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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #1 
On some other forums where I've participated there are often lots of questions about running lines. Some of these questions are asked over and over so in the interest of having to not answer a lot of repetitive questions I'm making a few comments that may answer some of those questions. This certainly will not be complete but it's a start.

There are three main kinds of running lines, plastic coated, braids, and mono. Some brands out there are Airflo, RIO, SA, Cortland, Royal Wulff, Guideline, Loop, Varivas, Frog Hair, Amnesia, and Berkley to name a few. There are more but these are the ones most common that I know of. All of these brands and styles work, but like choosing women, pickups, boats, food, or dogs, and a lot of other things each of us will have our favorite brand and style.

ALL running lines need some care to work to the maximum. The mono will fly further then the plastic, take up less room on a reel, and sometimes they cost less although the price of the top end monos is creeping up there. Some of the mono lines float and some don't which for some can be a pain. Some monos will do better if soaked over night and all seem to need to be stretched before fishing for maximum distance. For looping mono a double surgeon's loop or a non slip loop knot will work well.

The braids don't fly as far as the mono but are easier to hold and most of the ones I've tried float. For loops in the braids a blind splice loop will work nicely and slip through the guides like butter.

The plastic lines float or slowly sink depending whether they are floating or intermediate. They don't fly as far as the mono or braids but they are easier to hang on to when it's cold and for newer casters they seem easier to use. For looping the plastic coated lines welding works well. One can also use braided loops or double the line over on itself and secure with a couple nail knots and a little Knot Sense or Aquaseal. Plastic coated running lines need to be kept clean. Every couple outings a quick once over with "El Slicko" or the line cleaner of your choice should do the job.

We often times hear complaints about this running line or that running line twisting and tangling. Running lines DO NOT get twisted of their own accord. If you are having this problem then you have induced line twist when the line was installed or the line twists are a product of your casting. When many of us do spey casts we induce a tiny amount of twist when we cast. If we don't stop occasionally and reverse those twist pretty soon we will have one Hell of a mess and be telling anyone that will listen what a piece of crap this running line is. Take the time occasionally to turn your rod over a few revolutions in the opposite direction of your line twists or remove your fly and let all your running line hang in the current until it untwist itself. Also having whatever running line is pulled off the rule go out every time and come tight to the reel will cut down on inducing line twists. Some people also like a "spey swivel" between the running line and the head. RIO dealers stock a swivel as do some other people.

A running line question that is asked a lot is "which is the best running line?"  The answer is there is no best one. There will only be a best one for a given user and no one will be able to figure that out without some experimenting. There isn't nor can there be any other answer.

In order to find a running line that best matches your personality, casting ability/style, and your pocket book it will sometimes takes some experimenting. If you don't have a lot of coin try some of the less expensive mono for starters. If you decide you don't like it you won't be out much coin to get a little smarter before moving on to the more expensive running lines on the market.


















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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Jonathan Barlow

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Reply with quote  #2 
At. Least we have experts like Erik Helm if we get totally confused
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Erik Helm

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Reply with quote  #3 
Oh Christ. I use dental floss. [wink]

Or perhaps, "Do you jog here often?..."


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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #4 
What color dental floss?
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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Rob Eeglon

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Reply with quote  #5 
I run Slickshooter/Gripshooters for running lines. The knots I run from 30lb Dacron backing to the SS is spider hitches...Nice small knot that runs through the guides well. Much the same size as a bimini however not as strong.Never fully trusted "my" Surgeons or perfections..
Harry Tepper

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Reply with quote  #6 
I'm another SS user .....love the stuff. Bit of a issue when the temps drop but....I just hook the loop to a cleat on my sled give it a good pull and it's straight for the rest of the day. [smile] 
Mark Pascarella

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Reply with quote  #7 
Been hooked on Monic for a lot of years, real sweet cold weather Great Lakes line
DaveEvans

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Reply with quote  #8 
I put Monic on my two primary setups last year and liked it.  Was a little more difficult to handle when it came time to use fingerless gloves, but it was more me getting used to it.  
Rheinhart Nutto

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Reply with quote  #9 

I have used guide line comp line for years now. It is a great line for spring summer and fall. I am looking for a better winter line , Im thinking of trying airflo winter running line. I have Airflos intermediate on my ocean set up. I havent had one problem with it. 

What do you guys think of Airflos running line ?


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Henry Carlile

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Reply with quote  #10 
I use Varivas most of the time but have lately been trying out RIO's Gripshooter during freezing spells.  Mono running lines tend to twist more than braid or coated lines, especially if you're doing a lot of Snap Ts, and for this reason I've used RIO's Spey swivel, invented originally by Josh Linn.  Unfortunately I had a swivel break recently, which cost me a Skagit head, 10 feet of T-11, a tippet, and one of my favorite steelhead flies.  RIO is using cheap swivels, according to several folks I've spoken with.  Josh told me that they do occasionally break.  So I've been making my own with Umpqua braided loops and Spro swivels.  I Super Glue the splices and cover them with shrink tubing.  I haven't had one of my own manufacture break . . . yet.  
Barny Wong

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Reply with quote  #11 
I like to try differing running lines to see what effects it has on fly line dynamics.

Too often I see the running line is chosen to compensate for the person's not getting their desired casting results. So, if it is a lack of distance- presto: Put some slick hard running line like Varivas. Casting problems goes away (or does it?).

Like Auto-mending a fly line once it touches the water, this reflexive rig fixing is starting to become the norm. In an unconscious way.

I try to select a running line whereby I can minimize the delay between 1) the back of line pulling against my reel, and 2) fly turning over without dumping. I often consider its running resistance an integral part of the line aerodynamic performance given how I am casting.

So, for example, I would have a higher running line resistance for my Aerohead than my AFS because the former is more rear centric in weight balance.

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Leo DeBruin

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanx Poppy! 
I am using Opst Lazer line on my 7wt and starting to have lots of problems with Twisting and Kinking.  I started rotating my rod and my issues have seemingly gone away.  I rotate my rod 3 revolutions about every half hour  of casting and it seems to work well.
Loren Irving

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Reply with quote  #13 
I see the thread started a couple years ago but it's a great discussion.

 I tried the OPST Lazer running line and found that it really stretches, which is not my preference.

 This year I tried out Rio's Connect Core and really like it.  You really can feel what's going on.  I am not sure my casting distance is much difference as I normally am not trying to cast long distances.  

My two cents..........

Thanks for the forum Poppy
Loren 
Rick Jorgensen

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Reply with quote  #14 
I have been using Berkeley Big Game  in green - anywhere from 20# to 40# depending on line system. I have used swivels occasionally but agree that RIOs likely are not the way to go. AFW mighty-mini crane swivels are stainless and are rated at 78#. Easy to make up your own system

Tracy recommended Stren Catfish orange as says it is a bit more supple than Berkeley.  The Berkeley does not have much stretch which I like. I have tried OPST and liked it for a bit but did not hold up and kinked badly. Feel the same about Monic over time plus pricy.
Chas Lilley

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Reply with quote  #15 
I am guilty as charged. I have cursed running lines since I started my journey with the spey. Never had the problem with amnesia and single handed rods yet when you think about it the casting stroke lends itself well to the twist effect. Thanks Poppy!
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