What in the world is this thing? A 12 - 15' head? This is exactly what we were thinking too. Then... we cast it. Then... we fished it. This is a GREAT line for trout spey or compact waters for several reasons.
Here are things that jumped out at me:
You can cast full 10' sink tips on even the lightest trout spey. 10' of true sink tip (NOT a wimpy versileader) is so nice to have. They turn over big stuff way better than polyleaders. It allows you to use 2-4 weight switch rods and still fish big streamers. UPDATE! OPST Now offers 12' Commando Sink Tips specifically built for these heads! T-8, T11, and T-14 Stripping line in. The shorter head helps you fish the end of the swing and strip it back up the seamline without bringing the "head/running line connection" into your guides. Mono running line casts way better than traditional fly line, but a lot of anglers don't like stripping in the connection.
Is a Mono Running Line System Right for You?
The problem with mono running line on a Scandi or full Skagit is that when you are trout spey fishing and want to strip retrieve you bump into the loop to loop connection pretty early in your retrieve. Then... bump bump bump the loop to loop goes back out as you shake the head back out to re-cast. With a super short head you simply strip up to the line junction, make your next cast. Shorter is better for this. 15' head works great. Cast it anywhere. Brush behind you or whatever. Combined with a good shooting line it is easy to cast. Out of a boat... no problem! This applies more to trout anglers but it is so easy to cast you can throw it spey or overhead from the boat. 25' casts are real world casts. In both trout spey situations and tight steelhead situations a 25' cast is real. You need it, you need to be able to do it. Now you can fish the short inside seams and actually throw full speed and achieve good turnover.
We have fished the 300 Grain Head on a Winston Boron III-TH Micro Spey 4 Weight. It was a great match, combined with a 10' T-8 MOW Tip it trout fishes great. After a year of using this set up we have discovered that the 250 is a better fit for experienced casters.
*THIS CHART IS A GENERAL GUIDELINE - Most anglers will find that our line weight recommendations are spot on the new to intermediate spey casters. Experienced casters will usually be 25-50gr lighter than stated in the chart. Single handed 7, 8 and 9wt rods will probably like the 10' RIO Replacement tips better than either the 5' 40gr OPST Micro tips or the OSPT 12' 96gr tips.
More Info From the Guys at OPST:
About the Commando Heads OPST's Commando Heads represent the culmination of decades of innovation in Skagit casting by Ed Ward and Jerry French. Ed and Jerry were at the forefront of the "Skagit Revolution", and they have been refining skagit fishing techniques ever since. These are remarkably efficient, easily casts and enjoyable for the simple reason that they are specifically designed for SAS (Sustained Anchor Systemology). The philosophy behind SAS is simple: The Skagit cast is a water base cast with the rod load coming from the tension between the water surface and the line. As Such a sustained anchor cast where the fly remains stationary until the final power stroke is the most efficient form of casting. Our lines are shorter than traditional skagit lines and perform exceedingly well with a continuous "out and around" casting stroke. There is no pause before the final stroke and the cast is one continuous motion. Pure Skagit lines take beginning casters and make them effective. They take experienced casters to a whole new universe of casting pleasure. Our Commando heads excel on conventional two hand "Spey" rods but are optimized for shorter switch rods from 10 -12 foot. But where these lines really get interesting is in single hand casting. We have taken two handed casting theory, traditionally associated with steelhead and salmon and applied it to the micro end of the spectrum. Now you can skagit cast and swing flies for everything from sea run cutthroat trout to smallmouth bass to panfish with rods as light as a 3 weight, and as short as 6 foot. The same principals of sustained anchor and water load apply. You can haul or not, back cast or not, roll cast, skagit cast, just about whatever you want to do, these lines will do it and they will fly off your rod tip.