Lines...What a topic!
For the past few years the most interesting and least understood developments in fly fishing is within Line Design and Grain weights, leaving many grasping for air, trying to comprehend what all this really means.
To completely understand line weights in relationship to modern graphite fly rods is actually a simple thing; but as we all know what might be simple is also complex.
Here is One idea that is easy to follow...most of us have a 5 Weight fly rod; likey 9', and Graphite. Often we will overline it with a Number 6 fly line( 160 grains); following this practice will permit casters to feel the rod loading deeper more quickly. A sensation felt especially if the caster is utilizing a good casting style.Here is the goods on this. Fly lines are rated according to their physical weight, suggested to be along the first 30' of the line; behind the front taper (often not followed). The front taper being different for many diciplines such as Double taper, weight forward, delicate presentation, shooting head and so on. This is also relivent to all categories of line densities..floating, slow sink, Intermediate, Fast Sink and more. But please note here...most weight Forward lines are weight measured for thier first 30' including taaers simply because more WF lines have short front tapers. This makes things a bit easier for the manufactures and fly fishers alike.
For small stream and creek fly fishers the need to carry more than 30' of fly line isn't even an option. However, for the vast majority of fly fishers the need to carry in excess of 60' is the real deal. "Oh my goodness" I can't carry that much grain weight.I'll break the rod"..of course we know this to be nonsense. If calculations are correctly made, you would likely be carrying between 240-260 grains, this would apply to the most popular fly line being the weight froward. For those using a double taper line you would be carrying slightly more. And yes the fly rod will handle this well if of fair quality and if casting is done with a smooth rhythm. Weight Forward Shooting heads push the envelope , compacting the grain weights into head lengths from 36-45', yes thats correct,they take the overall grain weight from the first 60' and design it into the short head length. This applies to Single ,Switch and Spey Rods..
Since the mid Nineties, the popularity of Spey casting has shot out like a rocket, causing such change that often times it feels as if it were the computer world instead of a sport . So it is high time to get the facts out to the groups needing to understand this more thoroughly and not embedding interests groups into mass hysteria about having a Magic Bullet! This is of course good for the merchants that don't really care but not so for the consumer that not only buys too many lines but also is indundated with Bargains on EBAY AND ON FISHING FORUM BUY AND SELLS.. These lines are not understood and often wrong only to be passed on repeatedly.
Make sure to click on the other pages under this heading; we will have a full section on recommended lines,weights and styles along with comparisons relating to rod make-up and quality/type.
Line Cores..all fly lines use a coating over some kind of Core material. The now most popular core materials being used by good line manufacturers is a braided Nylon core,basically the same materials used in the making of braided loops...there may be some variations in break strength but generally strong 35 to 45 lb.break strength
The next most popular core material is Monofilamernt. Unfortunately , coatings don't adhere too well to this core material and there is a tendency in cooler climates for the core to coil excessively. The good side of mono-corelines is in their use with tropics or warm water lines. Warm water conditions will soften the core enough to stabilize a non-sag line in these conditions whereas a braided core line will sag like wet spagetti.
However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this page; what might seem simple may be complex. We now see more non-stretch cores coming into popularity especially for large preditor lines where line stretch is a bad thing. and of course this will lead to what we consider the main ingredient..the coating!
Fly Line Coatings..there are likely more on their way but we generally consider Polyurethane, PVC and Polyethelene as the Three main coating materials. Of course there are degrees of stabilizers,inhibitors,lubricants and much more than meets the eyes..but for us this will do. Density , high float,self lubricating,....................................