I have the Ace Vision floating head on my 8 wt along with the Airflo Skagit shooting head. They are very different. I use the Ace line with a 14ft poly leader and 6 ft of tippit. I use the Skagit line to get my sinking tips up and out the head really casts them well ... using type 6 or T-14 tips from 7 - 15ft in length. Both the heads attach easily to my Rio tactical running line with a built in loop. Just roll one up and shove it in my head wallet. Nice system ... works well.
Hmmm... let me elaborate. I think the idea of using a tungsten 14ft sink tip is fine on a Vision Ace floating head to get down a little and didn't want to mess with changing heads but if you were thinking of using a full sink tip and having the Ace head cast it ... to be honest I haven't tried it. The Ace head has a much longer front taper and I don't think it would "support" a sinking head and allow mending, etc the way a skagit head does ... (cast, lift set it up, mend and fish). I've just tried the Airflo Skagit head and haven't tried the Rio Skagit head. Basicly I'm using a system put together by the Hazel's at Deschutes Anglers. Works for me.
Rio Skagit heads have a very short (3ft) front taper, and no rear taper. Looped at each end. They will rip a heavier sink tip out of the water and carry a heavier, bulkier fly than either the Ace Short or the AirFlo heads. The trade off is, they turn over harder, which may be considered good or bad, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. It is my understanding that what Rio refers to as a Skagit floater is, in fact, only a 15' floating tip to be used with a Skagit line or a Skagit head. It is like the tapered front end of a conventional fly line rather than a poly leader.
Ace heads come in three lengths, regular, long & short. They are an asymmetrical head, having a short blunt rear taper, and a longer finer front taper. No loops on either end. Build your own. I am currently using the 9/10 short head (which I have cut back 20 inches from the front end) along with 10 ft of CCT 330. This gives me a 26'-4" head weighing 480 gr + a 10' tip weighing 165 gr. It works, although I may trim it back a bit more to fine tune it. Need to play it it some more.
The Airflo head comes packaged with a tip wallet and a 20' CCT200. Since I have three tip wallets (which I dont use) laying around, and I find CCT200 too light for my use, I am reluctant to pay $80 for one of these heads.
I find it interesting that the Hazels put these two systems together like they did. I would think either of these heads would be capable of casting that poly leader/tippet/fly. And the right Ace Short head should be able to handle your tips as well.
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