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Fly lines made simple


by Rene J. Hesse
Federation of Fly Fishing
Certified Casting Instructor

Fly Line Made Simple

Todays fly line boxes are easy to read to see what the lines are designed for ie. Distance, bass, trout taper, red fish, bonefish, tarpon ect. However once you get it you need to understand how to apply it's usefullness. Here is a brief discription of the parts of the fly line and how they all blend together.Starting from the reel at the backing/flyline connection.

Running line- It has a level profile that is designed to, get this...let the fish run! They get creative with these names don't they.
An important thing to note is that you will not be able to make a decent cast if you are trying to cast while the running line is out side of your rod tip. 'Skinny line will not turn over Fat line.' So learn where your running line meats your rear taper. Don't start a cast with more than that out of the tip.

Rear Taper- This starts at the thin running line and gets thicker as it goes toward the belly of the line. It is designed to make a smooth transition from the running line to the belly. The longer the rear taper, the easier it is to mend line on the water when the belly of the line is out of the rod tip.

Belly- This is the fat part of the line. It is designed to carry the energy from the rod in the form of a loop, down to the front taper,leader and fly.
Generaly speaking the longer the belly, the further you're able to cast.
The shorter the belly, the quicker you can cast.

Front Taper- Is designed to reduce the energy from the belly and make a smoother presentation. The taper goes from thick to thin over several feet. The shorter the front taper, the more energy will be sent to turn over the leader for bulky flies. The longer the taper the more it will diapate the energy and allow the leader to flutter down for softer presentations.

Tip- the 6-9inches that we tie on the leader.

About 20 years ago I needed some new fly line. When I went in the
fly shop there were at least 15 lines to choose from. So when the shop owner asked me what I was going to use it for he suggested a WF-6. That is a weight forward line for a 6wt rod. That narrowed it down to about 3 lines, and each one cost about $10 more than the next. I was willing to pay more because I wanted to 'cast further!' The shop owner then asked me a great question, 'How often do you clean your line?' I responded by asking him a question....'Clean my line?' He then recommended that I buy the least expensive line of the three. Hmmmmm, must be something to that line cleaning.

I had used the same fly line for about 10 years and never thought of cleaning it. Here is a tip for gaining about 10 feet to a cast ...clean your line with a line dressing after you fish and when the line is cracked you may want to get another. While you're at it, take a look at your fly rod, have you ever cleaned the rod or guides? Try some WD-40 on the rod and not only will it slick the surface but you may be able to see the beautiful rod you bought a few years back.

I hope this gives you a little more insight on fly lines.
Tight loops,

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
The Goodwill Guides- Kenny Simmons January 24, 2014 10:39 PM Rene J. H.
Angler Magazine Essentials of Fly Casting #4 November 17, 2012 9:44 PM Rene J. H.
Angler Magazine Essentials of Fly Casting #3 November 17, 2012 9:42 PM Rene J. H.
Fly Casting Essential #2 - Slackers September 15, 2012 8:14 AM Rene J. H.
Fly lines made simple July 21, 2012 9:28 PM Rene J. H.
BACK CAST- ANGLER MAG. July 13, 2012 7:30 PM Rene J. H.
Georgia Fishing Links October 23, 2008 9:43 PM Justin
About Atlanta Fly Fishing and Camping Meetup Group April 2, 2011 6:00 PM Rene J. H.

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