Overlining for Rabbit Delivery

Mike22

Active Member
It is often discussed how overlining your rod can help load it more quickly, enabling faster casting at short distances and improved roll casting.

Would overlining also help carry/deliver heavier rigs with greater ease? I use an Echo Ion XL 10' 6wt for most of my streamer fishing, and currently have it lined up with a SA Frequency Boost 6wt line that is a "half-size heavy" (175gr for 6wt). I have no complaints with the set-up overall, but I find myself throwing heavy rigs during certain seasons. Would a 7wt line closer to 200gr help me carry rabbit fur and split shot more easily? Or is overlining just for roll casts and quick shots from a drift boat?

In past seasons I have resorted to using one of my 8wt's for this purpose, but I enjoy my Ion 6wt more and I feel like it should be fast enough to handle this task.
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
I spent a decent portion of this summer chucking an 8wt Outbound floater on a 5wt. It was a cannon, I launched it out easily to backing on the lawn. I was tired of using single hand spey stuff at close range (where the entire head wasn't cast out of the rod. For stripping flies I will always prefer a traditional fly line (esp. traditional running line) over a spey line. The overweighted 8wt outbound allowed me to fish heavy flies and tips, while performing roll casts more effectively at close range, with less clunk than a spey head.

If you're dead set on using a six, overlining will help. A 7 or 8 will carry bulky flies better. The Ion XL is med-fast (I believe)... I'd test cast the lines you're looking at picking up at a fly shop before buying them to see how the rod responds. I used a BVK for my overlining endeavors, it was definitely stiff enough to handle a heavier line. It might actually benefit from everyday overlining.
 

Jim Darden

Active Member
It is often discussed how overlining your rod can help load it more quickly, enabling faster casting at short distances and improved roll casting.

Would overlining also help carry/deliver heavier rigs with greater ease? I use an Echo Ion XL 10' 6wt for most of my streamer fishing, and currently have it lined up with a SA Frequency Boost 6wt line that is a "half-size heavy" (175gr for 6wt). I have no complaints with the set-up overall, but I find myself throwing heavy rigs during certain seasons. Would a 7wt line closer to 200gr help me carry rabbit fur and split shot more easily? Or is overlining just for roll casts and quick shots from a drift boat?

In past seasons I have resorted to using one of my 8wt's for this purpose, but I enjoy my Ion 6wt more and I feel like it should be fast enough to handle this task.
I think part of the answer depends on whether you are casting a sinking or floating line. Usually overlining with a sinking line works fine. Also it depends on what you mean by overlining....generalizing, most rods will cast further with a line that is heavier than recommended by the manufacturer, does that mean the rod is overlined or has it been matched with the correct line, it isn't a black and white issue. Try it and see what works!!
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
I use a Wulff saltwater triangle taper on my Echo Ion XL 6 wt, both 9ft and 10ft. It launches streamers fine. I'm not sure how big the bunny bugs are that you are casting. I also use a furled leader. I have also used a Rio deep 7 on the 10 footer. It handles it with no problem.
 

Hem

Active Member
I have same rod. One of my favorites.
Honestly you can over line the rod and improve performance but it's my opinion that rod doesnt really shine with big flies.
I feel the 10 foot rod length has less power than its 9 foot brother.
 

camtheflyman

Not sponsored
I've found that shooting heads (even ones that are already two and a half weights heavy) are best sized up ( I use one size up) for modern rods. To me, which may just be incorrect casting as I do not use them much, two and a half line weights up in a 30 foot head (i.e. buying a "6 weight" shooting head for a 6 weight rod) fall in a weird middle zone where it feels like I should be casting normally rather than having it load and shoot line which is not ideal with such a short head. I had a 6 weight shooting head sink line for my six weight and I could not get it to load as deeply as I liked to just "fling" big flies, so I tried the same 6 weight shooting head (200 grains I believe) on my 5 weight and found the desired effect. Very little control over the "cast" but it is much easier to cast 75 feet with one false cast. Don't be afraid to duck though!;)
 

shrapnel

Active Member
I don’t think you can find a text book answer to this question. How well a rod handles any given line varies, not only by brand, but by each individual rod. Today there seems to be the need for stiff rods and weight forward lines. I am still a fan of a Winston IM6 rod and double taper lines.

For the bigger stuff, I don’t pay attention to the line label as much as the function of it. I have used a Teeny 200 grain fast sink shooting head for over 20 years with a Loomis IMX 8 weight rod. I stay with the old school flyfishers and use stuff that still works with the maximum efficiency.

I have caught more fish with that combination, once I got it refined, and haven’t seen a reason to try and throw double bunnies and small dogs to catch fish. For those that do, more power to you, but at the end of the day I am not worn out from castin animals to fish or sore from big flies hitting me in the back of the head...
 

Leadeyedbugger

New Member
In my opinion. Rabbit fur and split shot would be better left to a larger rod then a 6wt. I think your more on the right track with the 8wt
You can sling shot pretty much whatever you want with just about any rod if you change your technique. But, there is a practical limit to what certain rods and lines are designed to cast weight wise
 

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