Fly Lines- Understanding Skagit and Scandinavian Shooting Heads

Demystifying Skagit and Scandinavian Shooting Heads
by Peter Charles via hooked4lifeca

once we get over the infomercial aspect and the ever-false “The Anchor loads the Rod” notion we’re left with a very good and comprehensive, straight, simple and easily understandable description for those wanting to understand modern two-handed rod shooting-head systems and incorporate them to their bag of tricks. enjoy !

3 thoughts on “Fly Lines- Understanding Skagit and Scandinavian Shooting Heads

  1. Hi

    Thanks for the comments on my video. I’ll soon be producing a follow-on to this one that discusses the lengths and weights of the two line types, and how they match up with our double handed rods.

    One small point though, I never say that “the anchor loads the rod” as I know that isn’t true. In a Single Spey, the anchor prevents the premature unloading of the rod. What I do say is that in sustained anchor Skagit casting, “the line stick provides an initial load on the rod”. That initial load is carried through the cast, into the forward stroke, by continuous motion. So yes, in Skagit casting the line stick does provide some of the load on the rod. It’s the key difference between the two casting styles.

    Peter Charles

  2. hi Charles,
    sorry for the delayed response and thanks for your comment !

    since i’m sure you’re open to constructive debate here goes.
    fly casting mechanics are a constant whether we’re casting overhead, rolls or speys of any family.

    the sole purpose of any D loop anchor is to prevent it from ‘blowing back’ after the completion of the forward cast. outside of having the hook fly backwards and possibly snag something, this also is a waste of the caster’s energy because we’re applying force to the rod leg of the D loop while the fly leg is going in the opposite direction. without a good anchor the cast is less efficient.

    i’m away from my computer and on my cell phone at the moment and will get back with more and have some video links on this loading stuff as soon as possible.

    • hi again,
      “In a Single Spey, the anchor prevents the premature unloading of the rod.”
      i’m not sure what you mean there, Charles. ‘premature unloading’ would mean the caster has stopped accelerating the rod tip. this has nothing to do with the anchor and can’t have any consequence. besides, as noted above, the anchor only starts to move or, release its tension from the water once the forward cast is completed and the rod is unloaded.

      “the line stick provides an initial load on the rod. That initial load is carried through the cast, into the forward stroke, by continuous motion.”
      sweeping into the D loop and loading the rod to produce a casting loop are two very different things. indeed, the rod will bend a little during the sweep but let’s not forget that by reversing the rod tip from the D loop setup into the forward cast there is a necessary unloading of the rod.
      we see this very clearly in slomo video. the rod straightens (or very close to straightens) and sometimes we’ll even see counterflex if that reversal was abrupt, very common when producing V loops.
      as soon as a rod starts to unbend it means its unloading.

      ‘constant tension’, as its commonly referred to, just isn’t possible if we’re creating any kind of loop, whether a D loop or casting loop. Joan Wulff’s ‘Circles & Eights’ drill typifies this explanation perfectly.
      it took Ed Ward years to recognise this but he finally agreed on a thread of the Sexyloops forum that what he thought was going on wasn’t what was really going on.
      it’s the difference between what we feel and/or think we’re doing as opposed to what we see and even measure. (fact)
      once again, simply watching the rod tip on any slomo video shows this regardless of casting styles. a cast is a cast. the same principles apply to all.

      as for the close-to-body Skagit sweep/reversals, without having any ‘definite’ conclusions, i can understand that the sustained anchor is used as a ‘pivot point’ for the fly line, considering the very short amount of fly line being used and its consequent weight but this would mostly be as a ‘safety’ measure to prevent hook injury to the caster and blown-out anchors but there’s still no constant load even though it might feel like it.

      thanks again for your very nice shooting head video, looking forward to the second part.

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