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Level Fly Lines - Anyone Use Them?


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29 replies to this topic

#16 SilverCreek

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for posting that.

 

There is misinformation on that post. I think for every application a properly tapered line will cast more easily and efficiently. For example, one post says a level line is good for bass bugs. But in reality, a bass bug taper is better and more efficient meaning it will cast the fly more easily.

 

I do not disagree that you can fish a level line. But please, lets not pretend a level fly line is as effective as a tapered line. A level line is CHEAPER and not BETTER, unless you think anything that is cheaper is better.


Regards,

Silver

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#17 redietz

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 11:18 PM

 

Why are level lines pretty much now out of fashion? I believe it is marketing. 

 

You think?  

 

I believe the sun will rise in east tomorrow.


Bob


#18 xvigauge

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:41 AM

 

 

Why are level lines pretty much now out of fashion? I believe it is marketing. 

 

You think?  

 

I believe the sun will rise in east tomorrow.

 

 

Yeah, that's what I think, but some posters have said it was not marketing at all, but the fly fisher persons themselves and their needs and whims that caused tapered lines to gain popularity and level lines to wane. Their points definitely have some validity and there is a certain amount of truth on both sides. But why are there any "sides" to take anyway? All those different tapers are out their as well as NOS and some new level lines so anyone can have whatever line they want to use. I use them all and am happy. I may use the old level lines more than most but that is my choice. It is your line, your rod, your reel, your time on the water and it is all in your world. Everyone should feel free to use the line they want. If someone says they use kite string on their fly rod and reel and they are happy with that I say more power to them.

Joe



#19 tjm

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:05 AM

E=mc^2 says that the energy is equal to the mass, AFTMA standards say that the first 30' of any line of a given size will weigh the same +/- , it follows then that any taper or profile of line within a size will have the same stored energy and thus, if accelerated equally (F+ma) will transmit exactly the same energy into turn over of the leader/fly.  (it may be that the front taper decelerates because of reduced mass/foot, dissipating some speed/energy/force and giving a softer gentler presentation?)

AFTMA standards- https://www.affta.or...eight_specs.pdf

 

Joe, I don't think level lines were ever preferred over tapered lines for presentation, many silk lines were tapered at greater effort and expense than tapering plastic. Taper allows us to have large line mass for casting and light line mass for presentation, a look at a silk to AFTMA/plastic conversion chart shows that DT lines ~7wt> were tapered to ~2wt and >~8wt were tapered to ~3wt; http://www.flyangler...eatures/bamboo/

It also notable that WF were used somewhat even in the silk line era, many old rods had suggested line weights similar to -

HDH HDG D - these being approximately DT6, WF6 & L6

I can attest that when I learned (and where I learned) level floating lines were favored by bass anglers and double taper floating  lines were favored by trout anglers, weight forward lines were seldom seen on the water. A couple things happened to advance WF lines in and since the '70s, mainly faster and faster rods made the average angler a better caster and mass communication put more emphasis on casting than fishing.  There has also been a movement to fishing larger waters with a fly rod that allow and benefit from longer casts.

Tom Nixon says in his 1968  bass  book; "On short casts or where cost is large factor, the level line will do far more than just a satisfactory job. I do not know of any condition or phase of our sport that calls for a double tapered line." He then goes into the benefits of weight forward lines for bass fishing, including how to build your own. Joe Brooks at about the same time (or earlier)  was a big proponent of double tapered lines for trout. Joe also cautioned that most tapered lines were designed by tournament casters standing on a platform with no brush and lots of time to make the cast, almost contradictory. 

If only casting the leader the line doesn't matter and that is where the very thin level nymph lines come in, similar to running line of a WF.



#20 spiralspey

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:15 AM

I remember learning to cast with a level line in the 70's, but I also remember being amazed how much better I could cast when I bought my first DT. I never felt the desire to ever cast a level line again. Since then I have cast a variety of lines and have come to love the vast array of tapers that are available these days. I firmly believe that chosing the right line taper will do more for your casting and your fishing than any high tech rod will ever do. Level line may still have a place out there, but it's very limited.

#21 mikechell

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:23 AM

E=mc^2 says that the energy is equal to the mass ...

You conveniently left off the rest of that equation.  "Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared."

The line isn't giving up it's own energy during the casting process, so the equation is not appropriate for this topic.

 

If you slowly swing the rod forward, you will IMPART less energy to the line, thus you will get less roll out and control.  If you move the rod with more force, and time the rod flex to the cast, you will IMPART more energy to the line and it will go farther, and follow the desired path better.

 

Different lines will react to fly weight, wind resistance and rod manipulation differently.  Just as different golf swings result in different distances with the exact same swing ... different lines will react differently with the exact same action from the angler.

My casting style?  I don't recognize any major difference with the different lines I've used.  But that's just MY style. 

Obviously, from the responses above, others notice the differences.


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#22 SilverCreek

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:42 AM



E=mc^2 says that the energy is equal to the mass, AFTMA standards say that the first 30' of any line of a given size will weigh the same +/- , it follows then that any taper or profile of line within a size will have the same stored energy and thus, if accelerated equally (F+ma) will transmit exactly the same energy into turn over of the leader/fly. (it may be that the front taper decelerates because of reduced mass/foot, dissipating some speed/energy/force and giving a softer gentler presentation?)

 

AFTMA standards- https://www.affta.or...eight_specs.pdf

 

 

 

You have the wrong formula. E=mc^2 is Einstein's formula for the equivalence of energy to mass. There is no conversion of the mass of a fly line into energy during a fly cast. Einstein's formula explains the release of atomic energy in a nuclear reactor or in the sun where hydrogen atoms are converted to helium with the loss of mass and the release of energy

 

The formula you want is for kinetic energy, KE= (mv^2)/2 = one half mass times velocity squared. Momentum is P=mv

 

For a tapered line, the mass gradually decreases and therefore the velocity increases. Also the decreasing taper accelerates the velocity of the fly line. It is the bullwhip effect in which the degree of taper and the initial mass speeds the velocity of the whip so that it can travel at twice the speed of sound. The loop of the whip creates the crack and the same thing happens when a caster "pops" his cast.

 

https://www.scientif...of-whips-crack/

 

A taper allows the fly line designer to modify the taper for casting heavy flies with a steep bass bug taper or gently land a fly for spring creeks with a long gentle taper.

 

https://core.ac.uk/d...df/37776458.pdf

 

"In order to propel a fishing fly through the air toward the distant quarry, a rather massive line, to which the fly is attached, is cast. As the cast line rolls out, the fly actually accelerates horizontally and seems to defy physical law. The phenomenon is modeled simplistically to determine the magnitude of this effect. In the absence of air drag, the fly can accelerate to increase its velocity by an order of magnitude. Air friction dramatically decreases the effect, but some fly acceleration is still predicted. By tapering the flyline in various ways, the fly velocity history can be significantly modified, and some tapers are predicted to perform better than others.”

 

The taper ALWAYS increases the velocity of the line. This is the result of the conservation energy. This is a law of physics so "(it may be that the front taper decelerates because of reduced mass/foot, dissipating some speed/energy/force and giving a softer gentler presentation?) is not true. The taper does NOT decrease energy or speed. 

 

What happens is the air resistance decreases the forward velocity which decrease the KE as the cast progresses and the mass of the line in the fly leg is decreases. The fly leg is the part of the line that has forward velocity and the rod leg is fixed and stationary and has no KE.

 

48087099572_19a6d82066_o.gif

 

It is the fly caster that modulates the energy input to match the fly line taper so a fly lands gently or the cast bounces back if too much energy is used. The caster does the same with a level line also. The fly line behaves according to the laws of physics. If it is cast in a wide loop, more energy is required to cast the line, a tight loop requires less energy to extend the cast.

 

Because of the taper of a fly line a tapered line requires less energy to cast a given distance with a given fly and the tip of the line lands more gently, there is NO disadvantage to a tapered fly line vs a level line other than cost but the line taper must be appropriate for the type of fishing that is being done. 

 

Other than cost, a possible disadvantage is the increasing number of fly line tapers. This is like going out to a restaurant and having a 10 page menu vs a one page menu. Some may complain that there are too many choices. I really don't understand the logic of complaining about too many choices. You can always order off the first page of the menu and buy a vanilla WF or DT fly line.

 

Here is a primer on WF fly lines:

 

https://magazine.ang...ly-line-tapers/


Regards,

Silver

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

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#23 SilverCreek

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 11:51 AM

 

E=mc^2 says that the energy is equal to the mass ...

You conveniently left off the rest of that equation.  "Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared."

 

The line isn't giving up it's own energy during the casting process, so the equation is not appropriate for this topic.

 

 

M is mass and C is the speed of light. You are right about the formula not having anything to do with a fly cast. 


Regards,

Silver

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

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#24 tjm

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:04 PM

Well, I don't know what I don't know. You did a great explanation, but I did say that if those equal masses were accelerated equally which seems to have not mattered. Thanks for the correction. It has been a long time since I took mechanics, or did the math.



#25 SilverCreek

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:15 PM

Well, I don't know what I don't know. You did a great explanation, but I did say that if those equal masses were accelerated equally which seems to have not mattered. Thanks for the correction. It has been a long time since I took mechanics, or did the math.

 

If 30 feet of a tapered fly line and and 30 feet of a level fly line of equal mass were cast at the same velocity and with identical loops, the tapered line would preserve the KE more because the taper decreases the average air resistance over the length of the cast.

 

The fly leg of a tapered line gradually decreases in mass and the line is getting thinner. This means the law of the conservation of energy must increase the line velocity to conserve the KE AND the thinner line has less aerodynamic drag so the velocity of the tapered line is preserved better than with the level line.


Regards,

Silver

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

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#26 steeldrifter

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:51 PM

Are we seriously now using Einstein's formula and speed of light and other stuff like that to talk about line tapers? uhg mellow.png laugh.png laugh.png

 

Seriously though, line tapers do have an effect IF you use them properly in the proper situations. If you don't see a difference then that simply means where/the way you fish works just fine without a specialty taper. It's really that simple IMO. I don't see a need to over complicate a pretty basic thing.


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#27 xvigauge

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:06 PM

WOW! I didn't know we had so many scientists, mathematicians, engineers, editors and others who are scrutinizing every written word and jumping at the chance to throw it all back into your face. I thought my innocent little post on my like of level lines, and I do not necessarily prefer them over tapered lines, though I do in some cases, was just to present my point of view and everyone can take it or leave it. To me, this has turned into a pissing contest where most posters want to prove that they know more than the last poster. All of this technical and historical information is all well and good but I never put a slide rule in my fishing vest. I am not meaning for this post to be snarky, I just believe that the majority has gone way overboard in trying to impress each other and the result is that nothing has come of it and no minds were changed. I have been fly fishing for about 50 years and believe it or not, I do know a thing or two. But, I guess that doesn't matter much. One thing I have learned is to think twice about ever posting anything. In fact, I will continue to read and follow the forum as there is often lots of useful info here, but I probably won't respond much in the future. Now everyone is free to analyze and tear my comments apart and throw it all back to me and that is OK. I understand the personality of this forum. And, every forum dedicated to whatever genre has it's own personality. I will leave you with this quote from Ernest Hemingway (well, the title to one of his short stories actually): "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen."

Joe



#28 xvigauge

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:08 PM

Are we seriously now using Einstein's formula and speed of light and other stuff like that to talk about line tapers? uhg mellow.png laugh.png laugh.png

 

Seriously though, line tapers do have an effect IF you use them properly in the proper situations. If you don't see a difference then that simply means where/the way you fish works just fine without a specialty taper. It's really that simple IMO. I don't see a need to over complicate a pretty basic thing.

 

Thanks for this post, Steve. I agree and that has been my point all along.

Joe



#29 Flicted

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:27 PM

Agree. One of those questions where forums are the worst place to raise them. You'll get 753 differing opinions, 37 jokes, and 52 "It Depends'es".

#30 steeldrifter

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:00 PM

I'm gonna close this one down for now. if Joe wants it opened back up that's fine and I will open it back up if he wants me to but I will leave that up to him.

 

Joe please don't be afraid to post threads in the future. Sometimes you get people that make things more difficult than they are, as well as a couple people that like to one up others, it happens, but don't let that scare you off of posting in the future.


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