Monday, 10 November 2008

Pike fly lines and Shooting heads

12 yrs ago when I begun my journey in to the world of pike fly fishing, there was very little technical information available for me to access so as to be able to determine what would be my best set up in targeting “Esox lucius”. Coupled with that there were very few fly-fishing companies at the time developing specific pike fly-fishing tackle.
But in just 10yrs due to the upsurge in the sports popularity in Europe, The States & In Canada much has been written about it & one can spend hours now reading informative articles by many of the sports first pioneers on how (through trial and error) they have developed their own ways and techniques in tackling Pike on the fly.
Although there were enough rods out there that would stand up to the rigors of pike fly-fishing It has been the development of specific pike fly-fishing lines and shooting heads by fly fishing companies that has helped in propelling the development of this sport.
I won’t go into all the technical aspects about pike lines and shooting heads except to say If you are starting out in the sport, remember that to be able to chuck flies of 15cm-25cm with ease, one needs to have a heavier line and special Pike taper lines with an exaggerated weight forward profile is what you should be looking to invest in. So if you have a 9” rod with a 9 weight forward line rating you would use a 10 weight shooting head. Some even go as far as to say that it’s even better to go two sizes higher with your shooting head rating but that to me is a matter of opinion of which the latter will suffice quite easily. Lastly, a good word of advice from me would be to just buy your self a slow sinking intermediate to start with. This is a good all round line and depending what fly you use will depend on what level of the water you can fish at.(Read my articles on Fly retrieval & the art of cricket & Fly fishing with Poppers) to see why.
Its not always easy tracking down specific pike lines and Shooting heads and can also become quite time consuming so to ease your efforts, Over the next week or so I be listing a few brands to look out for. Some fly rod manufactreres are now developing their own pike lines specifically for their pike fly rods but these can also be used for other set ups as well.


These lines have a short heavy front taper which loads any rod really quickly, allowing for distance casting and easy turnover of big air resistant or heavy Pike or Saltwater flies. These lines have been tested extensively over the last 12 months to great effect in both Pike and Saltwater fly fishing applications. Great for Baltic conditions

Masterline toothy critter pike fly line

These fly lines have been specifically designed to meet the challenges of fishing for pike with the fly. Tough and durable, these lines have a powerful upfront taper to help carry large flies out to the fish and ensure a smooth turnover.
These pike fly lines are available in 9 and 10 AFTM weights and in two versions; a yellow floater and a clear slow sinker.
The fly lines are slightly longer than usual at 32 yds. The floating line has a braided nylon core for suppleness and low memory, while the sinking line has a transparent mono core.
The sinking line is rated at 2.5 - 3 inches per second (IPS).
Toothy Critter Pike Fly Line - Floating WF (Yellow)
Toothy Critter Pike Fly Line - Sinking WF (Clear)


dry flies and deadbaits said...

I use an old cortland saltwater 10 weight shooting head on my 9 weight pike rod and i think its ideal. A lot of my fishing is done with minimal room for a backcast and the shooting head helps greatly in these situations.
The line just rips through the rings and with two or three false casts i can place the fly further than is ever gonna be necassary..and im a rubbish caster!

It is amazing the variety of pike related fly fishing products on the market now, im also surprised by how many people are taking the sport up. Any fly fishing forum now has a dedicated band of pikers!

One piece of gear that seems to be strangely rare though is a fly box big enough to hold my monster pike flies!

I saw a post on an english blog about converting old video boxes into pike fly boxes and i thinki he's onto something.

Pike fly-fishing articles said...

Its David who has the blog Deesox.Since reading his article I have pulled out all my old video boxes and started to convert them.
At the moment I am using the Loop opti booster shooting head and Its great.I also have Scientific Anglers™ Mastery Series Fly Line for Pike on my other spool which was fine but I had to trim and re loop it as I found it maybe 4 ft to long for my casting action.
My next line though will be a specific saltwaterline for Baltic conditions but no hurry for that though.

dry flies and deadbaits said...

Ahh, i couldnt remember where i had seen it. Im having trouble finding foam to fill the cases!

I like the sound of the loop shooting head, my line has seen a bit of abuse and will need replaced at some point i guess.

I also use a dirt cheap ron thomson 9 weight sinker, i think it was a tenner. its surprisingly good! it casts the big flies without any hassle and it sinks, what more can i ask for at a tenner? It very rarely gets used but it can be the difference between a blank and a winner.