Originally developed in the mid-1800s on Scotland's storied River Spey in response to the river's severely limited casting real estate, the Spey didn't reach American fly water in any meaningful way until just a few decades ago when a small cadre of steelheaders in the Pacific Northwest adopted It. A super Slick Fluorocarbon running/shooting line with with little to no memory and extremely low coefficient of friction for long distance casts. If you continue to use this site we assume that you are okay with it. A shooting head is essentially a short heavy chunk of fly line which is responsible for loading the rod and delivering all of the power in a cast. Mono is very Slick! Each spey rod likes a specific grain weight and getting the right grain weight is critical. On spey rigs, true, dacron takes up more space than braid, but – mono takes up so much less than conventional running line that the dacron + mono combination has always given me more than enough capacity. In recent years many people have discovered using straight 30lb or 40lb monofilament has helped anglers cast further versus using … Demystifying Spey Part 3: Shooting/Running Lines Coated Running Lines. Here, we break down 'running lines' and discuss the pros and cons of the main types of running line you'll find on the market. Both Skagit and Scandi line systems use the same running lines. Rather than even attempting to describe how to splice a loop in my own words, I will leave it up to the guys at The Confluence Fly Shop in Bellingham and Deneki Outdoors in the below video: So many great running line options out there, so which way to go? My preferred knot for this application is the Double Surgeon's Loop. There are 3 basic types of running lines: Nylon Mono (flat and round) - Shoots well and requires less power in casting. Like I mentioned above, rigging up a braided running line is a bit more of a process than the other running line options. However, if you are looking for the best of both worlds, braided running lines fall into the sweet spot. I use 2, the first being the end loop knot which is strong and easy to tie but a bit Bulky. We carry every running line possible, but I think only a few are worthy of your consideration. Still good stuff. Spey lines consist of several parts and various grain weights. Its cheap and shoots great. It can be tangle-prone. Monofilament running lines are the best option for … What their design offers to the Spey caster is instant flexibility on the river. They are fairly narrow in diameter, so they shoot great...almost as well as mono. Offered in 4 sizes, one is sure to fit your needs. Next, they are bit of a hassle compared to other running lines to initially rig up. Brands such as Rio, OPST, S.A., and Airflo all have good options. With its powerful lower rod section, the New DEMON Spey effortlessly casts RIO’s 3D Scandi lines which are becoming very popular for sub-surface tight line swinging. Ideal for heads over 675gr. The theoretical benefits of hollow monofilament are higher flotation, less line memory, and less tangling. The Gripshooter is a hybrid line which aims to combine the benefits of both a coated running line and a monofilament running line, while reducing the disadvantages of both. They are constructed with a monofilament or braided core which is then coated in a polymer material (just like a single-handed fly line). This, however, is a lesson that you only learn once and then develop better line handing techniques moving forwards. This line memory can usually be overcome by stretching the line before use, but is nonetheless a pain. There is no difference, some manufacturers call them running lines, others call them shooting lines. Mono running lines are so slick and thin that they easily can slip out of your finger during the casting stroke, creating a completely failed cast. Additional benefits of coated running lines are that they have very little line memory and have overall the best "handling" characteristics. Some have loops built-in and others need you to make a loop to loop connection with perfection loops. I love them because they combine many of the best attributes of both mono and coated running lines. Photo: Eric Robbins. It is easy to handle and this running line won't spiral up and hold memory after sitting on your fly reel for extended periods of time. Perhaps the biggest complaint about mono running lines is that they are hard to hold on to. Tie those babies tight and then finish them off with a drop of Loon UV Knot Sense or super glue for safe measure. Much debate on running lines. Stripping and all associated line management tasks are also made more difficult because of this. Taking advantage of new materials and concepts in Spey line design, the Airflo dream team of Dec Hogan and Tim Rajeff worked some magic to … Shooting heads (on the other hand) have much shorter head lengths, and each delivery will require the striping in of a substantial length of running line. Spey lines travel faster across the stream (as do integrated heads) and therefore achieve almost by default the faster summer action that you inevitably need to work your head to achieve. When casting either a Skagit or Scandi line, the cast is generated entirely by the shooting head, however once the head goes airborne, the running line follows or "shoots" right behind it. Use these loops on either end to create a loop-to-loop connection to your backing as well as a loop-to-loop connection to your shooting head. Coated running lines are very similar in feel and appearance to regular single-handed fly lines. #2 Don’t count when stripping line … Pros: Good distance shooting ability, good grip and handling characteristics, very little line memory. This line is also available as a 100' Spey Lite Integrated Skagit with a seamless connection between the running line and the head. The Airflo Impact and Rio Slickshooter are "Oval" or "Flat" mono lines, meaning that the shape of the line itself is a very thin oval, almost appearing and feeling flat in hand. RIO has the most comprehensive family of Spey shooting lines on the market. Spey Running Lines. In this category, RIO ConnectCore, RIO Powerflex Max Shooting Line, and Airflo Ridge Line shooting lines are superb. photo Reid Curry. Shooting running line (or shooting line with a shooting head) is the most practical method of making long distance Spey casts. They all fundamentally do the same thing - that is they "shoot" through the guides as your Skagit/Scandi head flies through the air on a long cast - but there are subtle differences as well as distinct pros and cons between the various options. A running line is the level-diameter line that connects to a shooting head via a loop-to-loop connection. Most Skagit-style spey setups these days involve a separate running line – the thinner diameter line behind the head that isn’t involved in casting, but allows mending and line control and a ‘handle’ for you to pinch when you’re swinging your fly. I am speaking about Airflo Miracle Braid. A better option on the river is to wear rubber gloves and stretch it by hand before you fish. We carry a large variety of spey rod manufacturers at all times such as Sage, G-Loomis, Loop, Echo, Dragonfly, and more in different lengths and various weights. Braided running lines take up a medium amount of space on a reel (less than coated, more than mono). $19.99. SlickShooter. Cons: Noisy, potential finger injuries, difficult to rig up initially, questionable choice in below freezing conditions. Coated running lines are considered the best option for new spey casters, as their relatively thicker diameter and grippy coating make them easier to hold onto. In a Spey system the running line, … In the hands of a skilled caster, mono running lines can create an absolutely buttery casting feel. Realistically, although I have stated that braided lines are my favorite, I currently have every type of running line rigged up on one of my reels. The shooting head, a tip or leader, and a running line. Seriously, it's the jam. Airflo Ridge 30-pound is the easiest to see against most backgrounds. They can be built like a standard fly line (low-stretch core with PU or PVC coating), constructed of a single material (monofilament), or braided. Red's offers … The 20lb version is best suited for spey rods 6wt and lower, while the 30lb is best for spey rods 6wt and higher. Finally, our 168 grain tips work best on 7-weight spey rods to 9 weight spey … Another interesting option on the market is the Rio Gripshooter. Both systems use the same running lines or shooting lines. Notice I said theoretical. The best method is to splice a loop into either end. So this means that you need to really crank down on your knots to get them to seat properly. It is worth mentioning that some manufacturers offer coated running lines in floating, intermediate, and even sinking densities. It's the only super-short compact integrated Skagit line out there, and eliminates the clicking and bumping of the loop connections running … Yes, that's right, another post about lines...because, well, spey lines are kinda confusing. The topic of the best running/shooting line for skagit or scandi style spey setups is an age old debate, and certainly not one we’re not willing to make a ruling on. Examples of Monofilament Running Lines Currently on the Market: Some of the more popular mono running lines currently available include the Airflo Impact, Rio Slickshooter, OPST Lazar Line, and Varivas Airs. Many of the above running lines come in multiple diameters or pound test strengths. Ideal for heads between 450-575gr, 0.037" - blue, with 18ft handling section. They have a grippy texture, so they are easy to handle...almost as easy as coated lines. The great thing about running lines is they are relatively inexpensive, making it easy to try out a number of options and develop a personal preference. This is a very easy and dependable way to set up a Slickshooter (or Mono) running line with a Compact Spey head (Skagit, AFS, Scandi, etc.) In both Skagit and Scandi line setups, you have 3 major parts. It only comes in one size, so it's about as straightforward a choice as there is in the world of spey. Monofilament Running Line. It is not uncommon to go to a spey-heavy fly shop and find a dozen or more different shooting line options. collapse. Think of them as traditional lines that have been cut into sections with scissors. Personally, if someone is new to spey and asks me what running line to go with, I always recommend a coated option. The good news, however, is that this is the third and final part of the spey line equation. $49.99. Most coated running lines come with a factory-welded loop on both ends. The Rio GripShooter Shooting Line is the best selling Running Line for Spey lines at Red's Fly Shop. Running lines are different diameters and lbs test, mono, or level fly line that attaches to the backing on one end and the shooting head on the other. The OPST and Varivas lines are round hollow-core monofilament. Backing is the backup to your running line, head, tip, leader and fly. Cortland makes a Short Belly Spey Line, Medium Belly Spey Line, and a Long Belly Spey Line. I would caution against tying a knot such as a surgeon's loop in this material, as they are very prone to working loose. That being said, they have some unique quarks that can be deal breakers for some folks. Conversely, if you are new to spey or only after ease of line handling, I would still recommend a coated line. Ideal for heads between 200-450gr, 0.032" - green, with 17ft handling section. 20lb core. I use a bimini in the front of the backing and loop it to a non-slip mono loop in the back of the running line. Another benefit of coated running lines for new spey anglers is that they feel very similar to the single handed fly lines that the angler is most likely already used to. As is the case with coated running lines, all of the above mono running lines come in various sizes. Spey lines, in both form and function, are much the same as traditional fly lines. The components of either a Scandi or Skagit spey set-up are backing, running line, shooting head, floating or sink tip, leader and fly. There are many different types of Spey lines; Short belly lines, mid belly lines and long belly lines, and the aforementioned document " Understanding Spey Lines "covers the differences in more detail. We also carry Spey lines and heads from Cortland and Airflo. Braided running lines are certainly the dark horse of the spey world. Below we'll discuss each of these different types of spey running lines, their pros and cons, and current market offerings. If you were purely after distance, I would still recommend a mono line. Another option which I have recently been spending some time with is the Monic GSP Shooting Floating Line. Notice my use of "almost". Most Spey outfits for beginners come equipped with a fly-line shooting line because it is easier for beginning anglers to see and to control. The running line (also called shooting line) is a very thin and long line that attaches to the back side of the shooting head. While they do excel in different scenarios, I mostly just like the casting feel of changing it up every once in awhile. There Riffle is S2/3, the Run is S5/6 and the Bucket is S8/9. The running line is the angler's touch point throughout the casting stroke, so sticking with a familiar feeling running line can reduce some of the awkwardness in the early stages of the spey casting learning process. Tim Rawlins Spey Casting My favorite cheap running line is Berkley Big Game Ultragreen #40lbs test. Spey Shooting Lines. Spey Running Line – The Old Standby. At this time there is only one commercially available braided running line out there (in North America anyways), and it kicks a**. As you recall from our previous posts, both Skagit and Scandi line systems are made up of three components - a shooting head, a tip or polyleader, and a running line. It sinks though, but for the price thats not a deal breaker. If you are new to spey, I would recommend not overthinking it and just going with a coated running line. First, they make noise when they go through the guides, a lot of noise. Mono running lines take up very little room on a reel, and in some cases may allow the use of a smaller sized reel. 30lb core. To achieve this, Rio integrated a 15 foot coated "handling" section into the front end of a monofilament running line, thus achieving the easier line handling of a coated line and the distance benefits of a mono line. Deneki Custom Fly Series: Rapids Camp Smolt, Deneki Chronicles: Spey Casting Tips – Stuart Foxall on Adjusting Overhang, Captains for Clean Water: A Mission That Holds Water, The coating can make the line “stick” to the water, Can be difficult to manage while stripping and initiating a cast due to its super slickness and small diameter. In today's post we are going to be talking about running lines (also called shooting lines). This is great news for anglers who like to spend time with both Skagit and Scandi heads, as it means they can keep their favorite running line on their reel at all times and simply swap out the shooting head as they desire. Starting off with backing, there are a few knots you can use to tie it off. As you’ve probably noticed, since we do a lot of spey fishing for king salmon and steelhead at Alaska West and BC West, we play around with spey tackle a lot.. Our team and most of our guests use Skagit-style line systems most of the time, and these line systems generally allow for the use of a separate running or shooting line behind the Skagit head. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Although there are a great variety of running lines on the market, they all fall into one of three distinct categories: coated running lines, monofilament running lines, and braided running lines. A skagit head taking flight, trailed by a long length of running line. The water retained in the line can freeze, making the line stiff and lopping extra water onto the guides contributing to much dreaded "guide ice". Mono running lines do not come with a loop on either end, so you will have to tie your own. Pros: Ease of handling, most beginner friendly, very little line memory, high floating. Monofilament running lines are the best option for achieving maximum casting distance and line speed. Sort of a cult classic, if you will. Running lines are narrow diameter level lines (a level line is not tapered) which are designed to shoot quickly through the guides of a rod. A major part of Spey or two-handed rod fishing is the running line or shooting line. They are so thin and slick that they are almost undetectable as they shoot through the guides. Second, much like gel-spun backing, under tension, the braided material can be razor sharp and has been known to cause a few finger injuries. This is primarily due to the larger diameter which creates more drag as the line travels through the rod guides. That being said, lets dive into the different types of running lines. The Rio GripShooter Shooting Line is the best selling Running Line for Spey lines at Red's Fly Shop. Running Line Spey Lines & Heads Rafts expand. Our 132 grain tips work best for rods from about a 6-weight spey to an 8-weight switch, or about a 325 to 400 Grain Commando Head. Airflo Delta Spey IISmooth, graceful castsAfter ten years of being the go-to long belly Spey line, it was time for an upgrade. I would say there is an obvious difference between the rate of travel of full spey lines compared to heads fished off a mono running line. Like all things in the world of fly fishing nowadays, there are a lot of running line options currently available. Angler Jason Rolfe on the Olympic Peninsula. Some like mono, and some like a coated running line. They are the thinnest in diameter of all of the running lines and therefore have the least friction shooting through the guides as well as the least water tension when coiled in the current.

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