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The evolution from full lines to shooting heads has left me dumbfounded.

What are the advantages of shooting heads looped to a running line? Do we believe they are better fishing lines? Or is it just about casting a little farther?

What's your take? I like full lines much better.
 

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I've been asking myself this same question. Other than the "versatility" of quick head changes. At what cost? I've lost fish from the loop connection snagging in my guides while reeling in fish, very frustrating.

Companies should at least use braided loops on the rear connection of the head so it goes through the guides smoothly. I have one custom cut Vision Ace scandi head with such a loop and it's the only shooting head that slides cleanly through the guides. I've been reluctant to cut off rear loops to attach a braided loop for fear of messing with the small rear taper.

All in all, it would be nice to see companies offer existing heads with the option of integrated running lines, because more and more I find myself fishing the Delta Spey line to avoid loop transitions, even if the huge D-loop of a mid-belly puts my back against the wall.

Death to the shooting head!!! ;)
 

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I'm with you as I like full lines, mid to long would be first pick. I do fish skagits and on occasion scandi but give me a full line. When I do fish any style of head I like plain running line, I hate to fish with mono!!! It just feels like its pulling away going faster than I like or can control and is always ahead of where I think it should be. Now when I have done casting contests mono is the only way to go!!!
 

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David1123

I like full lines also. I wish Airflo made a full Scandi Line, but they don't. I just started using an Airflo 40 plus on my switch rod with polyleaders and I don't use anything else. I can spey cast with it somewhat. especially with a little wind behind me. Overhead it can throw a very long cast.
 

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All in all, it would be nice to see companies offer existing heads with the option of integrated running lines, because more and more I find myself fishing the Delta Spey line to avoid loop transitions, even if the huge D-loop of a mid-belly puts my back against the wall.

Death to the shooting head!!! ;)
I too fish Delta's and recently the Nextcast FF70's. Would love to have the option of an integrated running line on the Nextcast. I have reels for each rod and if not I could just remove head and running line. Wonder if a guy could send a Nextcast head to Steve Godshall for instance to have an integrated running line added to it. I'm with you...would love to not have that "junction" between head and running line. I think it's about distance and then about convenience of being able to switch out heads. In the mean time, I like the Nextcast enough that I'm going to be adding more.
 

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montanafos;1304273 Wonder if a guy could send a Nextcast head to Steve Godshall for instance to have an integrated running line added to it.=QUOTE said:
Absolutely. In fact anyone who can weld can do it. I weld about a 3" loop on the end of the running line (Airflo is especially good as it welds at a lower temp). Cut this loop at the end which gives you 2 strands of running line and then weld them on either side of the head(after cutting off the loop on the back of the head). If you can't weld though, Steve's the man.

You could also join the head and running line using braided mono, nail knotting both ends and Aquasealing the knots only and the junction of the two lines. Not quite as smooth going through the guides as welding though. Ed Ward shows this on SMI.
 

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The evolution from full lines to shooting heads has left me dumbfounded.

What are the advantages of shooting heads looped to a running line? Do we believe they are better fishing lines? Or is it just about casting a little farther?

What's your take? I like full lines much better.
I'm thinking it's because there are different types of running lines on the market and that it gives the user more options to choose from. Personally I prefer the cost and distance of mono running lines (I use 35/50lb Berkley Big Game which costs $15 for 300ft).
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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I started out with integrated lines but eventually ended up using heads almost exclusively.
There's pros and cons for both, of course.
 

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I also agree about the integrated lines I wish Airflo had Skagit and Scandi lines that had integrated running lines. I prefer one continuous line and not loop connections and like the feel of a fly line to hold onto and not mono. I have bought a few lines from Steve just in order to have lines that are integrated. One word of warning these lines do not have a continous core line through the junction, correct me if I am wrong. Instead they consist of two lines welded together, so the welded joint is only held together by the plastic coating. Last summer on the Big Laxa in Iceland I caught a 15 lb salmon and was quite worried as I watch the welded connection start to come undone as the fish made some large runs. Finally got the connection point onto the reel and landed the fish. I stripped off the line and sure enough the weld was failing (was a brand new line) a few tugs and it broke to reveal no continuous core through the connection. Steve replaced the line but I'm not sure on using these lines for large fish, not sure if others have had any issues or can comment.
 

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I admit that I came along slowly on the subject of shooting lines. For years I hated them and much preferred integrated lines. Then when I started casting Rio Skagit lines, the running lines were crap. I tried Slick Shooter and despised it. Finally settled on Monic and it was light years ahead of the Rio stuff available at the time.

In the last couple of years though as the integrated running lines on my beloved and well used CND GPSs started to wear out, To extend the life of the heads I went back to shooting lines. First the Ridge lines and finally the OPST Lazer. Now I'm almost totally transitioned over to Nextcast lines and am loving the OPST. It shoots far better than any non-mono line I have tried, I have no problem gripping it and I get few to no bird's nests when I'm shooting large amounts. This was not the case with the other traditional integrated and non-integrated options I have fished.

I agree that the SGS built "integrated" junctions move well through the guides but while I like the performance of his bellies, the running lines seem overly soft and sticky to me.
 

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I have an SA Skagit Extreme that came as one full line with integrated sink tip.I think it's still in their line up.I cut off the the tip and re looped so I could use a wider variety sink tips. I agree with the notion looped shooting heads and running lines are not so great. I would love to have a floating head line with an integrated durable floating mono runner. May be some years down the road for that kind of technology.
 

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JD
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welded loops

Anyone willing to invest a few bucks in shrink tubing and some sort of heating devise can learn to fabricate welded loops equal, or better than factory loops. I've used just about everything ranging from cigarette lighters, small torches, various irons, heat guns, you name it. You don't have ot invest mega bucks to get into this game. My loops go through the guides without any problem at all.
 

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Cost.

I will tell you one thing I like.... you can try a lot of different heads for 50 bucks or so brand new... and even less used!! That is dirt cheap even compared to a full single hand line that can come in at 90 bucks for a line!! That seems crazy to me. But i do enjoy the fact that heads are so much cheaper than full lines. I think in a perfect world I would try out every head i could get my hands on... find the few that i really like... and then buy the full line when I knew what I wanted.
 

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Give me a full line anytime. Make it one with a long back taper, six feet like the old NC or the GPS lines. Long back tapers create loft in the cast - some more than others - but it is a notable difference from casting heads. This the one reason I prefer full integrated lines over heads.

Cost isn't too much a difference IMO once you gather the running line/head/tips and since most guys will eventually follow suit with a second (scandi) head - it really does equal out. Consider that a lot of us have multiple rods and reels, that we probably have multiple head shooting systems and/or full-lines also.

For the angler with a single rod though - running line/shooting heads are only slightly more versatile, especially if it is a compacted head like a NW skagit head or a WA35.
 

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I think it's pretty simple: heads are just convenient in terms of maximum versatility with minimal extra stuff to haul around, and the cheeper cost of owning multiple lines. Makes it easy to change lines for lots of different fishing situations with no need for extra reels/spools. Clearly a full integrated line is nice to cast, and no issues of loop connections, but this does come at some costs $$$.

I think if I were looking at fishing primarily one line for extended periods, then a full line sounds great. For me, given that I fish a lot of different situations from trip to trip I like being able to simply swap out a head and I really don't find the loop to loop connection issue to be that much of a hassle. I'm quite fine with shooting heads for most of my fishing situations.
JB
 

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I have swapped in recent years to using Scandi heads rather than full lines (not exclusively though, I still use the long head/ full lines on occasion), but I prefer the over length uncut heads which I custom cut to suit the way I like to feel the rod load.

The plus side of this is that I generally then fix a braided loop, either a Roman Moser shooting head loop, or I make one from 50 lb hollow braided nylon for the heavier heads, these generally go through the rings fairly easily.

On a couple of home made heads (cut down from older full lines) to use on a light switch rod I have put a long loop of 30 lbs nylon which I passed the end up through the core of the line for about 3/8 ths of an inch using a needle which once on place is heated up with a candle before being withdrawn so the hole stays open & the nylon is passed through & out the side of the line & then nail knotted around the line. A long loop is then formed with a Bimini twist & both knots covered with aquasure, this is good on the switch as it as smaller lighter rings which are more prone to jamming on the loop, but this seems to work just fine.

If you are only going to use 1 line on a particular reel or spool, & if you use mono running line, then you could attach the running line directly this way giving an "integrated" head/ mono running line combo; later you can always cut the running line 4 ft from the join & form a loop as described above if you want to carry multiple heads to swap out on the one running line.

Regards, Tyke.
 

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Head systems....easier to switch, choice of running lines (I may use different in winter vs. summer), potential for greater distance. Varies with the line, but, on average, easier to maintain a consistent hold/overhand point.

I was not a convert to the head systems at first either, now, however, I prefer them. Not just convenience, they perform differently, particularly backed with mono or another thin runner like monic, and going back to full lines feels odd. I think a lot of this is what you are used to.
 

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It's Heads for me

I've found over the years that I've migrated away from full body lines. I like using one of 2 reels between 6 rods. The lines I use range from Nextcast WA70 and FF70 on the 15' and 16'6 rods to Airfflo Scandis and Skagits on the shorter rods. Just changing heads is so much simpler. I cast several times a month 12 months out of the year and settled on Grip Shooter running lines and have no problems.
 
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