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HL

In praise of short head lines and floaters

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A friend asked me to send him a list of the head lengths and head weights (weight for head portion only).

I figured I may as well include it here for those who may be interested.

Also included are pix of 2 nice bass from an outer Cape Cod beach.

 

 

#8 - 23' head - 224gr

#9 - 24' - 261gr

#10 - 25' - 306gr

#11 - 26' - 355gr. My favorite

#12 - 27' - 411gr

 

32 at RP 2018.jpg

34 at RP 2018.jpg

Edited by HL

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Great thread Herb ... so thanks for that.

 

I have to agree with your assessment overall with the Wulff lines though I'm not that dialed in to the Bermuda Shorts. Love the Monoclear (but not the Tropic version), love the Bermuda Lost Tip lines .... and way back when they first came on the scene (mid 90's??) the standard blue green colored intermediates made a better caster out of me almost instantly.

 

To add to your thread ... the Wulff Bass Taper floating lines are just awesome. I don't know what the grain weights are (I usually up-line one weight above rod spec) ... but per your experience they cast poppers extremely well.

 

If I'm using Gurglers or standard poppers ... I want to be casting Wulff Bass Taper Floating lines ... which have a 28 ft head section I believe.

 

Also ... nice fish pics Herb. Way to Go!

 

Tony

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Hey Tony,

I'm not familiar with the Bass lines. I'll check them out.  Interested in what the #10 would weigh.

This was only my 3rd keeper bass this year. Things really got off to a slow start with water temps being what they were.

Fly was a sparse bead chain Clouser.  It's very interesting how a big bass will go for a small bait.

30in at RP 2018.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

HL said,"Intermediates don't get the fly down to a drastically lower feeding zone than a floater does - IMO."

 

Agreed....with an important caveat....THE LEADER LENGTH!!

 

In a recent long thread where everyone weighed in with their "usual, go to" leader length for striper fishing, about 50% of the responders favored a very short, 3-4' leader.  I did not join that discussion because I see the issue as MUCH more complicated.  Among the issues which were ignored were wind.....head/side/or back, fly size/wind resistance, fly weight/plunkiness on entry, fly weight/hinging on the backcast, sink rate of line used, depth/clarity of water, sight fishing versus blind casting, spookiness of the fish.....and I could go on further.

 

The agreement that a floating line and an intermedate line generally present the fly in the same range of depths is true ONLY if someone is willing (and casting-able) to utilize a wide range of leader lengths all the way out to 14-15 feet.

 

The simple fact is that a floating line and a 4' leader, given ANY current and ANY retrieve is NOT going to present the moderately weighted fly deeper than 3-4 feet.  An intermediate with the same leader and fly, given extra time to sink and very slow retrieve CAN get 4-5 feet deeper.

 

BUT, if I am fishing my Intermediate line and my usual 12' leader and suddenly need to get down 12-14 feet, rather than switch out my whole fly line, I will switch to a heavily weighted fly and...if I REALLY want max depth....lengthen the leader with an extra 3-4 feet of a combo of NYLON butt and tippet....and get down to 15-16 feet.  One can, with a floating line......and with similar leader/fly adjustments......very nearly duplicate that range.

 

If I felt a desperate need fish a gurgler or popper on an Int line then, in order of importance, I would 1) choose a fly that has maximal amount of NON-soakable (closed cell foam/balsa) , positive buoyancy material (minimal feathers) AND a rising, upward planing shape, 2) change out as much of the leader as possible to maximize the nylon content and minimize the fluoro, 3) grease the leader AND last 10'of the Int line (yes, I carry floatant)...and to a lesser extent the fly (popper/gurgler) which should be floating like a buoy all on its own, and 4) STRIP LIKE HELL!

 

IMO, the UNDER-discussed topic in both casting and fishing discussions is the leader tweaks that can mitigate the need for casting stroke/timing changes when faced with challenging wind or fly issues....or in this case fishing depth issues.

 

AND, of course, when fishing SHORT heads (these days 30' and under...the standard 50 years ago), which I have always promoted, DON'T dump the fly with a 12' leader. With  4' leader ANY aggressive head or even casting stroke will dump the fly.

 

Ah yes.....importance of leader issues again.  

 

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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12 mins ago, Peter Patricelli said:

HL said,"Intermediates don't get the fly down to a drastically lower feeding zone than a floater does - IMO."

 

Agreed....with an important caveat....THE LEADER LENGTH!!

 

In a recent long thread where everyone weighed in with their "usual, go to" leader length for striper fishing, about 50% of the responders favored a very short, 3-4' leader.  I did not join that discussion because I see the issue as MUCH more complicated.  Among the issues which were ignored were wind.....head/side/or back, fly size/wind resistance, fly weight/plunkiness on entry, fly weight/hinging on the backcast, sink rate of line used, depth/clarity of water, sight fishing versus blind casting, spookiness of the fish.....and I could go on further.

 

The agreement that a floating line and an intermedate line generally present the fly in the same range of depths is true ONLY if someone is willing (and casting-able) to utilize a wide range of leader lengths all the way out to 14-15 feet.

 

The simple fact is that a floating line and a 4' leader, given ANY current and ANY retrieve is NOT going to present the moderately weighted fly deeper than 3-4 feet.  An intermediate with the same leader and fly, given extra time to sink and very slow retrieve CAN get 4-5 feet deeper.

 

BUT, if I am fishing my Intermediate line and my usual 12' leader and suddenly need to get down 12-14 feet, rather than switch out my whole fly line, I will switch to a heavily weighted fly and...if I REALLY want max depth....lengthen the leader with an extra 3-4 feet of a combo of NYLON butt and tippet....and get down to 15-16 feet.  One can, with a floating line......and with similar leader/fly adjustments......very nearly duplicate that range.

 

If I felt a desperate need fish a gurgler or popper on an Int line then, in order of importance, I would 1) choose a fly that has maximal amount of NON-soakable (closed cell foam/balsa) , positive buoyancy material (minimal feathers) AND a rising, upward planing shape, 2) change out as much of the leader as possible to maximize the fluoro content and minimize the nylon, 3) grease the leader AND last 10'of the Int line (yes, I carry floatant)...and to a lesser extent the fly (popper/gurgler) which should be floating like a buoy all on its own, and 4) STRIP LIKE HELL!

 

IMO, the UNDER-discussed topic in both casting and fishing discussions is the leader tweaks that can mitigate the need for casting stroke/timing changes when faced with challenging wind or fly issues....or in this case fishing depth issues. 

 

Peter,

I think you meant to say in the second to last paragraph to maximize nylon, minimize flouro.

Best,

JC

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If in current and needing extra depth apart from weighting fly and making leader changes try shoving your rod tip towards the bottom and hold it there throughout the duration of the swing. Works well with an I line and the tactic will also force a floating line down. It can get you out of a hole.

 

Not easy to get down deep even with long leaders and fish efficiently especially if the current is brisk. Takes effort. Nothing wrong in that.

 

If you fish a leader of say ten feet and were able to get fly down ten feet you are not going to feel the vast majority of takes. Then it’s bobber time.LoL

 

Mike

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Jon,

 

Did I get that backwards?  I'm having a "senior" moment. Yeah, I think you are right.  You want more of the floaty one and less of the sinkey one.....and the floatey one is nylon.

 

Changed.

 

Thanks. 

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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Airflo Tropical Punch is a decent line if you want a shorter head. Behaves in normal water temps to.

 

But I prefer the SA Anadro line as it’s still punchy but with a long tear taper so you can hold up a lot of line as well as mend.

 

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On 6/13/2018 at 11:31 AM, HL said:

Hi all,

I fish the (mostly) the outer Cape beaches for the months of May and June each year.

I've tried all brands of lines and all head configurations.  Over the years I have fished sinkers when water deeper at high tide.  Intermediates to get the fly and line under the surface disturbance like the books tell you.

But the last few years I have used mostly floaters - specifically the Wulff Bermuda Triangle floater (the all blue model because it has an easier shooting running line than the two tone model.

The #10 has a grain weight of 310.  The #11 has a grain weight of 417.  The #10 is light for my liking and the #11 is a little heavy - even though I use it on my rods that will handle that grain weight.

I asked the Wulff people if they had a floater closer to 400 grains.  They do - it is the Bermuda Triangle #12 "SHORT" floater - 26' head - at 410 grains.  But I don't think the difference in grain weight is that impactful  -  it is the taper.

I know all the comments about short lines:

They dump - this does not.

It doesn't throw tight loops - it does.

They don't hold a loop long enough - it does.

It is an extremely powerful line matched to the proper rod.  My go-to fly is a 1/0-2/0 (VERY) fully dressed Gurgler and this line casts it easily.

60' casts as-close-as-safe to an 18 mph wind is easy for an above average caster.

 

I use the 410 grain #12 on what might be called a very fast #10 rod.

But my favorite is the 355 grain # 11 Short on a lighter rod. I just ordered the #10 at 306 grains for an even lighter rod. 

I am purposely am not stating rod weights because that doesn't mean much anymore.

 

Bottom line - if you are having trouble casting large bulky flyies like gurglers and sliders try the Wulff  Floating Bermuda Triangle SHORT. 

Note: this is not the Ambush line.

 

Another issue people have with floaters is that there is generally a big belly to deal with in current or high cross winds.  I hate to tell you - but if you have a belly with a floater you also have one with an intermediate - but you can't see it.  At least with the floater you know it's there and can deal with it.

Regards,

Herb

 

BTW - another short you wil enjoy and that is a definite upgrade from the old line is the RIO Intouch Outbound SHORT -  I  f you like an intermediate.

 

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thanks for a good, informative discussion on lines. I have just returned to fly fishing afterr many years absent, due to heavy work schedule. Just retired, 81 yrs age, good healtIh except for uncle arthiritis. But I go anyway.I fished a weight forward fly line for last several years before my "retirement" due to work schedule. I have a new rod , reel and weight forward fly line. I am not conversant with all the details you mentioned, helpful info. methods, of boats, inflatables, kayaks, 14ft Lone Star (Texas made). Match my craft with the water. Also wade and fish mountain streams eastern Okla. These are not mountains by most standards.   size hills.

I hope to catch my fishing skills up. In May this yearI caught an 8lb large mouth on a fly I tied, ugly,  thing. was casting it on ultra light spin rod. Fought 11 mins. Interresting back ground, caught it 2:15pm in heavily fished lake,

in 4-5ft water, end, edge of island. Fortunately he fought and pulled me out to deeper water.  

Was my first good bass in several years. 

 

Thanks to all who make this great web site available, and all of your contributions.

okie (in eastern Okla)

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Second on the Rio Outbound Short. I have that in shooting head form and I've cut about three feet off of it to make it 27 footer. It casts very tight loops much better than my Orvis shooting head. Both are floaters. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Mike,

 

You are correct, of course regarding loop size.  Just as with rod actions/lengths.  Adjustments   But........It is the old "this is my casting stroke (or style) and I.....choose 1:

don't know how to make an adjustment."

can't for trying make an adjustment."

can but don't want to make an adjustment."

shouldn't have to make an adjustment."

like it just fine when it all seems to happen naturally.

 

A person with casting quirks picks up a rod (or line) and suddenly is casting better.  Is it some magic in the rod or line?

 

Basically the same thing dating random women in search of a wife.........no?

 

Different strokes for different folks.  That line...in this man's hands....on that rod.....does this or that.

 

Any recommendation by anyone about casting characteristics of rods or lines is in the final analysis an accurate statement of personal experience and preference.  That is as good a starting point as any.  Others chime in....and so on.  Pretty soon we have semblance of the vagaries of reality.

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Peter

 

Well  put I can go with that . Can’t explain why as it does not make sense but it happens.

 

mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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