Skagit heads combined with modern Spey rods have changed our approach to sink-tip fishing not just for steelhead but also for Atlantic salmon; we now have the ability to fish heavier sink-tips and larger flies than ever before. However, with this change has come some confusion. With the wide range of Skagit heads and sink-tip materials available it’s difficult to know what’s right for your type of fishing and moreover what’s right for your Spey rod? In this series of three articles we hope to throw some light on the subject.
This, the first article, introduces the sink tips or CCT’s (Custom Cut Tips) we use, the second is about Sink-Tip grain weight, the third tells you how to select the correct Sink-Tip length and the fourth pulls it all together and shows you how to lift your game up to the next level.
CCT’s – Custom Cut Tips an Introduction
CCT’s or Custom Cut Tips is the name given to the type of sink tip we use. They were designed by Tim Rajeff and Tom Larimer for use with the ECHO series of Skagit Lines and they are manufactured by AirFlo in the UK. Although primarily designed for use by anglers in the PNW for targeting steelhead, we have used them extensively for pursuing Atlantic salmon in Europe and we believe that combined with the appropriate Skagit head they offer an excellent “easy to use” alternative to fishing with a heavy sunk line.
CCT’s come in two lengths 18ft/5.5m and 10ft/3m. So if you fish 10ft/3m or shorter sink-tips, purchase the 10ft/3m tip and fish it “as is” or cut it back to the required length, conversely if you fish longer tips, go with the 18ft/5.5m tip and cut to length. Most anglers seem to prefer a 12ft/3.65m sink tip for salmon or steelhead, however if you’re fishing a big Springer or Winter Steelhead River or alternatively chasing Kings up in Alaska, then you’ll want 15ft to 18ft tips.
Each of our sink-tips has a heavy-duty factory welded loop which is colour coded to identify the density; the black loop is T-18, brown is T-14, orange is T-10 and white is T-7. Basically, the darker the loop, the faster it sinks. So even if you have no idea what the density is, if you’re fishing a sink-tip with a brown loop and you keep hooking the bottom, mount the sink-tip with the orange loop on to your [Skagit] head. If you still continue to hang up, put the white loop sink-tip on. We think that Tim Rajeff’s colour coded system makes sink-tip fishing a no brainer!
The next article in this series talks about sink tip grain weight to Skagit head weight ratio’s ….