Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Choosing the right fly line - tackle tips

For new fly fishers choosing the right equipment can be a daunting task. Over the next few weeks I am planning on bringing more fly fishing tackle tips so keep checking back.

Matching the rod and line weight is a key feature of a balanced fly fishing system and the foundation of good casting. Casting power comes from the relationship of line to rod. When you pick up the line from the water, the line "loads" the rod by adding enough weight to flex it fully. Then, with a properly timed cast, the flexed rod straightens out, driving the line foreword.

Line taper

To help you cast more efficiently most fly lines are tapered. This taper varies in weight, diameter and thickness over the length of the line.

There are five main types of taper, each to meet a specific purpose

Weight-forward (WF) taper
These are the most popular and the best choice if you are a beginner
The first 30 feet or so of line is heavier because of its tapered front end
The rest of the line is thinner and is known as the running line
The weight-forward line helps with long casts and better precision even in windy conditions

Bass bug/saltwater (BBT) taper
This taper is much like the weight-forward design except that the front section does not run as long
This design helps with heavier flies, hence its use for catching feisty bass or bigger saltwater fish

Double taper (DT)
DT fly lines are preferred by seasoned fly anglers
These lines work especially well in making delicate presentations on small- to medium-size rives since the belly is at the center, with both ends gradually tapering
This makes the line highly economical too because when one end wears out, you can turn the line around and use the other end
This line won't cast as far or provide as much wind resistance as a weight-forward line

Shooting taper (ST)
ST lines cast farther than other lines so they are designed for fast-running rivers and in extreme wind conditions. The line portion (front section) is stout and short to form a casting loop.
Most anglers attach a shooting line on the running line using monofilament, braided line or a very fine diameter fly line

Level (L) taper
These lines are uniform in diameter throughout, making them the most economical
If you are a beginner don't try to save money this way. Level taper lines are the most difficult to cast so they really are best used by seasoned veterans, primarily for fly fishing with live bait.


Floating (F) lines
These do as they say--they float on the water's surface
Floating lines are good for beginners since they are easier to cast and handle
Floating lines also are a must for dry flies, but they can also work with wet flies, nymphs and streamers that are fished several feet below the surface

Intermediate (I) lines
These are a little denser than water so they sink slowly to present a fly just below the water's surface
These lines work well in shallow, weedy lakes and in choppy waters where you want your line to stay below the choppiness

Sinking (S) lines
These lines do the opposite of floating lines--they sink
They are designed for deep lakes and deep, fast-flowing rivers
Some manufacturers also put a Roman numeral after the S to show how fast their line sinks in inches per second. For example, an S II line sinks about two inches per second
These lines are best for wet flies, nymphs and streamers at a constant depth

Floating/Sinking (F/S) lines
These combine the two characteristics--the five foot-- to twenty foot tip or front portion sinks to present the bait while the balance of line floats on the water
Manufacturers display the depth and speed that the front part of the line sinks
This floating/sinking line gets your fly down while helping you maintain control, so it's good for fish such as salmon.

sourced from www.troutlet.com