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Fly Line Backing
- Spectra™ — Super Braid
- Spectra™ ― Ultra-thin, Ultra-strong backing made with braided polyester.
- Narrow diameter
- Twice as many yards of backing on spool as equivalent 20-pound test Dacron.
- Negligible stretch
- Doesn’t add compressive force to the reel spool
- Abrasion resistant (Highest)
- Won’t rot
Line Core Materials
- Braided multifilament nylon
- Braided monofilament nylon
- Single-strand monofilament nylon
- Braided multifilament polyester (Dacron)
Fly Line: Braided Multifilament Nylon
- Standard core material used in the majority of fly lines today.
- Excellent material for most freshwater fly-fishing applications
- Trout, bass, steelhead, etc.
- A very limp material, does not add significantly to line stiffness.
Fly Line: Braided Monofilament Nylon
- Braided monofilament is essentially “glued” together, and the combination of coating and core becomes stiff.
- Make the best casting and shooting lines available for saltwater angling.
- Bonefish, tarpon, etc.
Fly Line: Single-Strand Monofilament
- Permits the production of a crystal clear line, sometimes called a “slime line”.
- Designed for use in saltwater; has a rather stiff, heavy core which produces a stiff fly line that works well in the heat.
Fly Line: Braided Multifilament Polyester
- Lines designed for tournament distance casting; less stretch.
- Some shooting lines which are used primarily with heavy shooting heads for big game fish.
Fly Line: Kevlar
- Memory problems due to the no-stretch Kevlar core.
- Durability problems because very difficult to adhere line coatings to.
- Standard nail knots cannot be used to tie on leaders; coating slips off.
Fly Line Coating Materials
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- PVC is the main base material found in most fly lines today. Can be modified easily.
- Hollow glass microballoons
- Trapped air bubbles
- Pulverized tungstenUV inhibitors
- Hydrophobic compounds
- Stiffening / Softening agents
Basic Coating Process
- Core material is passed through primer solutions and cured in an oven to improve adhesion of the coating to the core.
- The primed core then goes into the liquid-plastic coating solution and on through a computer-controlled, variable orifice die that dictates the diameter of the taper.
- Line is thermal-cured.
- Lines are made continuously, end-to-end.
Weight-based Rating System
- First 30 feet of a fly line determines the AFTMA weight of the line.
- Minus any short, level tip section.
- Established in 1961 by AFTMA.
- American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association.
Selecting Fly Line Size
- 3-, to 5-Weight Fly Lines
- Small light flies, such as trout dry flies, offer little resistance and can be cast with very light lines.
- 8-, to 11-Weight Fly Lines
- Large wind-resistant flies, like bass bugs or saltwater flies, require heavy lines
- Wind conditions can dictate heavier line.
- Bonefish flies are small; 7-8 Wt. rods recommended.
- Usually fish view a fly line against the bright background of the sky, which makes the line appear dark, a shadow.
- The real key to preventing fish from being spooked by your line is to avoid casting where they are looking.
- Seeing the line helps beginners to analyze casting problems, allows better control of the line’s drift and better strike detection.
Problems When Tip Sinks
- Creates Micro-drag during dry fly fishing by pulling the leader straight; and sometimes even pulling the fly under.
- When nymphing, harder to see subtle strikes of a subsurface trout.
- Creating a huge surface disturbance when line is picked-up off the water.
Issues with Floating Lines
- Specific gravity of floating lines range from .60 to .96
- So, why does the front tip always seem to sink in the water?
- The front taper has the thinnest coating (least amount of low-density filler) over a braided multifilament nylon core.
- The nylon leader has a specific gravity of about 1.2, heavier than water.
Saltwater Fly Lines
- Floating lines with densities nearer 1.0 are usually designed for saltwater use, because saltwater is more buoyant than freshwater.
- Saltwater lines are nearly one size smaller in diameter than comparable freshwater lines.
- Narrower diameter cuts through strong winds.
- Never use a saltwater line in freshwater because they do not float well.
- Coatings are formulated for tropical temps!
- Specialty lines made for western nymph fishing, i.e. a couple of split shot and float indicator.
- Larger-diameter line tips that float better than standard lines.
- Convex-compound taper.
- Easier single-handed Spey casting.
- A WF-9-F weighs the same as a WF-9S fast-sinking line.
- Sinking line is much smaller in diameter.
- Tungsten filler.
- Type I sinks slowly; Type 8 sinks fast.
- LC-13 fastest sink rate.
Basic Types of Taper
- Level (L)
- Same diameter from end to end. “Kick” because they have so much undissipated energy left when the line straightens. Poor delivery—Awful to cast. Inexpensive.
- Double taper (DT)
- Identical tapers at each end. Not well suited to distance casting. Good roll casting line. Delicate presentations can be problematic.
- Weight-forward (WF)
- Very good distance casting; Trying to roll cast with the running line of a WF line extended from the rod tip is very difficult, if not impossible. Therefore, you are limited to ~ 40-foot roll cast.
- Specialty Tapers—Bass-bug, saltwater, nymph, XXD distance, et al.
- Shooting taper (ST)
- Weight-forwards without the running line; typically 30’-38’ long with a loop on the back end to which attaches a special shooting line, ex. Mono. Great for achieving maximum distance and ability to change lines easily.
- Difficult to control; not easy to cast accurately, can only be roll cast or mended at short ranges.
Function of Rear Taper
- It provides a smooth transfer of energy in order to maximize line control and the ability to roll cast, reach cast, mend, and pick up line.
- Especially true when carrying a lot of line out of the rod tip.....past the belly, and well into overhang.
- The rear taper makes long mends easier.
- It serves as a smooth connection between the belly and the running line.
Over-, Under-Weight Line Size
- Anglers planning to purchase a short-headed line specifically for bass, saltwater, or other application would be well advised to buy a line one size heavier.
- The light, small-diameter running line makes longer casts difficult, ex. 50’ aerialized.
- Purchase a line one size lighter with a longer-than-standard head if casting long distances.
- Avoid opening the casting loop, diminishing line speed, and reducing distance.
Types of Compound Tapers
- Concave-compound tapers
- Mass of the line decreases rapidly when the first part of the taper is reached, dissipating much of the cast’s energy. Angler can deliver fly very delicately.
- Convex-compound tapers
- Taper delays turnover speed and dissipation of energy because the mass of the line is not decreasing rapidly. Angler can load the rod quickly and cast long distances; particularly with larger flies on windy day.
- Triangle taper
- A convex-compound taper. The head of the line is actually tapered for its entire 40 feet length. The saltwater Triangle tape has a 30 foot long front taper.
Sink Tip Lines—Solution
- Open the casting loop and slow the line down as much as possible!
- The tip of a sinking-tip line is very heavy and dissipates energy poorly.
- To compound the problem, lines with very high density tips are very small in diameter and offer less wind resistance even when they do finally accelerate.
- Roll cast the line up to water’s surface.
Fly Line Maintenance
- Cleaning fly lines.
- 3M Scientific Anglers Cleaning Pad & Dressing
- Only use with Mastery Series lines (internally lubricated with softening plasticizers)
- Top coated lines must be “dressed”
- Protecting fly lines.
- Avoid heat, light, & solvents
- Mucilin is very damaging to modern fly lines.
- Insect repellents, motor fuels are too!
- Store in refrigerator or freezer
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