Scientific Anglers Mastery HeadStart Flyline
HeadStart is Scientific Anglersí for beginners and ďoccasional castersĒ, but after Iíve tried and used one, Iíve found out that it is much more than ďjustĒ a beginnerís line.
The HeadStart is designed with several features to make life a little easier for the learning flyfisher. It is made half a rating heavier than the AFTM (or AFFTA as itís called now) standard. I find this allows the beginner to quickly get the feel of a loading rod, even with a relative short amount of line in the air.
The head is short, 10,7 meters or 35ft, which also helps quite a lot in learning both to cast, but especially in learning the doublehaul. With a short amount of line out, which is easier to control, the line runs easily through the rings as you quickly get some weight out, and thus the beginner get a better feel of the ďpullĒ of the line making it much easier to learn the doublehaul.
The HeadStart is made with Scientific Anglers proprietary AST-coating. AST makes the line slicker, again aiding in both casting, learning the doublehaul and of course shooting for distance.
Iím not a beginner, but I am forever a learner, and as Iím also an instructor. I was very curious about this line and consequently I bought one. Iíve used it when teaching beginners, and theyíve all likes the line and found it easy to cast. But as I said, itís much more than a beginnerís line.
It has become my floating line of choice for seatrouting in the small and medium sized Danish rivers. Why is that then? Well, because itís damned good, but I suppose that not enough, is it?
The line has 3 key features that makes it very well suited for this kind of fishing and which separate this line from most others.
Let me first outline the fishing for you.
The rivers are not very big. The biggest one I fish regularly is no more than 10 meters at its widest. Seatrout are shy and the rivers are often lined with trees and high vegetation, so every cast counts Ė any cast that lands on the water will do one of two things Ė either fish the fly or scare the fish. And the fishing is often done in the dark, which brings me to the 3 key features:
I need a line that allows me to load the rod with a short line. I rarely cast more than 15 meters and thereís rarely room for much of a backcast, let alone the d-loop in a singlehand speycast. As the HeadStart has a short head and is Ĺ a rating heavier than standard, I get exactly what I want. The short and heavy head also, and this is equally important, makes it very easy to cast big tubeflies on light equipment (I never fish anything heaver than a 6-wt, and often a 5 for seatrout in the rivers).
2. The frontaper.
The fronttaper is short (5ft) and the tip of the line thicker in diameter than normal. The thick tip does two things Ė it keeps the line afloat (making it absolutely brilliant for heavy nymphing as well) and it gives a very good turnover. Turnover comes mainly from the short fronttaper, but also from the thick tip, and these two features allow me to present big flies precisely and with ease. And since, as I said, every cast counts thatís a very important feature.
3. The telecast bump.
- is a small bump on the runningline which, when held in the hand, indicates that the head is just outside the rodtip. Iíve always discarded lines with this feature, but Iíve now changed my mind ?. When fishing through the night mainly using speycasts, this little feature is really great to have. It tells me when the head is ready for a new cast, and it makes it a simple task to get the same distance on cast after cast in the dark. Thus I present the fly close to the opposite bank on every cast and rarely overshoot and park the fly in the grass or trees on the opposite bank. That means I fish more effectively and I donít scare fish pulling free the flies.
The runningline is thick enough to keep the short, heavy head under control in flight and produce a good turnover, yet thin enough to let the line shoot well.
The line is bright yellow, making it easy to follow the loop and the line is also very visible on the water. Both features that are appreciated by beginners and advanced casters alike.
The line is a very good choice for beginners and itís a great fishing line if you need to cast big flies on a light outfit and if you donít need great distances. The line is 80ft long, which is easily cast.
Scientific Anglers HeadStart (6-wt).
Total length: 80ft.
Front taper: 5ft.
Rear taper: 3ft.
Head length: 35ft.
Telecast bump on the runningline.
Color: Bright yellow.
Lars is a Viking and an FFF-E Flycasting Instructor (soon to be FFF!)