The use of switch, lightweight double hand and even single hand rods for spey casting is growing exponentially world-wide. To meet this demand Airflo have come up with a perfect new spey casting head – the Skagit Scout.
Already a big hit in the USA, we believe that this line will become a firm favourite of UK Sea trout and Salmon anglers. This guest post by American spey casting expert Tom Larimer explains everything you need to know about the Skagit Scout head.
Spey fishing has been in a constant state of evolution for a while now. While spey rods have taken over steelhead and salmon rivers from the West Coast to the Great Lakes, anglers are also using two-handed rods for fisheries ranging from trout in the Rockies to smallmouth in the Midwest to pike in Alaska. In many ways two-handed lines have been the driver of this change. Skagit lines, introduced to the market almost 15 years ago, have influenced everything from the flies we fish, the rods we cast and the water we fish. In essence, line design has been the major catalyst for change in almost every aspect of our sport. This trend will no doubt continue with the introduction of the revolutionary Airflo Skagit Scout.
Designed by Tom Larimer and the design team at Rajeff Sports, Airflo’s Skagit Scout answers the call for a short length Skagit head build for smaller two-handed rods, switch rods and single-hand rods. These lines give the caster the ability to efficiently cast large flies and heavy sink-tips on light rods in the tightest of casting situations.
Designing heads this short is challenging for two huge reasons. First, the shorter a line is the faster it wants to turn-over. This makes it incredibly difficult to build a line that is stable in the air and holds a loop when longer casts are required. Secondly, a fast turn-over also leads to the line recoiling at the end of the cast which in turn effects how the line ultimately sets up for the swing. Existing short heads on the market will easily cast large flies in tight casting quarters, but they struggle with these issues. When we went to work on this project our goal was to create the ultimate short Skagit head that both cast and fished better than anything available on the market. We put a ton of thought into the tapers, diameters and materials to improve flight performance. These lines almost defy the laws of physics… they are incredibly stable even when jacking long casts. More so, they lay out straight at the end of the cast setting things up for the perfect swing.
Additionally, we stole some design elements from our existing Skagit heads like the Skagit Compact G2 and the Skagit Switch G2. Like all of our heads, the mass of the line is near the back end which gives the caster amazing versatility. In tight casting conditions the head can be cast with no overhang, tight to the rod tip. The mass helps load the rod with minimal line speed and facilitates a tiny D-loop. However, when longer casts are required the caster can use 2’ to 4’ of overhang which moves the mass away from the rod tip thus increasing the swing speed and lengthening the casting stroke, all of which help increase loop stability and over-all casting distance.
In short, if you love our existing Skagit heads you’ll feel right at home with the new Skagit Scout.
Skagit Scout Specs:
Ranging from 150 grains to 480 grains in 13.5’ to 18.5’, the Skagit Scout is ideal for Spey and switch rods up to 12’6 in length in line sizes #7 and smaller. While the Skagit Scout is the ultimate casting and fishing tool for two-handed rods in tight casting quarters, they are also tremendous when paired this single-hand rods.
Like all Airflo Spey lines, they feature Polyurethane construction, a low stretch core, and our revolutionary Super Dry coating. Additionally, we used our bombproof loops, our innovative black rear loop for a visual break between the head and the running line, and our line rating ID with a color band on the front loop for easy identification when spooled on a reel. Finally, the striking “Wasabi Green” color is ideal for tracking the swing even in low light conditions.
How to Line a Skagit Scout:
As shorter Skagit lines have appeared on the market there has been a lot of discussion on how to line them. Some anglers like a very light load lining their rods 90-100 grains lighter than a traditional Skagit. While there are no “wrong” ways to line a rod, anglers should realize that the lighter the head becomes the more mass you lose, which helps in turn-over large flies and heavy sink-tips. More so, a lighter load makes it easier to blow your anchor out of the water on the forward cast. Consequently, the majority of anglers will prefer to line their rods identical to a Skagit Switch.
If you want to have a ton of fun hucking big flies and sink-tips on smaller Spey rods, switch rods and single-handers and demand a Spey line that has incredible loop stability and resists recoiling at the end of the cast, the Skagit Scout has you covered for every fishing situation ranging from chasing trout in the Rockies to stomping down your favorite winter steelhead haunts.
By Tom Larimer
Where to get one?