire weight of the line into a very short length. Barrio Fly Lines are researched and developed in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, at the heart of the rivers Don, Dee, Spey and Deveron. Bottom Line: The DNA is not the best Skagit rod on the market but features an impeccable fit and finish and a solid Scandi game. A Spey line that has a head 3 times longer than the rod (for example a 12 ft rod with 36 ft head length) is a lot easier to cast than a line with a head that is 5 or 6 times longer than the rod (60 to 72 ft on the same 12 ft rod). There Riffle is S2/3, the Run is S5/6 and the Bucket is S8/9. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. This should save you a bit of unnecessary embarrassment down the road. They’re especially useful for summer steelhead, smallmouth, and walleye in rivers. Enter the micro spey or trout spey. So they are micro spey as they cast a much lower grain than a traditional spey rod. A spey line is the most important piece of your two-handed gear. Anglers use “Micro-Spey” or “Trout Spey” rods in 11 to 13 foot lengths, ranging from 2 to 5 weights. "Skagit"/"Scandi" refers to the type of shooting head in this system. It probably goes without being said, if you are only going to have one Skagit head, it should definitely be a floating head. As discussed above, Skagit and Scandi lines are the two most relevant types of spey lines for the majority of anglers. have trended shorter with an average length about 26’ to 22’ long. 20lb Beulah Fly Lines Lines, Lines, and Lines...the single topic that seems to cause the most confusion (perhaps frustration) for anglers trying to get into the spey game. Essentially Skagit lines are extremely "weight-forward" fly lines. I've got a guy here with some spey quesionts." your back is up against the bank or there is a tree overhanging to one side of you) . They can chuck a decent size fly and are awesome for fish up to around 10lbs. Best for spey rods in the 11'6" - 13' length range, Can also be used for spey casting on single hand rods, Excels at both sustained-anchor and touch-and-go style casts, Great for summer steelheading where small flies and light tips are the norm, Struggles with bigger flies and heavier tips, Not a great choice in wind (compared to Skagit heads), Requires more backcasting room (compared to Skagit heads, although much better than Mid Belly and Long Belly lines of old), Simply not going to get'er done in most winter steelheading scenarios. Best for spey rods in the 12'6" - 14' length range. They call them Trout Spey or Micro Spey and they range from 1-5 WTs, however, they are still 10.5 to 11.5ft long and can be lined up with up to 390-grain lines. The delicately designed action can handle aggressive strikes on light tippet, yet maintains a deep-loading power to deliver heavy flies and shoot line with impressive speed. During that same time period we sold about one thousand skagit and scandi lines (about 90% of which were Skagit, but more on that later). ). It is for this reason that Skagit lines are without a doubt the most versatile spey lines on the market. All rights reserved. Typically, micro speys are longer (at 12.5 to 14 feet) than switch rods (usually no longer than 11 feet), and use heavier line (240 to 250 grain is best). Mackenzie Spey, this is the line for when you don't want to strip in a lot of running line and you need to cast far in able to reach the taking spots. Note that head length is not necessarily a function of grain weight, but is instead more related to the length of the rod and your personal casting stroke/preference. Although there is no such thing as a "7wt skagit head", there are typical grain windows associated with different weight spey rods. The Trout Spey is light weight and dialed for far more than just two-hand swinging with Skagit and Scandi heads: Flick an emerger off the tip, mend a country mile of line with an indicator nymph rig, tight-line nymph, fish a dry fly hatch, and anything else you may find yourself needing in ever-changing trout fisheries. The running line is orange to provide a nice contrast against the Sauk Blue head. While they can certainly be helpful to have in your "toolbox", 90% of the time a regular old floating skagit head is the better choice. Rio Skagit Spey Lines Rio Skagit Spey lines are short, ultra powerful Spey lines with a thick front end that is designed to easily cast large, heavy flies and fast sinking tips. In addition to a variety of lengths, the market offers lines built for specific fishing situations. They come in 51ft for #8 weight rods, 56ft for #9 weight rods and 56ft and 64ft for the big rods in sizes #10/11. Their new 3wt Drift rod is certainly a game changer. 2019 Spey Line recommendations. As I mentioned earlier, today’s traditional Skagit heads, such as the Airflo Skagit Compact. The extra length of these rods allows for continuous drift and mending control in big water that is much more difficult with … Some lines are great for shooting sink tips and streamers while other lines are best for indicator fishing or even dry fly fishing. The primary "alternative" Scandi head that I want to highlight is the Airflo Rage Compact. While Skagit heads have a clunky, get-er-done, huck anything type of attitude, Scandi lines lean towards grace and presentation. USE OUR LINE SELECTOR APP. Much like adding a trout line to a switch rod, double handed rods require allot more weight in the line to compensate for a water anchor when spey casting. Plus, if you have limited backcasting space, you can still make big roll casts with a micro spey, keeping your fly out of the trees and in prime water. The changing line color determines the sweet spot and loads the rod correctly when Spey casting. ). You’ll also … All Orvis specialty fly lines will give you superior castability, shootability, and control. They call them Trout Spey or Micro Spey and they range from 1-5 WTs, however, they are still 10.5 to 11.5ft long and can be lined up with up to 390-grain lines. It does great in wind and can turn over moderately sized flies and tips. USE OUR LINE SELECTOR APP. The reels are setup with around 100 yards of backing, a running line (very thin coated level line, no taper to it), a shooting head, and a leader often a sinking leader/tip. The line is a "custom" prototype Skagit belly of 200 grains that we are playing around with. They excel at delicate presentations and touch-and-go casts, while conveying a refined and smooth casting feel. In an industry where Trout Spey is becoming increasingly popular, it makes sense that one of the largest rod manufacturers has created a Trout Spey series that combines contemporary fly rod technology and heightened engineering. But I was wrong. If you could only have one spey line, it should most likely be a Skagit. I will tell you from personal experience that these heads sink fast and stay deep! Below, we'll put the microscope on the Skagit family of lines in an effort to help you make an informed product decision. And one of the top three lightest in terms of swing weight, (behind the Beulah Platinum and T&T DNA). John Arnold. It will initially include six rods in total, ranging from a 9’9” Micro Skagit Two-Handed 3wt up to an 11’6” 8wt, and every whole rod weight in-between. The 4 weight is the most popular, but anglers wanting to … Finally, our 168 grain tips work best on 7-weight spey rods to 9 weight spey rods, or about a 375 to 475 grain Commando Head. The BIII TH Winston Micro Spey was particularily senstive when it comes to feeling your line swing in the current. And yes, you still put backing on your reel. To help make building your spey line process easy, here is a diagram of how a modular spey line system is put together. From inside to outside: Yellow = backing, Orange = running line, Mint Green = Skagit Head, Black = Tip. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. With that said, most fly lines designed to be cast overhead with a single hand rod generally don’t cast overly well using spey casts, particularly ‘sustained anchor casts’ – those often associated with skagit style casting (think snap T, circle spey, double spey, etc. This makes a Sunray floating fly line swim in the same way silk fly lines were used as floating lines. While those rods remain popular, more recently, focus has shifted in part to single-hand spey … A specific casting style developed to compliment the lines and to allow for the heavy weight the lines carry without damaging rods. They’re especially useful for summer steelhead, smallmouth, and walleye in rivers. For example, if you like casting a 540 grain Skagit head on your rod, you will probably like a 480-510 grain Scandi head on that same rod. Depending on the brand, Skagit heads come in either 25 grain (Rio), 30 grain (Airflo), or 40 grain (SA) increments. Typical Spey fly patterns are way too big for Pennsylvania trout. The all new Winston Boron III-TH Micro Spey Trout Rods are wonderful casting rods. These rods blend the joy of spey and trout all into one rod. Swinging flies is a blast and when I find the right situation it’s game on. In order for you to make an informed decision, some examples would be to use a #6 Rio Single Hand Spey line on a #3 Trout Spey rod or even a #7 line of a #4/5 Trout Spey rod. It is 4 rod in one covering 9ft dry fly fishing to 10' Euro nymphing to 11'3" or 12'3" micro spey / trout spey. February 11, 2017 paflyguide1 4 Comments. Floating fly lines contain glass microspheres that make them float. Basically it is a more powerful and more versatile Scandi head. A spey cast is deemed a spey cast when the fly line is cast under the rod tip on the back cast (as opposed to over the rod tip in a traditional fly cast), AND is allowed to anchor onto the surface of the water (near or slightly in front of the angler) before makin… `` SCAN-DEE '' ) heads, line manufacturers have started to offer Scandi heads achieve the above attributes by a. Hear me say, “ choose the line before the rod ’ s traditional Skagit heads the. 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