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Practice Line for 11 wt

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Does anyone know of a decent cold water 11 wt floating line with a longer head, half heavy, level taper.  I'd like to start practice casting with an 11 wt for a tarpon trip.

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Most 11wt tarpon lines are stiffer warm-water composition lines.  Most coldwater lines in that heavy a weight are specialty purpose lines like for pike and musky, etc... If you can find one, the older Scientific Anglers Striped Bass lines are, I think 38ft, coldwater, so meet most of your criteria.  But they are fairly strongly weight forward, not level taper.  Why level taper? 

 

There are some older double taper (two sided) lines out there where the entire belly is essentially level and they were at one time even made in 11 weight. They tend to be true rated, so if you use an 11wt you will be 1/2 to 1.5 wt under what your 11wt tarpon line will be.  These are hard to find now but if you can find them are relatively cheap.  I actually like casting double taper lines, and think that it helps with casting practice to reveal casting flaws and hitches.

 

This is devil's advocate position: Why practice with a line that is very different (grain weight,taper, stiffness) than the one you will ultimately use for your trip?  Consider the pressure you will be under and probably limited opportunities, not to mention guide snark.  Why add another variable??

 

I'd just find a used tarpon line, even if it is warmwater version, soak it in warm water first and/or use a bucket of warm water when practicing with it.  But that's just me.

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It’s 35 degrees here in the winter and I don’t want to practice with a warm water line.  I’m trying to match the taper and grain wt of what I will be using on the trip, just in a cold water line.  Then I can practice all winter with the 11 wt and switch over to my warm water line when it warms up here.


The warm water line I am going to use has a 52’ head and is 352 gr @ 30’.

 

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Got it. 

 

Cortland Precision Salmon/Steehlead line is available in 11wt from the UK on evilBay and has 55ft head but is a "rocket" or shooting taper, so not level.  I don't know the grain weight at 30'  It's a cold water line.  If I may ask, what is the level head warmwater line that you will be using??

 

I have an older 9wt Rio Salmon and Steelhead line that is way, way overweight and acts like a level head or double taper line (very stable in flight, long loops). It's the older discontinued yellow line.  My best guess is that it weighs ~350g at 30ft.  I can't find the box but 52ft sticks in my mind about that line.  I usually keep line boxes, so I might still find it.  Salmon and steelhead lines often are 2 line weights heavy.  The oldest ones have simpler, less complex tapers.

 

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Thanks for the advice.  I know a perfect match will be tough to find, but I just want to get close.  And I want to start practicing sooner rather than later, maybe in March.  I should probably focus on something like a triangle taper then line up the gr wt from there.  When I'm fishing I won't be aerializing 45' plus.

 

I've been fishing The Angling Company Balanced Taper.  It's a general purpose flats line that is supposed to be good at everything, but not great at anything.  Long front taper, long belly, long rear taper.  It was built with the first RIO DC materials.

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Just looked at the Cortland site and they have a 10 wt that is a full size heavy at 330.  That is 20 gr less than the Balanced Taper but should get me out on the lawn.  Taper is more aggressive but should do the trick.

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I'd talk, if you haven't yet, to the guide who you'll be using re: lines.  Most tarpon lines are shorter heads (30-38ft) for a reason.  Quick shots, few chances = shorter heads.  YMMV.

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Wulf triangle taper have heavier back end taper progressing to a longer smaller front taper easy to cast makes nice loops might be what you are looking for

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Best thing you could do is get a floating line that really casts well on your rod and then practice. The important word is the last one! Something almost everybody doesn't do. It's WAY more important than the line! 

 

Mark Sedotti 

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