View Full Version : backing as running line

03-30-2004, 11:47 PM
Hi gents.
Has anyone ever tried using regular backing as your running line for shooting heads? Just wondering while I am going through cabin fever, although I have been out casting as much as I can until my fingers freeze!

03-31-2004, 06:49 AM
Let me preface this by saying that I am far from an expert on this topic. But why should I let that stop me! :)

I think the main concern has to be tangling. If you can strip the backing into a basket and keep it from tangling, I should think it could work. Also check the finish on the backing versus the finish on running line. You need it to be able to slide easily through the guides with minimal resistance.

I recently spoke to an acquaintance who told me he and his gang use (I think he said 30 lb) mono as a running line and can generally shoot line much farther than with traditional running line. All I can think of is the birds nest I would end up in my basket if I tried that!

All I would say is try. Experiment. As long as it doesn't kill you, it will ultimately make you a better fisherman.

But again what do I know. I am far from an expert on shooting heads. I will defer to those who know them better than I.

03-31-2004, 08:44 AM
To help ease your cabin fever......try it.

Based on my experience with having a lot of backing in a small area (sink and basket) it tangles easily and tightly. It may "hinge" badly too.

But maybe you can find a cheap shooting head line and cut off the part you want, knot it to some heavy backing (Tuna rigging type) and try it.

Look at this way, it will be much easier to say you cast the whole line :)


03-31-2004, 09:39 AM
Amnesia mono is $5
cortland braided running line is $10
I just bought some Orvis Int running line at their Lake George outlet for $11
I would love to hear more about the 30# mono since I have a spool and have been tempted to try it.

03-31-2004, 09:55 AM
Amnesia mono is $5
cortland braided running line is $10
I just bought some Orvis Int running line at their Lake George outlet for $11
I would love to hear more about the 30# mono since I have a spool and have been tempted to try it.

Well Pete, the guy who told me about this is a fly shop owner here in PA who pretty much specializes in flyfishing the salt from Chesapeake up to the Cape. Unfortunately, I can't add a whole lot.

We were talking about shooting heads and running lines which I have used but not a lot and he just tossed in a comment that once I was more comfortable/experienced with casting a traditional shooting head/running line, he would show me how they do it the mono in place of a running line and regularly add 30/40 feet to their casts. Now recognizing that most fishermen (but not me :brow ) exaggerate, I still think the basic message is you can cast farther with the thinner, slicker mono instead of a running line. As I said though, I still don't know how you keep it from becoming a tangled mess :eek: in your basket.


03-31-2004, 12:21 PM
take a look at airflo running line 30lb inter. or floating, its prelooped for ease of changing heads and its easy to use. Ive had a couple of tangles but Ive had tangles with regular fly line also. The 1st thing I found was the line begins to chaffe the fingers cause its so thin but you get used to it and its slick like normal flylines . This being the case my backingline would cut my fingers stripping all day. check out ...


for a comprehensive article on building to lines to animated casting movie

I have an airflo int 35ft head with the airflo 30 lb int rng line . works great.

Jack Keller
03-31-2004, 08:25 PM
at least for me the mono or cortland running line approaches don't work well. tthe mono tangles and the cortland stuff will cut you pretty badly. i have found that the SA running line or the back half of some old fly line is better. i guess that you lose some distance but for me the control is worth it.

03-31-2004, 10:18 PM
I've had good luck with braided mono running line on a few of my rods. The cortland stuff seemed to tangle less than the Orvis I used in the past (although I don't know why it all looks the same) Tangles are the major issue. Also if you strip line onto a boat deck the braided line blows around allot more leading to more tangles. That said, I don't know of any major advantages other than a little distance perhaps. I used the Corland line on my 10 wt not so much for the braided running line, but because the rod worked well with that line (and it was given to me free) Try it, see if you like it. I think it's more a personal preference issue.