Shooting Head Recommendation Needed

lanyard

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I'm trying to get a start with the double haul cast, and I've heard suggestions to use a shooting head line. I'm using a whippy, starter Cabela's 6 wt.

My question is, what are the reasonable options for a shooting head line, that will also be useful when it comes time to use on small to medium size, freshwater rivers and streams?

Thanks in advance.
 

osseous

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Who gave you that advice?

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lanyard

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An FFI instructor and I also saw it on a Mel Krieger video on the topic.
 

lanyard

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(what I'm really elated about is that I received an email notification of a response...that has not been working for me in months)
 

osseous

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In 25+ years as a casting instructor (incl FFI) I have never heard of that as a means of learning the haul

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lanyard

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Well, maybe somebody else will see this and comment. Unfortunately, the instructor who told me that is now deceased, so I can't delve into it with him. Dont know about Mr. Krieger.
 

Ard

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OK, I read the thread and am not certified by anyone however I am a student of the Ardster School of Hard Knocks ;)

That said I do agree with our other poster in that I would not advise a shooting head for double haul training.

It would work but you must remember that you will be limited to the length of the head with reference to how much line you will be able to aerialize in the false casting exercise. Behind that head you will have a thin running / shooting line and if you allow it out the tip top while false casting the casts will deteriorate rapidly.

So .... I personally like a standard WF line for what you are getting into. You describe your rod as 'whippy' and this is good information to provide when seeking advice. Based on your description of the rod action and that you want to evolve your distance casting I think you might consider under lining by one or by 1/2 if you can find one.

I say this ^^^ because if the rod lacks stiffness and you plan to cast a full length of line with some gusto you may find the #6 WF line to be cumbersome. Does that make sense?

I have not tried the RIO single hand Spey in a six weight or 5 but I do have several in 8 weight and they are what I would call a cross between a WF and a Shooting head line with integrated running line. This line has a 34 foot head with an extended rear taper of what RIO calls "Handling Section" line. Essentially I see them as a 42 foot Weight Forward Extreme. Great for overhead casts (double haul style) and super for roll / Spey casts.

That's my line recommendation and I'll close saying that once you find your comfort zone for the double haul don't push it. Try to limit your number of false casts while using double haul technique. When you keep repeating the forward and back casts again and again trying to add that extra 7 feet you may experience timing issues. Timing issues will result in the whole cast collapsing due to energy loss ie timing issues. That's what I mean by don't push it, find a comfort zone and then work to improve technique and timing in that comfort zone.

Does that make sense to you?
 

tcorfey

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I am familiar with the shooting head example. But I was taught to cut the 30' head off a regular wf or DT fly line 1-2 sizes up from the rod weight and then attach 30' of 20lb mono as a running line to the head with a nail knot. The mono line moves much easier through the guides than pvc running line so you can get a better feel for the timimg. Going up on the head weight bends the rod more to increase feel also. Use a regular 9' leader to connect to the business end of the fly line and a hookless fly or a piece of yarn to the end of the leader. Start with your head in the water and your rod at the 12 o'clock casting position and draw the head into the rod until it reaches the third or fourth snake guide. Then do a roll cast and immediately go into your back cast. After that use the standard drills to practice your double haul but with a little more feel than before which should assist you in getting your timing down. Ard's idea of using a lighter line is a sound concept to make the rod bend less if you find it is too flexible to handle an overweighted line.
 

osseous

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The big challenge for someone learning to haul is that the line speed with a shooting head is higher- so timing is even more critical. The timing of a double haul is what takes the longest to learn- so you are handicapping yourself by starting there.

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lanyard

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Going up on the head weight bends the rod more to increase feel also.
Thanks, that was the understanding I had at the time. A standard rod stiffness, heavier line, would accentuate the load and make it easier to 'feel'.
 

lanyard

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OK, I read the thread and am not certified by anyone however I am a student of the Ardster School of Hard Knocks ;)

That said I do agree with our other poster in that I would not advise a shooting head for double haul training.

It would work but you must remember that you will be limited to the length of the head with reference to how much line you will be able to aerialize in the false casting exercise. Behind that head you will have a thin running / shooting line and if you allow it out the tip top while false casting the casts will deteriorate rapidly.

So .... I personally like a standard WF line for what you are getting into. You describe your rod as 'whippy' and this is good information to provide when seeking advice. Based on your description of the rod action and that you want to evolve your distance casting I think you might consider under lining by one or by 1/2 if you can find one.

I say this ^^^ because if the rod lacks stiffness and you plan to cast a full length of line with some gusto you may find the #6 WF line to be cumbersome. Does that make sense?

I have not tried the RIO single hand Spey in a six weight or 5 but I do have several in 8 weight and they are what I would call a cross between a WF and a Shooting head line with integrated running line. This line has a 34 foot head with an extended rear taper of what RIO calls "Handling Section" line. Essentially I see them as a 42 foot Weight Forward Extreme. Great for overhead casts (double haul style) and super for roll / Spey casts.

That's my line recommendation and I'll close saying that once you find your comfort zone for the double haul don't push it. Try to limit your number of false casts while using double haul technique. When you keep repeating the forward and back casts again and again trying to add that extra 7 feet you may experience timing issues. Timing issues will result in the whole cast collapsing due to energy loss ie timing issues. That's what I mean by don't push it, find a comfort zone and then work to improve technique and timing in that comfort zone.

Does that make sense to you?
Appreciate the write up, Ard. I find a lot of sense in it.
 

lanyard

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For too long, I realized that over-emphasis on the forward stroke, similar in nature to spin-casting, was making me disregard the back cast, which I now believe is the most important part of the cast. I had a guy at the club ask me to handle the line better on the back cast, while feeding out in the process. I've gotten pretty good at that, and honestly I can get out a lot of line doing that without any haul. This is probably essential before moving on to a haul, at least it is for me. Anyway, food for thought.

Thanks for the comments.
 
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