OPST Skagit head for single hand rods

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Ron Eagle Elk
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Carmel, Maine

OPST Skagit head for single hand rods

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:04 am

When I was living out in Washington and fishing western rivers I got really spoiled. I usually had plenty of backcast room, fishing on big gravel bars or being waist deep in a broad freestone river. In those instances where my back cast room was limited I fell back on my two hand casting techniques, usually a snap-T or circle spey with a haul added in. With a weight forward RIO Gold line I was able to get a respectable cast of 40 feet past the rod tip (on a really good cast). For tighter quarters, my 7'6" bamboo rod with a double taper silk line works the treat, even with two hand style casts.

Here in Maine, things are different. Rivers are high right now so wading is problematic. The places we fish have a high bank behind us with over hanging trees in some places and lots of willow close behind.

I watched a couple of you-tube videos of the OPST Skagit head system and sent them an e-mail to see what they suggested for my 5 weight Hardy Zenith. Their suggestion was a 13.5 foot 200 grain Commando Head with either a 7.5 foot 35 grain floating tip or the 7.5 foot 60 grain sink tips. The running line is their 30 pound Lazar monofilament line.

I ordered the stuff and it arrived Friday. Got it spooled up that evening and took it out in the yard to "test" cast it. Looped up about 30 feet of running line in my hand, made a nice smooth roll cast and let the line shoot. When it hit the end of the 30 feet of running line it still had energy...a lot of energy. Next cast was closer to 60 feet, with ease.

Went to the local river yesterday to try it on moving water. Got into the river as deep as I dared, about mid thigh, high bank about 10 feet back, some over hanging branches that would have interfered with an overhead cast. Looped about 20 feet of running line in my left hand, made a smooth circle spey and screwed the cast up, dumping the whole mess just off my rod tip. I used it like a Perry Poke, made a snake roll cast with a side arm cast and a bit of a haul and the Commando Head and tip shot out like from a cannon. Made 8 or nine good casts, shooting 60 or more feet at last . The casts were effortless, smooth and really enjoyable, fun in fact.

While this line may not be the thing for delicate dry fly presentations, but for the fishing I do, I'm sold.

I let my wife try my new line and now I have to buy another for her.

I'll get pics up when I can.
"A man may smile and bid you hale yet curse you to the devil, but when a good dog wags his tail he is always on the level"
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letumgo
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Re: OPST Skagit head for single hand rods

Post by letumgo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:24 am

Ron,

I enjoyed reading your post. I'm glad you like the OPST system. It sounds like you were able to get it dialed in really quickly.

Out of curiosity, what tip section did you decide to go with? I'm using the floating tip section for most of my fishing. I bought a full set of the various sink tips, but have not played with them much, since my local streams are fairly shallow (generally ranging from 2 to 4 feet deep). The sink tips should be useful in deeper runs, or at times with the water level is higher and stream flow is increased.

It's nice having a system that can be "tweeked", when conditions demand.

Have fun!
Ray (letumgo)----<°))))))><
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"The world is perfect. Appreciate the details." - Dean
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Ron Eagle Elk
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:33 am
Location: Carmel, Maine

Re: OPST Skagit head for single hand rods

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:26 pm

Ray, I went with the 7.5 foot 35 grain floating tip and the 7.5 foot 60 grain sink tips. All three sink tips that length are 60 grain (Riffle, Run and Bucket), they just have a different density to affect their sink rates. You don't have to alter your casting stroke for different weight tips. I think the floating tip and Riffle (2 IPS I think) will get the most use on the rivers I fish here, with the floating tip getting the most use for the same reason as you.

I used to fish two handed rods out west quite a bit for steelhead and salmon. Arthritis made fishing a 7 or 8 weight single hand rod very tiring and painful. Using a two hander kept me in the game. I found using the same techniques with a single hand rod was just more efficient when working through a run for sea run cutthroat with my four or five weight Zenith rods. My fly was in the water more, increasing my chance for a fish.

I have entertained the idea of a three or four weight trout spey, preferably a three weight. I think using a true two hand rod in that light weight would be a hoot.
"A man may smile and bid you hale yet curse you to the devil, but when a good dog wags his tail he is always on the level"
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Re: OPST Skagit head for single hand rods

Post by letumgo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:47 pm

Don’t tempt me... :twisted: :D ;)
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"The world is perfect. Appreciate the details." - Dean
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