There seems to be quite a lot of confusion concerning whether a recommended Skagit head weight for a given rod should include the weight of the sink tip or not. Before we get into the nitty gritty of this subject lets just briefly review how a rod is loaded in a spey cast.
Referring to the diagram below, in a spey cast (Skagit casts (like underhand) are members of the Spey cast family) the weight of line in the “D-Loop” (A to B) loads the rod.
Choosing the right weight
After finding an appropriate Skagit Head for your Rod (you might want to browse the Spey line recommendation chart on our website to help you do this) make sure that you do not deduct the weight of any sink tip(s) you are planning to use. The reason for this is, as illustrated in the above diagram, that the sink tip does not form part of the D-Loop and as a result does not affect the loading of the rod. If you find that you need a 570 grain Skagit head then it does not matter how heavy a sink tip (of course it shouldn’t be heavier than the weight of the Skagit head or else it will sink … 😀 ) you loop on to the front end. (If you want to find out a bit more about selecting the right sink tip then read our series of articles on CCT’s)
Let me illustrate this with an actual example…
… a few days ago we received an email from a potential customer who owns a 14’8” #10/11 rod asking us what weight of Skagit head he would need for his rod. Our spey-line-chart suggested a 660grain Skagit Compact head (this fell within the grain /gram window as documented on the manufacturers site). So we wrote and told him that we recommend a 660grain head.
In parallel to contacting us, this customer had also mailed the manufacturer and he was told by a member of their “pro- team” that the “line weight” included the weight of the sink tip and in order to find out the correct head weight he would have to deduct the weight of the sink tip from the Skagit head weight. The customer new he wanted to use a 180gr (~13ft of T14) tip so based on the information he had been given by the manufacturer our customer concluded that he needed to buy a 480grain (660gr head weight – 180gr sink tip weight) Skagit Head…
… this answer is completely wrong and will end up with a seriously under-loaded rod.
After finding a Skagit head for your rod DO NOT (and I repeat) DO NOT deduct the weight of any sink tip(s) you are planning to use.
Get “poke” ing 😀 …