Skagit Lines, Line Weights and Sink Tips

With all of the different Skagit Spey lines out there, I thought I would try and simplify things a little.


These Days Skagit lines come in a lot of different sizes and shapes, here are some of the more common types:

  • Compact Skagit: The standard issue, good for most rods in the 12 to 15-foot length and all sink tips.
  • Skagit Switch: A much shorter line, great for short modern switch rods from 10.5 to 12 feet in length and all sink tips.
  • Skagit Rage (Floating Skagit): A full floating line, great for all rods in the 12 to 15-foot length.
  • North West Style Skagit: A longer version designed for rods in the 13 to 16-foot length.
  • Single Hand Rod Skagit: An extra-short line, great for single-handed rods in the nine to 10-foot length.

A quick reference guide for Skagit line weights to match your favourite rod (based on two handed spey rods):


4/5 wt = 320 – 360 gr.
5/6 wt = 390 – 420 gr.
6/7 wt = 420 – 480 gr.
7/8 wt = 480 – 540 gr.
8/9 wt = 540 – 600 gr.
9/10 wt = 630 – 700 gr.
10/11 wt = 700 – 850 gr.

Running Line is attached between the backing and the Skagit head, ranging from a fly-line based running line to slick mono. The choice is yours, however I prefer the mono. I suggest using a thinner running line such as 35 pound for Skagit heads less then 480 gr. I recommend the 40 pound for 500 gr. to 630 gr. and the 50 pound for 630 gr. and up.


Skagit Lines work best when a sink tip is looped to the front end. I prefer using sink tips in the eight to 12-foot range and then vary the density and weight to achieve the depth and swing speed I am after. The great thing with the Skagit head is that it will cast almost anything.

My preference for a standard sink-tip kit based on most of my two-handed rods from 12 to 14 feet in length.

8 foot T-7
10 foot T-7
12 foot T-7
8 foot T-10
10 foot T-10
12 foot T-10
8 foot T-14
10 foot T-14
12 foot T-14
12 foot T-18
10 foot Type 3
12 foot Type 3
10 foot Type Intermediate
12 foot Type Intermediate
12 foot Floating

I have found that this fairly inclusive set accounts for 95% of all the fishing situations I encounter.

Leaders range from four to 12 feet in length and consist of a heavy 25-pound (1/3 leader) butt-section attached to eight to 15-pound tippet depending on what I am fishing for.

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