Fly-fishing-line. Where to start!

Fly-fishing-line. A beginners guide.

For the beginner the best angle of approach when deciding which fly-fishing-line to use is to start with the fly. Having chosen the fly you can now select a line of suitable thickness that the fly can be attached to. Once you know the line to be used you can then match the rod to it. You will then have a balanced fly, rod and line.

If you are new to the sport then once you have been through the process above and chosen a fishing-line it is best to stick with that particular line until you have become accustomed to it. On the other hand if you are an experienced angler then you will want to have a choice of fly-lines.

With more than one type of line the temptation is to thread up several rods, but this is not a very good idea. You can only use one rod at a time, so where do you keep the others? When concentrating on your fly it is all too easy to forget those spare rods lying on the riverbank beside you. That is until some heavy-footed angler or dog walker treads on them. So carry the different grades of fly-fishing-line on spools, which are easier to store and more difficult to damage. It only takes a few minutes to re-thread your rod anyway.

Lines, like reels require some maintenance. A line fresh from the factory has a plastic coating which gives it just the right amount of suppleness. If the line is too supple there is a risk that this coating will peel away from the core. If it is not supple enough then the line never straightens out completely, it retains the memory of it’s former shape when it was on the spool (ie circular). This increases the disturbance it creates when it lands on the water and scares the fish.

The coating contains a plasticiser which gives the line it’s flexability. However as you fish this plasticiser evaporates and the line becomes more rigid. Eventually the coating cracks and moisture enters the core. The moisture increases the weight of the line and your floating-line becomes a sinking-line.

To prevent this happening you must apply a dose of liquid plasticiser regularly. There are quite a few of these on the market but try to find one that contains wax, as this makes the line float better.

Heavier sinking lines tend to require less maintenance and they you do not need to add plasticiser or wax. However, it is recommended that they should be polished occasionally to keep them clean. A dirty fly-fishing-line takes longer to sink.

You can now buy non-stretch lines though, as the force on a fly-rod is pretty small (ounces) there is unlikely to be a great deal of stretch. If I were you I wouldn’t bother with non- stretch fishing-lines, their development has more to do with marketing than technical innovation.

Don’t spend a fortune on fly-line, just make sure that you buy a reputable brand. If you look after it properly then it will last a long time.There is no way that one single expensive fishing-line will last longer than three cheaper lines. Any differences in quality are likely to be negligible.

The simple truth is that one fishing-line is practically indistinguishable from another.There is only one sure-fire way to gauge the quality of a line and that is to fish with it. When you cast the line it should pay out in a straight line, it should float in a straight line when on the water and it should last for longer than one fishing season. If your's exhibits these three qualities then you have got yourself a good line. As to cost,an expensive one is just as likely to fail as a cheap one.

If the fishing-line proves to be faulty in some way, take it back to the shop for a replacement or refund.

Anglers, especially beginners tend to disregard the importance of a good fly-fishing-line, choosing instead to concentrate on the seemingly more glamorous, not to mention more expensive rods and reels. But your fishing tackle is only equal to the sum of it’s parts, so each component should be of the best quality you can afford. So take care when choosing your line.

Fly-fishing-line. Which Line?