Headhunter Fly Line Review

Published a few years ago. Reposting today as we head into the fall session here on Montana’s Missouri River near Craig. The Headhunter Fly Line continues to sell extremely well. Better than we would have speculated when it debuted and certainly encouraged with the ever growing following of the Headhunters Fly Line. 

Available in sizes 4, 5, and 6 this is a perfect soft hackle single handed rod swing line. Need a BWO Pea Shooter? The Headhunters Fly Line will suffice in often tumultuous fall conditions. 

Headhunter Fly Line Review

A look at the Headhunter Fly line today on the Headhunters Fly Shop Blog. Yes, a Headhunter Fly Line Review from the Headhunters of Craig.

Un-biased? Nope.

Honest? Yep.

We released this line July 4th 2019. Sold a ton of them. Well received by almost all that had purchased it. I think we had one returned as it did not fit the customers casting stroke.

Everything here at Headhunters leaves with a Satisfaction Guarantee. If the product fails to impress you,  it does not fit your needs as you had hoped, or you simply don’t like it…you can return it here at Headhunters for cash, trade, or otherwise.

Our Headhunter Fly Line Review

Yes, we are biased. The Headhunter Fly Line designed for a specific use here on this river and beyond intended for technical dry fly applications. A line made for pinpoint  delivery of 25′-60′ casts, sometimes in the wind. Sound familiar?

It should.

If you have ever fished Montana, the Mo, or any other larger famous Dry Fly River like the Delaware, Henry’s Fork, Silver Creek, and beyond. Large waters requiring longer accurate casts targeting rising trout. As simple as that.

Reach cast
Long Reach Mends easily executed with the Headhunter Fly Line

We have always thought while many fly lines, or generic fly lines , albeit quite nice, like the RIO Gold and RIO Grande are both longstanding producers and sellers, but are they exactly what we need to solve the often difficult tailwater-esque dry fly equations.

Fly line makers manufacture lines for nymphing, for streamer fishing, and for all around fly fishing applications but does anybody actually make a fly line dedicated to dry fly fishing?

Hmmm. Yeah, we said it too.

So we did something to address the issue! We made a fly line for you, for us, for the dry fly fanatic.

Here is what we have found about the Headhunter Fly Line

After the testing period in which we tested 8 versions of this line, the introduction in July, and the summer that followed we have come to some conclusions that we would love to share with you. The Headhunter Line has been in the trenches now and we feel we have enough casting and fishing miles on it to accurately and intelligently let you in on what we have experienced.

The Headhunter Fly Line does not excel at tossing oversized hopper or Salmonfly patterns. Although it does well with flies in the size 8 range, on the 6 weight.

It does not and is not intended to toss heavily weighted streamers. It is not designed for heavy nymph fishing with split shot and bobbers. The Headhunter Fly Line is a dry fly specific fly line.

It does do well with a short leash indi-rig and is quite good at swinging soft hackles. Both of which are unintended surprises.

Through a summer of use we recognized that it is not a good match for beginner and/or some intermediate casters. If you are not comfortable casting with at least 20’+ of fly line off of, hanging from the tip, this line is not designed for your current skill set.

Introducing the Headhunter Fly Line
Available at Headhunters of Craig or online

Those who truly love the Headhunter Fly Line are those who possess upper level intermediate and/or advanced casting skill set. It is a dry fly line made for dry fly anglers. Simply for Headhunters, by Headhunters.

The Headhunter Fly Line fishes exactly how we expected it too. It delivers the fly with precision to the target at Missouri River distances.

You can achieve high line speed with this line. It matches well with medium fast action dry fly rods such at the new Sage LL. Mark likes it with his Sage X too. The Asquith, the new NRX+ LP, and the IMX Pro, and John has it lined up on both his Orvis Helios 3F and 3D.

This fly line is made for dry fly fishing. The Headhunter is designed for fishing tiny flies towards sipping trout. It is a dry fly line. The Headhunter Fly Line thrives with long leaders tippeted out with several feet of 5X or 6X.

The line carries enough energy to turn over those longer leaders we love to throw here on the Mo. If you commonly face difficult dry fly scenarios this line excels in those situations. The HH Line is certainly not dainty like your classic Double Taper/DT lines that some in John and Marks’ generation grew up casting. Nope. Lots of horsepower in this one.

The Headhunter Fly Line Design

This line is designed for casting at rising trout. Either from a boat or wade fishing, standing in the water. The Headhunter Fly Line is made for this.

This is a two color fly line. Why? For very specific reasons. The front 25′ is colored Big Sky Camo for stealth like fly entry. At 25′ the line color changes to Lime Green. This is the Performance Zone. Pick up the fly line easily anywhere in this 15′ long Performance Zone. At 40′ the line changes back to Big Sky Camo. An easy to understand color change eliminates the confusion about line colors.

The Headhunter Fly Line has an amazing 15′ sweet spot. The line really casts easily, with increasing line speed, enabling slack line presentations with pin-point accuracy.

Some also use the line color changes to measure distances to fish when understanding all of the situational variables are important path to success.

The Headhunter Fly Line is a Double Triangle Taper with a 51′ head. Our advanced 21.5′ triangle taper in the front enables energy to tackle windy conditions while the 24.5′ rear taper encourages accuracy at length.

The Headhunter is looped at both ends, uses the line technologies from RIO including super slick Agent X coating, ultra low stretch core, Hi-Float Tip, and Line ID in 4 places including line weight and states Dead Flies Don’t Swim.

Dead Flies Don’t Swim

I have truly enjoyed casting this line at longer distances coupled with the ubiquitous reach mend. 30′ is a very common distance. 45′ and longer do occur and this is a line that can rise to the more difficult dry fly problems.

The Headhunter Fly Line is available in line weights 4, 5, and 6.

We really have been enjoying the Headhunter Fly Line. It performs precisely how we planned and expected. Rarely does that happen. RIO helped along the way with design modifications and the manufacture of the Headhunter Line.

4 years down the road, 4 dry fly seasons, and all is good. We are putting together our order of 2023 and more are on the way! The line will have some new technologies associated with it this coming year. Stay tuned right here for those updates!

Advanced, DFO, Dry Fly Line, Headhunter Fly Line, Review
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  • An unsolicited response / review of the HH Fly Line:
    I have used Wulff Triangle Taper for, well, decades, for Mo- and similar dry fly fishing. It performs as trumpeted. I decided to try the HH line just to see how it matched up with the old Wulff, and I was very pleased. Pay attention to the caveats Mark puts on it, and you will be very pleased as well.

  • I did a review after fishing this line 4 days on the IMX Pro.

    I now have had a chance to fish this line on the Sage X. Took me a little time to figure out the timing with the Sage X at short range but, now really like the line. I have not found a better line for dries. Love the color change in the performance zone, gives a visual cue. Only change I would make is a texture change at front of performance zone (I may be the only person that wants this).

    Already looking forward to using it next summer.

  • I think you folks really did a great job with this fly line. Does all you said and more. I like the way you can paint it on the water after the cast-easy, controlled, accurate mending.

  • Any chance to see a sketch or diagram of the actual taper over the 51 feet and beyond? Thanks!

  • Any experience with this line on a Winston BlllX – 4wt? Thanks!

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