Shooting lines are a key part of shooting head systems, where the main weighted belly of a fly line (i.e. shooting head) is connected to a shooting line that lets the head sail to distance. Shooting lines were used originally by competition fly casters, who replaced the skinny but sticky standard running line on their fly lines with even skinnier and slicker monofilament to get maximum distance. Anglers quickly adopted shooting head systems, which let them swap out shooting heads of varying sink rates, using just a single shooting line, giving great angling versatility without extra spools.
Today, these two factors – enhanced distance and fly line versatility – have solidified shooting head systems as standard tackle for anadromous anglers. The shooting line is key to this system because it connects the angler to the shooting head, and most of a fishing day is spent handling the shooting line. There are three main categories of shooting lines (and some variants) to consider when choosing a shooting line.
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