Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I've been testing the Airflo's Rage compact shooting head for a while now and thought I'd write some thoughts about it here.
As some might know the Rage is a floating shooting head designed to act like a floating skagit head. It also works with short sink tips.
I tried my 510gr Rage with several rods including 12'6 #8 and 14' #7 Meiser S rods and Beulah 8/9 switch rod. I also tried several different leader setups with it, ranging from a tapered mono leader of 18' to a fast sinking 10' polyleader. I fished and casted many different flies with it from a #6 Woolly bugger to a 6" Flash fly. I also used the same rods with other matching shooting heads to make out the differences more clearly. The other heads were: Tactical Steelhead, Compact skagit with a intermediate tip, a DDC Connect and a SGS shooting head from Meiser/Godshall.
For me the best setup was the 12'6 #8 S rod rigged up with a intermediate Polyleader and a big Flash fly. This was a very easy set up to use and it turned over perfectly even in a bit of a headwind.
I think that the Rage is a nice speciality shooting head. Why do I think it's a speciality shooting head? Because, I feel it's at it's best when you use it with big fly's, short rods and on tight smallish rivers. I find other shooting heads to work better on other, more varied situations.
Pro's and con's about the Rage:
+ Works very well in tight spots. You can shoot it a long way without having a D-loop at all.
+ Turns big and bushy flies over very well and actually works best with big flies.
+ Can also be used as a tip line for short sink tips.
+ Very nice and easy to cast with SA type casts
- Didn't perform optimally with small to medium size flies. I had better control and turnover with big 4"+ flies.
- If casted with a single spey, you had to be pretty easy with your backcast and stay off the gas on the forward cast so it doesn't blow the anchor or crumble on its way out. I had to be a bit too careful with it for my liking.
I don't personally have a lot of use for this line as I like my floaters to be a bit longer and with a bit more finesse. However, if I ever happen to be in a situation where I'm fishing a small river with a switch rod and decide to use big flies on, or close to the surface I wouldn't hesitate to take out my Rage.
Here's a clip of me playing around with the Rage: http://vimeo.com/33392202