Tom Festing gives advice on customising Guideline shooting heads

Tom Festing gives advice on customising Guideline shooting heads

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When you find yourself looking into what salmon fishing kit you want as your next purchase, one of the first things that will come to your mind will be fly lines. Everyone is becoming interested in casting efficiently and fishing more effectively than ever before, therefore upgrading your fly lines seems to be on top of the pile of importance.

When you’re choosing your fly line upgrade shooting heads will be on your mind. This profile of line is the most popular of the moment with a very compelling argument for their popularity.

In today’s world salmon fishers tend to fish with lighter line rated rods typically 9/10 #‘s rather than 10/11# rods. Therefore most will match a 9/10 shooting head off the shelf to a 9/10 rated rod. However consider this, what about cutting down from the back end of a 10/11 Guideline Triple Density shooting head. These heads will be 13.5 metres in length off the shelf and will weigh 44 grams. In order to fit a 9/10 rod typically a Guideline Reaction rod 13’7 9/10 you would want to cut 1.5 metres off the back of the head which will bring the head to 39/40 grams. This now gives you some advantages over a off the shelf bought 9/10 head.

The shooting head on the scales prior to cutting weighing 44gs
These are as follows:

  • The overall length is shorter therefore easier to control during your casting set up, however still maintaining the overall desired casting weight.
  • Delivers bigger flies at a longer distance, due to more condensed weight at the tip of the rod generating more energy output.
  • Balances the casting loop in the air for longer.
  • Due to the length reduction the lines can be used in tighter more concealed areas whilst fishing.
  • Will allow your casting loop to carry more energy into a wind due to more overall mass of fly line.



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