We’re absolutely loving the new Tom Larimer-designed Airflo Skagit Intermediate Heads for a lot of reasons and here’s how we’re using them to get deeper (hint: it’s might not be exactly how you think).
The obvious: The head itself does cut the surface tension to get down a little—a big reason the lines fish so slowly through roily surface currents. We’re also keen on the way the short floating back taper lets you mend the rear of the head and set up the swing. This gives you options for your casting angle, meaning it’s super easy to cast straight out into the river and then mend the line to even greater depths.
Obsessive Line Nerd Note: Full sink heads have their place, but can be difficult to manage when casting perpendicular to the river. That’s why we like them more for down-more-than-across-style presentations.
The depth game: The real beauty for you gravel dredgers comes in the shooting head’s length. Specifically, the Airflo Skagit Intermediate is shorter than most heads designed for rods 12’+. At 22-24 feet long (a full two to four feet shorter than many other Skagit heads), they allow you to comfortably use a longer section of T-8/11/14/17. Given the head itself breaks the surface currents and fishes slower, it helps that longer tip get deeper, easier – all without substantially lengthening the overall head + tip length, which keeps your casting stroke familiar and comfortable. Love ’em.
Fred Telleen says
The line works just as you have noted. I tried both the regular Skagit Compact and the Intermediate Compact. With the same tips, I could definitely control my swing and maintain depth better with the intermediate. It’s Fish On!