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Airflo Ridge  Running/Shooting Line, Pre-looped Airflo Ridge  Running/Shooting Line, Pre-looped
Price: $49.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 1658- -

SDSRLFT - Airflo Ridge Freshwater Running Line, Floating - Yellow - 20-pound test .036"SDSRLFS - Airflo Ridge Freshwater Running Line, Floating - Orange - 30-pound test .040"RXFRBLS - Airflo Ridge Extreme Running Line, Floating - Gray - 30-pound test .040"RXSRLTP - Airflo Ridge Extreme Running Line, Floating - Gray - 50-pound test .050" The perfect compliment to any shooting head, Ridge technology comes to the fore on Airflo running lines (shooting lines). Using the right running line for your...

Braided PE Braided PE
Price: $34.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 113793 -

This is the finest grade of hollow braided polyethylene rope. It is smoother than any competitive brand of braided shooting line we've found. Braided PE has virtually no memory, even in the coldest conditions you will encounter while fly fishing. PE is comparatively easy on your hands. It floats and is a favorite with Spey and surf fishermen because it remains tangle free. It is easy to hang on to and shoots long distances.

ConnectCore Shooting Line ConnectCore Shooting Line
Price: $59.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 1904 -

Built on RIO's ultra low stretch ConnectCore, this shooting line is made to transmit more feel while casting and fishing. In corporated into the constuction is RIO's Extream Slickness coating, which allows less friction for longer, smoother casts. Each line comes with a thicker, highly visible, bright orange handling section which is seamlessly integrated for durability and ease of casting. These lines are "looped" for easy changing of shooting heads. Length: 100 ft (30.5 m) ...

Frog Hair Shooting Line Frog Hair Shooting Line
Price: $13.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: FFHSL- -

GAMMA's proven "Molecularly Altered" Frog Hair Shooting Lines offer all of the casting qualities the big water angler desires. GAMMA's exclusive process builds-in flexibility and virtually eliminates coil memory, which produces lines that will shoot further and handle easier than any other monofilament running/shooting lines. Frog Hair Shooting Lines have the "slickness" needed to achieve greater distances. This processing also helps prevent kinking and allows the line to lay in soft, loose...

GripShooter GripShooter
Price: $39.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 190 -

In the "Spey World" some anglers like conventional coated shooting line because it is easy to hang on to. Others like monofilament because it is slick and shoots through the rod guides with reduced friction for longer casts. Now you can have your cake and eat it too, or more to the point you can have a shooting line that is both monofilament and is coated for easier grip. It is called GripShooter, which is a super hard, slick finish oval-shaped nylon shooting line with a bright orange handling...

OPST Pure Skagit Lazar Line OPST Pure Skagit Lazar Line
Price: $31.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: RL-0 -

OPST's Pure Skagit Lazar Line is the slickest running line out there.This is the line for those of us who love to launch a cast, sit back, maybe eat a sandwich while the line rushes out of the guides and pulls line off the reel as it comes tight. (A posible slight exaduration, depends on the size of the sandwitch and how fast you eat). It is fun though, thinking about all that power. It is possible you will launch your longest casts with this stuff. Lazar Line is hydrophobic, extremely...

Powerflex Max Shooting Line Powerflex Max Shooting Line
Price: $49.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 1905 -

RIO's Powerflex Max Shooting Line is an excellent shooting line for anglers using Skagit or Scandi style shooting heads. It features an extremely tough outer coating, over a medium stiff Powerflex core that shoots with unbelievable ease for ultra long casts, has greatly increased durability and ensures tangle-free performance, cast after cast. The line's ultra-slick coating floats high on the surface, allowing for reduced drag and making it easy to shoot. Bullet proof welded loops on each end...

SA Floating Monocore Line Floating Monocore Line
Price: $34.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 798120 -

This shooting line is at least as slick as bare monofilament, but is much easier to handle. It is incredibly supple and memory free, even in cold weather. Scientific Anglers Monocore SL is arguably the best shooting line on the market today. Unfortunately is doesn't come with factory loops installed, but we know how to install very strong streamlined loops for you. And can show you how, while you watch.The best way is to have us install a Spey Swivel in the end of your Scientific Anglers...

SlickShooter SlickShooter
Price: $15.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 204 -

A super hard, slick finish oval-shaped nylon shooting line. Has no memory after being stretched before fishing each day. Has an extremely low coefficient of friction for long distance casts.

Spey Swivel Direct Spliced
Price: $10.00
Availability: In Stock
Item #: SS-GEN2-DSPL -

This Spey Swivel has a loop at one end only, and was generally intended to be for shooting lines without factory loops, such as: Scientific Anglers Floating Monocore, Scientific Anglers Braided PE, Varivas Airs, or Frog Hair. Attachments vary with the type of shooting line involved. Fly line type shooting lines are normally loop spliced, braided shooting lines are blind sliced, and monofilaments are knotted. There is no extra charge, except for the cost of the Spey Swivel itself for attaching...

Spey Swivel Gen-2 Spey Swivel Gen-2
Retail: $29.95
Price: $29.75
Availability: In Stock
Item #: 91167 -

AntiRevolution Spey Swivels are now called: Spey Swivels Gen-2 "Offering a new level of inner peace for all Spey fishers." Some days of casting with a Spey outfit are easier than others. Days when you get a lot of tangles in your shooting line are never easy. Casts which produce balls of knitting jammed up against your first stripping guide impair your concentration and pretty quickly, other facets of your casts suffer as well. Most Spey casts involve circular motions with the rod, which have...

Varivas Airs Shooting Line Varivas Airs Shooting Line
Price: $39.95
Availability: In Stock
Item #: VSL-0 -

The VARIVAS Airs Shooting Line has become very popular with distance casters and steelhead/salmon anglers who want to reach our farther. Simply stated, AIRS reduces friction while running through your guides. You will instantly notice the difference between this and any other shooting line we are aware of. The secret is the eight air chambers that run lengthwise inside the line, which gives AIRS its floatation, and also gives it a slightly ridged cross-section on the outside for less contact...

A Brief History of Shooting Lines

By: Mark Bachmann

Jim Green introduced monofilament as a running/shooting line for distance fly casting in 1946 at the Golden Gate Casting Club. That revolutionized fly casting. Suddenly fly casters could reach what before were unobtainable distances because the small diameter monofilament greatly reduced friction between itself and the rod guides. These shooting lines were attached to high density shooting heads. Lines of this design are still used today by such legendary distance casters as 13-time World Champion, Steve Rajeff.

Monofilament is still the choice as shooting line for the majority of tournament distance casters today. Monofilament does have one problem however, after it has been wound on a reel for a while it tends to take on the shape of the reel spool, and to coil much like the Slinky kid’s toy. This is called memory.

In the early 1960's Amnesia shooting line was developed by the Sunset company. It was developed specifically as shooting line, and could be stretched to instantly lose all memory which greatly reduced the possibility of tangles. This shooting line remained popular for more than forty years.

Amnesia is no longer available, but monofilament shooting lines are still evolving. RIO SlickShooter with its oval cross section is very popular. Frog Hair Shooting Line is bombarded with gamma rays during manufacturing to make it slicker and more tangle free.

The latest monofilament shooting lines to hit the market are hollow so that they float and not only reduce friction in your rod guides, but also reduce friction when contacting the water. A very popular friction cutting shooting line is Varivas AIRS, a monofilament line, which has a ridged exterior caused by six hollow interior air chambers. It is incredibly slick and could add many feet to your casts.

Although monofilament shooting lines are extremely popular, they are not easy to hang on to, especially during cold weather. To solve this problem, RIO came up with GripShooter Shooting Line, which is their oval SlickShooter monofilament and has a coated section of floating "Handling Line" to give the caster a better grip. Being able to control your grip on the line while casting is paramount to being able to cast well.

For many anglers, the easiest shooting line to grip is braided monofilament. My favorite is Airflo Miracle Braid, which is a braid surrounding a solid core. Miracle Braid has proven to be durable, and comparatively tangle free if a Spey Swivel is used. Theoretically, because the braided line has intermittent contact with your rod guides, it reduces friction more than lines which have constant contact with the guides.

Shooting heads and shooting lines quickly migrated from the tournament scene to fishing water. Anglers found that they could cast much further with this new system. Suddenly shooting heads were available in many different densities from high floating to deep sinking. Anglers took these new lines to large rivers for salmon and steelhead as well as to the saltwater or anywhere long casts were needed.

The Cortland Line Company introduced fine diameter coated fly lines which became popular as shooting lines with anglers during the 1970's. Larry Schoenborn, while he owned Larry's Sport Centers, sold hundreds of these lines in the Portland, Oregon area between 1973 and 1980. These coated fly line type shooting lines remain popular today, having been proven by hundreds of anglers multiplied by hundreds of days of on the water.

Another new shooting line that also has friction reducing ridges on its surface is the Airflo Ridge Line. This line is suppler than monofilament and handles really well. Since the friction reducing ridges run lengthwise of the line, they are pretty easy on your hands.

RIO Powerflex Max Shooting Line and RIO ConnectCore are two of the latest developments in a coated type of shooting line. They are exceptionally slick and tangle free because they are built on a monofilament core. Instead of using ridges or other patterns in the coating to reduce friction, RIO built the surface of their shooting lines exceptionally smooth, and they are the easiest on your hands. Last summer, Patty and I were fortunate to catch very many Dorados using RIO shooting heads and Powerflex Core shooting lines. We will use this system while fishing the Sea of Cortez again this year.

Many fly fishers using two-hand rods have switched to shooting head type fly lines, and there is much discussion about which shooting lines work best in that environment. All the shooting lines mentioned above are adaptable to steelhead/salmon rivers. The interchangeability of shooting head Spey lines allows an angler to instantly adapt to changing weather/water conditions without carrying extra reel spools.

Airflo Ridge, RIO PowerFlex Max, and RIO ConectCore monofilament core shooting lines all have seamless loops for attaching shooting heads.

Lately there has been renewed interest in shooting lines. As you can see, there are a wide variety of materials available. Designs are constantly evolving and competition between companies is fierce. The staff at The Fly Fishing Shop is always experimenting and because of it, we're always on the cutting edge.


More Thoughts About Shooting Lines

By: Mark Bachmann

Every shooting line on this page has been thoroughly tested by our staff for multiple weeks on the water. After all, beyond acquiring better casting skills, reducing friction during the shoot is one of the easiest ways to achieve greater casting distance. For this reason, monofilament shooting lines are pretty much universal in the distance casting tournament game.

Most experienced steelheaders that use shooting heads also use monofilament shooting lines as well. This is because monofilament is very durable, comparatively inexpensive, and creates the least amount of friction. Monofilament, especially perfectly round monofilament, is easiest on the hands where a lot of stripping is being done.

As with all things, monofilament shooting lines sometimes have their down-sides as well. Solid monofilament is heavier than water, and therefore it sinks. Sinking can be an asset when you are working a reef with a fast sinking shooting head, but it is not an asset when you are wading a steelhead stream and trying to control coils that are trailing in your back-wash. Hollow monofilament, such as Varivas AIRS floats because they are lighter than water. Hollow monofilament has more memory during cold weather than solid mono, such as Frog Hair Shooting Line, which has the least amount of memory of any monofilament shooting line we have found.

There is a strong case that oval monofilament such as RIO SlickShooter creates less friction in the rod guides than does round monofilament. Monofilament can be hard to hang onto when your hands are wet or cold, and can really drive you nuts if your hands are both wet and cold. For this reason, RIO created GripShooter, which incorporates a coated section of handling line for better grip control.

Coated Fly Line Shooting Lines and Hollow Braided Monofilament Shooting Lines are both easier to hang onto than monofilament shooting lines. They tend to have less memory in cold weather too, so they are more predictable when controlling loops during the stripping process. Because they do create more friction than monofilament they tend to be meaner to your hands. A saltwater trip can wear some serious grooves in your fingers. Most Spey outfits for beginners come equipped with a fly-line shooting line because it is easier for beginning anglers to see and to control. In this category, RIO ConnectCore, RIO Powerflex Max Shooting Line, and Airflo Ridge Line shooting lines are superb. Airflo Ridge 30-pound is the easiest to see against most backgrounds.

Hollow braided monofilament polyethylene shooting lines such as Airflo Miracle Braid have the least amount of memory of any type of shooting lines. They are also very lightweight, so they float very high and are extremely easy to hold off the water when you need to fish over the top of an unruly current tongue. These braided lines are extremely easy to hang onto when your hands are wet and cold. This makes casting easier because the release becomes more predictable than any line that wants to slip out of your fingers.

I regularly use all the shooting lines described within this article, and have pretty much relegated monofilament shooting lines to summer fishing with Scandi heads or saltwater trips. Hollow braided polyethylene shooting lines are currently favored for winter Skagit-Head work.