When it comes to the use of shooting heads and Skagit lines, a critical aspect of improving your water coverage is 'overhang,' the term used to describe the amount of thin running line outside the rod tip before your next cast.
Because there are different head lengths, salmon fly rod actions and casting abilities, there is no set length of overhang. But as a general indication, casting with 1ft of running line beyond the rod tip will offer excellent performance with a shooting or Skagit head.
|Hardy Floating Running Line|
|Vision Ace Skagit Head|
A helpful way to optimise the amount of overhang for your particular rod-and-line set-up is to start by casting the salmon fly line with the back of the head touching the tip ring of the rod. After a few casts, extend the overhang by a few inches and feel how the rod responds to the additional running line outside the rod tip. Continue the process until the rod starts to bounce in your hand. As mentioned earlier, this indicates the point where there is too much overhang, and the running line can’t turn over the weight of the head.
|Guideline TS Evolve Running Line|
|Rio Skagit Max Shooting Head|
To ensure you always return to the sweet spot, use a black indelible pen to mark the running line where the first finger of your uppermost hand touches the thin line.
This article was brought to you in association with Trout & Salmon Magazine.