Am I using this shooting line correctly?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by ColdEye, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:11 AM.

  1. ColdEye

    ColdEye Well-Known Member

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    I Was looking for a line to use on the surf and found this Cortland shooting taper ST8I. It arrived last week and I got to try it this Saturday. First, it is only 30ft. From my limited reading I am supposed to attach this to mono? I attached it to 30lb copolymer with some 50lb braid as backing. Saturday was good, fished in the afternoon and it actually cast well with my limited fly fishing skills. I then realized I need one of those basket things to put the line one. But as for connecting it to mono, is that what I am supposed to do or should it be connected to something else? I was constantly using up all 30 ft of the line.
     
  2. CraigSmith

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    There are specially designed monofilament lines for use with shooting heads. These lines are usually a bit more stiff than standard copolymer lines.

    One example of such a line is Rio Slick Shooter. Another is Amnesia.

    These are usually looped to the back of the shooting line. However if you will not be changing heads some Anglers will splice a more permanent connection using braided mono to splice the head to the shooting line.

    As an alternative to a mono shooting line you can use a shooting line that is like a more traditional flyline except thinner and level. These types of shooting lines come in floating and intermediate sinking versions. Scientific Anglers and Rio as well as other companies make this type of shooting lines. They are easier to handle compared to mono shooting lines. You lose some shooting distance as a trade for easier handling characteristics. The loss of distance is insignificant for most fishing situations unless you are trying to reach out beyond 100 ft or so.

    When you cast a shooting head the entire 30ft head should be outside the rod tip before the cast so that the head will pull out the thinner shooting line.

    I have a lot more info on using shooting heads in some articles I have written and will try to dig it up and post it here this week

    See this article as it may help
    Some. It’s from the San Diego Fly Fishers newsletter archive. Oct 2017 I think. You may Also find my articles in earlier and later issues about flylines useful too.

    https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/8eeb16_4b794fbc824b47ec9c952a2d142a61f5.pdf
     
    #2 CraigSmith, Apr 15, 2019 at 10:55 AM
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 11:01 AM
  3. ColdEye

    ColdEye Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, that makes more sense. I also have a DT9F line but I was under the impression that a sinking line is better.
     
  4. CraigSmith

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    Yes for surf you want a sinking line.

    For the shooting line you want a level line so the DT9F won’t work well as a shooting line. The thickening taper will drastically cut down on distance.

    The shooting line can be either slow sinking ( intermediate), neutral density, or floating. Each has specific benefits as well as cons. Most of the mono type shooting lines are neutral density unless the manufacturer states other wise. Slow sinking or neutral density will work well for most of our local situations including the surf.

    By the way, you can cut up the DT9 F line to make two floating shooting heads that will work well on 7wt rods and slower action 8 wt rods for tossing poppers. If interested let me know and I can explain.
     
    #4 CraigSmith, Apr 15, 2019 at 2:31 PM
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 2:42 PM
  5. ColdEye

    ColdEye Well-Known Member

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    Please do explain. I am gathering all the Info I can. My rod is an 8wt echo base, it's graphite and it doesn't seem slow. I will take a look at shooting lines. Just found out there is a fly shop near me at Miramar.
     
  6. CraigSmith

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    In addition to the article I linked above, read the next two also. Understanding all three will help with getting best performance from shooting heads

    https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/8eeb16_02cb74b194604c138ccf19a18abcf4c3.pdf

    https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/m_c732c33ab99c448b9b756b14b3ca2353.pdf

    50 years ago Anglers often creates shooting heads by cutting up regular fly lines

    To create a floating shooting head from
    Your DT9F line:

    Cut off 12” from the end. This is the level tip. Discard.

    Now measure back 30ft and cut. This will give you a 30 ft head that weighs 249-250 grains that is a perfect match for a 7 wt rod. It’s a tad light for an 8wt rod but still usable. This end where you made the second cut in the thick section will be the butt end attached to your shooting line. Install a loop for easy loop to loop connection. The thin end connects to
    Your leader.

    To make a second head make same cuts at other end of DT line. Or don’t make the second head and retain a 60ft flyline that is perfectly usable for bass bugging

    Let me know if you have any questions

    By the way, my favorite all around shooting line available today based on performance, handling, and cost is this

    https://www.scientificanglers.com/product/freshwater-saltwater-intermediate-sinking-shooting-line/

    You do need to add your own endloops to this version I think. You can use pre-made braided
    Mono loops. We don’t have this line at Stroud Tackle. The Fly Stop might.

    I use several types and brands of shooting lines depending on my needs but the one above is a good all around shooting line for our local applications. Rio used to make a similar line but their current shooting lines seem tailored more for two handed rods and Spey techniques.
     
    #6 CraigSmith, Apr 16, 2019 at 11:33 AM
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 1:13 PM
  7. CraigSmith

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  8. CraigSmith

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    This article has a good summary of casting shooting heads with single handed rods

    https://www.saltwatersportsman.com/techniques/fly-casting/using-shooting-head-system

    Note that Nick also recommends going up two line sizes when using 30 ft heads. However as I noted in on of my articles I linked to, Rio’s current Outbound Short 30ft shooting heads already factor this in.

    Thus to match to an 8wt rod:
    If purchasing a Rio Outbound Short Shooting Head get an 8wt line

    If purchasing a Cortland or Scientific Anglers 30 ft shooting head get a 10wt line.
     
    #8 CraigSmith, Apr 16, 2019 at 3:29 PM
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 7:25 PM
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  9. ColdEye

    ColdEye Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the conversion on the line wts. I am just now reading the articles and will be putting it to use in the weekend. Is a stripping basket a must have for the surf?
     
  10. CraigSmith

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    Yes

    If you don’t use one you will end up tearing your hair out

    Buy one (save time) or make one (save $)
     
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