The Scandit Approach

When I started on “this Skagit thing” about  5 or 6 years ago just after Tim Rajeff introduced the ECHO Dec Hogan Range of Skagit rods, I was extremely sceptical and like most other European salmon fishers I had all the standard clichés firmly embedded in my head: too much splash…, disturbance is enough to scare pheasants let alone salmon…, ‘don’t need lengths of T18 (what the #+*~%  is T18 anyway?) …, what can a Skagit do that a sunk line can’t …you know what I mean. Now some years down the road I have been converted. Not only do I use Skagit heads but also Skagit-switch heads (approx 5m long), also crossover type heads like the ECHO Rage  and more recently Skagit intermediate heads on my 1Handers, Switch-Rods and grown up 2Handers.

I’m a believer
But why? Simply because they are very very easy to cast with. Casting becomes a no-brainer. Skagit heads were designed by guides (not the industry) on the PNW to fulfill one purpose: to get their clients into fish, quickly. IMHO that’s totally customer driven from the guides if you like a “service” push: the faster the client gets a fish, the more he can catch (in a day) (the more he speaks about me as a guide, the more customers I get, etc etc) and not a product push from the industry.

Most of my salmon fishing is in the summer, simply because “my” spring time is full of shows all across Europe and I just don’t have time to get on a river. Because I fish in the summer I don’t generally need to use long lengths of Tx and large flies stuck on the end. I use normal sized salmon and sea trout flies. However I have adapted the line weight accordingly and I use a “Scandinavian underhand” casting style ie dominant lower hand for delivery.
If you like we could call this “scandit casting” (now there’s another one for the pundits )

Scandit what the #+*% is that?
I cast the Skagit Heads the same way as I would cast a modern scandi-shooting head, normally with a single spey (right or left), snake roll, snap-“x” and one of my favourites the perry poke. As mentioned above I go for [much] lighter head weights for this Scandit style of casting than our cousins over the pond would use for “normal” Skagit. I use at least the lowest weight in the grain window for a given rod, sometimes even going below it. As a general rule of thumb use the same weight as you do for a scandi head, however if you decide to use a skagit-switch (5m length) on a grownup 2hander, you might even consider going below this weight (grains per foot are higher for the short lines – enormous amount of mass – awesome to cast with). The same applies for a skagit intermediate; because of the reduced diameter you can generate much higher line speed (lower wind resistance).

Where do I use Skagit lines?

  1. In tight very tight corners or on heavily overgrown stretches of water. The short heads are ideal if you do not have room to form a decent D-Loop, combined with a perry to place the anchor its an awesome combination.
  2. On the coast fishing for sea trout in the sea
  3. Using large wake flies for sea trout or bomber-type flies for salmon
  4. When fishing in high winds
  5. Pike fishing

Give yourself a push, drop the clichés, find out for yourself try the “scandit” approach I am sure you will not regret it.

Have fun debating – I’m off to do a bit of scandit casting on my local sea trout river and to think about the next article in this series …

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Jari Koski

    Good article on a subject close to my heart. As you guys probably know I have been a fan and user of this heavy shooting head system or light skagit(Skandit) right from the start when you sold me your first skagits. It is one of the best systems to fish with and I especially prefer it over the “Scandi’s” when I use bigger tubes and nasty whirling winds. Like the ones that you seem to get on a daily basis when fishing the mighty Teno in northern Finland/Norway.

    1. bff

      Jari thanks for your comment, yes you started in the pre-Rage days. Things have changed since then. I’ve been using the skagit intermediate heads since last summer, to start with I didn’t like them, but after I got get dialled in I found I was using them more and more, in fact after the Rage they have become my favourite head.
      Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  2. Jari Koski

    Yep, the intermediates are very nice fishing lines. Just got a call from my friend who caught a double of 9,5kg and 11,5kg salmons in two runs through the same pool while using that line. He was very pleased that I convinced him to buy one:).

    1. bff

      Each of those is a good fish but a double…
      … fantastic 😀

  3. mads

    I totally agree with the article. When summerfishing, You can reduce grainweight. I use 510 grains on 8/9 rod, but I am still using waterborn anchor with all casts. I did not quite understand if You used touch & go casts as well?

    1. bff

      Hi Mads, if I use poly-leaders then I normally use touch and go casts, however if I use heavy sink tips and large flies then I tend to use water-borne anchor casts.
      I will go into the kit I use and the type of casts in the next article.
      Hope I could help.

  4. mads

    Hi Stuart
    I will be looking forward to that.
    In the rivers I like the floatent skagit lines, for easy mending, but I have been thinking of an Intermidiate in the salt for sea trout. Have You tried that? Is it harder to lift?

    Regards Mads

    1. bff

      Hello Mads, to be honest although they have been on the market now for nearly two years, to my shame I have to admit that I have only just started to use the ECHO Skagit intermediate heads on the coast for sea trout…

      Sure they are not quite as easy to lift as a full floater but Tim Rajeff and Tom Larimer designed the lines with easy lift in mind and as such have a floating “easy lift” zone at the rear of the head – this “zone” makes up approx 25% of the total length of the head.

      The Skagit Int’s are pretty thin and consequently generate high line speed, so you want to drop down in weight by 30grains/2g. By that I mean if you currently use for example a 510grain Skagit Compact then for the same rod I would use a Skagit Int of 480grain.


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