AFS shooting head

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by the_trout_bum, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. the_trout_bum ifish

    Posts: 104
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Im picking up RIO's AFS Shooting Head in a full floater and im wondering if im still going to be able to throw tips with it, i.e. my indermediate sink, type III, etc. I know the scandi style heads arent great for big heavy bugs, but am i still going to be able to get my marabou family flies on a tip out there with the AFS Head? I didnt opt for the sink tip or the full sink heads (kinda regretting it now) in hope that i would still be able to throw on a tip to get my bugs down when needed.

    Also, ive been hearing over and over that the scandi heads perform best with just the basic underhand casts. does that jsut mean single spey/reverse single spey casts? or will the circle spey/snap t, double spey, snake roll, perry poke, etc casts still going to perform with the scandi style heads?

    never cast a scandi head, only been throwing a windcutter on my 8/9 echo classic so i was hoping for some insight.



    the trout bum
  2. sothereiwas Member

    Posts: 304
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Poly leaders will be the way to go. On that rod I use 10' one the 15'ers dont turn over well. You could try the sink tips you have but I'm willing to bet that they wont work well in less you cut them back. You could alway pic up an Airflo Compact 540 for the tips. There really is no line for everything.
  3. shotgunner Anywhere ~ Anytime

    Posts: 478
    45th Parallel NW Michigan
    Ratings: +23 / 1
    I'd reconsider the AFS floater for tips use, their pretty wimpy up front. Your RIO tips weigh 129 grain, thats a fair load on most skagit heads.

    An Airflo North West or S.A. skagit head are kinda middle of the road.. Not at all radical as RIO or Airflo Compacts, lighter touch for sure. Worth considering.

    Good Luck
  4. the_trout_bum ifish

    Posts: 104
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Alright cool. Ill keep the AFS for my smaller flies when tips wont be used, and use sinking leaders then? I will have a skagit coming (Airflo 570 compact) for my winter fishing when tips are needed, but till then, the windcutter will throw most tips jsut fine.
  5. herl Member

    Posts: 876
    the other washington
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    If you decide you like the way scandi heads fish and cast, consider Guideline's full sinking heads for winter work. A size 1 traditional or marabou fly would be no problem - its a good way to get down and stay down with a lighter line.
  6. GR8LAKES FLYER Member

    Posts: 81
    Nottawasaga , ONT.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    What works for me using ASF heads , is rods under 14' , I use a 10' Versi-Leader with no problem . I usually attach 4'-5' of tippet to the end of the poly via a loop connection .

    For rods 14' and over , I'll go with the 15' Versi-Leader and do the same with the tippet . Size of tippet is determined by fly size . I don't weight or add any "eyes" or cones to my flies , so that isn't in my equation . There isn't an issue using 4' of #12 and slinging a #1 Spey pattern , or 4' of #15 and a 35mm Waddington Shank with an 8/9 AFS . But I wouldn't attach a 35mm Wadd on the business end of a 5/6 AFS either .

    Experiment .... see what's best for you and your casting style/ability . You can perform all the Traditional style casts (Single , Double , etc ....) sing the Under-Hand method .

    I agree with herl , hard to beat Guideline heads ........ absolutely love'em !!!

  7. herl Member

    Posts: 876
    the other washington
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    oh, and as to your underhand casting question - the way I understand it the 'underhand' part just refers to using mostly bottom hand for power and the top hand as a pivot. I'm a beginner caster and I use mostly snake rolls, single speys and snap Ts.
  8. wolverine Member

    Posts: 576
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    The tips on the AFS heads are way too fine to load up with heavy tips. You'd have to cut the tip waaaay back to use 15' tips. Even with poly leaders I cut my heads back 4'.
  9. Jim Fitz Member

    Posts: 446
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I am generally not very talented at spey casting but don't have that much trouble getting a cone head maribou style fly on the end of a 10' super fast sink poly leader on the end of my AFS head out into the river. It aint pretty but the fly gets out there and I haven't heard the fish laughing that hard.

    I would recommend trying your AFS with some poly leaders. RIO and Airflo make about the same assortment. I have been meaning to compare the sink rate on my Airflo super fast poly leader to see where it stacks up against T-8 or 14. I am guessing it is closer to the 8. Most of my tips are T-8 or 14 which I use with a windcutter or skagit head.
  10. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,053
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +133 / 3
    My .02 worth

    When Rio first came out with the AFS heads, Simon G. recommended cutting them back the length of the sink tip you planned on using. This is workable to some extent. That being, you cant expect a 6/7 AFS head to huck 15ft of T-14 plus a big honkin fly on the end of it. Which is what I see a lot of guys trying to do.

    However, the same rod that is such a joy to cast that 6/7 AFS head, kiss & go style, with a reasonable size fly, can still huck 15ft of T-14 plus a big honkin fly,,,if you change out the head to something like a 500+ grain compact skagit and sustained anchor style casts. It takes mass to cast mass. Fifteen ft of T-14 weighs 210 grains. Add to that whatever that honkin big heavily weighted fly weighs, and you begin to get the idea.
  11. Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    Posts: 670
    Kirkland, Washington
    Ratings: +57 / 0
    I like the AFS floater with a 10 floating or clear intermediate poly leader. The fast sinking poly leader is sufferable and the super fast sinking poly leader just made me wish I had a Skagit head. Since purist underhand casting uses a very long leader in place of a tip I use the poly leader as an instrument of control since I'm only a mediocre caster at best.

    If I was to seriously use an AFS head in a situation where I would need to get down I would use one of the new sinking AFS head.

    The under handed cast is merely a spey cast where the bottom hand is in control of the rod. I love the underhanded cast as it allows me to cast all day long with out much effort. I've recently been applying the underhanded cast to my Skagit heads with tips and have been pleasantly suprised. It's nice to be able to use a nice quiet single spey with a Skagit head and a type 3 sink tip.

    The AFS head will work with any water born or air born anchor cast so long as the bottom and is in control of the cast. If there is any overpower with the top hand the loop will be more of a circle that will just die on the way to its destination.
  12. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    hey troutbum, the length difference between your windcutter and the AFS is What? ten foot of head? maybe fifteen?
    try your regular casts in your regular style and adjust fire from there. Like the others said, that head likes some bottom hand in the cast like all Skandis, but I also successfully switch around with longbelly and Skagit techniques with the AFS too, no problem. That versatility will help you when you're starting out with it. Try all your usual casts and see what works best for you.
    You'll probably find that the shorter head eventually wants you to use smaller movements, more bottom hand...and you'll suddenly find yourself underhanding...of the several scando heads I've cast, the AFS floater seems the least demanding; very easy to get used to.

    Now, for tips...I agree with everybody who says the floater can carry 10' sinking leaders up to super ultra megafast or whatever is fastest these days; but I wouldn't try 15' sinktips with it. the forward taper is too fine and light. You could cut the taper back, but then you may as well strap on a skagit head right?

    for a real bargain on a full sink scando head, check out the S3 Vogg heads on the River Run Anglers site...something like 35 bucks. That will get you down...plenty down for these parts. No tips required!