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Dble Haul 08-27-2004 09:18 AM

Tangles in running line
I thoroughly enjoy fishing with the Atlantis, but one headache has emerged. The running line tends to twist in the stripping basket, leading to kinks, knots, and pure messes that require time to untangle. Not only is this cutting into my fishing time, but it's cutting down on my casting distance when these kinks lodge in the rod guides and cut the casts short.

Prior to using the Atlantis, I had never used shooting head systems. I'm wondering if the potential causes could be:

Is my running line (Orvis 30 pound floater) garbage?

Is the stripping basket simply too small for the amount of line I'm now throwing? I've found that using my Kennebec basket allows for a greater amount of line to be held, but the tangles still occur.

Is the heavier shooting head destined to try and find the bottom of the basket because it's so much heavier than the running line, fouling it?

Of course there are probably other potential causes that I'm not yet aware of, but could someone out there please enlighten me? :o

I'd like to spend more time fishing and less time untangling. :roll:

mattzoid 08-27-2004 12:22 PM

It gets worse if you use mono. My basket is large. The same hand basket you would find at Safeway. I have small cones in the bottom (I should post a pic). Being aware of how you lay the line in the basket, not just one spot, kind of spread around (I try to go around to each corner in a clockwise motion). Never keep more in there than you need. Sometimes if the last ten feet just sits in the bottom without getting out, it will twist from stripping above it. I'll leave the last ten feet out or just toss it out and start stripping in from there. That way the whole length of line that I am using gets the kinks stretched out. Keeping the basket under the rod while shooting instead of at an angle. Geez, I don't know what else to think of. I'm on my own for learning this over head crap out here on the west coast.

sean 08-27-2004 12:44 PM

I use 50lb slickshooter and get tangles sometimes. I think it is just something that will happen every once in a while.

You really need to pay attention to how you are placing the line in the basket. I usually use a 2 handed retrive and I make sure to strip the line into opposite sides of the basket on each strip. I actually physically hit the sides of my basket on each strip with each hand as it helps me remeber to pay attention to how I am placing the line in the basket and this seems to eliminate most of the tangle problems.


mattzoid 08-27-2004 01:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is my basket. Very large, but I don't care. Notice the cones. There were more like the ones with the square base, but in trying to constantly modify the bottom, I broke them. Found some spinners in a R/C Airplane Shop and they fit the bill. I'd put in 4" ones if they weren't 70 bucks. Those are 3". This set up produces the least amount of tangles in mono. PVC lines are not near as bad.

juro 08-27-2004 04:42 PM

The biggest factor IMHO is basket design, then the fact that there is so much more of it being used for casting, then the running like itself.

Baskets are so inadequate I've decided to commision engineers to build a 3D Cad model of my new design for gathering quotes from plastics companies in the area. I consider this the root cause because a good basket can make most running lines workable, where changing the running line won't help a bad basket. I am planning to patent, manufacture and sell this new basket.

When making moderate casts, any running line seems manageable. But when you suddenly can throw close to or up to the backing knot all the time that's a huge amount of line in the basket.

With today's commercially available baskets, switching the running line makes a difference to a point. The steady howl with 35 mph gusts at Boneclave were beyond that point, but under normal conditions the running line you use makes a big difference. I have been wondering if a sinking shooting line would be a good option to keep things in the basket.

However in the end a well-made basket (far beyond what we use today) is the core solution and should be where one spends their attention in solving this problem.



mattzoid 08-28-2004 02:42 AM

Actually, I was thinking of going one step further with my design as off the shelf plastics don't really fit the bill. I am going to build fiberglass molds and experiment with different shapes and sizes on the cones. I believe PVC running line will require a different shape than mono, but overall, a cone along the lines of a spinner like I have pictured, is the best for shooting. My basket is just a mock up and I will be working on size and placement. And then, once I have the perfect bottom I will build molds to fit the bottom of off the shelf baskets. These will be placed in say an Orvis as an upgrade. This would work to my advantage in several ways. I don't have to worry about basket patents and only have to patent the mold design. Cost is reduced in shipping and production because there are thousands of baskets already out there that need a "Burke Bottom." Most guys are not going to want to buy another basket when all they really need is to just drop a few bucks on a "Burke Bottom." Once the molds are made I can turn them out as needed. I'll have my "Burke Bottom" running all up and down the west coast. Guess what I am going to call it and you know you're going to want it. The puget Sound tested Burke Bottom.

juro 08-28-2004 05:18 AM

Free enterprise - gotta love it! Good luck competing buddy :lildevl:

Dble Haul 08-28-2004 05:26 PM

Thanks guys....I share your frustrations with the baskets currently available today.

FWIW, most of my tangles are the result of line twist. I'll be more mindful of where I place the line in the basket as I retrieve (i.e., not all in one heap).

Juro/Mattzoid- If you gentlemen need beta testers for your designs, you know where to find me. :wink:

MJC 08-28-2004 06:58 PM

Hey Matt & Juro...
Well hurry up! We are all waiting impatiently. Has anyone tried the basket made by Stan Pleskunas out of Watsonville, CA?

mattzoid 08-28-2004 08:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Very interesting.

juro 08-28-2004 08:15 PM

Holes allow water to enter, which agitates the line like a washing machine and negates the effect of the minimal line holding loops provided.

Unsure how it will hold up in wind, or keep the line inside when howling but I am not confident it will pass the test with those holes and soft foam construction.

Color kinda bright for the flats, fish could give you a wider berth than you want.

Of course until it's actually tried one never knows, but past experience would indicate it's far from the panacea.


mattzoid 08-28-2004 09:25 PM


As far as competing with you my friend, I am in no position to set up any kind of business. I’ll be lucky to have leader material and be able to replenish my fly tying box as things run out over the next couple years. My only goals in the next several months will be to build two shooting heads and at least one fiberglass “Burke Bottom”.

I would also agree with your assessment of the panacea basket. Definitely not the magic bullet. I am still debating the issue of a closed or open basket. I don’t like large waves upsetting my carefully laid line, but I also don’t like having five gallons of water pull me down in the front after a container ship floats by out there at Point No Point. My oversized basket would hold a lot of water if it was enclosed.

I look forward to the day when we can pool our resources on the beach.


juro 08-28-2004 10:58 PM

The competing thing was just a friendly joke, such jostling can actually help by making sure we pursue with the 10000 other things competing with our time. Good luck with your effort dude, the more the merrier I say.

As far as the water thing... got that solved. :smokin:

GregD 09-08-2004 04:36 PM

Untwist your line...
Hi Mark,

I too was frustrated by the high number of tangles I was getting when starting out with the Atlantis. I found the biggest factor for me was to get the twist out of the line. I would strippout a 150 foot or so and cast it out, check for the direction of the twist the I would twist it the opposite way and walk down the line rolling the line. I'd go back a check for twist if there was still some I'd repeat the process until there was no twisting tendancy. Now I rarely see tangles as compared to before. I'm convinced line twist was the cause of most of my tangle problems with or without a stripping basket.

Tight lines,

Willie Gunn 09-08-2004 05:03 PM

Today I was fishing the Spey it was hot and bright so I was stripping a long winged collie dog fly using a shooting head and running line. On the cast the running line knotted and tangled in the rings as I pulled it back and started to untangle it a fish took. Panic but I managed to wind the tangle on to the reel the decided to play the fish on a short line. (Not much option really)Eventually landed a released a small(luckily) grilse.

There is no way I would wear a would clash with my tweeds:-)

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