I'm preparing for my FIRST spey rod (12' 7" Allen 7wt) by setting up a reel with Skagit line system. Gary Knowles has generously agreed to build this rod for me Thank you Gary and thank you Evan for trading me the blank. I'm frugal and I may be making a mistake by doing this ON THE CHEAP. Tell me if I'm asking for problems. So far on my size 4 Allen Alpha II, I've got... 20 pound backing (had it already) Airflow Ridge Running line, (Thomas Williams gave this to me, but the front end is damaged and no loop) 500 grain Skagit line Old & unknown 30' shooting heads -free from fly fishing club Questions I have: 20 pound backing to light, right? Ridge Running Line (Can I repair this by cutting damage off and add a loop with 30 pound mono braid?) Shooting heads: Old 9wt 30' shooting heads work in a Skagit system? Do I need to weigh these heads? What pound mono braid to put a loop on the forward and rear portion? Cortland Mono braid- Is this good for making loops in a system like this? Thanks for any and all recommendations.