*Shooting Lines

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Airflo Floating Miracle Shooting Braid RIO ConnectCore Scientific Anglers Mono Core
Airflo Ridge Shooting Line RIO GripShooter Scientific Anglers Braided PE
Frog Hair Shooting Line RIO PowerFlex Max Varivas Airs
OPST Shooting Line RIO SlickShooter Thoughts About Shooting Lines
A Brief History of Shooting Lines
By: Mark Bachmann

Jim Green introduced monofilament as a running/shooting line for distance fly casting in 1946 at the Golden Gate Casting Club.  That revolutionized fly casting. Suddenly fly casters could reach what before were unobtainable distances because the small diameter monofilament greatly reduced friction between itself and the rod guides. These shooting lines were attached to high density shooting heads.  Lines of this design are still used today by such legendary distance casters as 13 time World Champion, Steve Rajeff.  As a matter of fact, monofilament is still the choice as shooting line for the majority of tournament distance casters today.  Monofilament does have one problem however, after it has been wound on a reel for a while it tends to take on the shape of the reel spool, and to coil much like the Slinky kids toy.  This is called memory.  In the early 1960's Amnesia shooting line was developed by the Sunset company.  It was was developed specifically as shooting line, and could be stretched to instantly loose all memory which greatly reduced the possibility of tangles. This shooting line remained popular for more than forty years. Amnesia is no longer available, but monofilament shooting lines are still evolving.  RIO SlickShooter with its oval cross section is very popular.  Frog Hair Shooting Line is bombarded with gamma rays during manufacturing to make it slicker and more tangle free.  The latest monofilament shooting lines to hit the market are hollow so that they float and not only reduce friction in your rod guides, but also reduce friction when contacting the water. A very popular friction cutting shooting line is Varivas AIRS, a monofilament line which had a ridged exterior cause by six hollow interior air chambers. It is incredibly slick and could add many feet to your casts. Although monofilament shooting lines are extremely popular, they are not easy to hang on to, especially during cold weather. To solve this problem, RIO came up with GripShooter Shooting Line, which is their oval SlickShooter monofilament, which has a coated section of floating "Handling Line" to give the caster a better grip. Being able to control your grip on the line while casting is paramount to being able to cast well.
For many anglers, the easiest shooting line to grip is braided monofilament. My favorite is Airflo Miracle Braid, which is a braid surrounding a solid core. Miracle Braid has proven to be durable, and comparatively tangle free if a Spey Swivel is used. Theoretically, because the braided line has intermittent contact with your rod guides it reduces friction more than lines which have constant contact with the guides.
Shooting heads and shooting lines quickly migrated from the tournament casting scene to fishing water.  Anglers found that they could cast much further with this new system.  Suddenly shooting heads were available in many different densities from high floating to deep sinking.  Anglers took these new lines to large rivers for salmon & steelhead and to the saltwater or anywhere long casts were needed.  The Cortland Line Company introduced fine diameter coated fly lines which became popular as shooting lines with anglers during the 1970's.  Larry Schoenborn, while he owned  Larry's Sport Centers, sold hundreds of these lines in the Portland, Oregon area between 1973 and 1980.  These coated fly line type shooting lines remain popular today, having been proven by hundreds of anglers multiplied by hundreds of days of on the water.  Another new shooting line that also has friction reducing ridges on its surface is the Airflo Ridge Line. This line is more supple than monofilament and handles really well. Since the friction reducing ridges run lengthwise of the line they are pretty easy on your hands.  RIO Powerflex Max Shooting Line and RIO ConnectCore are two of the latest developments in a coated type of shooting line. They are exceptionally slick and tangle free because they are built on a monofilament core. Instead of using ridges of other patterns in the coating to reduce friction, Rio built the surface of their shooting lines exceptionally smooth, and they are the easiest on your hands. Last summer, Patty and I were fortunate to catch very many Dorados using Rio shooting heads and Powerflex Core shooting lines. We will use this system while fishing the Sea of Cortez again this year.
Many fly fishers using two-hand rods have switched to shooting head type fly lines, and there is much discussion about which shooting lines work best in that environment. All of the shooting lines mentioned above are adaptable to steelhead/salmon rivers. The interchangeability of shooting head Spey lines allows an angler to instantly adapt to changing weather/water conditions without carrying extra reel spools.
Airflo Ridge, RIO PowerFlex Max, and RIO ConectCore monofilament core shooting lines all have seamless loops for attaching shooting heads.
Lately there has been renewed interest in shooting lines. As you can see, there are a wide variety of materials available. Designs are constantly evolving and competition between companies is fierce. The staff at The Fly Fishing Shop is always experimenting and because of it we're always on the cutting edge.

More Thoughts About Shooting Lines
By: Mark Bachmann

Every shooting line on this page ahs been thoroughly tested by our staff for multiple weeks on the water. After all, beyond acquiring better casting skills, reducing friction during the shoot is one of the easiest ways to achieve greater casting distance. For this reason monofilament shooting lines are pretty much universal in the distance casting tournament game. Most experienced steelheaders that use shooting heads also use monofilament shooting lines as well. This is because monofilament is very durable, comparatively inexpensive, and creates the least amount of friction. Monofilament, especially perfectly round monofilament is easiest on the hands where a lot of stripping is being done. As with all things, monofilament shooting lines sometimes have their down-sides as well. Solid monofilament is heavier than water, and therefore it sinks. Sinking can be an asset when you are working a reef with a fast sinking shooting head, but it is not an asset when you are wading a steelhead stream and trying to control coils that are trailing in your back-wash. Hollow monofilament, such as Varivas AIRS floats because they are lighter than water. Hollow monofilament has more memory during cold weather than solid mono, such as Frog Hair Shooting Line, which has the least amount of memory of any monofilament shooting line we have found. There is a strong case that oval monofilament such as RIO SlickShooter creates less friction in the rod guides than does round monofilament. Monofilament can be hard to hang onto when your hands are wet or cold, and can really drive you nuts if your hands are both wet and cold.For this reason RIO Created GripShooter, which incorporates a coated section of handling line for better grip control.
Coated Fly Line Shooting Lines and Hollow Braided Monofilament Shooting Lines are both easier to hang onto than monofilament shooting lines. They tend to have less memory in cold weather too, so they are more predictable when controlling loops during the stripping process. Because they do create more friction than monofilament, they tend to be meaner to your hands. A saltwater trip can wear some serious grooves in your fingers. Most Spey outfits for beginners come equipped with a fly-line shooting line because it is easier for beginning anglers to see and to control. In this category RIO ConnectCore, RIO Powerflex Max Shooting Line, and Airflo Ridge Line shooting lines are superb. Airflo Ridge 30-pound is the easiest to see against most backgrounds.
Hollow braided monofilament polyethylene shooting lines such as Airflo Miracle Braid have the least amount of memory of any type of shooting lines. They are also very lightweight, so they float very high and are extremely easy to hold off the water when you need to fish over the top of an unruly current tongue. These braided lines are extremely easy to hang onto when your hands are wet and cold. This makes casting easier because the release becomes more predictable than any line that wants to slip out of your fingers.
I regularly use all of the shooting lines described within this article, and have pretty much relegated monofilament shooting lines to summer fishing with Scandi heads or saltwater trips. Hollow braided polyethylene shooting lines are currently favored for winter Skagit-Head work.

Airflo Floating Miracle Shooting Braid

Recently upgraded with a solid core and s harder, slicker, smoother finish. One of the best overall shooting/running line for cold-water fishing with Spey shooting heads, is Airflo Miracle Floating Shooting Braid. It's incredibly light so it shoots a long way, has NO memory, floats, and doesn't tangle very often. This is a great line to use in combination with Skagit and Scandinavian heads.  Some anglers are even cutting the stock shooting lines from mid-length heads and replacing them with Miracle Braid because it gives superior performance.

This is a super easy line for installing Spey Swivels in the shooting line itself. Ask about this special service.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
MBRAID50fG Airflo Miracle Floating Shooting Braid, 50-yard spool 30-Pound Test 50-Yards Yellow $29.95
Airflo Ridge Shooting Lines, Pre-looped

Running lines have fast become a staple in fly anglers gear bags. The advantages of using interchangeable heads with different running lines are irrefutable--and whether you're using one or two hand rods, choosing the right running line is just as important as selecting the head. Airflo offers a wide array of running line options so you can use your heads wherever you may go.

The perfect compliment to any shooting head, Ridge technology comes to the fore on Airflo's running lines. Reduced surface friction not only increases distance, but also helps reduce tangles - loose coils of line slide over each other easily to eliminate snarl ups. A low stretch Power Core and an oversized "Flexi Loop" complete what is Airflo's #1 selling running line.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
RXSRLFT Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Freshwater 20-pound
90-feet Fluorescent
SDRLFS Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Freshwater 30-pound
90-feet Fluorescent
RXSRLIS Airflo Ridge Running Line, Intermediate, Freshwater and Saltwater 30-pound
90-feet Translucent
Aqua Blue
RXSRLBF Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Extreme Topical, Saltwater 30-pound
90-feet Light
RXSRLTP Airflo Ridge Running Line, Floating, Extreme Topical, Saltwater 50-pound
90-feet Light
Frog Hair Shooting Line

Frog Hair's proven "Molecularly Altered" shooting lines offer all of the casting qualities the big water angler desires. Frog Hair's exclusive process builds-in flexibility and virtually eliminates coil memory, which produces lines that will shoot further and handle easier than any other monofilament running/shooting lines. Frog Hair Shooting Lines have the "slickness" needed to achieve greater distances. This processing also helps prevent kinking and allows the line to lay in soft, loose coils that literally "shoot like a bullet" through the rod guides. In the larger diameters, stripping is also easier, more controlled, and provides more secure hook-sets.

Many shooting/running lines must be presoaked the night before and kept wet right up until fishing time to help make them more flexible. But not Frog Hair! Frog Hair's proprietary manufacturing process eliminates this bothersome step to ensure greater suppleness and more flexibility throughout the line.  At home in both fresh and saltwater.
44-yard spools.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
FFHSL-13 Frog Hair Shooting Line .019"
40-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
FFHSL-10 Frog Hair Shooting Line 022"
50-pound test
44-yards Red $12.95
FFHSL-11 Frog Hair Shooting Line 024"
58-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
FFHSL-12 Frog Hair Shooting Line 030"
88-pound test
44-yards Fluorescent
OPST Lazar Shooting Line
OPST's Pure Skagit Lazar Line is the slickest running line out there. This is the line for those of us who love to launch a cast, sit back, maybe eat a sandwich while the line rushes out of the guides and pulls line off the reel as it comes tight. Lazar Line is hydrophobic, extremely durable, consistent over a broad range of temperatures, and virtually impervious to memory. It features a slight, calculated stretch that allows for extremely sleek and strong knots. This stuff will rock with your Scandi head as well. We searched far and wide for the perfect running line and knew we could do better than what was out there. Pure Skagit Lazar Line is quickly becoming the favorite running line of fishermen all over the world. Find out why. OPST Lazar Line has been thoroughly tested and perfected by Ed Ward and Jerry French. If you are into the Skagit scene, your know those are a couple of names you can trust.


Tony Barnes: "OSPT LAZAR LINE is very durable. I used mine for about 6-months before finally having to trim a small part because of wear. Tough, tough stuff."

Hawkeye Hawkins: "OSPT LAZAR LINE has literally no memory, either in hot or cold weather. Kinks occur seldom, and when they do this line straightens easily."

Mike Varga: "OSPT LAZAR LINE is very slick. It reduces friction in the rod guides while casting or playing fish."

OPST Shooting Lines are gaining popularity with Spey folks throughout their range. Saltwater anglers like OPST too! OPST is the right shooting lines for any application where monofilament is preferred.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
RL-01 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 25-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-02 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 30-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-03 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 35-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RL-04 Olympic Penninsula Skagit Tactics SP Lazar Line 40-pound 50M Chartreuse $31.95
RIO Shooting Lines
RIO GripShooter Shooting Line RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line
RIO SlickShooter Shooting Line RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line
There are a number of reasons for using shooting heads and shooting lines.  Traditionally shooting lines are used to cut down on friction in the rod guides while performing long casts.  A floating or sinking head is used to load the rod, the cast is made and the head pulls the fine diameter shooting line behind it.  First used for tournament distance casting, this system quickly migrated to salt water, and Pacific salmon fishing.  Since then it has been used for many fly fishing applications.  The newest arena where shooting heads and shooting lines are making an impact is in Spey fishing.  Spey line shooting heads have been popular for a number of years in Scandinavia. 
Many west coast steelhead anglers have also found Scandinavian style shooting heads to be very practical for fishing their rivers.  The original Skagit style lines were shooting heads.  The latest fad is to replace the running lines on Rio's Skagit Spey and WindCutter lines with Rio PowerFlex Core Shooting Line, because it is slicker and more tangle free than the original running line.  Also one reel can be loaded with backing and a shooting line, and many heads can be interchanged on to it.  This system creates less bulk than packing around several extra reel spools.
RIO GripShooter Shooting Line

In the "Spey World" some anglers like conventional coated shooting line because it is easy to hang on to. Others like monofilament because it is slick and shoots through the rod guides with reduced friction for longer casts. Now you can have your cake and eat it too, or more to the point you can have a shooting line that is both monofilament and is coated for easier grip. It is called GripShooter, which is a super hard, slick finish oval-shaped nylon shooting line with a bright orange handling line coated onto it for a better grip while casting. The main line is SlickShooter which has an extremely low coefficient of friction for long distance casts. These lines are "looped" for easy changing of shooting heads.

GripShooter is one of the most popular Spey shooting line available.

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
19040 RIO GripShooter .037
25-pound test
100' Blue $39.95
19041 RIO GripShooter .040
35-pound test
100' Green $39.95
19042 RIO GripShooter .043
44-pound test
100' Red $39.95
19043 RIO GripShooter .045
50-pound test
100' Yellow $39.95
RIO SlickShooter

A super hard, slick finish oval-shaped nylon shooting line.  Has no memory after being stretched before fishing each day.  Has an extremely low coefficient of friction for long distance casts.

Can be mounted full length on your reel, and be trimmed as wear occurs, be cut in half for small reels, to become two 75' shooting lines. That way you always have a spare.

Length: 155'

Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
20489 RIO SlickShooter 25-pound
.012" X .022"
155'/35.1M Blue $15.95
20490 RIO SlickShooter 35-pound
.014" X .026"
155'/35.1M Orange $15.95
20494 RIO SlickShooter 44-pound
.016" X .030"
155'/35.1M Red $15.95
20491 RIO SlickShooter 50-pound
.017" X .031"
155'/35.1M Chartreuse $15.95
RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line
Built on RIO's ultra low stretch ConnectCore, this shooting line is made to transmit more feel while casting and fishing. In corporated into the constuction is RIO's Extream Slickness coating, which allows less friction for longer, smoother casts. Each line comes with a thicker, highly visible, bright orange handling section which is seamlessly integrated for durability and ease of casting. These lines are "looped" for easy changing of shooting heads.
Length: 100 ft (30.5 m)
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
19045 RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line .026
15-pound test
100' Light Gray $59.95
19046 RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line .032
20-pound test
100' Pale Green $59.95
19047 RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line .037
20-pound test
100' Pale Blue $59.95
19048 RIO ConnectCore Shooting Line .042
30-pound test
100' Straw $59.95
RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line
RIO's Powerflex Max Shooting Line is an excellent shooting line for anglers using Skagit or Scandi style shooting heads. It features an extremely tough outer coating, over a medium stiff Powerflex core that shoots with unbelievable ease for ultra long casts, and greatly increased durability and ensures tangle-free performance, cast after cast. The line's ultra-slick coating floats high on the surface, allowing for reduced drag and making it easy to shoot. Bullet proof welded loops on each end make it fast and easy to rig, wit the front loop is large enough to pass an entire shooting head coil through, for maximum speed efficiency when rigging.
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
6-19056 RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line .024
25-pound test
100' Orange $49.95
6-19057 RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line .030
25-pound test
100' Chartreuse $49.95
6-19058 RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line .035
30-pound test
100' Blue $49.95
6-19059 RIO PowerFlex Max Shooting Line .040
30-pound test
100' Yellow $49.95
Scientific Anglers PE Shooting Line
  • Exceptional casting distance with minimal tangling
  • Great for using in the surf
  • Length: 150’
  • Size: 29-lb.
  • Diameter: 0.032”
  • Floating braided polyethylene monofilament for maximum distance
  • 29 LB – Orange


Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
113793 Scientific Anglers PE Shooting Line 30-pound, .032 150 ft. Orange $34.95
Scientific Anglers MonoCore SL Shooting Line
  • Perfect shooting line for Skagit or Scandi Spey heads
  • For exceptional casting distance
  • Length: 100’
  • Size: 25-lb.
  • Diameter: 0.030”
  • Features the ST+ slickness additive
  • Minimal-friction design delivers high speeds and long distances
  • Easier handling with fewer tangles
  • Single-strand monofilament core
  • 25 LB – Light Yellow
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
113786 Scientific Anglers MonoCore SL Shooting Line 25-pound, .030 100 ft. Light Yellow $34.95
Varivas Airs Shooting Line
The VARIVAS® Shooting Line has become very popular with distance casters and steelhead/salmon anglers who want to reach our farther. Simply stated, AIRS reduces friction while running through your guides. You will instantly notice the difference between this and any other shooting line we are aware of. The secret is the eight air chambers that run lengthwise inside the line, which gives AIRS its floatation, and also gives it a slightly ridged cross-section on the outside for less contact with rod guide surfaces. Varivas AIRS remains supple even in winter cold water conditions for tangle-free performance. You will have to stretch it as it comes off the reel spool and then it remains straight for that casting period. Ideal for Scandinavian and Skagit style shooting heads. Hi-viz yellow for great visibility. Supplied in 100m spools (approximately 110 yards)
Item Description Size Length Color Price To Top
VSL-024 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 24-pound, .016 100m Pale Yellow $39.95
VSL-030 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 30-pound, .019 100m Pale Yellow $39.95
VSL-036 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 36-pound, .021 100m Pale Yellow $39.95
VSL-047 Varivas Airs Shooting Line 47-pound, .027 100m Pale Yellow $39.95

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1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
Voice: (503) 622-4607 or 1(800) 266-3971 FAX: (503) 622-5490

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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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