Shooting heads for salmon fishing are more popular now than ever. The G2 range of DTX shooting heads is a fairly new addition to the Mackenzie DTX stable, this review will look at the 9/10 – 42g floater.

The spec on the Mackenzie website lists the 9/10 floater to be 42g over 12.5 – the line sample measured exactly as specified. The welded loops on both ends are neat, small and appear very strong. Each line has a clear indication of both the line weight and density printed onto the loop sleeve.

DTX heads appear at first glance to have some unusual weighs for their given line ratings, the Mackenzie website explains this is due to the weight distribution within the head. Considering the length of the rear taper and the way the weight is distributed along the head I can see why they have arrived at these figures. The intention was to create a shooting head which was more stable during flight and more able to cast larger flies/tips than say something like a Rio AFS.


I have tried the DTX heads a couple of times on different rods but for the test I used my own AMC 13’3 - 8/9/10 rod as it is my everyday fishing and casting rod which I use with lots of different heads in this length/weight range.

I found the line was easy enough to cast and it loaded my rod well. At 42g I would say it loaded my rod just a bit more than a 38g – 9/10 AFS would but not as much as the equivalent 42g – 10/11 AFS. These findings would confirm that the weight is spread out differently to the AFS. I cast the head in two very different ways. Firstly, purely as a floater with an 18’ tapered fluorocarbon leader and size 10 salar double. Secondly with a 10’ Airflo ex super fast sink polyleader with a 6’ 18lb nylon leader and a cone head tube fly.

As a floater I felt the tip dominated the leader a bit too much, this was due to the 1.3mm tip diameter being bigger than what would be considered for the stealthiest floating spey line (1mm) which of course this isn’t! I added a 7’ intermediate tip and 10’ of nylon and thing soon became as stealthy as I felt I needed. The head coped well with the ex fast poly and heavy fly, marginally better than an AFS would. The red colour of the line was a bit of a problem for me, this meant it disappeared a bit too quickly for me on overcast days or as the light faded, I found that on both the Tyne and Dee I could not see it as clearly on the water as I could with the more conventional coloured floaters we see. I have not used the head for casting against a head wind but have no doubt based on what I have already seen that if will cope well enough, the problem with wind lies more with casters than lines most of the time.

In conclusion

The DTX shooting head is a good product, it has no obvious vices and is priced sensibly to compete with its competition. The profile is sound and it will do what it was designed for and needs to do. If you plan to use it for top of the water fishing it will benefit from a short floating or slow intermediate poly leader to smooth the powerful turnover. On the other hand its the same powerful turnover which makes casting the sinking polyleaders easy. There isnt one line that will do everything perfectly but the DTX comes close enough if you dont mind the colour issues.

This line was supplied for review and can be purchased from Angling Active

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