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Fly Line Noise


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#1 Swamp Fly

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:12 AM

Mark Knapp posted this Video in the fishing reports section.  In the video there are a couple of scenes where there is a camera attached to the leader of the fly line.  You can very clearly hear the line being stripped in.  It is a bit startling as to how loud it is, it sounds like growling.  I've always discounted the concerns some people have about fly line noise, firstly because we catch plenty of fish but also because I always approached the issue from a casting point of view (which in retrospect may have been a bit short sighted).  Has anyone noticed a problem with the noises associated from stripping in a streamer etc.?  I'd say that it would be less of an issue with a dead drift but we do strip in line at times when doing that too don't we?  Again, we catch plenty of fish but It does make one wonder about some textured fly lines (remember the shark skin lines?).

 

Swamp



#2 DFoster

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 11:08 AM

Swamp I have often wondered how much sound fly line transmits.  My two favorite reels are the click an pawl type so it would be nice to know how much of the clicking is audible to the fish via the line.  There's a discussion about the topic here-

 

https://www.flyfishi...eels-click.html


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#3 Mark Knapp

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 01:22 PM

That noise bothers the heck out of me, at first from the video-quality point of view. It was very surprising to me how much is picked up by the camera. Let me say a couple of things to ease your worries just a bit.

 

The camera is directly on the line that's being stripped so it's actually picking up the vibrations directly from the line, not so much from the water it's in.

 

The other thing is, the line is under quite a bit of tension when you hear it, one, because it has a camera on it and two, because the fish is already hanging from it. There is probably almost no sound on a line with no tension.



#4 Swamp Fly

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 01:47 PM

Mark, I thought the line was attached and there was direct sound transmission just as you say, like a can intercom (aka Cambell's telephone). Ido think if you had a microphone anywhere in that pool you would have picked it up though.  Yes once the fish is hooked who cares if the line makes noise.  The textured lines make quite a bit of racket even when not under tension. In a quiet water way I'd wager it pretty loud.  If I'm fishing a bulky fly and stripping line hard I wonder how much noise even a smoother line makes.  I just wonder if it's factor or not.  Again I catch fish but I'm just curious if it makes a difference when the fish aren't real hot on the bite.

 

Swamp



#5 Mark Knapp

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 01:56 PM

Yep, all things to ponder. Fish, at least some of them, hunt by feeling vibrations in the water, so you have to assume they are very sensitive to foreign sounds.



#6 tjm

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 02:03 PM

Living things make noise in the water too. If anything the noise may enhance the illusion of food from the fishes point of view. 



#7 SilverCreek

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 04:14 PM

Fish cannot hear the sound of line noise, of the reel drag, or any other noise that we hear. The sound we hear is are vibrations in the the air. The sound that fish hear are vibrations in the air. For fish to detect the sound in the air, the vibrations in the air must create vibrations in the water which they basically cannot do.

 

Sound essentially cannot be transmitted from air to water. The sound bounces off the water surface. So you can shout across the river to another fisherman and the fish cannot "hear" it. What little sound that does make it into the water is so small relative to the "ambient noise/vibrations" present that fish cannot detect you shouting.

 

"A water–air interface is usually an almost perfect reflector of acoustic waves."

 

https://www.tandfonl...107510802090415

 

"But because the ratio of acoustic characteristic impedance of air to that of water is about 1/3600, only a little energy generated by an airborne source could transmit into water. Therefore, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the sound signals received by the underwater sensor is very low."

 

https://www.google.c...i30.uy1CBdGXXcg

 

On the other hand, vibrations which have DIRECT contact with with water like a boat hull or walking on the river bank do make it into the water and the fish detect it through their lateral line and their ears. The question then is can the vibrations of the rough line surface on the line line guides be transmitted down the fly line into the water? NO! 

 

Remember that the zing of the fly line is IN THE AIR and is NOT the fly line vibrating! For the fly line to transmit the noise, the FLY LINE WOULD have to be VIBRATING like crazy!


Regards,

Silver

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#8 Mark Knapp

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 04:27 PM

Fish cannot hear the sound of line noise, of the reel drag, or any other noise that we hear. The sound we hear is are vibrations in the the air. The sound that fish hear are vibrations in the air. For fish to detect the sound in the air, the vibrations in the air must create vibrations in the water which they basically cannot do.

 

Sound essentially cannot be transmitted from air to water. The sound bounces off the water surface. So you can shout across the river to another fisherman and the fish cannot "hear" it. What little sound that does make it into the water is so small relative to the "ambient noise/vibrations" present that fish cannot detect you shouting.

 

"A water–air interface is usually an almost perfect reflector of acoustic waves."

 

https://www.tandfonl...107510802090415

 

"But because the ratio of acoustic characteristic impedance of air to that of water is about 1/3600, only a little energy generated by an airborne source could transmit into water. Therefore, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the sound signals received by the underwater sensor is very low."

 

https://www.google.c...i30.uy1CBdGXXcg

 

On the other hand, vibrations which have DIRECT contact with with water like a boat hull or walking on the river bank do make it into the water and the fish detect it through their lateral line and their ears. The question then is can the vibrations of the rough line surface on the line line guides be transmitted down the fly line into the water? NO! Fly line is a poor transmitter of high frequency vibrations. I doubt any of it gets into the water.

Silver, watch a couple of my videos with the underwater camera. The camera is recording the sound of my fly line stripping through my finger on the retrieve. We surmise that if the camera picks it up, the fish must pick it up. In a deep sea fishing video I am working on, you can hear the click of the reels pawl in the camera that's 100 feet down.

 

The question is, how much does it matter.



#9 SilverCreek

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 05:49 PM

Silver, watch a couple of my videos with the underwater camera. The camera is recording the sound of my fly line stripping through my finger on the retrieve. We surmise that if the camera picks it up, the fish must pick it up. In a deep sea fishing video I am working on, you can hear the click of the reels pawl in the camera that's 100 feet down.

 


I assume the microphone is underwater and not touching anything the could transmit the sound other than the water. And that there is nothing foreign in the water like a metal rods, tripods,etc that could vibrate and transfer the sound from the air to the water. The reason I ask is that science says air to water should not happen. Air to another structure that contacts the water and can transmit the vibrations is possible.

 

I believe that is how slamming car doors can be "heard". I think the vibrations go from the car through the tires to the ground to the water. Living things like trees, grass, humans are poor passive sound transmitters.

 

Can you post a link so we can all view and hear it?


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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#10 Mark Knapp

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 08:10 PM

 

Silver, watch a couple of my videos with the underwater camera. The camera is recording the sound of my fly line stripping through my finger on the retrieve. We surmise that if the camera picks it up, the fish must pick it up. In a deep sea fishing video I am working on, you can hear the click of the reels pawl in the camera that's 100 feet down.

 


I assume the microphone is underwater and not touching anything the could transmit the sound other than the water. And that there is nothing foreign in the water like a metal rods, tripods,etc that could vibrate and transfer the sound from the air to the water. The reason I ask is that science says air to water should not happen. Air to another structure that contacts the water and can transmit the vibrations is possible.

 

I believe that is how slamming car doors can be "heard". I think the vibrations go from the car through the tires to the ground to the water. Living things like trees, grass, humans are poor passive sound transmitters.

 

Can you post a link so we can all view and hear it?

 

Here it is. http://www.flytyingf...041#entry750788

The sound of the line slipping through my fingers is being transmitted down the line to the camera and since it is, I am assuming that it is also being transmitted to the water.



#11 Swamp Fly

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 10:38 PM

Thanks for weighing in. Agreed, normal sound traveling just through the air is not likely to transfer enough energy past the water surface to be "heard".  I say normal because some energy waves are powerful enough to be both heard and "felt" through the air itself, an example would be thunder or an explosion (not on the ground) can have enough energy for a transfer.  I've personally heard thunder underwater in a pool, so no boat or other object to transfer the sound.  Never been in a pool and had fireworks in the vicinity lol. But that is not what we are talking about.  As I stated I have always discounted noise generated by casting for exactly the reasons you cite.  I suppose technically if the noise generation was intense enough (as in it had enough energy) it could travel through the body and into the water. I would also expect the energy levels involved would just about cause physical harm to the angler or at the very least be so unpleasant that they would want to stop fishing.  I obviously don't have any numbers to back that up one way or another, but again not so much what we are talking about.  What I am mostly wondering about is when a line is tight to the fly such as when aggressively stripping.  Not only should the tension in the line be able to conduct the wave, it is actually part of the generation mechanism itself.  As soon as the line tension is lost the wave it should be dampened (again with the energy levels we are talking about).  Try plucking a guitar string that isn't strung.  Once a fish is hooked it doesn't matter if it can hear anything, at least not that individual fish since it has more pressing issues at hand.

 

Swamp

 

P.S. I'm mostly just poking at this because I never really considered it before.  The fact of the matter is we should all be more worried about that set of pliers we tend to drop into the bottom of a boat. At some point in every trip I always berate myself and think it would just be so much more efficient to run a jack hammer if the goal is to scare every fish in the county. Grin!



#12 mikechell

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:38 AM

We use rattles, lips, popper heads, etc. to create noises for the fish to zero in on.  I'd think the line sound is just another attractant.  The fish are not "wise" enough to think, "Oh, that sounds like fly line being stripped the guides.  Sounds like one of those cheap rods, I better not eat that!"

 

I also believe that, in today's waters, there are so many man-made noises that fish are less spooked than we give them credit for.  If you're not getting hits, you still can't blame your equipment!  wink.png


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#13 DFoster

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:39 AM

Fish cannot hear the sound of line noise, of the reel drag, or any other noise that we hear. The sound we hear is are vibrations in the the air. The sound that fish hear are vibrations in the air. For fish to detect the sound in the air, the vibrations in the air must create vibrations in the water which they basically cannot do.

 

Sound essentially cannot be transmitted from air to water. The sound bounces off the water surface. So you can shout across the river to another fisherman and the fish cannot "hear" it. What little sound that does make it into the water is so small relative to the "ambient noise/vibrations" present that fish cannot detect you shouting.

 

"A water–air interface is usually an almost perfect reflector of acoustic waves."

 

https://www.tandfonl...107510802090415

 

"But because the ratio of acoustic characteristic impedance of air to that of water is about 1/3600, only a little energy generated by an airborne source could transmit into water. Therefore, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the sound signals received by the underwater sensor is very low."

 

https://www.google.c...i30.uy1CBdGXXcg

 

On the other hand, vibrations which have DIRECT contact with with water like a boat hull or walking on the river bank do make it into the water and the fish detect it through their lateral line and their ears. The question then is can the vibrations of the rough line surface on the line line guides be transmitted down the fly line into the water? NO! 

 

Remember that the zing of the fly line is IN THE AIR and is NOT the fly line vibrating! For the fly line to transmit the noise, the FLY LINE WOULD have to be VIBRATING like crazy!

Silver thanks for taking the time to write that, it clears is up for me.


"I am not against golf, since I suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout."
- Paul O'Neil

 

 


#14 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:43 AM

I'm very particular about sound on or in the water.  I figure that the skiff I work out of is nothing more than a sound producing (fish spooking)  machine if you aren't careful... I tell my anglers that they can talk, laugh, even shout with no adverse result -but noises your feet make or hatches closed without care - that's another item entirely... Like many that bonefish out of boats I learned early about sound and it's results on the fish we were trying to sneak up on (and that lesson's been reinforced over and over again).  When you've hooked up a good bonefish and a shark is hot on its trail during the fight I was taught years ago to stomp on the floor of the boat when the shark got within range - and you should see how quickly they spook away from that sudden sound...  You'll know the very instant a fish hears something out of place since they'll either stop or change course (or flee in terror...).  Some days though it's tough to tell what gave you away - was it sound or sight - or was it the pressure wave your boat created as you moved against the current working towards big tarpon laying in a river like salmon?  The moment a big fish senses your presence (by any means) it's game over for someone trying to sight fish.

 

There's a guy I know with waterfront property and a lovely dock that holds big snook at night under its docklight.... He delights in showing them to visitors then invites them to try to catch one - and they most always fail.. if they set one foot on that dock....  He catches and releases them all the time... The secret?  He very carefully stays on land at an angle to the dock and makes a long cast to the fish (and swears if you put one foot on that dock the fish will know something's up...)

 

Before this thread went in several directions the original post was about noise a fly line makes when you're stripping it.... Lines that make very noticeable noise (like those awful sharkskin lines a few years back...) are something I avoid like the plague - but someone will occasionally bring one on my skiff.  I don't like them -but not for any noise they might make.. I don't like them because during a day on the water with me - we'll be making a lot of casts (many more than a day on freshwater - or at least it will seem that way...) and lines with the slightest abrasive tendency will contribute to line cuts on your stripping fingers unless I carefully wrap those fingers or you bring stripping guards.  Tiny cuts on your stripping hand turn into real trouble if you're on the water two or three days... Whoever thought that those sharkskin lines were a good idea would have been well advised to talk to working guides who see these kind of things before putting all the money that a new product requires to market.. but that's just my opinion....


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#15 Swamp Fly

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 11:43 AM

Mike,

While I generally don't use rattles simply because I don't fish much in situations where they might be warranted, But I hear what you are saying.  I do think that rattles can help especially when imitating crustaceans.  I remember back when I would SCUBA dive over a reef it would sound like someone was tap dancing on rice crispies when you hit the water.  That said I guess it all depends on if the sound is a "natural" one or at least close enough for the fish.  Ever hear a Rattle Trap under water? Yikes! Boy do they catch fish though.  So I agree it all depends on how the fish interpret the subject noise.  We catch fish so I suppose it can't be that bad.

 

You are darned right about the barrage of noise these days from the parade of boats and water cockroaches (jet skis).  While I hate all the people, the good thing is if I do make a bunch of boat noise on accident the fish settle down pretty quick.  All those boats is why I have a tendency to get as far into the back waters as I can.  Unfortunately it's getting harder and harder to find water that is "back" far enough.

 

Bob,

I have a love hate relationship with my boats for many reasons.  One of them is that it reminds me just how clumsy of an idiot I can be.  If I thought it would help I'd slam every hatch, dump the contents of my tackle bag, and jump up and down on the deck a few times before I ever left the dock just to get it out of the way.  I wouldn't even worry too much about the looks I would get from the other people at the ramp.

 

Those Sharkskin lines were horrible and exactly what I was thinking.  They were the reason I started wearing stripping guards.  More than one lady fish got it's revenge on me when it grabbed the fly.  I think you are dead right about companies not listening to the guides and fishermen.  Arguably that was about the time that marketing truly took over not just fly fishing but fishing in general (Basscar anyone?), I mean you just can't catch bream on anything less that a $2k setup. Right?

 

Swamp