Scandinavian shooting heads (Rio AFS) on Z-Axes

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by steff_dk, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
    Denmark (Europe)
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    Went to try a new Rio AFS 5/6 on my Sage Z-axis 6110-4 (switch rod) and my 6126-4 (spey rod).
    The head weighs 340 gr.
    According to Spey line recs.pdf Rio recommends this line on both rods.

    Let me tell you the 6110-4 collapses under the weight of the AFS 5/6 when anchoring it down with the poly leader only, Scandi style.
    I was a bit sceptical when I read it in the pdf, as skagit recommendation for these rods are 300 and 400 gr respectively.

    To save potential buyers the trouble; this recommendation is not right for the 6110-4.
    I think I'll go for broke, and try ordering the 4/5 AFS with a head weight of only 300 gr for the 6110-4.

    Does anyone have any experience with spey shooting heads on the 6110-4?

    EDIT: The line weight was fine on the 6126-4.
  2. SPEYBUM Member

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    I have been working with the 6126-4 Z-Axis and the Rio’s Advance Flight System shooting heads since before the Rio line became available for the General Public,
    The 5/6 AFS at 340 grains and 12 ft at 62 grains polyleader worked fine using a under hand cast with closed stance.
    The rod has a lot flex to it but I have yet to have it fold under normal conditions.
    We have done a lot of testing on the 11 ft Z-Axis and they seen to want little less weight than one would think.
    I have been using Rio’s Advance Flight System shooting head 4/5 300 grain and a 12 ft at 62 grains polyleader on the 5110-4 Z-Axis Proto type since the Rio’s Advance Flight System line became available.
    I would like to see the shooting head a bit lighter than the 4/5 at 300 grain perhaps around 265 grains but stay with the same weigh polyleader.
    I have been working with a Group of New Guideline shooting heads which seem to be easier to custom tune but that is another thread.

    My $.02 worth.
  3. steff_dk PST+9

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    Do you know of any two-hand shooting heads that weigh less than 300gr?
    I'd prefer not to cut one back, as I don't want the head shorter - just lighter, and with the same taper as the AFS ... (am I asking too much :rolleyes:)
  4. SPEYBUM Member

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    The AFS head has a compound Hybrid taper and would be hard to duplicate it with out cutting back on the length.
    There are many heads out the but most a built to be custom tuned to the caster specifications,
    Cut and Cast that is what we have had to do for years.
    Four Questions if I may be so bold?
    How long of head do you need?
    What dose your Poly Leaders Weigh?
    How big of flies will you be turning over?
    How deep will you be wading?

    The last thing is factor to helping to your head to your casting style.
    How much overhand do work with when you are casting?
  5. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
    Denmark (Europe)
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    • The AFS 5/6 head is 33.5' - I think around 30' will be good, but have only tried the AFS 5/6 so far.
    • Not sure what they weigh - they are 10' Rio Spey Versi leaders.
    • 1" hair wing tubes (not weighted or anything)
    • Max knee deep. Sometimes not wading at all ...
    • Practically no overhand.
    The weight of the poly leaders is not a factor in the cast is it? I mean as long as I'm using the leader as anchor ... (?)

    Thanks for your help! :)
  6. SPEYBUM Member

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    These are rough weighs may plus or minus vary up to 10%.
    RIO Versa Leaders.10'
    40 grains,
    1.5ips =52 grains, 2.6 ips =66 grains, 3.9 ips =72, grains 5.6 ips =86 grains, 7.0 ips =118 grains,

    As you can see there is a 68-grains difference between the Floating and the heaviest sinking leaders and on a very short light rod it would mean a lot.
    Shorter lighter rods do not have as large of grain windows as longer heaver rods.
    In a prefect world where we were just landing the fly for a anchor without level line drop I would say that anchor did not count for much.
    But for most of us I must say any weight dose effect casting.

    Having more anchor load off the water effects how the rod loads.
    On a true touch and go cast the anchor should be very light and just be there long enough to load the d-loop then turn over with out going behind the cast.
    But this dose affects the cast by adding resistance and resistance is weight.

    For each foot we wade in the water we lose cast length by that I mean the physical amount of line we can cast (line we lift off of the water) diminishes ((remember we are casting a head not shooting) once we start shooting we can gain what we lost in wading back but we will not be able to lift more line off the water do fact we are not as tall.).
    I have made a lot of heads for those who wade deep.
    “The AFS 5/6 head is 33.5' - I think around 30' will be good, but have only tried the AFS 5/6 so far.”
    I usually recommend about three-rod length for most short rods this would not including the leader or tippet. (Total length would be more like 3 1/2 rod lengths.)
    I like three-rod lengths including the leader and tippet for small brushy streams and when wading deep.

    With this in mind I usually will make up two shooting heads for most rods that I fish with a long and short.
    The long for wading shallow and short for wading deep.
    I keep the same weigh and compound hybrid taper by shortening the backside of the shooting head in other words cutting the back the part that you attach to the running line.

    Lengthening the amount of overhang you will lighten the perceived load. This will also give you a feeling of delaying the loop development, which usually helps from over powering the rod.

    I will give a look see and find for lighter heads.
    I hope this helps
  7. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
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    Your help is greatly appreciated :thumb:
    In fact this is my go-to forum even if I'm not from WA, let alone the US.
    Reason is, here are a lot of friendly and knowledgable people, like yourself.

    I have a single hand WF9F line somewhere I will try cutting into a SH this afternoon. From the AFTMA table it should be 230-250 gr in the first 30', so maybe it'l give me an idea about weights ...
    I'll be getting some 7 ' poly leaders in the beginning of february (Rio Versi trout) so I'll give it a try and see what happens.
  8. sashjo Member

    Posts: 531
    Lakewood, WA.
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    With 7110 ZA Switch, the 400 gr Rio Skagit 27 ft head seems long. Do you advise cutting it down or just use short tips? Someone needs to develop a line just for switch rods. Hopefully Rio is listening.
  9. Salmo Trutta Member

    Posts: 151
    Golden, CO
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    Do you know of any two-hand shooting heads that weigh less than 300gr?

    Airfo 40+ single-hand is a classic shooting head which actually works very well on light DH rods. it has a classic Scando taper.
    Sometime ago Bob Meiser hinted to me about this line and it is a blast on my 12'6" 4/5/6 Trouter Highlander ( Year 2005, 5 peace rod) which I believe is a bit crisper then 4 peace version.

    Airfo 40+ : the wt.9 ( SH rating) is ca. 370 gr@33', wt.8 is ca. 340 gr@33' and wt.7 ca. 280-290 gr@33', wt.6 I don't remember.

    I have just cut wt.9 , 18" form the front and end up ( actual number) with 361gr@31.5'

    The 40+ comes also in intermediate and type 3 sink rates.

    I hope it helps

  10. SPEYBUM Member

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    I have been doing some research over the last few days.
    I have found on factory head for which may fit the Sage Z-axis 6110-4 is the is a SA Single Hand Skagit head 5wt=280grns @ 22'.
    It fits for the correct weight to taper profile needed for that particular rod without doing any custom work.
    The other line which has been used quite well on Switch rod before the advent of short head Speylines are the back bellies of Rio Windcutter Spey Lines a 7/8/9 240 grains at 23 feet and a 8/9/10 276 grains at 23 ft.
    Add a Versa leader and you should be right at home.
    With RIO Versa Leaders 10 Foot in Length
    FLOATING 40 grains,
    Sinking 1.5 ips =52 grains, 2.6 ips =66 grains, 3.9 ips =72, grains 5.6 ips =86 grains, 7.0 ips =118 grains
    I have some Vogg Shooting heads for Underhand caster ranging all the way down to 3wt at 123 grains at 28 ft. These are some of the heads that I use for custom shooting heads they have standard taper profile and can be moded quite easily
    I will keep looking
  11. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
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    I just learned that Rio makes a "Danish shooting head" for
    which comes in 216, 247 and 278 grains floating or neutral.
    Head length is 34.4 ft and has a 5 ft front taper. (Site is in danish)

    Surely, Rio must be under way with a pure switch line ...
  12. pescador do mosca "An under forty victim of fate..arriving too late"

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    Airflo and SA make smaller/shorter skagit lines for just this purpose.
  13. Salmo Trutta Member

    Posts: 151
    Golden, CO
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    I mentioned before Airflo 40+ wt. 6 to wt.9 are great Scando shooting head in ca. 230 - 370 gr@33' from floater to sink 3 .
  14. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
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    Just to let you guys know; I took that WF9F to the stream and cast it on the 6110-4 with a 10' poly for half an hour, trying to find the correct lenght/weight for the rod. Marked the spot, where it was just perfect and went home, cut it, and measured it. 27' 4''. Not sure about the weight but guessing somewhere in the region of 230 grains (280 with poly).

    It is sooooo sweet on that rod! :cool:

    Having fully restored my faith in the 6110-4 I'm considering doing the same to a Windcutter Spey 5/6 line that I have no use for.

    Must say I just love that rod!
    For those that have not tried a switch rod yet: YOU'RE MISSING OUT!! :p

    Edit: the thing I was on about prefering not to cut lines myself - I take that back! :)
  15. kimbajmann New Member

    Posts: 3
    meeker co
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    I have the z axis 11 ft 5 wt switch rod that I built and called rio when I ordered blank and they recommended the afs outbound 4/5 for it and I got that - shoots like a rocket. I have not even tried to really shoot it as I did not bring my basket with me, but it really gets out there to be sure. It roll casts like a dream too. I was worried it would be too light but it def is not. I was amazed that even though it is a 4/5 line, the diameter of it is much thicker than my versitip 8 wt that I use on my scott single hand rod. I am going to try and see how a traditional 6 wt works as a comparison. I must say that extra length on the 11 footer really protects tippets to be sure. Now I just need to learn some spey techniques.
  16. longstick Member

    Posts: 280
    North West
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    I have been using scandi compact in a 300 grn on a 5110 and it works great. I have been thinking of trying the 270 just for @#$% and jiggles. I have heard from clark at Pudget Sound that he cuts the first 5 ft off of the AFS heads and they work alot better. If you try this it will drop the weight down to maybe 320-330.
  17. HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Is he cutting the tip or the butt?

    I have heard cutting the tip back 5 or so feet is what you want and it helps improves the cast-ability and accuracy.
  18. longstick Member

    Posts: 280
    North West
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    5ft off the tip
  19. JGS Member

    Posts: 39
    Portland, OR
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    I use a 380gr. Vision Ace on the Z-Axis 6110 with great success. 50-70ft. with great ease, size 4 with size 6 trailer.