The Commando System

The Commando Head system starts at the running line, which comes just in front of the backing. The purpose of a running line is to connect the backing to the Commando Head and allow for long casts. It does not take an active role in the actual cast; rather, its role is to shoot out of the guides as smoothly as possible to allow the Commando Head to achieve the desired distance. Our Lazar Line running line, a super slick, supple, practically memory-free monofilament running line, is the best running line we have tried. We secure our Lazar Line to both the backing and the Commando Head with a loop to loop connection. To make the loop in the Lazar Line, we use a double or triple surgeon's loop. For some instruction on tying a triple surgeon's loop in a Lazar Line as well as some other tips, check out this video:

Next comes the Commando Head, the key to the whole system. This short, light, thick Skagit Head uses the tension between water and line to load the rod, in a casting motion very similar to a roll cast. The Commando Head generates enough water tension and rod load to be cast extremely easily, no matter how tight the conditions. In fact, even many total beginners can make effective casts with a Commando Head on their first day out. Commando Heads run from 150 Grains to 475 Grains, for 3 weight single hand rods to 8 weight two-handers.

The final leg of the Commando System

 is the Commando Tip. OPST's Commando Sink Tips are what ultimately deliver the fly down to the depth where fish are hopefully holding. Commando Tips come in a number of different lengths and grain weights. But within these standard grain weights are three different sink rates- a slow, medium, and fast sinking version, which we call our Riffle, Run and Bucket series. We built our system this way so that you can always have the appropriate tip for a given part of the river. Not all fishing spots are ten feet deep. Sometimes shallower water can be extremely important as well. Our tips also stand out because the back half of the tip sinks one sink rate slower than the front half. This prevents a belly effect and allows for a more direct connection between you and your fly. An outline of our Commando Tips and their sink rates can be found in the charts at the bottom of this page. 

After the Commando Tip, all you have to do is attach the tippet and your fly. We like our Mega Strong Tippet, which comes in 8, 10, 12, 16, 18 and 20-pound test in both fluorocarbon and monofilament. For more information, you can always email us at, or give us a call at 206-858-8476.