Understanding Fly Lines


Well-known member
Dec 21, 2010
Depends how long the head is and much 'fly line' you have outside the rod tip. With 4ft of mono shooting line outside the rod tip it's a 'challenge'!

I would go even further and say it's impossible, but when all conditions are met it is possible to roll cast any head. And shoot running line in the process.
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Well-known member
May 20, 2006
West Oxfordshire
Someone upthread explained that the Orvis Clearwater was a good beginner's line. Being 1/2 a size overweight and also 'head-heavy' (short front and rear taper) I suppose it's a micro shooting head really.
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I have to say, I quite like the idea of this line, it looks like you should be able to fish that close in and also chuck it 50' feet (+leader) fairly easily. Should to be good at roll casting too. It looks like a decent general purpose small water/river line to me.

I know the delicate presentation thing is supposed to require a longer front taper but for most of us I reckon turning over the entire leader is more important.

Just thinking out loud really.
Not only do I like this line for beginners but I also use it in a 4wt (urrr...4.5 weight!) for the majority of my river fishing now. Easy to roll cast at short range but doesn't become unwieldy at longer 'river' distances. As far as the front taper goes, yes it's a bit abrupt but a bit matched to a fairly thick butted leader good turnover and presentation is achievable.
The taper is fairly standard for a WF, it's just 'overlined' a bit. I've cast a 6wt version to the backing on more than a few occasions but it's a lot harder work than a GT90 or Arrowhead as it hinges like a bugger with over 15 or 20 feet of the running line outside the rod-tip.


Well-known member
May 7, 2010
Yeh, I didn't mean an actual shooting head, doubt you could roll cast a real shooting head :cool:

Depends, I watched Klaus Frimor do exactly that when Loop's SDS multi tip kit came out, he was using 5 weight shooting head 'tips' with a single dry fly, he was roll casting with ease and delicacy, the final tip he put on shot 90' without much effort.

The catch with a shooting head is rear taper, or rather lack of it, without a rear taper you are restricted to picking up one set length of head...or less of it, and my experience is you need a long enough head to form a good long stable loop before letting go, and when you do it whizzes and can crumple if you don't slow it down to roll out, but the potential is just the same as an overhead cast.

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