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BlueH20 11-12-2003 04:19 PM

shooting heads
For you flats and shallow water guys, I have been thinking of setting up my shallow water 10wt with a shooting head floater{also inter.sink shooter} for baby tarpon, barracuda ,permit etc. Using a 3wt?? running line tied to a head not looped.Wouldnt a shooter be the way to go in the wind, it just seems when in the wind and having 50ft of belly in the air then trying to shoot is just to much line in the air fighting the wind. What is the word on this, is this a dumb idea or is it a real consideration to try for these species. Or is their really no difference between this idea and a wt forward line.If its an ok idea, what about some tips on grains and running lines,connections

Adrian 11-12-2003 04:26 PM

Shooting head pros & cons:

1) Shooting head setup wont make you a better caster!

2) Distance is an advantage, also flexibility / easy to interchange heads for different scenarios.

3) Disadvantages - line management - narrow running line has a tendency to tangle - like when that 40lb Permit decides to inhale your carb fly:eyecrazy: Especially a problem with "normal" lines. I have found the warmwater W/Fs to be a lot better - not sure if anyone does a warmwater 3wt?

4) Practice in the back yard before committing everything and travelling ;)

BlueH20 11-13-2003 11:33 AM

Thanks for the thought, when I mentioned the 3wt, I meant a 3wt {line thickness} running line tied to a 10 wt shooting head, so you wouldnt have so much problem with tangles. Just a thought.

Capt. Mel Simpson 11-17-2003 09:04 AM

Remember, with a shooting head you have to strip it in until it's in the tip - top of the rod.

One of the most difficult things to learn with beginner flats fishermen is reaction time. From the time you spot a fish to fly delivery needs to be less than 5 seconds! If the head is 30' long and you have it out 60'... well, you can see the difficulty in getting the fly back to a moving fish.

If I were going to Belize and I have many times, I would take a 10wt and an 8wt (2 rods each), and I would take 3 bonefish/tarpon floating lines for each. I would cut them both back to 80' to add more backing.

If I were going to Southern Belize for Permit (15 day trip), I would take only fast 9wt rods with 4 each 9wt and 10wt lines... and 3 pairs of booties!


BlueH20 11-17-2003 08:34 PM

Capt Mel ,thanks for the response. I take it that the reason you would take so many lines in each wieght is because you would lose them on the coral and such, i am so new to this type of fishing that that hasn't happened to me yet, but I will heed your advice. I have had a couple of people tell me to bring an 11wt to belize because they say there is always some big tarpon hanging around. And adrian said the same thing you are saying, is the 10wt beefy enough for a long time trout fisherman but a newby in the salt, will the 10wt work if I do some reef fishing. I just rec'd from sage there new 10wt xi2-4pc loaner rod and just strung it up this afternoon , 8-10mph winds,just punches through the wind, i love it.

Capt. Mel Simpson 11-18-2003 08:37 AM


Try this, carry that 10wt around all day and make a couple hundred cast with it. Or better yet stand on a box the size of the front casting deck of a rocking flats boat casting it. Your arm and shoulder will tell you which rod you prefer. Of course you won't make that many casts for tarpon but for permit you hope you will.
And even for the tarpon around Ambergris I would jump 25 a day and fight and land a dozen, so...think about it.

If you use a fast 8 or 9wt, maybe overload it a line size and keep your casts low with tight loops you can punch thru some pretty strong wind.

For tarpon I would opt for an 11wt, you could get away with it for giant tarpon and it's a good size for Keys tarpon. Even some of the guys and most of the women who fish with me at Homosassa each year use that size.

Look, I've been doing this for a long time so if you want more info that won't take up so much thread time, email me.


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