Shooting line advice - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Shooting line advice

I have been using a 11ft 5 weight switch rod with a Barrio integrated line and am now looking at trying Scandi and Skagit lines on this outfit. I am not sure about running lines to suit this set up for swinging buggers and smaller intruders for trout on medium size rivers.
Any advice would be appreciated
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 04:26 PM
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Recommendations will be very subjective. I like and fish exclusively with nylon monofilament running lines.

As a personal preference, I err on the side of thicker, heavier pound test. It is easier to handle when the air temperatures are cold or one is tired. Thicker running line is also less likely to slice up your hand. Note that I usually fish in close. If making beautiful hero casts is a necessary part of your angling experience, then by all means go for smaller diameter, lower pound test running lines.

I have used and like Guideline Compline, Ken Sawada (no longer available) and the OPST Pure Skagit Lazar Line.

For your 5 weight switch rod, I would recommend looking at the OPST Lazar Line in 35 lb. or 40 lb. test. I rarely if ever have to stretch the Lazar Line. Get it a little wet and any coils straighten out very quickly.

It is expensive but should last for years. If one end gets beaten up, simply reverse the line.

One more point. I use these running lines for Skagit heads with heavy, fast-sinking tips as well as floating heads that are used almost exclusively with dry flies, for trout, for example. These short 2-handers are great for dry fly fishing. Just amazing. The trick is to stop thinking like a 'swing robot'.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 06:04 PM
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The 20 lb Airflo running line I think, would be similar to what you're used to handling.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 10:25 PM
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It's mostly personal preference. In my experience, integrated or coated running lines tend to give the loop a bit more stability in flight, and are easier to handle and mend, at the cost of some distance. I like them on the longer lines, because I usually don't need to shoot a lot of line with a 55' head. For my skagit and scandi heads, I stick with OPST Lazar Line. Shoots like crazy, runs through iced up guides no problem during the winter, and coiling is pretty minimal, even at below freezing air temps. If you're interested in mono running lines, grab a spool of 30-40# Berkeley Big Game to try it out before you buy any of the more expensive stuff.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input and ideas regarding running line options . They were really appreciated
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:20 AM
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IMHO it would be far better to start with cheap mono if you go the mono route. Buy a cheap spool(s) and see how you like it and what diameter works best for you. If you end up liking it you can then decide if it is enough to justify paying many times more for something with very marginally better characteristics. Mono can sometimes be very nice on lighter rods.

That said the default for that wt rod is the coated #20 running line. As was already mentioned the coated line will be easier to throw tight loops with easy turnover, and to most people feels far better in the hand. Experiment with mono, but have (and start) with at least one of the coated lines. The are the gold standard.

So why do people mess around with mono? In a word extra distance - almost everything else about them is inferior to a floating, coated one of the right diameter. As implied in what we have said above, the back pressure due to the friction from your humble shooting line is actually an important (often overlooked) element in a stable cast - too little is as bad as too much. You have to learn to cast with mono (low friction) and adjust in comparison with the coated lines. But if you really need the extra distance they work fine. I use them quite often - I have at least half a dozen different types of boutique mono shooting lines in addition to lots of your basic “BigGame” stuff - and almost as often I wish I had a regular coated one on my reel instead.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Botsari.
I took your advice and have purchased a spool of “ big game” mono to try behind a Scandi head . Need to make time to try it out Thanks again !
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 08:02 PM
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You will find the Berkly Big Game will work perfectly. I do find it easier to handle in the warmer months and steer away when colder. I prefer coated lines myself and better yet integrated. As mentioned there is a distance penalty but not a big one. I don't have a lot of feeling or dexterity in my hands to start with and it gets worse in the cold and the coated lines help with that.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 08:28 PM
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I run this on my trout spey setup. It's the manufacturer who produces OPST Lazar line. They do not go up to the heavy weight that OPST has commissioned but 22lbs is generally good enough for lighter stuff. Extremely good running line for a mono.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the useful information provided .

I tried out a Rio Scandi short head on my five weight using 30 lbs “ Big game “ line as running line . It was certainly very different from the integrated lines or coated running line that I have used . It shot quite a distance once I got into to it .I can see why a lot of you guys use it . I then reverted to my usual integrated line ( Barrio) and was shorter on distance but it laid out nicely .perhaps that was due to my lack experience with mono running lines and agricultural casting style .

I must say that I missed having a coloured line to follow and I took on board the comments on Lazer and Sun line

I could see me using both set ups depending on where and how I am fishing .
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