Need help sizing shooting head to spey rod.
Hello. I have a T&T 1307 that I would like to set up with a shooting head system for moderate beach fishing duties mostly in the great lakes. I plan to remove my river line - mid spey 6/7 and affix with loops a SA intermediate sinking running line and 30' sinking heads. This will be exclusively for streamer fishing. I know this is not what this rod is designed for but I think it will work just fine. Now, according to Rio's information the Scandinavian shooting head that matches the rod is a 7/8 which weighs 500 grains. The recommended overhead casting weight for that line is 380 gr which equals 32 feet of that line (it gets cut). Now what my cheap self would prefer to do is transfer that to a standard shooting head. Your help and experience is much appreciated.
The key is to determine the right grain weight for this rod, keeping in mind that the range varies with length of the head and thus taper.
Contact Trevor or the guys at T&T for an idea of grain weights to match this rod, or look up the grains for a line you already like and use these general rules of thumb to match a shorter line:
Rule #1 - The shorter the head, the less grains a rod can handle.
I have no experience with your rod model but the Atlantis casts well with 490 grains in a 30ft head, 550 in a 35-40ft head, and 650 in a 55ft head. So in rough numbers, there is about a 150 grain window from 30-55ft in head length.
Rule #2 - The longer the head, the more likely it is to hold the loop for distance
In other words, if you try to cast a 24ft head over 100ft the loop will expire before the cast falls creating a flailing head effect. A 35ft head will hold the loop further, a 45ft even further, etc.
Rule #3 - Longer heads don't fish as well as shorter heads in strip-retrieve / rapid-fire casting situations
If your target species is chasing the fly right to the beach and your ability to fire a follow-up cast is important, a long line will really cramp your style.
Given these rules, my experience with this application would indicate that the best compromise is a 38ft head (or thereabouts) whose grains are matched with your rod -if- you are casting over 100ft and fishing flies with a strip retrieve close to your feet with a two-hander.
Hope this helps; hopefully you should only need to know grain range to make good guesses as to which line you need.
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