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Bimini15

Fly line advice

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I have not bought a fly line in years, and I have not kept up with fly line development.

Apparently, now we buy fly lines not just for particular weight rods, floating or sinking, in different tapers, but also for particular species and even water temperatures. They must be making such small batches of each... no wonder they charge $100. Or maybe they take us for suckers, who knows...!

Can someone just tell me what decent inexpensive intermediate lines you use for lakes and inshore?

Thanks,

Bimini

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+1 on the Cortland’s.  Sale is over though.  (Regularly $59?) Had to double nail knots to make loops.  Got a SA Inter. on my 12wt also on sale.  Just front section is clear.  Good bit more expensive.   Use them in the salt.  Cuz they’re clear you can shorten up on the leader to help the line get the fly deeper quicker.

 

6B70553F-38F7-4F84-8A83-74077B634EA0.png

 

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The old saying “It Depends” has lots of applicability to your inquiry.  Indeed, today’s fly lines, especially at the top end have become specialized, but not so much to the exclusion of versatility.  The type of rod(s) you are using has a lot of bearing on the ideal fly line you might chose. Additionally, there has been significant improvement in the characteristics of lines designed for warm water or cold water environments.  A cold water line will fish in a warm water inshore environment, but not nearly as effectively as a line designed for warm water.  I am much more familiar with SA lines through some insider info than their nearest competitor RIO but the same lessons apply.  The higher end fly lines are made of higher quality materials with the latest technologies than low-end lines.   There is technical evidence to this fact. There is no single “do it all” line.  The fly rod, the type of water, the type of flies, and the caster’s ability all impact the performance and longitivtiy of any given fly line.  The delta in $$ between a cheap low-end line and the best high-end lines IMHO doesn’t  warrant skimping on fly line.  I spend 50-60 days a year on the water here in MT and at least 20 days annually along the Florida Gulf coast.   A high-quality fly line is essential to my success. 

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This will place me firmly in the “0ld guy” camp but I figure much of the great selection of fly lines these days has a lot more to do with marketing than anything else... That said, there are very real differences between lines meant for cold water and the tropics (my place in this world...).

All of my lighter rods are set up with floating lines (7, 8, and 9wts).  Line sizes 10wt on up are all full Intermediate.  I’ve used a lot of different intermediates over the years but these days they’re all Scientific Anglers Sonar lines (and a good value as well...).  Our floating lines are all Rio Mainstream lines, and a very good value.

Remember, we’re either in the coastal Everglades jungle or at night tossing flies at small to medium tarpon around concrete bridge pilings so none of our lines survive more than a year’s very hard service... Heck, I’ve got one small river big tarpon spot that’s cost us three new lines over the years after big fish either took all of the line ( and a good bit of backing) or just shredded it up against the mangroves... so you won’t find me spending big bucks on expensive fly lines... 

Hope this helps.  By the way this is just about the gear on my skiff for my anglers.  Most of them bring their own gear and the fish in the ‘glades and the night scene around Miami are hard on gear (understatement)...

 

”Be a hero... take a kid fishing”

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Started with a D weight Cortland level line. Supposed to be equal to 7 wt. Anyway, I tossed it after about 55 years. Regretted it as it was in perfect condition and was easy to roll cast. FWIW, I have rods in 4, 5, 6, 7 weight with WF. Roll cast is difficult. Built a 2 wt and thankfully found 2 wt. DT on sale. Casts like a dream, accurate and does great on a roll cast. If I had to do it over, all my lines would be DT. Don't fish for anything but trout, bluegill, bass and carp.

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5 hours ago, mikemac1 said:

  I spend 50-60 days a year on the water here in MT and at least 20 days annually along the Florida Gulf coast.   A high-quality fly line is essential to my success. 

for someone with the means to bounce back and forth annually between Montana and Florida $100 for a fly line is most likely not a concern.   That's not a slam or any attempt at a snide comment, it is just the truth.   For more common folk who need decent performance for a reasonable price to enjoy the rare hours they get on the water close to home, it is a concern.   Yes the industry has turned in the last 25 years or so, definitely in the 40 years I've been fly fishing-  Yes the marketing geniuses have convinced people that they need a separate fly line (as well as rod, leader, reel, clothing, water bottle, etc) for every individual species of fish we may encounter, every weather condition, and every pattern of fly we might want to use.  I'm all about using the right tool for the right job, but it has become ridiculous. 

Skeet made a great point above about DT lines.   I also learned to fly fish with a Level line.   It's nearly difficult to find anything but a WF line these days.... It is equally as difficult to find a fly fisherman who can consistently cast into the running line of a WF.....   yes fly fishermen are suckers who are, more often than not, people with egos and wallets which are larger than their skill set.  

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I’ll add another vote for the Cortland clear intermediate. Had one on my 8wt for a while before I ruined it by stepping on it on rocks. I bought it on sale but would have no trouble paying full price for it. I have one coming for a 6wt now. Heck of a good line. 

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1 hour ago, JSzymczyk said:



Skeet made a great point above about DT lines.   I also learned to fly fish with a Level line.   It's nearly difficult to find anything but a WF line these days.... It is equally as difficult to find a fly fisherman who can consistently cast into the running line of a WF.....   yes fly fishermen are suckers who are, more often than not, people with egos and wallets which are larger than their skill set.  

I don't think it is that difficult to cast into the running line. If we use a vanilla 5 wt WF line like the Cortland 444, the forward part of the fly line is (10' + 25' + 6') 41 feet. Add a 9 ft leader and any cast longer than 50 feet gets running line out of the guides. Do I routinely fish at that distance - nope. But I don't think casting 50 feet is difficult.

Since fly line weight correlated with the volume of a cylinder and the air resistance correlates with the surface area. Since the volume of a cylinder goes up much faster than surface area, use a higher line wt to cast further. If all other factors are equal like fly line loop shape and line velocity, a 7 wt line will go farther than a 5 wt line.

What say you fishers. Is casting 50 feet of fly line out of the guides difficult for most fly fishers?

 

cortland_444sl_classic1_coil.jpg

 

 

 

Now if you really want to cast a long line, use a full sinking line. Because it is so dense, it is thin and this cuts down on wind resistance. PLUS it has a 36 ft short head length so you can shoot it like a shooting head line.

It really does not take much to cast a WF sinking line into the running line and the total length of the cast will be progressively get longer for the heavier sinking line if all other factors are equal like fly line loop shape and line velocity.

When teaching newbies to cast, one trick is to have them use a sinking fly line when grass casting. This is a tactic that Gary Borger used in his casting classes and he gave me about 40 cheapo reels loaded with WF full sinking fly lines when he moved away.

linki-muchowe-444-full-sinking-type-3-to

 

 

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1 hour ago, JSzymczyk said:

.   It's nearly difficult to find anything but a WF line these days....

Not accurate:  SA has three Double Taper lines on their website, RIO has 3, Orvis (made by SA) has two, Cortland has two as well as AirFlo.  All can be bought directly from their website.  I use 3 and 4 weight DT lines on my small reels used for my glass rods.  A good DT line cut in half  is great value. Couldn’t be easier.

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Never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the drawer but long distance casting for me with intermediate let alone full sinking becomes a chore when 30-40 ‘ has sunk 5’-10’ feet.. pick that up in one motion, nada...you’re shooting lots of it, rolling it,  but you gotta get it up and started after stripping it all the way back in.   What I’m trying to say is every long cast after it has fished out takes steps; any pauses its sinking.   On grass yeh it’s “floating”.   I pity students moving to water with that trying to transition.  

  Never done switch and Spey.   Same technique with sinking and floating???

I learn something on this board all the time.  I’m seeing that on a small tree covered stream where the rule of the day is roll casting with the front end of  a DT  one weight heavier would really make it easier.  Thanks for a blast from the past....

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Okay ... cheapster speaking.  All of my rods, from my 5'6" 3 weight to my 9' 8 weights have floating line on them.  I think they're weight forward, but they could be DTs.  I don't remember, since my only criteria was the "floating" part.  I spend 50 or more days a year whipping the water into a froth.  

Most of the rods have $9.00 E-bay line on them.  I practice cast in my yard, and aim for the stop sign at the corner of my property.  It's a 75 foot distance from where I stand, and I can get to it with all the rods.  It's much easier with the heavier rods, but it's doable with all of them.  I practice for those distances because I fish from a boat.  I am routinely casting a shoreline while drifting or moving along.  The distances change as I move and I don't want to spook the fish, so a long cast is common.  I rarely make 75 foot casts while fishing, but I was taught to always train harder than you expect to perform.

I don't fish sinking lines.  If I need to fish deeper than my leader/tippet will sink, I switch to other types of fishing gear.

 

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II got some seconds (color) a few years ago and have used them without any problem.

Think I paid like $10.00 for each of them. Work fine for my warm water fishing.

 

 

Rick 

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For Denduke... Here's how I try to get my anglers working properly with full intermediate lines (and for me they're either 10 or 12wt lines - not exactly lightweights...) and we're tossing big six and seven inch flies with them.... Here's a sample of a pattern we use regularly (in many colors...).

9rpjl3t.jpg

Like I said - big flies...   

 

First off you won't be making a second cast until you've stripped that line almost all the way back to the skiff (or other starting point...)... There is a trick though that makes it much, much easier... Instead of trying to pick up that last ten or fifteen feet of line I have them do a roll cast - easy to do and clears the line up to the surface - then blend that roll cast into a good strong back cast, false cast forward to generate some line speed and extend that line out to about forty feet or so then with your next casting stroke shoot the next 20 to 30 feet of line (for a sixty to seventy foot cast... downwind it's easy to extend it out to an eighty to ninety foot shot with a bit of practice..).   

 

The real advantage an intermediate provides is that you can determine the exact depth you want your fly at on each cast - and whatever depth you start at the fly stays there, almost all the way back to the boat... Another trick I have my anglers do is to countdown the line after the cast to get the fly down to where the fish are holding (and we actually fish big tarpon laying in ten feet or more of water that way...).  Start stripping when the fly lands and it will stay just under the surface - but you won't be fishing any popping bugs with  an intermediate... 

Every now and then an angler will try to get by with a floating line that has an intermediate tip end of about 15 feet or so and it just doesn't do the job a full intermediate can do since the moment you start stripping the fly rises back up towards the surface instead of where you want it... 

 

Hope this helps.  I've found that intermediates have real value in our fishery but I'm sure that they're not for everybody... 

 

 

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