Skagit Line Set-up. Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Jeff Dodd, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. I'm preparing for my FIRST spey rod (12' 7" Allen 7wt) by setting up a reel with Skagit line system. Gary Knowles has generously agreed to build this rod for me :D
    Thank you Gary and thank you Evan for trading me the blank.

    I'm frugal and I may be making a mistake by doing this ON THE CHEAP. Tell me if I'm asking for problems.

    So far on my size 4 Allen Alpha II, I've got...

    20 pound backing (had it already)
    Airflow Ridge Running line, (Thomas Williams gave this to me, but the front end is damaged and no loop)
    500 grain Skagit line
    Old & unknown 30' shooting heads -free from fly fishing club

    Questions I have:
    20 pound backing to light, right?

    Ridge Running Line (Can I repair this by cutting damage off and add a loop with 30 pound mono braid?)

    Shooting heads:
    Old 9wt 30' shooting heads work in a Skagit system?
    Do I need to weigh these heads?
    What pound mono braid to put a loop on the forward and rear portion?

    Cortland Mono braid- Is this good for making loops in a system like this?

    Thanks for any and all recommendations.
  2. A braided loop will be just fine for the running line. I only tied a knot because the tip got cut by the hook while casting on the river. The braided loop will also keep it smooth through the guides. Buy the ones for around 8wt. A pack of premade loops with sleeve from Rio is 5$ and comes with 4 loops. Enough to do your running line and tips. Much easier to deal with as well. It will not effect your casting in any way. The head is what matters.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  3. Are you planning on winter fishing or will you have it for the summer?

    If you have for the summer get a nice full floater like a 6/7 AFS or 420grn compact Scandi by airflo. Use with rod length mono leaders or 10' polys and 3' of 10-12# Tippet material. Some Size 6 muddlers and 6-8 beaded Krystal buggers and your all set.

    If you are dead set on using the Skagit get a set of 15' rio tips (8wt) and use the floater, intermediate and type 3 tips.

    By the way 9wt shooting heads going to be too light and Cortland mono braid is great for loops.

    Experiment and have fun!

    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  4. Thanks James and Thomas for wading through my questions and getting me set straight.

  5. Don't use the 20lb. backing, go with 30lb. backing with a 6" Double Blind Splice loop.

    For the Airflo Ridge Running Line, hopefully 30lb., weld new 6" loops on each end.

    Cut the 9wt. shooting head into three 10' sections and weld small 1/2" long loops on each end. You will end up with 3 different tapered tips.

    1 long front taper tip. - less grain weight
    1 short rear taper tip. - medium grain weight
    1 level taper tip. - most grain weight

  6. Perfect! Thank you Grey Ghost
  7. I agree with the 30# backing. If you running line is 30# then you do not want less (weaker) behind it. If you break the backing you loose it all. Lines are hard to know. You can flog along with a line and get by, but get a line matched to that rod and your casting stroke and it is magic. Try to get to an event that has several lines and try a few. If you find a great one it is a cheap investment.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  8. definetly 30 lb, from my own experience I was practicing on a dock in lake Washington and accidently stepped on my 20lb running line while shooting line. my Skagit head and t14 went flying about 80 feet threw the guides. I was trying to swim fast enough to receive my Skagit head and tip before it sank to the bottom of the lake. luckily the back end of the Skagit head was only 6 feet under the surface and I was able to retrieve it
  9. Holy Shit. I'm placing my order now...

    Good you got your line back B_T

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