OPST’s Commando Heads are the result of decades of focus on sustained anchor systemology (SAS) by Ed Ward. They are designed to expand the capabilities of shorter spey rods, switch rods and single hand rods beyond that of normal. You may be surprised at their short length, but this was no accident. The ultra-short design provides an effortless casting feel and enhances performance in circumstances of restricted casting room, troublesome winds and in casting bulky flies. It also makes them more fishable than longer lines that are hard to control on the water. Wanna roll cast? Underhand? Nymph? Single hand Skagit with a haul? Overhead? Go right ahead. You have never cast a line like the Commando.
Commando Heads are Skagit lines, so they are used with a water-loaded cast. Rod load is generated through water tension and maintained throughout the stroke. The Commando Head’s short length and thickness makes it ideal for this style of casting. Coming in grain weights of 150-475, in increments of 25 grains, Commando Skagit Heads match with everything from 7’6″ 3-weights to 14′ 9-weights. OPST has taken Skagit-style fishing, optimized it for steelhead and salmon, and brought it to the world of trout and bass. Skagit tactics have traditionally been associated with two-handed fishing for salmon and steelhead, but OPST’s Commando Skagit Heads, in their lighter grain weights, are short enough to excel on single hand fly rods. We regularly fish them on rods as short as 7’6″. And if you have a 9 foot 5-weight, you owe it to yourself to test it out with a 200 grain Commando Head. Or try a 275 grain on your 8-weight. The Commando Head turns your single hand rod into a slingshot, a technical streamer presentation tool that you can cast almost anywhere since a Skagit cast, especially a single hand one, requires almost no back cast space.
One of the major advantages of a Commando Head is that it allows you to fish big flies on relatively light rods. What this means is that you no longer need to fish a 6 or 7 weight to fish streamers. You will be surprised by the size of fly you can fish on a 4-weight with a Commando Head—size 2 streamers are no problem. We all know that 10 inch trout far outnumber 20 inchers, so in fishing a Commando with a light rod, you are able to enjoy every trout–not just the big ones. Another thing we love about Commando Heads on single hand rods is that they can be cast in a variety of different ways. Skagit casting is the most common method employed, but if your Skagit casting starts to suffer, you can overhead cast them. Or, you can single spey or snake roll with Commando Heads. This variety of casting possibilities makes for a more interesting day on the water, and it allows you to switch up styles if you’re not happy with the way you’re casting.
For single or double hand fly rods, the Commando Head is revolutionary. Above else, its popularity stems from one fact: it’s easy to cast! Try it for yourself, and take your fishing enjoyment to the next level.
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