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What lines weights do you typically teach with?

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Paul Arden
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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#21

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:50 pm

Because sometimes they are at 40’. Many ideal shots are at 50’. Sometimes 60’ and so on.
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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#22

Post by Geenomad » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:55 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:50 pm
Because sometimes they are at 40’. Many ideal shots are at 50’. Sometimes 60’ and so on.
Yep and just because most fish are caught nearby doesn't mean other fish, other types of fishing and personal preferences of the angler don't require targeting fish at much greater distance. For example, if you like sight fishing to spooky fish in skinny water, then a 40' distance limit and/or a shooting head are not going to bring as many fish to hand - in my experience and preference anyways. :)

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#23

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:31 am

There are lots of other reasons too. Typically a shooting head is one or sometimes two lines weights heavier. This is not what you want for short casts and if you want speed shots this is exactly what you don’t want.

You also lose control over pretty much all of your presentation casts once the head is out.

You are very much at the mercy of the wind. Particularly if you want to throw into a headwind with accuracy a DT is far more preferable.

For me if you are going to use a shooting head then you might as well just use a spinning rod. Or the bubble float and fly. A very effective fly fishing method. :p

I’m joking of course but I do think a DT is the most versatile line. I also like very long belly lines that are optimised to hauling with our longest carry. Recently I’ve been playing a lot with much shorter WF lines but with long rear tapers.

More and more people coming to lessons nowadays have never thrown a DT line. It’s not surprising to me that many lack basic flycasting skills if they have learned to cast solely with overweight short heads.

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#24

Post by jarmo » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:06 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:31 am
... but I do think a DT is the most versatile line.
When I started fly fishing, I was handed a 15' rod and a 10wt DT line. I am grateful to the person who did this, because long heads have stuck with me ever since. Out of the 6 setups I use more or less regularly, three reels host DTs permanently, and two other usually contain the longest belly lines I have been able to acquire. I am a junky for old long bellies (found several unused last year).

When it comes to teaching, it is a sign of remaining sanity to contrast this with some reality: a US fly shop owner reported recently that in his shop less than 1 percent of lines sold for double-handed rods were mid or long bellies.

Still, for me personally, unless I am fishing in stillwater, DTs and long bellies give the most enjoyment.

Returning to the topic, students arrive with various setups. In single-handed rods I myself use a 6wt (long belly floating line). I have to be prepared for some wind. For those fishing for trout with lighter line weights, I also want to demonstrate that a (slower) 6wt is very comfortable - while carrying some bulk and/or weight a bit better. I myself had a period when I was fixed on lighter line weights for wrong reasons, and I have noticed similar tendencies in some other fishermen.

In double-handed rods I use a 9wt with a wide variety of lines (head lengths, sinking).

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#25

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:47 pm

Interesting, I learned with a DT line when I stumbled into flyfishing, hasn't stuck in the way that I think it's the most versatile, but hey personal preference does matter the most.

30 foot head, 50 foot no shot presentation is a piece of cake, longer away shoot a little, or use a longer leader...
How much further do you all go with a DT?

Done the presentation into a headwind, mass is king, I stay with the shooting head and go further, and accuracy is really mostly about practice...

Speed, still waiting for that clip showing the speed difference between overweight and right weight 😉
Feeling I will love the time where they start being uploaded daily 😘

And I don't buy the shortage of skill because they have learned with short and "overweight" lines! Shortage of skill comes when one isn't interested in getting skilled. And end up being contend with what is at hand. And largely being told by snobs they aren't real flyfishers unless they use a too long DT line 🙄

Happy to be a fisher, gonna take my spinning rod out more, might even take a bubble float, and dig some worms 😎

OK, back to the original question.

Kids, shorter rods, and generally short shooting head's (preferably overweight according to some hobnobs) as its a hell of a lot more fun getting a line out fishing rather than being let down by not..

Everyone else usually bring their own gear, no sense in forcing someone to learn with gear they won't be using, saw what that did to a friend that was told her rod was useless for underhand, and had to use someone else's rod for the rest of the course... Not impressed with that instructor... Rod worked perfectly...

For those that want the next level, instructors and the like, then we can start being annoying and use tackle that is hard, long bellies, DT's, and really short and really long heads.

Cheers
Lasse

Ps. March tomorrow, will we get Paul's march challenge this year 😉 last one was easier with a shooting head 😎
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#26

Post by Flybye » Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:53 pm

"A bubble float is a very short shooting head" can't remember for sure who I am quoting Lee maybe

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#27

Post by jarmo » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:56 am

Now that we ventured out to discuss DTs: one of the reasons why I originally continued to use them in my river fishing is the ability to extend their lifetime by turning the line around. Two out of three DTs on my reels have been turned around at some point. Fly lines costing what they nowadays do, this is a real bonus.

(I always remove the lines from reels to original spools off-season and treat them.)

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#28

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:08 am

How much further do you all go with a DT?

100ft is a long shot with a DT4 but not impossible. Certainly everything up to around 80’ I’m very comfortable taking the shot. I’m thinking Gourami here, where I’m often using a DT4 line. Yes it’s better to close the gap, but there is always time pressure, because they don’t stay at the surface, often coming up to eat two or three times and then disappear -only to reappear a few minutes later somewhere else - so if the shot presents itself at 80ft I’ll take it!! The fly has to land on a dinner plate (and preferably fly landing first). Of course not every shot of mine lands on a dinner plate, but the ones that do catch the fish, the ones that don’t, simply don’t. :laugh:

Where I notice the difference with DT lines compared to short heads is stroke length. Now I know that you and many others use long strokes for short heads, but most anglers don’t and there is no real requirement to learn the long stroke. However a long head or preferably a DT is well suited to a short compact stroke for short casts but also a long open stroke for long casts. Those are good adjustments to learn! In fact I think learning a long carry teaches many useful things.

But where the DT really comes into its own is in flyline placement and not just fly placement. Overpowered Curves, aeriel mends, even collapsed casts and tailing loop presentations, are all best with a full line. (I know it’s possible to water mend shooting heads).

I know you say that you are accurate at all distances with a shooting head and in all conditions. This I find really interesting and we really need to spend a few hours hitting targets together. A prime example of where a DT really comes into its own for me would be accurately presenting the fly at 80’ into a headwind. To do that I carry the line on the backcast and just get it to unroll on the forward delivery with a DT. However with a short head I need to shoot on the forward cast and then check the shoot to land the fly. That’s harder! Even very thin running lines on WF lines can get ‘away from you’.

One final advantage of a DT line is that typically the line is a lighter. Take for example a DT4. Most heads set up for this outfit would be 5 or 6WT. Heavier line gives more resistance through the water and lands harder. It would be interesting to compare a DT4 to a ST4 (true to AFFTA) because I’m sure that the DT4 will cast further, if that’s what’s required, under pretty much all conditions - apart from one; when backcast room is restricted to the head length.

It’s funny, for a while I considered very short heads for Snakehead, as in so short that they just hang down from the rod tip. But then I realised that I might as well use a spinning rod :D I have nothing against spinning of course - everything fishing is good with me! But one of the reasons why we fly fish is because often it is harder. And so I worked on developing my cast. I actually think the result is better and often more productive. Everything I hear from Snakehead anglers who spin, is that they “bomb” them with big spinners until they bite - it’s an aggressive response, most probably protecting their young. That’s not the Snakehead fishing I do; with fly we get a feeding response and as soon as the fish is spooked (often after the first cast) then the game is up and it’s time to find another fish!

Anyway I’m not knocking it at all and I was just curious. The recent developments in WF lines has moved them very much closer to shooting heads, ie overweight, very thin running lines. Finding a flyline that conforms to AFFTA is getting hard, and DT line options are becoming extremely limited, particularly when it comes to sinking lines. The only manufacturers of DT fast sinking lines that I have found in the last years has come from China! I’m sure the day will come when we will have to start welding WF lines together to make a DT line :laugh:

Cheers, Paul
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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#29

Post by nicholasfmoore » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:49 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:35 pm
That's interesting using heads. I was going to write a FP on the virtues of the DT line today, but instead picked the casting planes topic. It's interesting that with many fly lines being short heavy WF lines with a thin running line that many manufacturers have moved significantly away from DTs are are much more aligned to Shooting Heads. Of course Shooting Heads have a place, particularly when covering large areas of water, but I find it curious that people arm themselves with such tackle even when there are many types of fishing where the fish are targeted within only a few rod lengths. One of the biggest errors in fly fishing for trout, whether that be on rivers or stillwaters, is simply casting too far.

Then again it does come back to the fishing that we are teaching. If I was living in Denmark for example, fishing the coast for Imaginary Sea Trout, then I'm quite sure that I would very quickly teach with shooting heads. That is in fact the only place I have fished shooting heads by the way, apart from a brief go with them fishing off the dam when I was about 15. :p

I teach that there are four disciplines in flycasting; Accuracy, Distance, Speys and Presentation Casts. For me Shooting Heads are about Distance (and distance with Speys). I haven't fished much in the UK in recent years. Are Shooting Heads being commonly used in the lakes nowadays? They were exceptionally rare to see when I was working on Ardlegh Res.

I teach with a lot of different outfits here, but my favourite is the HT6 and Lumiline DT6. I get really solid results with that which can then be applied to whatever else we are using, which is usually a ten weight.

Cheers, Paul
Hi Paul,

Seems to be the fashion for UK anglers to switch to spey oriented lines. They are becoming increasingly common now in the UK. One such line that I see A LOT on still waters is red (you can probably guess who I'm on about) Shooting heads generally (integrated) are becoming very common on Stillwater's and reservoirs that I've seen.

I'm not sure why it's heading this way, they certainly aren't the best for presentation at distance.

All the best!
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

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Re: What lines weights do you typically teach with?

#30

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:53 am

Years ago (like about 20 years ago) we had an article by Mike Connor where he discussed use these floats In the Baltic with flies fishing for sea trout.
535DFF9A-D7B1-429E-8BE8-8B6331F40D3F.jpeg
535DFF9A-D7B1-429E-8BE8-8B6331F40D3F.jpeg (23.15 KiB) Viewed 1154 times
I can belt these floats out over a hundred and twenty YARDS!! if required. Even in a howling gale, I can still reach forty or fifty yards or more, with consummate ease. I cannot do that with conventional fly-lines. No matter what super-dooper-tapers, or "special" heads I might use. It is simply a no contest!
Cheers, Paul
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