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I have made the change over to 100% mono running lines and love the advantages. From a casting efficiency standpoint only, is there a general rule of thumb regarding the size of the monofilament relative to the size rod or grain size of the shooting head?

Example: use 30 pound for 4-6 weights, 40# for 7-8, etc.

This is more of a question of casting efficiency and distance and not breaking strength relative to leader.

I’m pretty sure that if I put 150 grain OPST commando head on my single-handed three weight with 50 pound laser line that it would be pretty difficult for that head to pull the loops through the guides. The goal being to use the most efficient size mono running line. Obviously, the larger the diameter the easier it is to hold onto in wet conditions.

Hope that makes Sense
 

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I use 40# Big Game on 6wt and up. So far, 25# Amnesia on my 3wt trout spey & single handers. The Big Game is slightly larger than the Amnesia by visual inspection. I haven't mic'd it though. I need to try the Big Game on my trout spey though... I'm having trouble with the rear end of my scandi head overrunning the tip & leader. I'm hoping that heavier shooting line will help turnover without losing any distance. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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I have 30# Stren catfish mono on my 4wt trout spey with a 300 grain head and have also used 30# OPST Lazar on it, both worked well. I have also used the Stren catfish mono in both 30# and 40# on my 6wt switch rod with 330-360 grain heads and also tried the 40# Lazar. Again, they all worked well but the 40# Stren catfish I think would be better suited for head weights above 400 grains. Your example seems very close but head weights and individual rods may play a bigger role in the 4 to 6wt area.

Jim Mc
 

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My thinking, for what ever it is worth, is 30# on my little rods up to 6 weights, and 40 on my 7&8 weight rids for full floater use. For tip use on 7 and above I use the 50# as I want the extra cushion against breakage on hangups. I do use 50# on my 10 weights though regardless of line type.
 

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The key for my casting is to have a running line that creates sufficient drag to slow down the heavy rear taper of the head so as not to allow it to overrun the front and cause the line to pile up. I use Sawada 35 on my 500 to 600 grain Next lines. I use Sawada 50 for my 625 to 725 grain Nexty king heads. I prefer the flat beam to the round as I think it's a bit easier to hang on to. I prefer the solid to the hollow as I believe it kinks less.

Ken Dayton
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Topic is well covered in Speypages history and above. FYI here is my experience even so it is repetitive. You may find some details of interest:

Have been using mono running line behind a 30’ ST-10-S shooting head for my traditional SH fly rod since before Amnesia and subsequent flat mono became popular. Smaller diameter gives a little more distance depending on your style. But, tangles are more frequent in spite of my attempt at good coil management techniques and not stripping more mono than you need. For me, 30# seems to be a good compromise & helps recover your head & Sink tip when snagged provided tippet is the weak link. Mono is used on my Skagit Rod. Efficiently stretching mono running line around a tree (not your hands) just before you wade in and periodically during breaks, has worked best. It is suprising the difference it makes. I have specifically experimented with Big Game, Maxima Ultra Green, Amnesia, Slick Shooter, Varivas, etc. Bottom line for me: Thin fly line is more enjoyable as a running line. For example, l love my full WF floating line with a sink tip. However, I am not the best fly caster when it comes to distance. On the larger rivers, mono gives me that extra distance without the resultant belly mending. That extra distance has made the difference when they roll on the far bank.
 

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Just loaded my reels with mono (OPST Lazer) Ed Ward spends some time at the end of this video discussing mono running line size and I found the whole video valuable. Cheers, Chris

 

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I just measured these on my reels.
Big Game 40#. .024”
Big Game 30#. .022
Amnesia 30#. .024
OpstLazar 40#. .022
I am using the BG 40#, Amnesia 30#, and OPST behind heads 475 gr to 575 gr.
The BG 30# for everything less than that although I have a small 3wt that I will probably use BG 20# or something similar, maybe Amnesia 20# which I have already.
I like the Lazar because it floats and coils less than BG but for some reason the Big Game 40# seems to offer less resistance in shooting for distance. I have no idea why that would be.
 

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I would think it has more to do with what you're hunting than rod length/size, but that's just me.

I also never load my reels with anything stronger than I just put on. In other words, the backing and running lines are my strongest, getting weaker as I reach the tippet. I hate losing heads and tips, but I'll lose a fly and leader any day!:wink2:
 
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Out of interest I wanted to compare lines and thought I'd share.

Comparison of running line diameters (mm). 20lb is just for comparison and not recommended. Overall Trilene is roughly 0.1 mm thicker for any lb test strength. Other qualities aside, If you like 40lb Big Game or Cat then a similar diameter from OPST would be 50lb line. If you like 35lb OPST then you may want 20lb Big Game. I wonder if the breaking strength of Big Game is actually much higher. I've tested 10lb line before and had it break at 14 -16 lbs.

LB Lazar BigGame
20 NA - 0.45 mm
30 0.435 - 0.55 mm
35 0.470 - NA mm
40 0.520 - 0.60 mm
50 0.570 - 0.71 mm
 

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For what it's worth I just use 40lb on everything (comp. rod excepted) independent of head weight. Probably loose minor increments of performance on the small end of the spectrum but makes life much simpler overall.
 

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For what it's worth I just use 40lb on everything (comp. rod excepted) independent of head weight. Probably loose minor increments of performance on the small end of the spectrum but makes life much simpler overall.
I'm with Tom on this one. #40 seems to work just fine on all the lines. I occasionally have used #50 on the heavier lines, but overall #40 is my choice for all. I find less than #40 and it gets harder to handle. I can't see that any performance differences would be noticed, but that's my personal opinion, others may differ.
 

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The impact of a heavier mono and its shooting ability with a 4 wt line would be noticeable so I guess it depends how far you’re trying to cast. Keep in mind fishing is completely different than tournament casting. I agree that your mono shooting line should be compatible with the fly line line you’re using. A consideration should be given to the breaking test of your fly line, usually 30 to 40 lbs. and the knot attaching it to your mono. Losing an entire fly line would wreak my day and would be terribly irresponsible if happened with a running steelie or salmon.

The lighter you go in mono brings on some unintended consequences that negate any perceived advantages. I find the heavier oval shaped mono, 30 to 50 lb. that I use with shooting heads on my cane rods, is less prone to kinks, memory, twisting, and tangles. A 30 to 50 lb. mono is difficult to mend and I imagine 15 to 20 would be a nightmare. I frequently wade deep, frequently above my waist, feeling my way downstream along steeply inclined river banks. My loops are in contact with the swirling water which creates back eddies around my waist and this can twist and tangle your mono resulting in a “bird nest” in your rod guides when casting. Picking apart these tangles on a long switch rod while wading would be very frustrating and a risky ballet on slippery rocks in a strong current. A heavier oval shaped mono is less likely to foul and easier to untangle when it does. During a long day of fishing, especially in colder weather, a thicker oval mono is also easier to hold or pinch resulting in less “misfires” during casting.
 

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I started out with 40# Big Game and then tried a bunch of other mono running lines marketed for "fly fishing/spey casting." OPST Lazar Line, Slickshooter, Varivas (the best of high end mono), but have gone back to the basics. This past year I used Ande Backcountry mono in 40 # on my 7 wt. steelhead setup and could not tell a difference from the others. I'll be using 30# standard mono (Big Game, etc.) on my trout spey setups from 5 wt. on down once the Varivas and Lazar Line that currently occupy my trout spey reels are toast. All mono will eventually get a kink that gets progressively worse to where you have to cut out the bad section and blood knot it back together mid run. So, with that, I figure for $13 for 300 yards or so of "regular" mono compared to $20 to $30 for "spey" mono in 100' to 150' lengths, I get 900 ft. (9 spool changes worth) for the cost of one "premium" mono, that in reality doesn't shoot any better or fish any better than the regular stuff. That's a huge savings down the road for extra heads, tips, fly tying materials, etc. Costs around $1.50 per 100' doing it that way. If it gets screwed up, yank it off and spool on another 100' for $1.50. Simple.
 

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25# Lazar on the small single hand stuff. Most freshwater trout spey and light salmon 30-35# and for the bigger guns ill run 40# Lazar. I like to keep running line as light as I can get and haven't had enough problems to mention. If you have tied good knots the stretch of the line and your rod provide lots of shock absorption. Only problems would be abrasion and a bad knot and I think those are two variables we try our best with but sometimes fail miserably.
 

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Mono Running Lines are a big field for experimentation.

I for myself changed back and forwards between material, strength and type of Mono all the time since using it.
This depends on the characteristics I want/need for different fishing situations as there are fast water, slow water, deep wading, needs in distance or control and precision, etc.
Not to talk about the different shooting heads on one and the same rod.

Problem with Mono is, same label, type and material can differ a lot in characteristics when going up and down in braking strength/diameter. One diameter of the same type is perfect for a broader approach in stiffness and handling. Another one, only one size down, is rubbish, turning itself around the fingers - or one size up behaves like a steel rope in cold weather, although treated best possible.
But that’s not all. Round profile, flat profile makes a huge difference. Flat profile gives more water stick, always turning it’s flat side against the stream. Something to consider or experience and to take advantage of this respectively to avoid it, again depending on the intended use.
Stretch can be very very different and is something I for myself try to minimize as far as possible.
Floating or Intermediate or Sinking. There is no Floating Mono after some use. That’s a marketing lie.
Every Mono is sinking after some use, just more or less. To avoid fast sinking, Mono is covered with (not durable) treatment like Silicon or it is hollow. As a side effect, the latter makes a huge difference in weight per ft/meter in relation to diameter and can be used for positive effects.
And last but not least, Mono takes water and changes it’s characteristics after some use (in some cases dramatically) in all aspects: stiffness/suppleness, grip, stretch, speed of sinking, water stick, „finger stick“, etc.
Used for a weeks fishing, one Mono excels to perfect handling and casting characteristics after some hours for the rest of the week, another one is perfect in the first day and rubbish from day two.
That’s where all the different experiences and discussions of pro and Contra are coming from. A lot of variables in use and diversity’s in materials.

Mono Running line needs personal experience from own experimentation and, as far as fishing year round for different species with rods from 11’ TroutSpey to 15’ salmon rods, one will not end with one label in different sizes when experimenting enough looking for the perfect fit.

It depends...
As a rough guideline I use the following to which I always came back after all experimenting:

- Good old Ken Sawada Flat Beam Intermediate 50 lbs:
Rods 15’ in #10/11 and #9/10 (Scandi 38/40 gramm +)

- Amnesia 30 lbs/KS Flat Beam Intermediate 35 lbs (with preference for
Amnesia because of round profile with lighter heads):
13’7/14’ in #9/10 (Scandi around 34 to 38 Gramm)
and 12’6/13’ in #8/9 (Scandi around 31 to 33 Gramm)

- KS Flat Beam Floating 35 lbs for the above, when deep wading or fishing in
slow water and in general for the following:
12’6 in #7/8 (Scandi around 27 to 30 Gramm)

- Amnesia 30 lbs:
12’ -13’ for Skagit work (around 450-570 grain)
- Amnesia 25 lbs:
11’-12’ for Skagit work (around 300-420 grain)

- Varivas 30 lbs/ KS Flat Beam Floating 25 lbs
11’ to 12’6 (Scandi from 270-360 grain)

This rough guide is listed from high water stick to lowest water stick and heavy weight to lowest weight in weight to diameter ratio. But as mentioned above, there are many more variables.
Ken Sawada:
What’s to mention is, Ken Sawada is no longer available. Guideline Compline I is exactly the same, just some benefit for GL additionally... I couldn’t find a substitute until now, but I bought what I could get of it. As far as I can see, there still can be found some amount of it. GL Compline II is it’s Follower, but softer and only available in Intermediate.

I love Mono running lines and tried most of them available. I sorted them out consequently, according to the mentioned characteristics in label, type and diameter.
It’s worth to mention that I found really no benefit in the meanwhile available most expensive Mono RL’s. Not at all ! Mostly it was the opposite, especially in stretch and durability.
Don’t be fooled by the way a Mono RL is coming from the spool or frightened in case of cheaper ones. It will be very very different in use, in water and in different temperature.
The cheaper ones need some water and some treatment to stretch straight and some experience in handling. The expensive ones maybe easier in handling and use for others from the beginning.
To cover this too:
If one wants comparable characteristics between different diameters and one label for the whole rod and line arsenal, the OPST LazarLine is a good compromise. Compared to all other Mono materials it showed the least differences in the main characteristics between the different diameters. It comes from the spool very nice (what can be impressing), it’s a flat profile, it’s expensive, it’s called floating (but it’s not, at least not long). Because of its suppleness it can be beneficial for winter fishing.
That’s fast and the best no-worry-solution.

As can be seen, I didn’t go this route. If one wants the optimum, one doesn’t come away from experimenting for each rod and line setup. And it’s part of the fun. The outcome will be very individual.
Although I love using Mono RL’s, I also use some coated RL’s (really floating compared to each Mono) for special approaches. They have its place, for instance TroutSpey on smaller rivers for the most control and delicacy or winter fishing for hucho hucho between stones, gravel and ice.
I wouldn’t give them up completely.

As above, it depends...
 
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Tip no1 for all mono running line users, as Wetwader has observed, mono rarely floats for long, even when its supposed to do so!.Get used to that fact and expect it to sink.
2nd tip applying a sound heavy dousing of Aerosol Silicon based furniture polish will redress that floating running line issue for a large part of your day on the water!.It will also make your running line slipperier than cash in your wifes hands outside a shoe shop!.
3rd tip, stick to round running lines, flat running lines can stick like toast dropped jam side down, and if your waste deep in a nice oily slack back eddy, your swearing will improve no end!.Flat running lines can "keel" in the water too and get dragged round quicker and they can catch in the wind like the very devil himself!
Just be carefull on application though as if your reel isn't fully sealed it can have a considerable loosening effect on the reels brake!.Giving your reel a regular good old dowsing will do wonders for keeping your reel looking shiny and new as well as full of interesting dents as you'll keep dropping it, so slippery will it become!.
Seriously, dosing your reel will keep the mono floating longer, will get you a few more yds of distance( don't expect loads though!), using the noggin and utilising mono at the thicker end of a usable diameter will also see the mending capabilities considerably improved too!
For the ultimate, spray the running line, then run it through a soft duster cloth a time or too before use.Trust me here, this isn't a time waster!:hihi:.
Yorkie.
 
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