Ftyer

Fly Line Question

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So I somewhat recently began fishing a 9wt sinking fly line from Cortland. It’s got a 30 foot sinking head that I believe is 350 grains (might be off there and it’s 375) and a braided, what seems almost like Dacron, but I expect that it isn’t, running line. I’ve found that running line to be more durable than any other and I really love the stuff. I believe it’s similar to Scientific Anglers’ shooting line that they sell and comes in a 150 foot spool. 

 

So here’s my issue, my head is beginning to crack but the running line is fine. Would it work for me to get a 30 foot shooting head that’s 350-375 grain weight, cut my head off, and replace it with this? I have zero experience creating fly lines but this seems logical enough to me—nail knot it together, coat with UV resin so it’s smooth, and just fish it. 

 

Thank you all for any help here. 

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Hopefully you can see this my camera is awful. In this case the running line is braided mono. I inserted the head into the braid and nail knotted it near the end, no adhesive. It has held up to 40" juvie tarpon, which is about as much as I would expect to get on my 8 weight. Put a micro swivel in there for line twist too. It works pretty well. I think you want to make sure the adhesive you use is at least somewhat flexible.

line.jpg.90d1211257ef6cbcab2addc8e00db0e2.jpg

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May just be a terms thing...

 

If I understand you correct you have:

 

Your reel spool

 

Backing (which is most likely dracon)

 

Then a running line - probably a thin level intermediate...but could be a lot of things

 

Finally a 30' head.

 

If so this is fine.

 

The running line can be reused, the best way to set up the system is to splice a loop in the running line large enough to pass a spool (with the head on it) through the loop so you can loop to loop change the heads in the field - sinking intermediate a floater - based on what you want to do.

 

Now a head with cracks in it is generally fine since you don't cast with the head in the guides it doesn't much matter - but if its irking you by all means ditch it and get - or better build another.

 

I love shooting heads one reel with one good running line can pretty much serve all your needs for many different rods and dozens of lines so ask me anything.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:38 PM, Beomurf said:

May just be a terms thing...

 

If I understand you correct you have:

 

Your reel spool

 

Backing (which is most likely dracon)

 

Then a running line - probably a thin level intermediate...but could be a lot of things

 

Finally a 30' head.

 

If so this is fine.

 

The running line can be reused, the best way to set up the system is to splice a loop in the running line large enough to pass a spool (with the head on it) through the loop so you can loop to loop change the heads in the field - sinking intermediate a floater - based on what you want to do.

 

Now a head with cracks in it is generally fine since you don't cast with the head in the guides it doesn't much matter - but if its irking you by all means ditch it and get - or better build another.

 

I love shooting heads one reel with one good running line can pretty much serve all your needs for many different rods and dozens of lines so ask me anything.

First off, thank you so much, and second off, I apologize for orphaning this thread for a bit. I’ve been sidetracked and just fishing through the cracks, however, it’s about time to resolve this. 

 

I was planning on just nail knotting then glueing the knot with some e6000 to make it stronger and a little smoother, even though my running line is relatively thin. Considering that I don’t need any flexibility in line types, I wasn’t concerned with swapping heads. Do you have any experience “permanently” affixing heads and what knot may be best?

 

Also, does anyone know where exactly to buy custom lengths of shooting head material. I was thinking 350 grains would be ideal, but all I’ve seen is t11-t20. The best I can think of there is 33”-35” of t11, unless there are other choices here that I’m unaware of?

 

Thank you all. 

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33 to 35 ft of T-11 would probably work o.k. on a longer rod (say an 11' 8wt switch rod) but if you are using a single hand (9' or so) rod, that long a head length with a lighter (T-8 or T-11) level T line is not the best idea, IMO.  A better option might be a shorter length of T-14, or a dual (or triple) density head like the Scientific Anglers UST short.  They are worth the extra cost compared to single density tungsten heads, and come in several versions (e.g., s3/s4 dual, int/s2/s3 or the int/s2/s4, etc...). Can sometimes find them on sale. On the other hand I know that guys like Dan Blanton on the West Coast fishing S.F. Bay and Delta use a shorter head - typically 26' to 28' of T-14 (used on a powerful 8wt single hand rod, or 9wt single hand rod).  The casting method is chuck and duck.  Works best from an elevated platform like a boat.  The extra short head and extra mass helps with larger bulkier flies and depth.  YMMV.

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The smoothest transition if you want to permanently marry the head to the running line is to use braided mono...you only need a few inches for a secure hold but I would advise a longer section because it gives you a nice tactile feel of the transition which can help a lot especially if you fish at night.

 

If you've never used it to have to scrunch it and inch worm it down the head and then do the same to the running line (if you want to be fancy cut both at a 45 so they synch up.  Then you just need to do something to keep the ends from fraying - the strength of this is meaningless its only to keep the braid from unraveling.  Some guys use shrink tubing, some will whip it with thread.  I prefer to tie a small nail knot with like 4# mono - its just to prevent unraveling, the flexibility of the braid it the strength so don't over think it. Heck some guys just coat the end with a bit of ca glue. 

 

I'd make a head longer and heavier than you figure you'll need, then snip it down after test casts - when you find what you like (write it down.)

 

But ya seriously you are missing an opportunity in not setting up multiple heads I carry a floater I only use for poppers - if I couldn't switch the heads so easily I'd probably never use poppers what a tragedy.

 

Have fun

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This might work for you as long as your line isn’t a mono core.

This is a local shop in my area.

They spiced a line for me and it has heled up very well.

You might have a shop in your area that could do this for you as well.

Just another option to consider.

SF

 

 

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Depends on your actual running line. Never saw a standard full length integrated fly line with any type of braided running line. If so maybe the line was custom made by someone?

Braided running line is not designed to be inch wormed to a fly line head, the core is too tightly woven and too small of an inner diameter. Make a loop in the end, double surgeons loop or nail knot, and coat it smoothly with a flexible adhesive, aquaseal or pliobond work well...no epoxy or superglue, they'll crack and the knot will be compromised.

When you find the head of choice make or have someone make a 50lb braided mono loop and whip finish it to the head,again lightly coat just the knot, not the braided section. Loop together and fish. If you smoothly taper the coating on the knots, take your time, it's a very secure and smooth connection running in or out of the guides. 

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:38 PM, Beomurf said:

I love shooting heads one reel with one good running line can pretty much serve all your needs for many different rods and dozens of lines so ask me anything.

Yeah, I love the idea of this.  Would love to make up a few heads... any good references/resources for how to get started making heads/tapers? 

 

I'm thinking I would start with a coated running line from Rio, SA or Airflo (or scavenge from another line I have... other suggestions or favorites?) and would want a large loop at the end that will connect with the back of the head.  What are your favorite knots for making this large loop at the end of the running line?  Would I just make a loop the size I want then nail knot it to itself and coat with aquaseal?  Or should I strip the end of the running line to the core before making the loop?  I suppose it depends on the line?  Would I loop it over then tie a nail knot with mono, then coat it?

 

I am just looking for a straightforward way to start making my own lines/shooting heads and the running line seems to be the first piece of the puzzle.

 

Do you have a preferred source material for heads?  I see T8, T11, T14, etc. referred to; are these all just level tungsten-weighted lines?  Do you worry about tapers when making your own heads?  What would you use for a floating head?  Are there other options out there? 

 

It really seems like a fun way to go and could potentially save some $ in experimenting with lines. 

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread... I will start a separate thread if that's more appropriate...

 

Thank you!

-Daniel

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Hijack away! I appreciate the open conversation here. Since beginning this thread, I’ve actually slowly began converting to a two hand rod. For ya shooting line, I went with Scientific Anglers’ braided mono shooting line and expect it to be a great purchase. $35 for 150 feet of it...this stuff is very very similar to the braided nylon Cortland running line I have on my single hand setup and I think it might be worth looking into for you as well. 
 

I plan to use this line on Saturday and can report back. 

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The running line, more than anything, will determine how much you enjoy using a shooting head.

 

My two favorites (but there are others) is the airflo ridge running line - its star shaped in cross section and an intermediate, and it wont cut your fingers (wet pruney fingers and super thin running lines aren't a fun combo when I used to fish everyday I'd build up a nice callous but now I don't and a cut in your stripping finger can really be a bother.

 

The second one I like a lot is straight up braided mono Gudebrod I think is the brand name.  You just splice a loop and you are good to go.  Its light and casts great but not the best for sand since it will pick some up and get rough.  I use this for my LMB and Pike fishing. 

 

The toughest part with getting started is finding the right weightlength for the heads - good news is that nearly anything will work...bad news is it may become like fly tying in that you can become obsessed looking for the perfect combo. 

 

Best place to start is with lines you have that either suck or wore out...for me this was a few Depth Charge Orvis lines I bought when I first started moved to the Cape - the heads are fine but the running lines on them were garbage - but with a scale and a tape measure (actually a tile floor I measure by tiles) its a start.

 

Then you just buy crap lines that no one wants at fly shows - they all have a use.

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The T-# lines make great heads...again you'll have to determine what you want for weight and length and there may be some scrap but if you screw up making a head for a 9wt it will likely work for an 8wt - write stuff down!!!

 

Floating heads are great - I found a Reddington 12wt Double taper floating line that I turned into 3 heads...works great.

 

I don't bother with tapers - some people will disagree and they have valid points - mine is that delicacy isn't happening with a shooting head so I sacrifice it for distance and power.  Casting a footlong muskrat fly 80' with one false cast on a nine weight for pike, is cool but this is not a finesse game.  When I use heads on the flats I'm not typically sight-casting I'm casting in the general direction I've seen fish if that makes sense.

 

At first you wont save much money - but in the long term you will - I have one reel with my saltwater running line that I've used for 8-10wt heads - if I bought three reels and spare spools and stuff that would be considerable.  But wait I did buy reels and spools....so don't go by me.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks for the follow-up Beomurf.  

 

Any advice on joining the sections of line and/or making loops with various materials?  I've only ever made loops on my trout lines (double over, wrap with thread and glue or nail knot a piece of leader butt material and tie a perfection loop) but I'm more concerned with their integrity when it comes to saltwater fish.  The Airflo ridge for example; how do you make your large loop that will connects with the heads on that running line?

 

-Daniel

Edited by brmtn
edited for clarity

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Ftyer, how old is the line you're using? If it's not too old, perhaps contact Cortland and see what they say about the cracks. 

 

Cortland's customer service used to be top notch. This virus thing has been causing a lot of problems with many companies, but worth a shot contacting them about the issue. Maybe they'll have a good solution. 

 

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