Half Out and Go
Casting a Skagit head with a sink tip is simple, but different from casting a floating line. The "Half Out and Go" method we describe below is easy and effective. Though it works for all sink tips, "Half Out and Go" is especially advantageous for the longer and heavier sink tips that are more difficult to cast with the traditional "splash and go" approaches. Try it and judge for yourself. Regardless of which sink tip you are use, a Skagit head floating line will likely make it easier to cast.
1. Place the anchor. Perform any Spey cast's initial moves so as to place the sink tip at the spot from which you wish to anchor your D-loop (typically several feet in front of you, outside the top-hand shoulder). For instance, the first part of a Snap-T or Double Spey does this well. If you didn't put the anchor in exactly the right place, no problem. Just use a "Perry Poke" to put it there.
2. Pause. Once the anchor is placed, pause before making the D-loop. This allows the sink tip to sink, forming a "sunken anchor." (The sunken "more sticky" anchor is a big part of what makes casting a sink tip on a Skagit head so easy.) For most sink tips, the pause should be one to three seconds; the lighter the sink tip, the longer the pause. Snap T and Double Spey casts facilitate this pause. One-continuous-motion Spey casts like the Single Spey, Switch Cast, and Snake Roll do not.
3. Make the D-loop. Use enough back cast energy to load the rod, but not so much as to pull the anchor out of the water. The amount of energy going into the back cast is important. Too much will "pull out the anchor", which prematurely unloads the rod. Too little will leave the entire sink tip underwater, resulting in a "stuck anchor."
4. Half Out and Go. On floating-line Spey casts, Simon Gawesworth teaches "Splash and Go." Our analogy for sink tips is "Half Out and Go." That is, "go" on the forward cast when the sink tip is half out of the water due to the momentum of the back cast. To know when this is, you must watch your anchor, at least out of the corner of your eye, as your D-loop forms. If you "go" too early -- before the sink tip is half out -- the anchor will stick too much, impeding the momentum of the forward cast. If you "go" too late, the sink tip will have pulled out, making it impossible to fully load the rod. So, watch your sink tip as the backward momentum of the D-loop begins to pull it out of the water. Half out and go.
With this technique, the forward cast explodes with energy and momentum. It works extremely well with fast-, medium-, and slow-action rods. Slow-action rods, however, tend to be best. They are more forgiving in terms of timing, at least equal in distance, and better for fishing.
Half Out and Go does not require a great deal of talent or sophistication on the part of the caster. Beginners learn it easily, and experienced Spey casters even more so.