Question about running lines and heads

Tinker

Active Member
#1
I don't have a fly shop anywhere nearby, so I hope I'm asking the question correctly.

If use running lines and to T-18 sink tips for ocean fishing. If I want to fish on top of the water, using a running line, will a floating tip have the weight I need for casting? I'm not sure how floating tips work...
 
#2
You need to give more information. What rod rating? What fly line? You have to have a floating belly section along with the floating tip. The weight of the tip and belly should be close to the rating of the rod. More information would be helpful.
 

Tinker

Active Member
#3
I need between 16o - 200 grains for the rod. The line is a level Airflo Extreme Running Line (30#). I normally use ~12 feet of T-18 when I want it to go deep. I intend to use the same Airflo running line for topwater, but I've never tried to put it together as a floating line setup. Hope that helps, and thank you.
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#4
I am confused - are you saying you are using a 160-200gr line for your rod and casting T18 sink ?

Is there a head involved or are you connecting the running line directly to the T18 ???

Or are you saying you are looking for a floating head in between the T18 and your running line ?
 
#5
That's interesting. 160-200 gr. seems light for a salt water rod. If you had that T-18 connected directly to the running line, how'd it cast?
Here's what you're going to have to do. Buy a shooting head, keep the running line. There's plenty of them on the market. A floating tip won't work by it's self, it needs the belly section to make it cast efficiently. There's going to be some that are sold without tips, so that you add your own, some that are sold with multi-tips in different sink rates, someone might even make one that's a full floater. One good thing to do is switch to the saltwater forum and ask what they're using for top-water work. Rod and fly line, go to one of the line manufacturers web page and study all the different shooting head systems. The more you educate yourself the happier you'll be with your decision.
 

Tinker

Active Member
#6
Thank you, skinner. I don't yet know the details, but you've explained the big picture well enough that I have a clue about what questions I should be asking. I appreciate that.

With 12 feet of T18, six feet of level leader, and a big Clouser, a 10wt casts nicely enough for my purposes. I use this setup when I'm fishing from my kayak, and I try to use as short a sink tip + leader combination as I can get away with. Getting the loop-to-loop connection between the shooting line and the T18 through the tip-tip can be (has been) a problem when bringing a lingcod close enough to net. (I need a net with a longer handle).
 
#7
Yea, you can bust your rod when eyes hang in the guides and the fish decides he's got one last run left. 210 grains for an 8wt, 10wt would be like 240 gr. (just industry standards) 12' of T-18 would be 216 gr.
I remember years ago a guy was promoting something he called his 'Hybryd' line. What it boiled down to was inserting a length of 30-50 lb. mono. between his floating section and his sink tip. The idea was to get down faster and deeper as the mono would cut through the water........never caught on.
 
#8
Thank you, skinner. I don't yet know the details, but you've explained the big picture well enough that I have a clue about what questions I should be asking. I appreciate that.

With 12 feet of T18, six feet of level leader, and a big Clouser, a 10wt casts nicely enough for my purposes. I use this setup when I'm fishing from my kayak, and I try to use as short a sink tip + leader combination as I can get away with. Getting the loop-to-loop connection between the shooting line and the T18 through the tip-tip can be (has been) a problem when bringing a lingcod close enough to net. (I need a net with a longer handle).
If you want to go the floating shooting head route, the Rio Outbound or Outbound Short heads are a good option.

https://www.rioproducts.com/products/coldwater/outbound-short-shooting-head

You will notice that the 10wt Outbound Short head weighs in at 425gr. This may sound heavy, but it is about the weight of a normal WF 10wt head (the ENTIRE head, not the standard front 30 feet of line weight). The outbound and Outbound Short lines just condense the weight of a normal WF line head (typically about 50ft long) into a shorter 30-40ft shooting head. The result is that it fully loads your rod with less line out so you can bang out long casts with a minimum of false casts. It also helps turn over big flies.
 
#9
To fish topwater, you'll need to remove the T-18, and replace with a floating line. The floater will need to weigh slightly more than the T-18 to get the same feeling of rod load. Reason being that floating lines are thick, and dissipate more of their energy against wind resistance instead of rod load.

I think that using a 15' replacement floating tip (as from a multi-tip line) will be too light. They range only up to 150-180 grains, and you'll need 250+ grains t0 feel similar to your T-18. I'd look to throw up to 350 grains in a 15' floating head on a 10 wt rod. However, you won't need the full 425 grains of a 10 wt Outbound Short (30') if only using a 15' head.

To get a floating head that is short and slightly heavier than your T-18, consider one of the ultra short skagit heads from 11-15' long. I don't expect it'll cast very nice rigged as a bulky skagit head straight to mono leader and topwater fly, but it'll be castable within the restrictions of your kayak fishing. The main problem with such a short head is that it'll turn over quickly and dump into a pile before flying very far, which I expect you've experienced with your T-18.
 

Tinker

Active Member
#10
Sorry, wandered away from the computer for a couple of days. S_S and SSPey, thank you for the information. I'm getting a feel for it now.

Out of the kayak, with the T18, I do water hauls to get distance into the cast (it takes some getting used to) and I don't often have a cast collapse, but it's a mess when they do. I'll take your advice and start with a floating tip at around 350 grains and keep going heavier until I can cast without slapping the water. I'll take a look at Skagit heads. too. I think you're right about how tricky they'd be to cast from the kayak, but it can't hurt to try.

I appreciate this.
 
Last edited:

mbowers

Active Member
#11
Sorry, wandered away from the computer for a couple of days. S_S and SSPey, thank you for the information. I'm getting a feel for it now.

Out of the kayak, with the T18, I do water hauls to get distance into the cast (it takes some getting used to) and I don't often have a cast collapse, but it's a mess when they do. I'll take your advice and start with a floating tip at around 350 grains and keep going heavier until I can cast without slapping the water. I'll take a look at Skagit heads. too. I think you're right about how tricky they'd be to cast from the kayak, but it can't hurt to try.

I appreciate this.
I third the Outbound short shooting head or something similar. A Skagit head really needs a tip and the Outbound has a tip built in, so less snags in the guides.

For your sinking head you will probably do better with a section of 850gr from Scientific Anglers. It weighs like T30 so it will stay down better during retrieve and give you more grains in a short 12ft section so you can better cast it. Plus the stuff is 100x more durable than Airflo level T..

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

Tinker

Active Member
#12
I third the Outbound short shooting head or something similar. A Skagit head really needs a tip and the Outbound has a tip built in, so less snags in the guides.

For your sinking head you will probably do better with a section of 850gr from Scientific Anglers. It weighs like T30 so it will stay down better during retrieve and give you more grains in a short 12ft section so you can better cast it. Plus the stuff is 100x more durable than Airflo level T..
I'll look at an Outbound short shooting head - I like the idea of fewer bits and pieces. Are you talking about a Scientific Anglers Deep Water Express head? I like everything about Airflo's level T except it's durability and anything that will hold up longer would be a bonus.

Thank you for both suggestions!
 

mbowers

Active Member
#13
I'll look at an Outbound short shooting head - I like the idea of fewer bits and pieces. Are you talking about a Scientific Anglers Deep Water Express head? I like everything about Airflo's level T except it's durability and anything that will hold up longer would be a bonus.

Thank you for both suggestions!
Ya I should have mentioned it's Deep Water Express. Almost all my kings in saltwater have come on that with mono running line. Durability is great. I strip the coating off and then make a loop from just the core so it goes through the guides better.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

Jim Darden

Active Member
#14
sounds like you are overhead casting the line. I have done a lot of that for Chinook, trying to fish deep with a single handed rod. My experience is you need to overload the rod with a shooting head and don't cut the head less than 30' long or it tumbles. With my 9' single hand 8 wt, and floating running line with 30 ' of LC13, I can comfortably fish 50-60 ft deep. If I need to go deeper, I use mono (hard to handle in a boat) or use "ice fishing line" ( a coated small diameter sinking line from the Midwest). Hope this gives you some ideas......
 

Tinker

Active Member
#15
Thanks, Jim. I'm not having too many problems with my sink tips but I'm always happy to learn about setups I've never tried. I use an intermediate running line and around 20' - 22' of T-18 to fish to 50'. I might give lead core a try this year.

I appreciate this information.
 

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