Best bang for buck saltwater fly line set up?

#1
Still working on planning my fishing in Guam. In regards to fly lines for a 10 wt reel, I am curious to know more about versi-tips or something similar. Wondering if buying a 10wt salt line and different tips is a reasonable option, rather than having to buy spools and multiple lines? Don't imagine I will get to fish tropics too often, so trying to get best bang for my buck.
 

Richard E

Active Member
#4
I'm not a big fan of versi tips, BUT, if you want to do the one fly line/one spool approach, a loop to loop setup with running line and shooting heads is super versatile and effective.

You could take a floating, intermediate, and very fast shooting head, and be pretty much equipped for most situations (I use old school LC-13 on my 10 weight when I'm in Mexico, but that's in deeper water, and my 10 weight absolutely launches 30' of Lc-13. You could use T-11 or T-14, depending on your rod, in lieu of the LC-13). If you're inshore (say, after trevally), the floating and intermediate heads would be your tools of choice, depending on the depth of the the water. In the deeper offshore water, where you will find the dorado, the faster sinking head will likely be (in my opinion) the most effective.

Remember, saltwater is much more buoyant than fresh water and, for dorado, you'll probably be stripping line quickly, so the fly will likely be up in the top, oh, 3-4 feet of the water column. The nice thing about shooting heads, as well, is you can take a number of them as backups, and they are much less costly than a full line.

With that said, I take an extra spool or two with me for my 10 weight. It is setup with a backup running line so, in the event I lose the other one, I can grab the extra spool and an extra shooting head and be back in the game with minimal down time.

Again, this is my $0.02, and what has worked and does work for me.
 
#6
I'm not a big fan of versi tips, BUT, if you want to do the one fly line/one spool approach, a loop to loop setup with running line and shooting heads is super versatile and effective.

You could take a floating, intermediate, and very fast shooting head, and be pretty much equipped for most situations (I use old school LC-13 on my 10 weight when I'm in Mexico, but that's in deeper water, and my 10 weight absolutely launches 30' of Lc-13. You could use T-11 or T-14, depending on your rod, in lieu of the LC-13). If you're inshore (say, after trevally), the floating and intermediate heads would be your tools of choice, depending on the depth of the the water. In the deeper offshore water, where you will find the dorado, the faster sinking head will likely be (in my opinion) the most effective.

Remember, saltwater is much more buoyant than fresh water and, for dorado, you'll probably be stripping line quickly, so the fly will likely be up in the top, oh, 3-4 feet of the water column. The nice thing about shooting heads, as well, is you can take a number of them as backups, and they are much less costly than a full line.

With that said, I take an extra spool or two with me for my 10 weight. It is setup with a backup running line so, in the event I lose the other one, I can grab the extra spool and an extra shooting head and be back in the game with minimal down time.

Again, this is my $0.02, and what has worked and does work for me.
Hey Richard,
Thanks a bunch for the response. I am curious could you tell me why you aren't such a big fan of versi tips? I am not too familiar with them. Is a loop to loop setup with running line and shooting heads the same thing as a versi-tip or is this different? Could you tell me what is LC-13, T-11/-14? I am planning to use a cabelas stowaway 6pc 10wt (has a medium fast action). I'm certainly interested in the idea of running line and different heads, sounds like a much cheaper alternative to multiple spools and lines.
 

Richard E

Active Member
#7
Hey Richard,
Thanks a bunch for the response. I am curious could you tell me why you aren't such a big fan of versi tips? I am not too familiar with them. Is a loop to loop setup with running line and shooting heads the same thing as a versi-tip or is this different? Could you tell me what is LC-13, T-11/-14? I am planning to use a cabelas stowaway 6pc 10wt (has a medium fast action). I'm certainly interested in the idea of running line and different heads, sounds like a much cheaper alternative to multiple spools and lines.
In my opinion, saltwater fly fishing (the type you are planning that involves a 10 weight) presents situations where dynamic casting and minimal false casting are key. Again, my opinion, shooting heads accomplish this better than the shorter versi tips.

T-11/T-14 and LC-13 are level sinking lines. T-11 and T-14 are usually associated with Rio products. The "T" is for tungsten, which is what is used in the line makeup to make them sink. The number is for the grains per foot. LC-13 is a product put out by Cortland years ago, and "LC" is the abbreviation for "lead core" and the 13 is for 13 grams per foot.

What reel do you plan to use on your Stowaway?
 
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#8
In my opinion, saltwater fly fishing (the type you are planning that involves a 10 weight) presents situations where dynamic casting and minimal false casting are key. Again, my opinion, shooting heads accomplish this better than the shorter versi tips.

T-11/T-14 and LC-13 are level sinking lines. T-11 and T-14 are usually associated with Rio products. The "T" is for tungsten, which is what is used in the line makeup to make them sink. The number is for the grams per foot. LC-13 is a product put out by Cortland years ago, and "LC" is the abbreviation for "lead core" and the 13 is for 13 grams per foot.

What reel do you plan to use on your Stowaway?
Okay excellent. That helps me make sense of things. Do you have any recommendations for running line. I have a colton torrent 911. Not sure if you are familiar with them, built like a tank, insane drag, and room for lots of backing.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#9
In my opinion, saltwater fly fishing (the type you are planning that involves a 10 weight) presents situations where dynamic casting and minimal false casting are key. Again, my opinion, shooting heads accomplish this better than the shorter versi tips.

T-11/T-14 and LC-13 are level sinking lines. T-11 and T-14 are usually associated with Rio products. The "T" is for tungsten, which is what is used in the line makeup to make them sink. The number is for the grams per foot. LC-13 is a product put out by Cortland years ago, and "LC" is the abbreviation for "lead core" and the 13 is for 13 grams per foot.

What reel do you plan to use on your Stowaway?
Richard speaks big medicine.

With a running line and several different heads (T-8,11,14 etc) you can cover just about any situation you encounter.
Put braided mono loops on both ends of the heads so you can easily change heads and leaders when needed.
If you don’t want to make your own heads, I’m sure you can buy them with the loops already installed.

For a 10 wt, 30’ long heads should be just about right.
The nice thing is you could cut those heads in half and make your own versa tip system to use back home if this is going to be your only bluewater trip.
SF
 
#10
Richard speaks big medicine.

With a running line and several different heads (T-8,11,14 etc) you can cover just about any situation you encounter.
Put braided mono loops on both ends of the heads so you can easily change heads and leaders when needed.
If you don’t want to make your own heads, I’m sure you can buy them with the loops already installed.

For a 10 wt, 30’ long heads should be just about right.
The nice thing is you could cut those heads in half and make your own versa tip system to use back home if this is going to be your only bluewater trip.
SF
I think this sounds like a pretty cool and versatile setup. Is the running line supposed to be something like a tropical weight forward line? And is braided mono just literally some kind of braid or something similar to power pro and I’m going to tie loops into it to make all these poop to poop connections?
 

Richard E

Active Member
#13
Dan Blanton's stuff is fantastic. I am seriously rethinking a ton of my fishing lines from 3wt on up. This changes everything! ;)
Intermediate running line is good, but floating running line works just fine, too. It's a pretty small diameter, so the floating line really doesn't float that well when on the end of it is a 350 grain sinking shooting head...

Contact me offline for tips on flies, shooting heads, how to cast the heads, leaders, etc. If you get up this way (Seattle) at all, we can get together and go over some stuff, and possibly head over to Greenlake to hit the casting dock. Casting a shooting head is totally unlike casting a standard fly line. It's really quite simple once you get the concept, but it can be frustrating for those who try to cast it like a standard fly line.
 

Chucker

Active Member
#14
Really, the best bang for the buck is a half decent weight forward floating line. Most of the time you will either be fishing flats or casting at fish that are on the surface and a floater will do the job. I have a shooting head system which I use for everything else, but the floater gets the most use.

N.
 
#15
Brook Hunter,

Thanks for the PM, and my apologies for the late reply. I thought I'd answer your question here on the open forum since the info might be useful to others.

Although the last time I fished Guam was in 1999, I do a yearly trip to the Pacific (Palau, the FSM, the Marshalls, Kiribati, Malaysia etc) so I'm still keeping my hand in with the SWFF tropical stuff.

Let me say here that Guam is not a great shore fly-fishing destination. Like others have said, it's true that public beaches get lots of fishing pressure, and if you get anything it'll be mostly small stuff up to 5 lbs or so, but offshore fishing is (or was, who knows?) fantastic. If you haven't already done so, check out Google/Youtube for the latest info.

Like Chucker, I think you should just go with tropical WF lines in 8 and 10 wts, especially from shore.

The RIO Bonefish is fine, you already have the 8 wt, so get a 10 wt.

Word of caution, get at least two lines in each weight, if you're going to be fishing the flats or over shallow coral, and you have a lot of line out due to a strong fish or whatever, you might get it nicked or, even worse, cut, so you want a second line to be able to continue fishing, then maybe later buy a new line or something, although having said that, I'm afraid I can't help you with a local store where you might find a fly-line! Soooo, bring 3 lines of each weight :).

Even from the boat, if you're fly-fishing, a floating line will be fine for Mahi, Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna around buoys and fish attractors. Most times the guys wait for the birds, then go in close. I've never fished with a commercial outfit, so I wouldn't know if they do things differently, but the locals I fished with preferred, by far, to troll hand-lines through the feeding tuna and bring them in as quickly as possible. Sharks and dolphins are consummate robbers, you see.

This is the time of year for Wahoo and they're (or were) plentiful, especially in the 10-20 lb range. The locals will know where to find them.

Be aware that if you're going to fly-fish for Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel, or the like, be prepared for a real fight, even on a 10 wt.

If you want to try big-game fishing, Marlin is a popular target species.

6 wt. I wouldn't bother with that for the salt. Guam's kinda windy, and you'll be chucking relatively large flies. Maybe for the freshwater stuff, but can't help you there.

BTW, if you're fishing from shore, be prepared to have an audience.

Hope the above helps, I bet your head is exploding with all the possibilities!

Have fun on Guam,
Kenneth
 

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