Tip of the Week: Prevent runaway line when you’re changing flies

If you fish a two-handed rod, or if you use a modern shooting head integrated line (like Rio Outbound or Airflo 40+) with your single hand setup, you’ve undoubtedly encountered this scenario. You want to change your fly, or check the hook point, so you tuck your rod under your armpit and gather in the line. Problem: while you’re fiddling with the fly, the current grabs the line — those shooting heads have a lot of surface area — and downstream goes your head, taking your running line along with it. Now, you’ve got to re-strip 60, 70, 80 feet of line again — time you could be fishing.

Solution: wrap a couple loops of the running line around your off-hand wrist. I like to gather in the running line till the shooting head is just outside the rod tip. The orange running line below my wrist remains inside my shooting basket. This way I’m ready to cast as soon as I change flies. That’s more time spent fishing, and that means more potential time catching.

4 comments on “Tip of the Week: Prevent runaway line when you’re changing flies

  1. Dan Tobin says:

    Ok Steve…. I have to ask,,,,what is that Rod you are using in the photo? and who built it for you?

    • Steve Culton says:

      Ha! I didn’t even notice the writing on the blank. So, that’s my two-handed cannon. It’s a 550grain line 12’9″ blank that was built for me by my English friend Mike Oliver. He calls it the “Out-Front,” no doubt for its capacity to sneer at the type of strong winds and waves you find on New England beaches.

  2. Dan Tobin says:

    Thanks Steve! I know Mike is a big proponent of the two hander. Maybe a switch in my future in 2021.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Switch rods are a decent gateway into two-handed if you’re going to use the rod single-handed for a generous amount of time. If you’re not, I would recommend a dedicated two-hander.

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