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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:34 pm • # 1 
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Recently got OPST's commando head and I was wondering how people were able to attain such casting distances of 60-70 feet.. right now I'm using the 150grain set up, wit a 8'6" 3wt Redington Trout. At this point in time, I'm only able to casting 40-45 feet tops. I figured my casting is the problem, so I recorded myself casting but can't seem to put my finger on why my distance seems relatively limited...
Here's a video. Let me know what you guys think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kna5N9dTuJ0


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:33 pm • # 2 
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Not sure, I have never tried that style of casting. Looks like a whole lot of work. Just my opinion, I use a TFO Finesse 2wt. I have t lined with a TFO WF3F line and a cheap wf2f line on my spare spool. Either line is capable of throwing 40-50'distances with a standard overhand cast. So why bother? Most casts are 10-20' when fishing at least with UL gear. Are you throwing big heavy flies?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:35 pm • # 3 
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May I suggest you compare your cast to that of the OPST casting video.
My immediate thought was that your line placement was more horizontal to your body where as in the casting videos the line was more lateral or closer to the caster. Secondly maybe a little more line out of the rod would help to load the rod better.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:39 pm • # 4 
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mbarker68x wrote:
Not sure, I have never tried that style of casting. Looks like a whole lot of work. Just my opinion, I use a TFO Finesse 2wt. I have t lined with a TFO WF3F line and a cheap wf2f line on my spare spool. Either line is capable of throwing 40-50'distances with a standard overhand cast. So why bother? Most casts are 10-20' when fishing at least with UL gear. Are you throwing big heavy flies?


Mike the difference is no back cast in tight situations, more like a super roll cast, with the heavy head you can cast a heavy fly long distances.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:43 pm • # 5 
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Gotcha Eric


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:26 am • # 6 
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mbarker68x wrote:
Not sure, I have never tried that style of casting. Looks like a whole lot of work. Just my opinion, I use a TFO Finesse 2wt. I have t lined with a TFO WF3F line and a cheap wf2f line on my spare spool. Either line is capable of throwing 40-50'distances with a standard overhand cast. So why bother? Most casts are 10-20' when fishing at least with UL gear. Are you throwing big heavy flies?


Kaiser has no backcast room in the manner he is fishing, at least in the cross steam casts; in those circumstances I can understand why that type of casting would be advantages.

I don't have any real experience, just played around with home made shooting heads, but from the videos I've seen I agree with Lancaster that there is some
loading lost between the line placement and cast, although I would be thrilled to be doing that well starting out. What I mean by lost loading: the rod is loaded
initially then when the forward stroke begins the line slackens losing some of the load.
Thanks for posting the video.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:25 pm • # 7 
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I wanted to get into this type of casting big time last year and despite an excellent and successful lesson I later found myself struggling. I've watched many videos but don't have much practical experience. Stating this, just so you know where I'm coming from.

Watching your casting, the one thing that struck me is that you are casting sidearm. In my lesson and the videos I've seen, Skagit casting has you load the rod initially to that sidearm position but then there is a transition to an overhand cast. It's a strage concept and perhaps the area I struggle with most. It's easy for the rod to unload during the transition from horizontal to vertical if done wrong. The casts also look kind of rushed but that may just be a function of not making the transition to vertical.

If you haven't already done so, search YouTube and watch every OPST and Ed Ward video you can.

fkrow is one of this forum's resident experts on the subject. Hopefully he'll see this thread. I see linecaster has already chimed in. Another one with great knowledge on the subject.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:11 am • # 8 
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Knotty wrote:
I wanted to get into this type of casting big time last year and despite an excellent and successful lesson I later found myself struggling. I've watched many videos but don't have much practical experience. Stating this, just so you know where I'm coming from.

Watching your casting, the one thing that struck me is that you are casting sidearm. In my lesson and the videos I've seen, Skagit casting has you load the rod initially to that sidearm position but then there is a transition to an overhand cast. It's a strage concept and perhaps the area I struggle with most. It's easy for the rod to unload during the transition from horizontal to vertical if done wrong. The casts also look kind of rushed but that may just be a function of not making the transition to vertical.

If you haven't already done so, search YouTube and watch every OPST and Ed Ward video you can.

fkrow is one of this forum's resident experts on the subject. Hopefully he'll see this thread. I see linecaster has already chimed in. Another one with great knowledge on the subject.


I did try making it an overhand cast towards the end of the cast, but it seemed like I'd lose my anchor and the cast would turn into more or less an overhead cast. I will admit, I haven't tried letting out 1 foot of running line before loading it, so maybe that's worth a shot. I'm going to try to make another video by tomorrow afternoon, taking the advice you guys have mentioned.

As for where I'm anchoring my line, it may look like I'm anchoring it from my side, but the line is actually behind me.


@JimRed

So are you suggesting that I wait a little long before I start my forward cast? If so, I have tried that, but if I wait any longer, all of the line [including the fly] is out of the water and it feels like it's no different from doing a simple overhead cast. Even then, I can only shoot about 40-50 feet with a basic overhead cast.

I inquired about shooting distance to OPST's customer service, and they said I should be shooting 70' at the low end of the spectrum, something I can't even fathom at this point in time. Clearly, I'm doing something wrong, but the way the rod loads feels so right. I'll try to practice tomorrow given the advice you guys gave and we'll see how it turns out. As for people who haven't tried the system, I highly recommend it despite my incompetencies with the commando head. It's allowed me to cast in places I'd never be able to reach without backcasting space/ multiple false casts. Being able to shoot 50' with minimal backcasting room and form this poor speaks volumes about this system. I can't wait to see what to come with more time with this rig.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:46 am • # 9 
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First of all I must say I am not expert, I like shooting heads and I also have the OPST 150 grn shooting head etc. That said the complete shooting head must be out the rod tip, and as Knotty said the the transition from side arm to overhand must be a continuous movement or the rod will not load properly. If you take too long the the leader tip and fly will sink too far causing a possible I overload.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:22 am • # 10 
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linecaster wrote:
First of all I must say I am not expert, I like shooting heads and I also have the OPST 150 grn shooting head etc. That said the complete shooting head must be out the rod tip, and as Knotty said the the transition from side arm to overhand must be a continuous movement or the rod will not load properly. If you take too long the the leader tip and fly will sink too far causing a possible I overload.



Thanks for the input linecaster. I do keep the head right outside the rod tip, and I tried to let out some running line today but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I will work on the transition from side arm to overhead cast for the time being.

Another question I have is regarding how much line should be touching the water right as the D forms. Should the MOW tip and tippet be in the water right as the D forms? Or just the tippet?

Also, do you find that the line is less sensitive when it comes to bite detection? There have been multiple instances where I'd be stripping my line to recast, only to find a fish on my line.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:00 pm • # 11 
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Watch the OPST casting again, the MOW Tip and tippet form the anchor which in turn loads the rod. Regarding feeling the fish, by holding your rod tip pointing in the direction of your fly you should feel the fish take. Love it that you are at least catching fish.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:54 pm • # 12 
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I have used the OPST and RIO Skagit Trout lines since their introduction.

Suggestions:

Slow down you casting stroke,,, way to fast for efficient rod loading. This is one reason you are pulling the anchor on forward presentation.

Side arm for anchor placement is fine however, rod stoke should be almost vertical over your shoulder for forward cast.

Keep the elbows tight into your ribs,, this also helps to not blow the anchor.

Stop the rod almost vertical or at 45 degrees on forward cast. Do not extend you arm out away from you body.

The 150gr is somewhat too light for a 3wt single handed rod,,, I like the 175gr line or even 200gr line depending upon you casting style.

A MOW tip or OPST floating tip will also help with holding the anchor,, the line becomes longer.

Spey casting with a two handed or single handed rod follows the identical rules, the line does not care how long the rod is you are using.
One basic principle for Skagit line water loading the rod is,,,,, CMCL or Constant Motion Continuous Load,, do not stop or hesitate the rod stroke once you begin the Spey cast.

Distances of 60ft-70ft are not a problem with improved technique.

Would be happy to answer any additional questions or view your videos via PM.

Regards,
FK
Spey Casting North East


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:08 am • # 13 
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Fkrow hit exactly what I was going to say. Its a whole different ballgame than traditional casting yet the fundamentals remain. There has to be a high positive stop to launch the line. The rod must flex properly to store the energy. Your cast is a bit too excited - just slow it down a bit and brig the rod higher on the fwd stroke, and stop the rod where you would if casting an aerialized line.

One mors thing - try to get your anchor 180 degrees from the target - it looks like your anchor is out of alignment to the actual cast/target. Just like you would on a normal cast you want the line moving straight. Jeff Putnam has good casting vids on youtube with overhead footage that demonstrates this.

Still - your doing well for a newbie to the single hand skagit casting game.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:05 pm • # 14 
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Couldn't see your video, but I'm a big fan of opst heads. I live in the northwest not super far from the opst gang. I use them on my switch rods almost exclusively. These are definitely the easiest casting Skagit heads I've used. But it takes time to learn sustained anchor casting especially after years of casting a single hander

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:25 pm • # 15 
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fkrow wrote:
The 150gr is somewhat too light for a 3wt single handed rod,,, I like the 175gr line or even 200gr line depending upon you casting style.


I've got a 7'6" 3wt orvis superfine carbon, which is pretty slow for a carbon rod. I've been trying all sorts of shooting head combinations because I love the concept and I want to be able to throw small streamers with an ultralight. I've been using the 150 gr head with the 25 grain OPST floating tip. To me it's seems too heavy, especially when making overhand casts. A 3wt is supposed to be about 100 grains to load, I think. I recently tried a 15' 8wt rio replacement tip that weighs 109 grains. I paired that with the 50# lazar line. I tried the 35# lazar but I thought it was a little thin. I can't cast 100' but I can still cast a lot farther than any normal setup. It's definitely a compromise, I'm giving up some Skagit/roll casting distance in exchange for more manageable overhand casting. The nice thing about it is that even with overhand casting you need a lot less room and effort to make casts compared to a normal setup.

I'm still experimenting, I may end up with the OPST line eventually.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 2:38 pm • # 16 
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Do not concern your self with over loading the rod and line weight recommendations.
All modern graphite rods will easily overhead cast -1 to +2 line weight wrt the rod label.

When Spey casting remember, 1/2 or more of the line is one the water surface or close to it, line weights do not factor into the rod bend until you make to final forward delivery. If the line is too heavy for the rod, you will not generate line speed and the back end of the line will droop or plow upon delivery.

A few years ago, I visited a favorite salt water fly shop and two of the regular customers were test casting two new Loomis salt water SH rod. They were 7'6" and 8' lone with very heavy and very short heads,,, designed specifically for the very short heads,,, sound familiar? We were able to blast out 100ft+ casts with one back cast easily. The concept never left the prototype/experimental phase. These lines were about 2x the rod line label weight.

The single hand Spey casting with OPST and RIO Skagit Trout lines ( RIO now have 150gr & 175gr) are really taking off in southern New England.

Regards,
FK


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