casting a shooting head - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 06-05-2007, 11:20 AM
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jero jero is offline
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casting a shooting head

Hello guys,

I have a 24 feet shooting head (T130). Im having a bit more wind knots, tangles (for example forward casting straight into my rod) and tailing loops than with my average WF line.
I was wondering if the casting basics wich are recommender for regular lines apply to shooting heads or do I have to modify some of the mechanics of the cast?

Ive read somewhere, for example, that for shooting heads the rod should stop in the backcast a bit more backwards and outwards to get a more open loop. Any truth in this? any other recommendations? thank you,.
Considering this topic might have been covered in other threads, Ill settle for a link
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:40 AM
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bonehead bonehead is offline
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Tailing loops...

Don't have a lot of experience with shooting heads, but here's my 2 cents. First, you know that you don't want to extend much past the shooting portion beyond the rod tip for a cast, right? To make a good cast, wait until you get the shooting head about 5-10 ft past the rod tip then shoot the rest of the line. This should keep false casts to a minimum and give less chances for tailing loops.

Second, since the shooting head is heavier than a standard floater, you may be altering your casting motion to keep it in the air and off the water/ground behind you. If you drop your hand during the forward cast the rod tip travels in a straight line. This means that the line will travel in a straight path and collide with itself. Instead, keep the backcast low and merely turn your thumb down (parallel to the water) when you finish the cast. This should 'duck' the rod tip under the line and form a normal loop, with the line smoothly traveling over itself, instead of colliding and making tailing loops.

Finally, what length, type leader are you using. Shooting heads travel faster than floaters (more inertia) and too short a leader could cause too much energy to transfer to the fly which might cause it to 'bounce' at the end of the cast. This is particularly true with a heavier, sinking fly. If this is happening, you can open you loop to keep the fly traveling around a curve, instead of zipping to a halt at the end of a tight loop. Also, you can use a longer leader that disipates energy better.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:21 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Short shooting heads are quick casting and can be useful,for instance to turn over big flies if the grains are high enough. They are also good for quick reaction casts.

On the downside they don't carry well false casting and have limited range - if the amount of energy passed into the loop from the rod is more than 24 feet of taper can handle it 'runs out of runway' hence the whip effect.

As bonehead points out increasing the leader will help because as the line and leader tapers it dissipates energy and softens the turnover. It's an air brake of sorts.

I prefer a longer head 35-38 ft when using heads.

I am not familiar with T130 - what is it? Sounds like T14 on steriods!
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:09 PM
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the T130 is a 24 feet shooting head S/F line of 130 grains, from the company "Jim teeny". I actually made the mistake of buying it thinking it was a regular sinktip, and was into a big surprise...

The strange thing is that, even though Im an average-to crappy caster, I get better distance with my regular WF line. And if I practice too much with the shooting head, it worsens my casting later on with my WF line...

Im getting both the hard bounce and whip effect. Ill try out the long leader, sounds like a good idea

I tried lowering the thumb, good tip, worked well. If I think of that medieval weapon of a stick, a metal chain and an iron ball at the tip whirling above my head, while I cast the head, I get better results.

what are shooting heads used for anyways? its certainly not a "pick up-cast right away line", at least for me, cause when the 24 feet head sinks like a brick, its a bitch for me to bring it from the bottom of the water without 2 or 3 roll casts plus 2 or 3 false casts...
anyways, thanks as always
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:21 PM
Barryven Barryven is offline
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Shooting heads are meant to be attached to a straight running line made just for that purpose. Which is a fairly thin level line .... kind of like the line that is behind to front end of a WF line.....You may be attaching your shooting head to a fly line that already has a Weight forward section built into it and that probably won't work.

The shooting line is meant to be set up.... Backing - running line - shooting head - leader - fly - huge fish

hope this helps
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:29 PM
scrillz scrillz is offline
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no responses on this for awhile hopefully you will see this. It sounds like you purchased a shooting head system all in one line. Normally a shooting head system is used with a stripping basket. Your coild running line, is in your basket and as someone said before you don't want to false cast past your shooting head. With one or two false casts you load your rod and doublle haul to increase line velocity and then shoot you head along with the running line following. ITs alot like c&d fishing for salmon, but instead of a heavy sinker your using a heavy head . When I first got my shooting head system I didn't have a shooting basket and I tried to cast coiling the line on the ground next to me or holding the loops in my hand. Using these methods I could only cast as far as I could normally with a wf line, with a shooting basket its a whole other ballgame. You should also have a fast action rod which helps with your line speed. Good luck!
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