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Took out the 200 grain head this weekend. Crazy experience.

Some back story. I lived in Oregon for years. Spent all my time chasing steelhead with two handlers. Due to life changes I now in Colorado fishing for trout here and in southern Wyoming.

4 years or so ago I started trying to fish how I did for steel only scaled down a little. Years of converted single ganders and custom lines. Lines as light as 180 grains at 12ft.

Recently I had been using a skagit Max 225 at 17ft on a converted 5wt single handed rod. It cast t8 mow tips and poly leaders great. Weighted 2.5 inch bugs no problem. Distances to 80ft sure.

When I saw the new 11ft heads I thought yes! Finally a commercial line ready to go so I ordered up the 200. Now they need to make factory rods shorter than 10'6" with smaller grips too but I can wait.

First half our I thought the new head sucked big time. It felt like just casting a spinner. No feel of the d loop and it did not turn over well. But quickly I slowed down and it started to cry together. You need to go slow and wait a small pause to let the d loop form and the tip to stick to the water. With it so short a blown anchor is very easy. Once I slowed down it started to come together. Getting the tip to roll out straight was tough but possible.

The line worked nice with the 5/5 t8 and a small leach fly. I bet it would cast 10ft of t8 no problem.

The thing I really liked was how it swung. It was easy to control the head and steer it how I wanted. It is so short it was not too affected by the currents on the water.

I remember at the sandy clave about 6 years ago maybe someone demoed an 8ft head as part of the demonstration. I don't remember who it was but I always remembered him casting it and talking about how it fished. Anyway these heads reminded me of that day for sure.

I did not try it with a light tip and small flies but plan too soon.

I was fishing a river in Wyoming with plenty of room to cast and wide runs. I looped on the 17ft head and I couldn't even cast it. It felt like casting a long belly.

The rod I use is a converted 9ft 5wt. Now around 9'3" with lower handle. I couldn't imagine casting these heads on longer rods but I am sure it would work. The loop to shooting line was tough on the small single handed guides on the rod but it works.

Really cool heads. If you are thinking of trying them give it a shot. If you are looking to use on single handed 4 or 5 at rods look into the ospt commandos. Since the line is so short and compact it can be much lighter. The 200 on my 5wt is more than enough. Thinking a 175-180 might be money at that short length.
 

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I agree on the short rods with the new heads, thanks to Riveraddict (Ed Ward), these lines are now commercially available.

Last weekend I was testing my new OPST Commando heads on a Sage 3110 ONE trout spey and decided to check out the single hand trout rods.

A 175gr on my TFO 8'9" 4wt was very nice,,, this winter I will convert the rod to include a short 3" butt section for micro spey. I may also add more upper cork length to match up my little trout spey rods.

Have not yet tried the 150gr on my 8'9" 3wt however, I expect it to be right on, another conversion planned.

A fisherman upriver visited me in the parking lot when I was packing up,,, he stated that it looked like I was casting a spinning rod with a lure and was prepared to give me grief for using it in a fly fishing only river section.

Regards,
FK
 

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Yes, I think mono shooting lines exacerbate this spin cast effect. I don't use mono behind my Commando. Frankly, I don't see the point, not when I can comfortably cast 80 feet like nothing with a polyurethane running line (a 30# Ridge Extreme).

There's a good view of this spin cast effect on the OPST YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M24h0SHBSCg&t=4m25s. Had I not known any better, I would've thought it was a spin fishing cast. It really put me off to mono shooting lines. It begins at 4:25 into the video.

Watching it again, I'd say the cast appears to be a fly-cast/spin-cast hybrid.
 

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Rio Trout Skagit and OPST Commando

I had the chance to spend time with these lines over the weekend, and I dig 'em both. It's crazy to be able to deliver and turn over big heavy streamers on such light gear.

I've been using a 200gr Commando on my 4wt Echo SR since it came out. The light MOWs work a bit better than the polys for streamers. If I was looking to scale down the fly then I'd probably roll with a polyleader. I've really liked the concept and have gotten used to not having to wait for the d-loop.

My question about the Rio Trout Skagits has been if you should go lighter, like OPST recommends you do with theirs. After having cast the Rio lines over the weekend, I was comfortable with the Rio 225gr on my 4wt SR...where I had liked the 275gr Rio Short Max before. The 250gr felt like it was too much (for me anyway).

I also spent time with the 4wt Winston Microspey and really liked the 250gr Rio Trout Skagit on it with 10' of T-8. It had plenty of power to do what I needed it to.

All in all, great lines, and great additions to the arsenal. Now, if we could get these heads with an integrated running line (HINT HINT) they'd be perfect...
 

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I agree an integrated line would be great. I often retrieve close in on my switch rod and the loop from line to running line is a pain
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think as the line gets shorter you need to lighten the load too. Total load. So yes you need to go lighter because of the physics behind it.

The weight per foot might go up but total weight should go down. If you cast a 250 20ft head and then put on a 250 11ft head it will feel very heavy. So much more of that weight packed into less line.
 

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IMG_0808.jpg I integrate heads with runners by using braided mono tubing like Chinese finger cuffs. A little nail knot of P-line hydrofloat on each end and just enough zap a gap to cover the knots(don't get any on the fly line,pvc gets cracky and brittle when hit with glue). And maybe a little zap where the tips of the lines touch inside the braided mono tubing(but not really necessary,hinging matters not in this area). The connection makes a noise going through the guides but does not catch at all...very smooth. This will work with mono runners as well,just gotta finesse it real sweet with the nail knots. Loop to loop connects are the bane of a troutspeynuts existence.
 

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View attachment 147842 Loop to loop connects are the bane of a troutspeynuts existence.

absatively, posolutely true. when will linemakers figure it out ?

your solution is great. one I will be trying soon, even for repairs fof factory integrated lines. why the p-line ? what diameter pline and braided section?
 

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That p-line is 30 lb. test. I use it because it floats but I am sure any line that has good knot strength and abrasion resistance would do fine in it's place.The braided mono tube,I am not sure on exact diameter. Any good braided mono tubing you trust will work. It's gonna be a little tight on one side and a little loose on the flip to fit the shooting head and runner respectively(depending on the existence of a back taper on the head). Tip to tip nice and tight inside the tubing. When the glue dries on the nail knots and you give everything a stretch for the strength check, the connection will be good with minimal hinging.
 

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absatively, posolutely true. when will linemakers figure it out ?
The line makers already have integrated lines however, at at very high retail $$.

Airflow Streamer Switch = $100

RIO Switch Chucker = $100

Wulff Ambush = $90

With the in-line splice,,, if you are not happy with the head weight,,, just splice in another head.

Regards,
FK
 

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I find very little hangup/disturbance by clinch knotting my mono running line (25lb Berkley BG Solar Collector for trout) to the loop on the shooting head. Yes it will eventually wear out but can then just put a braided loop on shooting head.
 
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