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Thread: Ever trim a head?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    439

    Default Ever trim a head?

    I bought the 7Wt Clearwater spey that was on the board here, and took it out to play with it.

    The head on there is a Rio skagit max 550 grain, and it felt like it was overloaded.

    If I brought the skagit portion of the head (I think that's what it is called, past the orange transition, into the thick blue line) inside the guides 2-3 feet it felt crisper for sure. The rod itself does not have a grain listing on the label, so I checked the Rio site, to cross reference it against a 7 wt listing, where it calls for a 450-525 grain range.

    Im wondering if there is an option to trim the head- it doesn't seem possible but what do I know...

    Ive got a spool of gudebrod braided mono and I know how to make loops but it seems the part I wanna shorten is the thick portion and not the tapered part.

    I'm not too keen on the idea of dropping 60 bucks on a new head to drop 25-50 grains.



    And as an aside, I got a spey swivel thrown in as part of another deal- anyone use them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The OV
    Posts
    324

    Default

    I’m not familiar with the Skagit Max, but I assume it has some taper at the front. If I was going to trim it - and I have engaged in such activities in the past with some successes and probably equal failures- I’d cut it at the point where it integrates with the running line and take it off the back of the head, not the front, to reduce the weight. Keep in mind this is coming from just another knucklehead on the river, not Steve Godshall or some other line expert.

    As for swivels, I use them on all my heads and poly leaders, as well as a very small one on the leader on my dry line, to keep big bushy skaters from twisting. Can’t recommend them highly enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    19,853

    Default

    Maybe someone would trade you a 500 grain Skagit head for your 550?
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
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    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
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    ______________________________________

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    1,197

    Default

    Might be a little heavy, however, it should still work. Make sure that you have it on in the correct direction! Whatever small taper there is should go forward.
    T.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Rescue ,CA
    Posts
    1,566

    Default

    Chop the back end or sell it and buy the next line down! Or another manufacturer l, SA skagit weights are different grain numbers and IMO best skag around!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    El Dorado Hills
    Posts
    45

    Default

    That sounds REALLY heavy for that rod imo, especially if you're throwing a sink tip. I am not sure I'd trim though, look on ebay for Rio flight heads. I picked some up for $15 each. They'll get the job done. I tend to fish Rage heads and on my #7, 13' a 480gr rage works well but I am sure I could add more weight if I wanted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    167

    Default

    Generally speaking if you want to reduce weight you cut from the back. Heads with long level belly sections and/or short back tapers are relatively easy to tweak without affecting other aspects of the line behavior. Skagit head-only lines usually have minimal to no back taper. Keep in mind changing length will also impact the way the line turns over, past some point the line may not behave the way you like, so there is a limit to how far you can tweak a given line. The thickest section of Skagit's in the 7wt range are typically around 24 gr/foot. If you take out from the thickest portion, to get down to 500gr or so which is more 7wt mid-range 7wt territory, you need to take out a couple feet. Should still be fine if you keep your stroke compact. If you have an integrated line, necessarily you'll end up taking out more of the line.

    In terms of cutting -- take it slow, six inches at a whack. Cast the line, come back a couple days later, cast again, cut again if not happy, repeat as needed Don't rush it, you cannot really put back what you take off. Once you get to the desired weight you can put a braided loop on the back, if you have braided mono to fit, or, just strip the core and tie a loop in it, aquaseal over the exposed core/knot.

    Keep in mind, this is something of an advanced skill, it is for people who have the experience to know exactly what line weight and feel they are targeting on a given rod, the patience to slowly work the line to that point, and the judgment to know when to stop cutting. It is not for playing around if you're not sure what grain weight your rod likes of you're just starting out and trying to get a feel for proper rod load. If you're in that boat try to borrow some different heads to try.

    Honestly, skagit heads are not that expensive even new, and don't really differ that much in their behavior, they're all mostly level lines with a bit of front taper. 7wt is a very common rating, you should be able to scrounge one either used or at closeout for not very much money and much less aggravation.

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