I have just cut up some new shooting heads for my Loop Cross Switch, here is the process and the formation of the loops also. The Loop GDC Custom heads come in 18.5 metres and 15.5 metre lengths. There is a table for cutting the required lengths on the Loop website. Custom 155/ 185
Essential items include a tape measure, some screwdrivers for pegging the line down, and scissors. Optional items include band aids, and a set of cojones when chopping up a brand new fly line!!! (It isn't that bad)
Loop provides a tables which helps when cutting up your own shooting head. The scale also has weights and lengths for cutting the front end of the fly line not just the rear end. Which is helpful as you may want to cast heavier flies or sink tips.
So measure the specified length to weight described and go 1 metre beyond this (just to be safe) here is what I got.
Keep cutting back small lengths and weighing, when you cut the line do it at a sharp angle, this helps with the braided loops later.
Ok so this is what I wanted. Great!
Now the Loops! I have dabbled with welded loops but I still think braided loops are just as good, simpler to make and easier to make neater through the rings.
Here is the Roman Moser micro trout loops, perfect for the business end of the fly line (usually) if the line has a nice thin taper they are spot on
Again cut the fly line at a sharp angle so that it will go fully into the braids tunnel, the further you get it up the better.
Whip the end of the braid a few times to secure it, then cut the stragglers and finish a nice neat whip, not too big or long, I like to keep the fly line as mobile as possible and big areas of thread and glue don't help.
For the rear end of the shooting head you are going to need a bigger braided loop, again cut the line with an angle.
Whip again, nice and neat. This is the RM Salmon braided loop.
The thread should be covered with Aquasure, a nice light even covering, use something like a small artist brush or small stick to apply it. (For the record there is no Aquasure on the thread in the photo)
Ok so the trout micro loop is a bit flimsy and needs some support (in my book) So I make up a small sturdy loop from the Roman Moser braided loop. Take some old fly line (hopefully you have it) the thinner the better. make a loop to loop connection to the braid and hang it somewhere suitable. Peg and a clothes line here, hang up the washing while you are at it, earn a few brownie points
Cover the loop to loop connection with a thin coat of Aquasure and focus on the thin flank of the braid between both fly lines, this is the flimsy part when casting.
So when the glue is dry literally pull the two end of the old fly line straight, you can now cut it and remove it from the braided loop. The removed fly line forms a nice mould for polyleaders or tapered leaders and a lovely neat connection. You will end up with something like this. Some might say that is a bit OTT but you end up with a super neat shooting head that you can fish through the rod rings with minimal scrape and no catching.
In this article I cut a 185 Loop custom back to 8.5 metres or so, it weighs 18 grams and I use this on my Loop Cross Switch 11ft #7 travel rod. The great thing about cutting shooting heads is that you can mould the line into what you want, more aggressive or delicate tapers, heavier or lighter. I can honestly say that my go to lines are ones that I have cut myself as I have cut them to my own specifications, not somebody else's. Hope anyone reading this got something out of it. If I had a penny for every time I typed Loop