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As we start to refine the next generation of XLT's to conform to the new Spey line single weight standards, I thought it would be great to get some input from the Board, as now (before they go into production) is a good time!

Although ANY feedback, positive OR negative is always appreciated, I would especially welcome feedback on the following:

1. belly length per line weight
2. how much y'all like to shoot; i.e. would you like a little shorter belly and shoot more
3. turnover - happy or not happy
4. line weights you would like to see and which rods you would use
5. buoyancy and feel of the line: like it? don't like it?

Currently, we are planning on a floating version only, as not everyone wants to chop and loop, but a virtual show of hands interested in a pre-looped version for tips would be helpful too...

Thanks much, and Merry Christmas!

Way
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Way,

I'd like to see them offered in 6/7 7/8, 8/9, 9/10, 10/11, and 11/12 with the higher number being the actual new spey line standard wt of the line because this would make it easy for a person to know what line to get whether he prefered a little less load or a little more load. The rods I use are T&T and Loomis GLX's and I will be getting myself one of Meiser's new fast, progressive 16' 8/9/10 rods when he gets development finished and will use an 8/9 long belly on it.

I'd like to see the belly of the 6/7 and 7/8 to be 75' or 80' because the vast majority of rods for those line sizes are under 14' and more than 80' of belly is overkill, epecially on the 12' and 13' rods. The 8/9 with a belly of 85' I think would be perfect since there are only a few 15' 8/9 rods on the market, but a lot of 13' and 14' ones. The 9/10 I'd like to see have a belly of 95' and the 10/11, and 11/12 with a belly of 100'-105'. The reason I'd like to see 100'-105' for the belly on the 10/11 and 11/12 is because the majority of rods suited to them are 15' or longer and the 100'-105' belly would be no problem with the longer rods.

How much I shoot depends on how far I'm casting on a particular run. With my 8/9 rod I rarely fish beyond 95' with most of the fishing done at 75' or less, but with my 16' 11 wt I fish out to 130' in some runs, but most of my fishing with the 16' rod is under 90'. If you use the belly lengths I noted above, most of the time there will be little or no shooting of line. And those belly lengths will easily allow casting out to those distant lies one may wish to fish with shooting a little line.

I'd like to see the end of the line a bit thicker to help with turnover, expecially on the lighter line sizes of 6/7, 7/8, and 8/9. The turnover of the higher line weights could be just a tad better than the current line to help turning over flies like Bombers, Waller Wakers, etc.

Line bouyancy of the current line is fine. However, I'd like to see less stretch in the line, which would aide in picking up long lengths of line when fishing sink tips.

Having the line available with a loop added for an extra $5.00 to $10.00 over the uncut or un-looped line I think would be a boon to fishers. This would allow easy use of sink tips and it would eliminate the guesswork that far too many indulge in when cutting lines for sink tips.
 

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Dr. Yin,

I LOVE these lines. I have extensive FISHING use of the 6/7, 7/8, and 8/9. Very little with the bigger lines (too heavy for my tastes on any rod).

1. For fishing purposes I have modified the 6/7, 7/8, 8/9 by taking out the fattest 10'- from 80' to 90'. And spliced in additional running line to extend overall length to around 140'. For suggestions I would say at a min. 10' shorter from the 6/7 is about right for the rods it's used on. Shorten 5' from either the 7/8 or 8/9.

2. I found that by pulling the heaviest 10' the line shoots better. When fishing large summer rivers I regularly shoot a range of zero to 40' with an average of 20'.

3. Please keep taper mods. to a mininum. If people are struggling with turnover they are, at one point or another, missing the timing. The smooth turnover with razor edged loop capability is what sets this line apart from any factory line currently, or previously, available. I would add an 'instruction' manual for fine tuning the line through cutting the tip back. Leave it an option for those who absolutely LOVE the current set up.

4. This is tricky. For my tastes, actual fishing casts, I like the current 7/8 on the T&T 1409-3 at all distances. Same for the T&T 1510-3 when casting 80' (of line) or more. When fishing up to 80' the 8/9 works better on that rod. The 6/7 works well up to about 60' (of line) on the T&T 1307. Those are my favorites. Any lines specifically designed with these rods would be, oh, PERFECT. :saevilw: I agree with Russ on the numbering system.

5. This is my only negative complaint. Once the line gets some hours of use the front 15' or so becomes semi-intermediate. From outright sinking to running too deep in the surface film. Cleaning and dressing cures the problem for about 45 minutes. This trait totally changes the casting properties. What feels very slick out of the box quickly fades into requiring additional rod to make the casts. Chop, swirls, riffles, upwellings, all make it worse. I solved the 'problem' by going to longer heavier wt rods to combat the line stick. Enough meat to get the line up and out under most situations. However as the lines get heavier this problem decreases.

6. While I have no plans to use the line for tips, to be competetive with the new Grand Speys it should be an option.

Merry Christmas,

William
 

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Here we go again!
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I have been fishing modified XLT's on very light speys and would like to see a true 5/6 and 6/7 line. By that I mean that they match these ultra-lights without modification. The forward taper of the XLT is fantastic, thus the desire to modify them to work with lighter rods. The lines I've been using on Meiser's 1356 and 12'6" 4/5/6 are a 7/8, cutting back the heaviest belly section by a dozen feet, and a 6/7 cutting nearly 30 feet of the heaviest belly out, respectively. Removing a couple of feet from the tip makes for much better turnover. The above mods obviously shorten the line, but even for these ultra-lights I'd like to see a line that has at least a 70 foot head. The other comparable line on the market for the 4/5/6 is the Hardy Mach I Plus at 64 feet and there is no problem with picking up and moving the entire line, so a 70 foot 5/6 XLT should be a very desireable and manageable line even for 12 footers.

I wouldn't necessarily want to see the XLT lines shortened much, as one of the great things about these lines is that you can pick up and cast longer lengths than any other line on the market. I think they just need to have the grain weights adjusted to fit the rod size they are intended to be cast on. I realize that this is a difficult thing to do as it is subjective as to the individual preference of the caster and the action of the rod, but very often it seems that the forward tapers (first 40 to 50 feet) are grained out perfectly but the belly needs to be a tick lighter.

As to the finish of the lines outer coating, the slickness found in the Airflo lines is something to strive for, IMHO.
 

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SA-spey lines, redifine XLT

Looking at the XLT (through the eyes of a fisherman, not distance competition caster) there is a lot to improve. First I would like to look at the whole line of spey lines that SA has to offer. Right now there are three (full floating versions): Short Spey, Spey line and XLT. I would like to keep the Short Spey as it is and make a tip version of this line (to replace the versi tip spey). I would skip the Spey Line and make a shorter version of the XLT line.

Thsi new XLT line should have a shorter belly (65-70 feet) a fairly short front taper (8-10 feet) so it will turn over much more aggressively. In this way we can turn over heavy poly-leaders and big heavy tubes and flies. The new XLT should have a 15 foot back taper for smooth shootability.

I find the current XLT to heavy for a fishing line, the line can't turn over heavy poly tips and big flies. The belly is simply to long for modern spey casting (ist nice for competion of a casting platform, but not fishing when you'er deep , till your tits, in a pool). You need a pretty long rod to lift the belly, those long rods are yust tyering to fish.

So there is a lot to improve when you want to make this line a fishing line, look at making it easier to pick the line up from the water.

Looking forward to the results.
 

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I have been casting the XLT's when I want long pickups and low-strip count casts and love the 6/7 when I don't ffeel like fishing with a big heavy spey rod. This getup is able to cast the entire line without too much effort on 15ft rods. The way the XLT shoots is very impressive for a long belly. I would describe it as having a lot of momentum once it gets going.

I do notice tho it';s hard to get the sagginess out of the loop when making a long cast. The same rod throws lasers with other lines. Maybe the length and weight pulls the running line from the back end helping the shoot but it also seems to pull too much slack into the bottom of the loop and it falls quick so I am thinking it's the line. As long as it does not hit the water before the line straightens out, I guess ite really doesn't matter. But I cast it for hours to try to reduce this and switched to other lines and could get the bottom half to go like a tightrope with them.

I would like as Moose says a lighter 5/6 verrsion but not shorter. There's no point in that, the XLT's prupose is to be a long belly option and it does that well.

I would like to see the taper be less saggy on long casts (I don't even know if its a taper problem) but shortening it would just make it another longer line, not the long belly it is now.

thanks to you and Bruce for a fine spey line!
 

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Speyngineer
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New XLT

Hey Way,

First of all, all my comments are besed on experience on the 8/9 XLT. I use it with 10/11 rods, for which I find both its bellylength and weight spot on. I cannot resist this opportunity to give some feedback on a line, which is very good, and very hard to better.

Length of the belly: If SA wishes to make shorter belly lines, fine, but IMHO the XLT should be an eXtra Long Taper-line, as it is and has been. So the length of the 8/9 line (10/11 for me :D ) is perfect , 90 ft or so, was it?

Tip Turnover: I have used the 8/9 XLT with various sizes of flies, from Loop Brass bottles to Sunray Shadows, and have had absolutely no problem with the turnover, although the tip of the line seems to be very thin.

Shooting capability: Also the shooting capability of the line is great, no problem there either, although some extreme caster might want to change the running line, but they would do it anyway, whatever the running line and its properties.

XLT for Tips: for my use, the longbelly lines are utilized when near surface fly presentation is needed, the flies used are either normally tied into single and double hooks, or brass bottle tubes, no dry fly stuff with 2-handers. If sunkline is needed, then I normally take shooting heads with various sinking rates, such as GuideLine Power Tapers S2/S3 etc. So I have no need for a extra longbelly speyline with sinking tips and such.

Buoancy: As I use XLT for subsurface flies, the floating properties of the tip is of no concern, and obviously no problems have been encountered there.

From all of my Speylines, SA DT, WC, MS, GS and XLT, the XLT is the line, with which I can achieve the longest of casts consistently, and I find it a seriously good longbelly speyline. If you can improve it, good, but I doubt that it can be done :D . However, the line designation could be somewhat cleared such, that in addition to indicating the 80 ft SpeyLine standard designation, you could also indicate the SpeyLine std of the whole belly. E.g. Std Spey 10 (at 80 ft), 11 at 100 ft (whole belly), or something similar, I am sure you get the point. Although being non-standard, also decimals could be used, such as 10.1 or 10.5, as the standard allowables are so big, that a line could almost be a heavy 10 or a light 11 with the same numbers.

WBR, Sauli Liukkonen, Finland
 

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Steelhead Dreamer
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The reason I use the XLT lines in 6/7, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10, and 10/11 is that even for a beginner like myself they turn over beautifully and don't require shooting line. If I wanted to shoot and strip I would use a single handed rod.

Keep the tapers and lengths as they are. They work. The only real improvement would be to have someone else's coating so you have a floating line that actually floats :hihi:

Regards,
 

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Hi Way,
I have used the 7/8 alot on the 1287 and more recently on the ACR (Anderson's rod) 13'3" 7 and love this line. It is light and easy to use for its length - it does not take much effort at all to pick up 80 feet of line - the long taper really makes this line a pleasure to use at all distances - it is just a flick to get 50 feet out plus a long leader!! I have had some turn over problems under windy conditions and a bit beefier tip might help. I have cut and spliced this line at 22 feet and it throws tips with as much ease as many shorter head lines.

As others have mentioned this line seems to really shoot well even with some of the heavy portion inside the rod tip - I will often hold around 80 ft and pretty easily reach out to 100 or better when shooting.

I have had less opportunity to fish the 9/10 on the ARC 1509 but you can pretty easily fish this line out beyond 100 feet with not much effort - again great with tips and really shoots well.
 

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Swinger of Flies
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XLT's.....even better?

First of all - Thank You for asking us fishermen for input / feedback. Thats pretty cool and you dont see that much in anything now-a-days.

I've been using a 7/8 on a brown Sage 9150. I will try a 6/7 on my 7136...but I am skeptical of the weight. My only real complaint is the weight factor. Now that most rod MFG's are providing us with a grain capacity of a rod rather than a line designation it takes alot of the guess work out of lining a rod. The XLT is super heavy - which fits the longer, high line weight rods. The rod MFG's are coming out with light-line rods which are pretty fun and nice to cast.....the 6/7 XLT is too heavy for them plain and simple. Most of these rods in the 12/13/14 ft range that are coming out are esssentially SPOT ON with Rio Mid type weights. Throwing an additional 300 plus grains for a 6/7 XLT defeats the purpose of a CRISP, Light rod. I think the weight needs to cut considerably.....but I think the belly lengths are good. This line was designed to be a extended belly which serves (from the fishing standpoint) to NOT need to be shot. For my preference, I couldnt agree with Halcyon more - If I wanted to shoot I'd use my single hander. If there is a lie that I cannot get to.....I leave it for those who are better casters than me. I learned on a long belly and plan on staying with long belly. As my learning curve improves...I'll be able to reach those lies. I dont plan on doing any tournament casting so I could care less about the lines shootability. I've got a single hander that I can shoot just fine!

From my experience, the line turns over Very Well (when my casting is on). The light, long front taper is super smooth coming out of the water and is effortless. It may not be a good match for weighted/heavier flies (which could probably be tweaked a LITTLE bit if a Tips version is designed). I have never noticed the front taper of the line becoming water logged. I have been very pleased with the coating of ALL SA lines (single and double handed versions). I have not cast any Airflo lines so I cant compare the 2 for coating. I prefer SA coating over Rio.

An XLT looped with Tips.....I'd Buy it!! My current tip set up is a GS which does the job.....BUT when compared the XLT the XLT is just sweeter, in my opinion to cast. I'm cutting an XLT as soon as I get home from the middle east and Tipping it for my winter fishing.

I think if the XLT can have its weight cut down a bit (in the lighter versions) and maybe even a 5/6 wt version introduced....lets say for a CND Solstice (Rod is grained at around 450 - hence throwing a Rio Mid is spot on) would be a real treat for the Fall. For the guys that enjoy the traditional style of casting - we're pretty limited (main factor being Weight of long bellies) and are pretty much stuck with throwing 14/15/16 ft rods. If the lines come into the rating standard, that will allow the use of the XLT with A LOT more rods.

In closing, I'm an allright caster who learned on a long belly. harder to start, but better in the long run. If the weight can be cut down a couple hundred grains this line is without peer. A 5/6 would be awesome! A Tip version would certainly be a great line.....and would save us the work of cutting them up and looping. I cant wait to see what happens!!!
 

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Meant to comment on the taper lengths. I still like WC and Deltas for short work and heavy tips where casting room is at a premium and am looking foreward to the skagit lines when they come out but there are a number of intermediate line lengths already available - Midspey, Delta Long, etc so I see no reason to shorten the heads on the xlt which really fills in a needed niche. In fact since I got the xlt I have not strung up a mid length line as I see not real advantages that they offer that you can't do with the xlt. The xlt casts ok at the short distances (the WC types do it maybe better) but the xlt really shines out at 60+ feet to as far as your technique will let you go. It casts very easily at 70 feet (the mid length lines lengths) but shoots very well even with portions of the heavy belly inside so see no reason to go to a mid belly line when the xlt does well at these intermediate distances and when conditions warrant it does great out at its full head length and beyond. So I would hope you keep the lengths where they are.
 

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Hi Way,

As you know, I really like these lines. They’re what I use most of the time. The belly lengths seem just right to me. And I agree with William — don’t change the tapers much. They are the sweetest casting, smoothest, most effortless lines on the market — with the possible exception of the Jetstreams which have shorter heads and require more shooting/stripping. That said, if you did make another shorter version with comparable performance, it would be nice to have a line that would be less expensive than the Jetstream.

I rarely shoot line with XLTs, but when I do, it’s probably more like 15 to 20’. One of the reasons I like the lines is precisely because I can cast the length of line I’m fishing with no shooting. It’s amazing how easily I can pick up and recast these long lengths of line. However, I admit that most of the rivers I fish (with the exception of some situations on the Kola) I rarely have to fish much more than 100’. But at moderate to semi-long lengths, these lines are the smoothest, best casting lines made (although I do have one of the new designation 8/9 GS lines that I haven’t tried yet).

The one main situation where I don’t use XLTs is with heavy winds. I switch to a Jetstream or WC (sometimes I’ll use a GS). In heavy winds, I have problems with XLT turnover — especially so if I have large or heavy flies. Depending on where I’m fishing and if the winds that day aren't really heavy, I sometimes choose an XLT one line weight heavier — especially if I don’t need extreme distance.

Following are the rods/lines that I use. Burkheimer 1338 — XLT 7/8; Burkheimer 1398 — 7/8 and 8/9; Scott ARC 1509 — 8/9 and 9/10. With the last two rods, I use the heavier line if I’m using tips.

The one change I’d really like is the ability to better handle heavy winds and heavy flies. I’ll probably show my ignorance at line design & performance with this idea, but would a new front taper with existing dimensions, but that is progessively stiffer toward the tip provide the same overall smoothness but better turnover?

I don’t have any problems with buoyancy. A tips version would be nice, I suppose, but I’m pretty happy with the ones I’ve made.

I like Russ’s idea of number designations.

Best,

Bill
 

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Way,

As you you I am quite partial the the XLT style of line, so I am looking forward to seeing the 6/7and 7/8 XLTs after they have been brought into line with the new specs. The many new 6 and 7 weight rods that have come into the market this year need some long belly lines.

Here is another thought re sink-tips. One of the advantages of the extreme long belly line is the reduced need for stripping when fishing at longer fishing distances. Yet when you cut a long belly like the XLTs back to where it turns over serious heads - you now have a considerably shortened line - that now requires stripping.

To remedy this I have been adding a piece of level line (about 12-15' of #10) to extend the line as well as compensate for the grains lost by removing the long tip. This has worked for me quite well - but I am decidedly non-scientific about the process. I am certain that someone more inclined to the actual physics of line weights and such could come up with a "sink-tip compensator" for the XLT which would keep the line weight tuned as was intended, yet turn over tips and eliminate excess stripping while fishing tips.
 

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peter-s-c said:
That's the thing that struck me when I first read of people buying XLTs then hacking 23' off the front end -- why bother? Why not buy a line that's designed to fish at that length rather than buy a longer one then shorten it to make it work the way you prefer?
The reason you bother is because this is primarily a floating line — IMHO the best long line on the market. Plus, when you cut it back, you're not losing much length at all — you add back another 15 - 18 ft of sink tip. Seems little sacrifice in overall length to fish sink tips. Shooting the extra 5 or 10' you lost by cutting off the front end isn't a problem. And when you put the floating tip back on you have the same line you started with.

Keep in mind, this is primarily a floating line — not a do-everything line.

I really don't want the line changed much. But if it can be improved a bit to turn over really heavy flies and handle stiffer winds, that would be great. I don't mind changing lines (and even rods) in really heavy winds.

Bill
 

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loco alto!
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I use the 7/8 on a Burkie 8139 and T&T 1509, and have played a bit with the 8/9 on several 15' rods.

Here's what I would change
1) in these weights, make the tip a little thicker for floatation and turnover
2) mist green belly (+ orange running line)
3) less stretchy

Here's what I would not change
4) overall taper
5) long rear taper (awesome fishing qualities)
6) 23-28' cut point for tips

Like most, I can't cast tips as well as a full floater, so the loss of 10' is no big deal when using tips. I prefer tips lines with 75-80' belly anyway. I suppose if I was a better caster and/or used 16-17' rods, then I might think otherwise.

how about changing the name to the SA Bubba Spey?
 

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Peter

In addition to Atlantic salmom I also fish summer steelhead in the NW. And I agree, I wouldn't think of the XLT as a first choice if I were to fish the few GL rivers I've seen. I fish floating lines most of the time. The rivers where I fish tips the casts are probably a bit longer than the requirements of many GL rivers. As I attempted to say, these lines aren't for everyone in every situation.

I'd never heard of people knocking off that much of the lines to fish them. I agree, that would be pretty silly.

Bill
 

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Speyngineer
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peter-s-c said:
I still believe that Rio rated the original GrandSpey based on the belief that the vast majority of us would never be able to lift and cast the entire head so they adjusted the weight of the line to make it work with 20' or so of the main belly still on the reel and in the guides. A lot of long-bellies get sold to guys with long-bellied dreams and short to mid-bellied skills. So, do you build a line for the guys who can really cast it or build one for the guys who hope that one day, they might just manage it if the planets line up just so? I'm glad I don't have to sort this out.
I could not agree more with you Peter, but that is perhaps not two different lines, just add some numbers to the box :D

I cannot see the point in using a 100 ft belly-line, if you never used the last 30 ft of the belly in casting. What I mean is, that if one always casts less than or 70 ft of line out of the tip ring, why not use a midbelly, as one shoots the rest of the line anyway, and shooting a thin line is much easier than a thick one. Also the line propably must be heavier to load the rod. If however one is capable of casting the whole belly without shooting, when needed in a fishing situation, then there is imho some advantage of the longer belly. Then one must go down with the line size propably though.

In the old days, we could only guess, what is the "design point" for any given line, now we know, that it is 80 ft for the longbellies. Would also like to see the rating of the whole belly, if different from the 80 ft line class. :Eyecrazy:
 

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Peter

Thinking about "it's not a do-everything" line — it's really true. As a matter of fact, for many of us, I don't think there is such a thing.

Just the differences in our personal needs: You fish primarily GL tribs. You fish primarily sink tips. Your two most used casts are a circle-C and a double spey. I can honestly say I can't even remember the last time I used a double spey as a fishing cast. My two most used casts are a single spey and snake roll. I fish coastal rivers. I fish primarily floating lines, without weighted flies. On the rivers I fish most often — on the Gaspé, in New Brunswick and the North Umpqua weighted flies are illegal. It's obvious an XLT is not an appropriate line for your needs. If you fished different rivers, your requirements might change. I'm sure if I fished your rivers (and certainly winter PNW rivers) mine would change, as well. We tailor our equipment to best suit the fishing we do.

Bill
 

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I think the xlt is a great tip line and as others stated you only lose 6 to 10 feet when you loop it for a 15' tip. I like Kush's idea of the add on for those that regularly fish out to the full head distances and beyond. I really don't see the need to change this line to make it both a tip and a floating line - it works well as both and still qualifies as a long belly, not a mid belly line.

Regarding Peter's comment - you can't design a long belly line for those that can't cast a long belly line so the line is not for everyone and it was not designed for everyone. If you want a long belly line I think this is the easiest to cast. If you never or rarely cast over 70 feet you don't need this line - that is why there are so many to chose from. But I often am casting to 90 feet and beyond so the 88' to 100'+ heads depending on line size are fun to use and they still work well at medium distances so I much prefer them to the mid belly lines that for most of my fishing do not seem to serve much purpose. If I am fishing short and with heavy tips I prefer the short belly lines so though I have a couple of mid bellies I have not used them since I got the xlt.
 

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Over all make a belly length adjustment to fit new standards, different core as the present has to much stretch, different coating so the tip is not a sinker after a couple hours of use, have a color change between head and running line.
On the 6/7 & 7/8 adjust them so they work on the shorter rods, 13' or there abouts.
Leroy.........................
 
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