Shooting line input needed - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-01-2001, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: CarlDate: 8/1/2001 1:46 AM
I want to try some underhand/Scandanavian style casting, but need input on what shooting line(s) would be better with the spey rods and big heads.  Just the same standard running line as with my one hander (std. .030 coated flyline), bigger or smaller, flat mono, etc.?  If it matters, I'm considering this with the 14' 9/10 and the 16' 10/11.  Also, please recommend re: stripping basket vs. loops in hand.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2001, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: LohiDate: 8/2/2001 12:52 PM
I have seen many solutions for the running (shooting) line, being

1) Thin coated flyline as you mention, I think LOOP has these is several thicknesses
2) Flat monofilament (Sawada, Sussex and LOOP?)
3) Braided monofilament ( HT Shooting line)
4) Round monofilament (e.g. 0.60 mm Trilene Big Game, Amnesia)

Which of these is the best, is propably matter of personal preference, as always. I have used for the past five years 50 lb Sawada, which is a flat monofilament type of line. It must be stretched before each use, otherwise it tends to tangle, but after that it works ok. Other types I have only tried when testing others rods, but my personal opinion is that they all work more or less accordingly.

There are few things that need to be considered when building the shooting head system, i.e.

The thickness of the shooting line: the thinner the line, the longer the casts, in theory yes, but in practice too thin line tangles more often and the casts may also "collapse" as the shooting head does not straighten properly. Thicker line is easier to handle, as it does not slip from the grip so easily.

Breaking strength of the shooting line: in my opinion the running line should be stronger than the shooting head, especially when using sinking heads, since it has happened to me more than once that the shooting head sticks into the river bottom. When you pull from the running line, the chances that you get your shooting head back are better if the running line is stronger.

Connections to shooting head and backing line: it is easiest to make big loops to a braided mono running line, the loops should be so large that you can put your reel through them, makes the shooting head change operation lot easier. Some people use normal Surgeons knot or Perfection loop to make loops for flat mono, but these knots should be tested, since the strength of the knot may be far less that expected due to the flatness of the line. The flat mono is also very slick, so I would not recommend those braided mono loops commercially available.

As for the casting, my strong opinion is that forget the baskets, if you have e.g. 15 m shooting head with 4 m leader outside the rod tip, and you shoot further 10 m when casting with spey style, your total casting length is 4+15+10+4 = 33 m, and you will have no problems what so ever shooting the line from hands, typically two or three big loops hanging out, first is the biggest ( about 5 m), then each subsequent loop being slightly smaller.

I hope this is useful to you,


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2001, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: Fred EvansDate: 8/3/2001 5:16 AM
Carl, this man know 'where of he speaks.' I've tried seveal of the backing he's commented on (different names but most of the products are available in the US or Canada) and he's pretty much nailed it on how they will react.
I'm trying to learn the Skan. cast (in deeeep private as I look like a cub bear playing with it's self) and when you do 'it' right God is it impressive. Boom and gone. Would love to have the opportunity to have a "jedi master" (hope I got the spelling right there" take me aside and say "My Son ...."
Timing I've found, as with all longer, or reeeeaaaally loaded casts, is to slooooow down, or forget it.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2001, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: J_DDate: 8/3/2001 7:17 PM
Just a little food for thought. Instead of a large loop in your running line. consider no loop at all. Thats right, just tie your running line directly to the loop at the back of the head using a clinch knot. Very quick, and very little line lost to the knot. You can cut the knot and change heads many, many times before you have lost any appreacable amount of running line. By then it is probably time for a new running line anyway.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2001, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: JohnDate: 8/4/2001 3:50 AM
I agree that a loop in the running line conection is not needed.  I am always changing around my lines on my reels, and I usually tie a large loop when I put them together.  However, when I want to undo the loop to loop connection, I usually have to pick at the running line  with a bodkin.  I almost always weaken the line  so I cut it off and tie a new loop.  I would same line buy just tying a knot.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2001, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: LohiDate: 8/6/2001 12:51 PM
To loop or not...if that is the question, I would say that it largely depends on your shooting line type and the frequency with which you change the shooting head.

As an example, when using round monofilament type of shooting line, which is rather cheap and easy to tie a reliable knot into, there is nothing wrong with the no-loop-approach. With braided mono, I certainly would use loop, since it is so easy to make with that type of line. With e.g. Sawada (flat or oval mono), the strength of the knot may become an issue, and also as the price (about 30 USD in Finland for 50 m) is higher, I would (and do) use a loop.

There might be differences in the frequency of changing shooting heads, but just as an example, in July 2001 in Norway, fishing one pool, I did change the shooting head four times during the same afternoon. If the shooting line is 25 m long to start with, it may not last long with that pace (the reason for the line changes was that the water level went down very fast).

I also think that the loop-to-loop connection is perhaps one of the smoothest, and therefore ideal for the shootinghead-shootingline connection, since it has to go through the guides much more often compared to the flyline-backing connection (which goes out so seldom... sigh). I have cheked the loop integrity regularly, but have noticed not deterioration. I should also mention that I use no tools, except bare hands, to open the loop-to-loop
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-07-2001, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: JR SPEYDate: 8/6/2001 10:07 PM
Several comments on Scan casting. First of all, all the casters who do this style exclusively seem to use a fly line running line with loops. These are available from Loop, but the AirFlo line has the large loop already and seems to shoot better, even though the Loop line is made by AirFlo. They are usually referred to salmon running lines and are between .032 and .035. The AirFlo is blue (clear if you want to try an intermediate) and the Loop is orange.

I ran into Henrik Mortenssen a few weeks ago in Iceland. Although a student of Goran Andersson, his casting is perhaps even more impressive these days. Henrik will be in the US from about the middle of October until the end of Novemeber. He will be representing Loop and wants to give classes as well as on-water demos. Believe me, this guy is worth watching and learning from. Contact your Loop dealer and let it be known that you want that dealer to try and make arrangements for Henrik to visit your area.
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