Thought I'd repost this question from the striper line thread below, as it appears to be getting lost in the shuffle:
Has anyone tried any of the multi-tip/head lines that are available? Airflo and Sci Anglers both ahve new versions that include a floating and three sinking heads, including a clear line. The concept sounds great, rather than buying multiple spools, but how is the performance? Specifically, how does the loop-to-loop connection shoot through the guides?
I may have to be the guinnea pig and try one out...
You're right this one did get shuffled down... I can say a few things, for what they're worth:
I am very familiar with multi-tip systems, but homemade ones. The steelhead guys on this BB will tell you about building hybrid heads using cut-up flylines and cut-up shooting heads to combine both into an integrated "hybrid" WF section or head. The system of switching tips is a popular thing in steelhead circles out west - because every pool has a different personality and water levels fluctuate even in the same pool. The ability to swap densities allows the angler to present even the same fly differently in the same pool the same day.
But that's not what you asked... you asked about SWFF. When I first moved back, I had a wallet full of tips to try on stripers. They worked great, and the ability to switch tips to meet tide flows and depth conditions bought me a lot more fish than if I had been using a single intermediate line. This was particularly true at river mouths when the tide speed changes radically depending on phase.
Although I was having a lot of fun and catching a lot of fish, I had an awakening out on the flats one day. The fish were feeding on sand eels in shallow water. There were fish of all sizes laying on the ripples of sand as the tide ebbed out of the channel that marks this flat's center. Although the smaller fish were suicidal, the larger fish were selective and would often follow without taking the fly. Several fish thicker than fire logs were swimming around out there (30-36" class). The opportunity to hook up with a fair sized fish in a couple of feet of sight-casting water was upon me. I laid the cast out upcurrent and mended like you do in a steelie or salmon river as the current led the fly into position. The fly drifted toward the stations of the large shadows, and the fish got a little antsy as it approached. One shifted over to the fly, but didn't take. I twitched, the fish twitched, but didn't commit. I led, it followed, and then >clunk< >clunk< the loop came to my tip. I was distracted and tried to get the loop thru, but whatever I did really turned the fish off because they both hightailed for the trench.
In steelhead and salmon presentation, you don't strip the head into the guides unless you're moving to the next pool. With a Spey rod, you cover so much linear shoreline with such long lines that you hardly notice the loop unless you're changing to a denser tip.
This is a problem that shooting head guys might face too, whether they admit it or not. Maybe they have engineered a loop that passes thru the guides. I've yet to see something I'd want out on Monomoy on a bright day.
I switched to two spools that day and have never gone back.
This is not to say that exchangable tips are not great, they are. If you want to use them in rivers, they are the cat's meow. If you want to use them for stripers, you just might find you'll have to live with the loops catching in the guides once in a while - and in my case it was just when I didn't want it to!
Hope this gives you one point of view to work from!
I wondered the same thing last season but begged off the guinea pig role. I only fished one line last year a QD325 which served the purpose of the conditions (PI) I fish most of the time. However I plan on adding an intermediate line this year for certain circumstances and different locations.
*Hint* Maybe Juro will show me some Cape flats. Monomoy comes to mind.
The Cortland Camo may be the line of choice for me. Now do I go with a new spool for my Teton or a whole new Reddington reel for about the same money. Hmmm...
Also, IMHO a multi-function tool will get you by but never perform as well as the tool designed to do a specific job.
I'm bringing this thread back to life, as it's now three years old and things are bound to have changed somewhat since then.
I'm thinking about getting a multi-tip line for my 12-wt., for use with tarpon and other large stuff in the salt. Air-Flo lines have gotten some discussion on the forum, and I was wondering what the current thoughts and opinions were of those of you who have used this line and/or those of other manufacturers.
Try the Rio lines. Said to be a sponser here. I have an 8wt that I use in the rivers out here. They now come with 4 sink tips Intermediate,types 3,6,and 8 and a floater. the loops are small so you don't even feel them going thru the guides. If you go to their web site they will even tell you how or what to use them on. Much eaisier than having that many spools. But this is just the opinion of an old man.:D
I'll say this...after owning the airflo one for a year now, I wouldn't buy another system again. First, for NE Saltwater; I fish either deep or intermediate. Thats all. I never need to kinda get down. Its all or nothing in this game from my perspective. So the middle sink rate line and the floating line never get used. The fast sink doesn't sink fast enough for my liking either, not enough meat to pull the floating rear down with it.
Secondly, I have found its just much easier to change spools and restring the rod. With these things you need to swap the line and then hand spool the whole thing back up into its little pouch; otherwise it comes out in knots the next time. The line casts fine and doesn't hinge on the connection point, it just doesn't seem to work as well at being an intermediate and a fast sink line.
I agree with ssully whole heartedly; only wish I knew this when I bought the line. I was trying to save a few bucks on a spare spool when in retrospect, I should have just bought one.
I have tried the Cortland,the SA,and the Airflow systems over the last year and have definately made up my mind on what I do and don't like about each.
The SA is a great line but the loops suck.They are too hard and sometimes stick in the guides.Not good.
The Airflow is the highest floating,slickest and best casting line I tried but my 8wt lines had constant loop and mainline failures last year so I have stoped using the Airflow on anything over a 6wt.The problem is that the welded loops that cast so well,are considerably weaker than all of the other companies' loop systems.Airflow told me that all of the heavy line weights have the same breaking strength as the light line weights and the loops are between 18 and 24lbs(I recieved 3 different emails with 3 different answers to my question regarding their breaking strength).Here in BC,most tackle shops recommend kevlar loops of 50lbs strength and I found out that the airflow loops just didn't hold up well on big fish in rivers.I also found that the mono loop didn't handle the heavy custom heads that I had either.Casting a 350 grain head on this line ended up causing the loop to fail.I had nothing but problems regarding both loop and main line breakages last year on my trip to the Skeena.The info I received from Airflow didn't make me too confident on the replacement lines either so I traded them in for a line that I feel is superior for big fish situations and will allow me to use my heavy heads without fear of them breaking the loops.I still like the Airflow lines in the light line weights though as they are great casting,float high and don't hinge.
The line I traded my Airflow 8wts for are the Cortland lines.While they are not as slick as the Airflow,they come standard with large flexible loops made from 50lbs Spectra.These lines enable me to use whaever heads I want without fear of breakage.They are VERY strong and don't hinge even though they look like they would.I realy like these lines for river fishing and big fish.If you get a snag,it will not break the way the Airflow will(at least mine did).These lines are the ones I would recommend for heavy duty use,unless of course you want to do what most flyshops up here recommend and that is to simply replace the loops on your factory lines with 50lbs kevlar loops.I would do this with any of the other lines on the market,but the Cortland is the only line that comes standard with 50lbs loops.
I haven't tried the Orvis so I can't comment on them.Ihaven't really heard anything about them either.
Lastly,while I haven't tried the RIO,I have heard nothing but good things about them so if I was to recommend one to someone then that would be the first choice.EVERYONE I know who has tried the RIO likes them,while the Airflow,SA,and Cortland will have their followers and their oposers.
Personally I like the Airflow for line weights up to 6wt as it is the best casting line I could ever hope for in a multi-tip,but I don't trust them for heavy usage.I like the Cortland for heavier line weights.It's not as slick,but the line and loops are STRONG.
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