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Intermediate Shooting Head

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Hi guys, other than using the usual Scandi and Skagit floating heads with Poly and tips. Have you ever thought that you might needed intermediate shooting heads for the Bow in general?

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Started with intermediate and classic lines but keep going back to Skaget heads with running line.

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thank you for the replies.

I am just curious if intermediate heads are commonly used at the Bow. It probably redundant to use it.

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Love those Skagit heads for the Bow. Have been looking at the FIST also looks nice but i usually just tune my own sinki tips..

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I use a skagit line with imow tips which is basically a float/int/sink system. In my mind it fishes better than the typical float/sink set up, I say go ahead and try one of the multi density lines.

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Glad to know that I didn't have to use an intermediate skagit head. My standard setup is also a skagit head with iMOW and T tips.

How is the bow river bottom in general? is it quite flat?

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Thank you for the replies everyone. I have a new question, what are the commonly switch or spey rod weight and shooting heads grains used at the Bow?

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People are using everything from ultralight trout rods to 9 wt. Spey/Switch. Some like to use their steelhead equipment so they can not only catch trout but also practice their casting for Steelhead season. I love my 12ft Meiser 4 wt. for example but also use a 7 wt G. Loomis Switch that I take out occasionally. I also swing a Bamboo. I do like a 400 grain Shooting head for the bow. But that's just me.

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thank you for your reply SilverDoctor, I currently have a beulah platinum switch 6wt with 325 skagit and wondering if I should get something with more muscle for throwing junks and as an alternative rod for the silver. Kinda having my eyes set for a Pro4x 6/7wt 12.6 from Gloomis.

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I don't know anything about the Beulah Platinum, but 325 grains seems pretty light for a 6wt. Have you tried a few different grain weights on it?

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I tried 350 with T-8 and it would turn the tip and streamer just fine but felt heavy. I liked it better with 325 skagit, but maybe it just me.

BurningChrome what is your setup for the Bow?

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I have your same set up Poly. I love that rod. I use 350 skagit for streamers/tips and 325 scandi for soft hackles and pupa.

The platinum errs towards a slightly deep flex with a fast recovery. I think it would be too much to go over 350. 350 turns 10 feet of t14 and an articulated fly fine; although, that tip only makes an appearance in freshet. T6 or 8 is fine most of the time. 325 gives it a little more of a tip flex/dainty feel, I guess you'd say. But its 25 grains, not a huge gap.

I think the rod for the bow it's fine. Maybe a hair heavy, but the fish still put a bend in the rod. If I had another, I think the 5 would be just about right for small bugs and save the 6 for tandem streamers.

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BurningChrome what is your setup for the Bow?

Winston 11'6 5wt Microspey with an Airflo Switch Streamer or a Scott 9'6" Radian with an OPST Commando.

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I have your same set up Poly. I love that rod. I use 350 skagit for streamers/tips and 325 scandi for soft hackles and pupa.

The platinum errs towards a slightly deep flex with a fast recovery. I think it would be too much to go over 350. 350 turns 10 feet of t14 and an articulated fly fine; although, that tip only makes an appearance in freshet. T6 or 8 is fine most of the time. 325 gives it a little more of a tip flex/dainty feel, I guess you'd say. But its 25 grains, not a huge gap.

I think the rod for the bow it's fine. Maybe a hair heavy, but the fish still put a bend in the rod. If I had another, I think the 5 would be just about right for small bugs and save the 6 for tandem streamers.

Chrome, that Winston rod is really nice isn't it?

 

Bron, I don't use the T8 much, i've been using iMOW Light 5/5 and 7.5/2.5. Have you had the chance to cast that rod with Airflo Scout, the Airflo switch float or Airflo switch streamer? I have the Airflo switch float in the mail right now but eager to find out what other Platinum users think about it.

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For what its worth, I dont believe the intermediate heads are a marketing gimmick. These lines are great for winter steelheading and I'm sure would be great for winter trout swinging. Intermediate heads cut through surface currents and give you a much slower swing. These paired with Imow tips are deadly and they also help you out by not necessarily needing a very heavy tip to achieve depth. Where you used to use t-11 you can now use t-8 or poly leaders and achieve the same depth, all while swinging much slower, and much more pleasant to cast. I loved using an Ishort for bull trout this fall in BC. Slower swing definitely caught me more fish and I felt like it did a much better job imitating a slowly dying kokanee rolling/drifting across the bottom. Bulls, and big bulls especially like it right in their face for a long as possible. They don't tear across a pool like everyone thinks.

 

Keep in mind, when lining up a skagit intermediate, its best to drop by about 30grains or the next size down from what you'd typically use for a skagit, or if you look at rio/airflo charts, choosing the head in the lower end of the grain window is a good bet. Because these lines sink, their water tension is increased and the result is a lighter head that will cast very well, and I'd argue further that a heavier floating head.

 

Sometimes fish dont want a fly racing above their heads, and especially in cold water are more inclined to eat something not moving as quickly, you're in direct contact with that fly through the swing, there's no hinging/pivot from the floating head to tip.

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Ya they're pretty skookum for chinook fishing to break through the fast chop in higher water, and to keep the fly down... Also feel that they give you a better connection to the fly

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Keep in mind, when lining up a skagit intermediate, its best to drop by about 30grains or the next size down from what you'd typically use for a skagit, or if you look at rio/airflo charts, choosing the head in the lower end of the grain window is a good bet. Because these lines sink, their water tension is increased and the result is a lighter head that will cast very well, and I'd argue further that a heavier floating head.

Not sure that dropping to a lower grain weight makes much sense. 300 grains is 300 grains regardless of whether it's sinking or floating - a pound of lead and a pound of feathers both weigh the same. The surface tension shouldn't make any difference when the head is in the air for your D loop.

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Not sure that dropping to a lower grain weight makes much sense. 300 grains is 300 grains regardless of whether it's sinking or floating - a pound of lead and a pound of feathers both weigh the same. The surface tension shouldn't make any difference when the head is in the air for your D loop.

I found that you can definitely feel it, particularly on casts that the head lays on the water for a little longer (say a snap-t, during the sweep). The line has enough sink to definitely add more load during that time. If you're just perry-poking or singles, then no difference.

Similar to the different feeling between a weighted fly and unweighted. At minimum, you gotta get that cast off quicker before the line drops.

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I found that you can definitely feel it, particularly on casts that the head lays on the water for a little longer (say a snap-t, during the sweep). The line has enough sink to definitely add more load during that time. If you're just perry-poking or singles, then no difference.

Similar to the different feeling between a weighted fly and unweighted. At minimum, you gotta get that cast off quicker before the line drops.

Yeah, don't know that I'd drop grain weight vs adjusting cast though for the same reason you don't change your head when switching the sink rate of your tip. I had an iFlight for one of my rods and fished the same grain weight as I did the regular Flight on it.

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Good point. I guess I should have noted that I did not size down, it's just noticeable!

 

Feel like if it was recommended to drop a line size, they'd have it separated out on the RIO site

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Another thing that I like about fishing an intermediate head is that I can straight cast down river and can almost immediately fish.

 

About why sometimes the intermediate heads feel heavier is IMO depends on the rods. With me and my Beulah in particular, I felt it was a tad heavy, not a whole lot. So, I called Steve Godshall, and told him that I had an iShort 350 and it felt a bit heavy for my rod and he cut me his intermediate scandi/skagit hybrid head, 15cm shorter and 25 grain lighter. I know 25 grain isn't much but it feels really good, lighter, and matches my tempo; maybe just the taper. On the other hand, this rod depends on the length of the floating shooting head it will cast 330 and 360 just fine with the same tips.

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Water tension is pretty critical in some spey casts. You can just roll cast a skagit head. Give it a go, sure it will go a fair distance, but nothing like sustained anchor casts. If you lose tension during the sweep, your cast falls apart. Pretty straight forward, but like bcube mentioned in some casts, you wont notice the difference.

 

For most they may not truly notice the difference. I just know I can fish my intermediate heads 30grains lighter and notice no difference between my floating head which is nice, timing really doesn't need to be changed. The same head in the heavier grain window has more stick and definitely bogs down the rod during the sweep.

 

Something I've noticed and also something "pros" in the industry have recommended, a quick google search can back this up Ed ward mentions lining down on line size, I'm sure you can find a few others.

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Grain weight also has a lot to do with the individual rod. The same line on a 7 wt Meiser and G Loomis (and I've often cast the same line at Spey Claves on different rods) feels and casts a bit different. So therod action plays a lot into it also.

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