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Thread: Saltwater Fly Rods and Lines

  1. #1
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    Default Saltwater Fly Rods and Lines

    I have a 10 wt Loomis Cross Current that I am shopping for line for. My question is, what weight of head do I need?

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    10 wt. Line unless you are talking about the switch rod, then a 425 grain head
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarredbehrendt View Post
    I have a 10 wt Loomis Cross Current that I am shopping for line for. My question is, what weight of head do I need?
    What type of saltwater fishing do you plan to do...
    as in what type of fish are you targeting?
    are you trying to go really deep or cast far?
    wading or off a boat?
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Ok, rereading my initial post I was too vague. I am stringing up this rod to fish for kings and other coldwater species, I plan on getting some floating line and a few different sinking lines. (I intend on having several lines and heads).

    Really my question is whether I should upsize the line (most saltwater heads are 30-60 grains heavier than normal coldwater ones) for my normal floating line or if I should stick with the 10 wt line.

    Sorry about the confusion.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Read up on tactics for kings first. I have not caught but one on a fly rod, but have a float trip in SW planned out. Just need time off work. The info I have so far suggest fishing quite deep. This is for river fishing. But be sure to get good info on salt if that is where you are heading. If chartering a boat, they should be able to tell you. I have my ten wt setup rigged with 3 sink tips and full sinking lines. Can't recall the weight. I work out of state. But mine were set up for false albacore in the Outer Banks of NC and for kings in rivers. Give lots of thought to the waters you will be fishing.
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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Good post Dan. Solid information. Think about where the fish would be and the water you’re fishing.

    To the point, the best way to figure out how heavy of a line (how many grains you need) is to cast the line, working out more line bit by bit, until your rod loads they way you want it to.

    A few thoughts… and a few more questions…

    Are you planning to fish from a boat? Big ocean stuff? Or wade and fish river outlets, etc?

    Typically the only time I’d really see using a floating line for kings is if you’re fishing smaller rivers streams where you’d in effect be “nymphing” for kings – such as drifting a Fat Freddie under an indicator. On smaller water you might get away with swinging streamers below a floating line, but I think you’d be better off with a sink-tip. In these situations you wouldn’t be trying for a lot of distance casting, so a shooting head wouldn’t have much of an advantage.

    I really don’t see where a floating line is going to be much use for you on the salt for salmon. You’re just not going to get down to the fish, kings especially, under most situations. Are you thinking of getting a floating line just for attaching various sink tips?

    Reading your comment on shooting heads versus “normal” cold water lines - keep in mind that a lot of the saltwater lines out there, especially floating lines and shooting heads, are designed for warmer climates. They’re made to withstand the brutal sun and heat of the flats and will be so stiff as to be unusable for cold water salmon fishing. Make sure you get a line designed for fishing in cold water/weather if that’s where you’re using it.

    I’ve been making my own sink tip lines for a while, and have really started looking into shooting heads/running lines lately, as I’m currently working on piecing together a couple of situations for saltwater lingcod, rockfish, and halibut fishing. For that situation, I’m looking at full-sink (and fast-sink) shooting heads with intermediate or braided mono shooting lines to get the line deep fast. Something like the Rio T-14, or T-17 shooting heads or the Cortland LLC-13 Lead-Core shooting head. If you’re trying to get down deep for salmon in the saltwater (off a boat) then something like that might be a good hobby. Not graceful to cast – a roll, once back, and shoot.

    I think the options shooting heads present are pretty cool, and it’s been an addicting hobby lately, but you have to consider if they’re practical for the situation. Shooting heads are really popular with saltwater fishermen wading from shore and on the big steelhead rivers, where the point is to get some distance fast (and where backcast space is often limited). If you’re thinking more along those lines, then consider how many grains you need to get down. There are of course a host of options for different sinking lines, shooting heads, and sink tips – bring some variety.

    Read this article on shooting heads. Good info on selecting line lengths, weights, etc.
    http://globalflyfisher.com/fishbetter/shootingheads/

    Some other good stuff…
    http://globalflyfisher.com/keywords/index.php?keyword=shooting_heads
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  7. #7

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    if you're casting something like a t400 or similar you wont need to go up a line.... If you're using a regular wf f 10 line, you might want to.

    For a line, I'd get a versitip style.... Buy one line and you'll end up with 3 or so. Add some cortland lead core and you should be set.

  8. #8

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    I do about half my fly fishing up here in salt water, both from shore and offshore. Choosing lines and rods is real situational. Getting kings offshore is a matter of location, location, location, with the best being 60 feet or less of water with bait and cover. That means a lot of fishing along reefs and kelp beds. Nine times out of ten you get the kings incidental to the silvers. But on #10, you're collecting days to remember.

    The two things I've found most important are sink rate and line configuration. Best of the best have been the sinking lines from Rio, whether the Deep Sea at around 6 inches per second or the Leviathin for faster sink rates and heavier lines. Both are more or less uniform sinking, which is a plus. Uniform sink just fishes better than leadcore heads.

    As for lining up, how strong are your arms, how high off the water are you, and how long is your leader. Usually you aren't going to pick up the whole tip from the water once it hits your guides. You have to do a couple of rolls to continue drawing it up before making a full backcast, so weight in relation to rod spine is less important than the fishing conditions. Saying all that, I probably wouldn't go over 400 grains on your 10.

    Couple of fishing tips you didn't ask for:

    Carry a 5-gallon bucket, and press that against the gunnel with your knees, then use it for a stripping basket. Fishing at depth and making long casts, you're going to hang your running line on things you can't imagine. Every single cast.

    Second point, about 90% of your strikes are going to come as the fly is sinking rather than on the retrieve. So you have to make really straight casts, keep a tight line, and stay alert as your fly sinks to depth. And you won't "feel" most strikes. Rather your fly will just stop sinking. Most guys never even realize they had a strike due to poor casting an inattention.

    Okay, one more. Load your box about 3:1 with Claussers to Deceivers. The Clausser eyes contribute to a faster sink and send the fly down head first, both of which contribute to your strike rate.

    I've got a bunch of heads and other brands, but the only ones that come remotely close to the Rio are the SI, and they're a distant second. If you really want to fish deep and have a chance for halibut too, I'd add a 12-weight to your spread, and a 14-weight will be even better. My 12's don't really like casting the 600 grain Leviathin, but are fine with the 500. When the chips are down and I want to fight a little current while also getting deep, a good 14 with that 600 grain Leviathin is hard to beat. I regularly fish halibut in 60 feet with it, and when the water is still on the tide changes, I can get it down to 90 if I'm willing to wait for it.

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    I am thinking that the shooting heads will be the most logical solution. Only needing a couple spools and having multiple heads sounds like a more economical solution. I think that for a regular floating line (this will be for river applications when needed) I will upgrade to an 11 wt sized line. As for the sinking tips, I think variety is the spice of life then?

  10. #10

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    shooting heads is something I've tossed around for awhile. Really have found there is no need for a ton of lines, spare spools tons of backing, when you can just have one reel and many heads. A 2nd spool if you want a full sink of some kind, you can add some heavier heads to it to get deeper if you want. I have a 10wt mega rod, and a cheaper 9wt im6 blank. My rio works on both. I do have a t400 I bought before I bought the rio, and a floating line, and a full sink...I DO carry them in a reel bag, I have yet to use anything but the rio and extra heads. I dont have a need for the full sink at this point, though nice to have along, it's just more stuff to carry, never use, and not forget.

    Really you can make it as complicated and exspensive as you want, or you can go about it cheaply and still be effective. The problem I run into when carrying a garage full of gear is I always end up forgetting something I NEED and bring everything else I thought I'd use.

    As for making heads....it's great if you have the money to build them (ie start buying a bunch of lines to cut and splice), when atleast in the heavier lines some lead core and your rio will do everything you ask of it. You can make some tips from the leadcore, 1' 3' 5' etc and attach these to your regular sink to to 'specialize' without spending more then a moderate amount of money (less then 20 bucks for a roll of cortland lead core and a bit more for some loops if you choose not to make them).

    Either way it's a win win, one is MUCH cheaper then the other.

  11. #11

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    I really don’t see where a floating line is going to be much use for you on the salt for salmon. You’re just not going to get down to the fish, kings especially, under most situations. Are you thinking of getting a floating line just for attaching various sink tips?
    I agree if your talking offshore or when fishing satwater where the fish are down 12 feet or more but in my experience when fly fishing for kings or silvers or pretty much any salmon from the beach a floating line is all you need and in fact even if your 100 to 200 yards from the river the fish are going to enter seems the salmon even kings stay in the top 15 feet of the water column. I see the quite a bit as i have spent a lot of time in my pontoon boat for kings inshore and i will alway prefer a floating line as you can use a long leader and heavy fly and i just feel stealthier with a long flour leader when the water is glass calm and if it's windy id rather cast a floating line.

    Also like stilll water lakes for silvers i catch a lot of inshore kings with slow sinking flies while the fly is sinking which you can't do with a sinktip.

  12. #12
    Member neverborn's Avatar
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    Good info: i hope help you

    1) Ed Ward’s King Rig
    2) King Salmon Tackle
    3) 10 Tips – Swinging Flies for Kings
    4) Flies for Kings

    russian Tube Fly for king
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _011_1~1.JPG  

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