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Old 03-01-2006, 10:57 AM
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Taiwanfisher Taiwanfisher is offline
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One line system???

Can anyone please give me some advice on purchasing fly line. I need new line for my 9weight and was wondering why more people dont use a detachable head system that would allow them to go from a sinking head to a floating one on the same running line. Is there such a product where you get, say, a floating running line with three different heads with built in loops for quick changing? I realize that there are reasons for choosing full sinkers/floaters etc. but lets say I'm fishing the flats and I need a floating and sinking line for different areas. Commercialy there are so many choices of lines but I havent come across anything like I mentioned above. I know some guys build their own, but I would feel more comfortable knowing that the running line and head are a "tested" match. please advise.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:30 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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Multi-tip systems like the ones that you've described are readily available from most line companies, and I know of several anglers who use them. I use one from Orvis for my two-handed Atlantis rod, and really have no complaints with it.

Why don't more people use them? Well, in essence you're talking about a shooting head system, and most of the problems with these come from the running line. The running lines are more prone to tangles and are quite slick when wet, so they can sometimes be a challenge to keep hold of. Some people also find that the loop to loop connection between the head and the running line can be cumbersome and clunky.

These head systems are great for situations where there is limited backcast room, and they shoot flies like a rocket with minimal false casting. I think that in the right circumstances they are a real asset.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:43 AM
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In terms of why they aren't more popular, at first glance the true multi-head systems are quite a bit more expensive. But, if you add up what you would spend on an equivalent set of full lines, not to mention spare spools and backing, the economics are compelling.

My personal issues with them (and I have a couple of lines);

1) A situation where strong current and/or deep water requires getting the flies down deep and fast. The intermediate / floating running lines that come on most multi-tip systems can be a bit of a hindrance in that specific instance.

2) Sight casting on the flats where I want to strip the fly almost all the way back to the rod tip. The join between running line and tip can never be as smooth as a continuous line and I have had instances where a following fish gets spooked by the "clink" of the link passiing through the tip ring.

That aside, a multi-tip line system is always going to be a compromise and for many situations they offer an effective and economical alternative.

My .02c
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:58 PM
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huibgeselschap huibgeselschap is offline
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MWF system by scierra

hi,
i bought the MWF system by Scierra for my #9 12'6" DH salmon rod, the reason i bought this was the fact that i wanted a good DH line to go with my rod, matching it perfectly (which can be a problem with DH salmon rods)

before you stop reading, there's a single handed version too, have a look at their website at scierradotcom

i must say im impressed, the welded loops are quite small(loops themselves are just the braided cores), so they fly through the guides very well, also with 3 bellies and 3 polyleaders, i can cope with about every situation, theres a very nice ziplock filled pouch with it too, excellent for carrying it all

the running line is nice and smooth, yet grips well and doesnt tangle easily, it floating btw

good luck on your persuit of a nice system
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian
1) A situation where strong current and/or deep water requires getting the flies down deep and fast. The intermediate / floating running lines that come on most multi-tip systems can be a bit of a hindrance in that specific instance.

2) Sight casting on the flats where I want to strip the fly almost all the way back to the rod tip. The join between running line and tip can never be as smooth as a continuous line and I have had instances where a following fish gets spooked by the "clink" of the link passiing through the tip ring.
Thanks Adrian. That's another two issues with these that I was aware of, but didn't include. Very good input.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:46 AM
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Hi Twain,

I'm one of those guys who builds his own, I must say that I've never found a manufactured system that worked to my liking most of the heads are just way too short.

The biggest problem is the running line - nothing is perfect. Either you use a fly line style line that either floats or sinks (or doesn't sink enough) or you use a flat mono that is a pain to work with. I use a full sink level fly line - I think its a 5wt - it cuts down on distance and isn't the best with a floating head but I only use a floating head very rarely. The best running line is probably a flat mono - if you can stand it.

For heads use LC or T14 for sinkers, and cut a DT INT or Floater (generally two weights up but I use one weight up because I perfer longer heads). The good thing about making your own is that they will cast the way you want them to with your rod so you can get exactly the action you want.

From a Kayak they are the best, you can change lines without having to unstring a rod, and never need to make more than a single backcast.
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for all the input. I will keep everyhting you guys said in mind when I make my decision - not least of which will be that I'm not a very skilled caster and that as you said the shooting heads can be trickier to handle. My best casting happens with a six wait floating line, and I think the stiff long belly just may be the thing that helps me make half decent casts. Obviously with a shooting head I would be giving up the aid of that long belly. Two of you guys mentioned double handed rods - are multiple head systems more popular with two handed rodders? If so, Why?
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:09 PM
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[QUOTE=Sean Juan]Hi Twain,


The biggest problem is the running line.

Hi Sean juan

Any suggestions for a good running line? Something that would come close to casting like a full floater - I mean, a compromise between distance and feel?
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:24 AM
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Sean Juan Sean Juan is offline
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My compromise line is a 5wt level flyline sinking - I ordered it form Cortland's web site a few years ago, its stood up quite well. A line like Amnesia will cast a lot further but I had a problem setting the hook with that line, now that I use mostly circle hooks I'd probably pick that.

Rio I believe offers a running line that is essentiall a very line fly line - I believe it is an intermediate which would be a better compromise if you aren't planning on fishing deep, with a T-14 head I'm sure even then it wouldn't be much of an issue.

As for casting like a full floater I don't think that is possible. The "feel" I'm talking about is the physical sensation of the line in your fingers. Shooting heads really don't cast the same as a full line - a lot of guys advise you to slow down the cast, I think a better way to describe it is to exaggerate the acceleration, make sure you have a steady constant acceleration to a stop rather than a stroke with a pop/stop.

Hope that helps some.
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Old 03-03-2006, 05:18 PM
GrantK GrantK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taiwanfisher
I ... was wondering why more people dont use a detachable head system that would allow them to go from a sinking head to a floating one on the same running line.... Commercialy there are so many choices of lines but I havent come across anything like I mentioned above. I know some guys build their own, but I would feel more comfortable knowing that the running line and head are a "tested" match. please advise.
What you're describing with changing heads on a running line is called a shooting head. They've been around for decades, and are commercially available in a variety of lengths, weights, and general configurations. Lots of guys use them. They require some skill, patience, and practice to cast well, however, and as a result there is an increasing number of anglers who prefer integrated heads that are more user friendly. Shooting heads are nonetheless an excellent way of getting more bang for your buck, and for being able to carry multiple heads with only one spool.

If you really want to change out the entire head as you describe, that's a shooting head and not a multi-tip. Multi-tips are lines, either commercially manufactured or custom made, that allow for the interchange of various tips but generally not the entire head. The basic commercial example would be the Rio Versi-Tip line in which you have a floating running line, floating belly, and then a wallet of 15' tips in various densities which can be interchanged depending on conditions. I don't know what kind of fishing you intend to do, but multi-tips are not as versatile as shooting heads for a lot of applications. For example, they have very little practical use for most saltwater fishing. What you get with them is a sink-tip attached to a floating head, with the possibility of using different density tips, and not different heads. Be careful not to confuse the two, as they are not the same thing.

Shooting heads, on the other hand, are literally entire heads that are looped to running or “shooting” line. You take off the entire head and not just a tip when changing from one head to another. Heads range in length, but the classic, or "standard" if you will, is 30'. Rio offers 30' heads with welded loops on both ends of the head that match very nicely with their running lines. They've also taken some of the remedial calculous out of matching heads to rods by automatically up-sizing their line designations by two sizes. So, without going into too much detail that might be confusing, you just need the 9 wt. heads for your 9 wt. rod. They call them their RIOMax Shooting Heads.

In terms of running lines, you can select a variety of materials, densities, and diameters. People use everything from straight monofilament (Amnesia) to stuffed braided GSP for running lines, but to keep it simple and to take advantage of the factory loops you can simply get one of the Rio Powerflex Core Shooting Lines. They come in three densities, i.e., floating, full intermediate, and floating with an intermediate tip, and they come in three diameters, i.e., .024" (20 lb. core), .030" (25 lb. core), and .035" (35 lb. core). Keep in mind there are tradeoffs between the different diameters and densities. And, if you really want to have a system that can match any and all conditions, more than one running line is generally in order.

I used Rio as the example, but just about every other maker of lines offers shooting heads as well. Airflo, for example, has very nice welded loops on their 28' heads.

At any rate, there are LOTS of commercial options for putting together a shooting head system. As for having it feel like a floating line? Well, as was pointed out it's not going to cast like a floating line. No sinking line does--not even full sinking lines. Even integrated heads take some getting used to. But shooting heads do require some specialized techniques. I don't think I can list the link, but check out the article on Dan Blanton's site entitled "The Shooting Head Casting Basics." It explains well the water haul and other more or less critical aspects of casting shooting heads.

You should also take a look at the Fly Fisherman magazine website and look up the article entitled "Making Sense of Shooting Heads" by Mel Krieger and Macauley Lord. That article explains the basic idea behind shooting heads.

Although they offer a lot of advantages, shooting heads have and create some problems of their own. You mentioned flats fishing, and they’re not exactly ideal for that kind of use.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by GrantK; 03-03-2006 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-04-2006, 08:40 AM
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thanks for the info. It's always helpful to learn new things. I did not know the difference between a shooting head and multi tip. My initial question about why more people dont use them was because if you search for fly line you end up with so many different kinds - bonefish, tarpon etc. etc. but few websites specify that they carry either interchangable shooting heads or multi tips. I had a look at the scierra site and thats the fist time i saw the specific indication that your dealing with one line and 3 different tips. I've been aware of Teeny shooting heads for a long time, and actually own one that I've never used. I got the line from a friend who bought it cause it was on sale or something - its too heavy for my rods anywhay. Point is that the Teeny head is a one piece fast sinker and so I assumed commercial heads are all one piece unless you tinker with them yourself. Ignorance is the biggest killer on earth. Thanks again for the help
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Old 03-04-2006, 02:04 PM
GrantK GrantK is offline
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The Teeny lines, like the original T Series, are just integrated heads. That is, they're shooting heads that you can't take off the running line without scissors. They came around long after shooting heads, actually. Now integrated heads are becoming much more popular because they are more forgiving to cast and fish, but they're relatively new to fly fishing in comparison to shooting heads.

I don't know what weight Teeny line you have, but one thing you should realize about both integrated and component shooting heads is that it's going to require a lot more weight in the head than you'd imagine at first. Your 9 wt. will throw a 350 grain head easily, and a T-400 should not be an overload at all. You have to remember these lines should feel heavy. They're not going to be false cast and aerialized like a floating line; at least they're not meant to be cast that way. With the head outside the tip of the rod and some slight overhang of running line, just water haul into a backcast, single haul forward cast, and wave goodbye. Takes quite a bit of weight to get that to load the rod correctly. Which, of course, is why customarily you buy shooting heads two lines sizes larger than the AFTMA designation on your rod, i.e., 11 wt. heads for a 9 wt. rod. That's also why I mentioned that Rio took the math out of the purchase by up-sizing two line sizes to begin with. That is, the new Rio heads in 9 wt. come in at 350 grains which would be in the 11 wt. AFTMA range over 30'. So you might want to look at that Teeny line you have again.

One reason you might not have noticed the shooting heads on sites is that they're sold as components--heads and running lines separately. I think Rio packages a wallet of heads in one deal, but running line would still be separate. Also, they're more old school. But all of the websites I purchase from carry both multi-tips and shooting heads. Try the sites of the Fly Shop in Redding, CA or Bob Marriott's in Anaheim, CA.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by GrantK; 03-04-2006 at 02:18 PM.
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