March 24th, 2003

The Best Fly-Line for Lakes
By James Castwell


Armed with this information, you really my be able to select the best fly-line for fishing lakes, at least for the type of fishing you do. However, this will pertain only to floating lines, or lines that float but have a sinking tip. Anyway, some part of the line must float for this to be relevant. If you use only intermediate or sinking lines then you are still on your own, sorry.

I came by this information at a show in Salt Lake City, Utah a few years ago, one of those big fly-fishing sports shows, most of the name tackle producers from the world were there, and me. A major rod maker from Europe was asking me if he should see about having some fly-lines made with his name on them, and if so, who should make them. I told him I had no idea how good a thought it was, but I did know some of the line makers and would be glad to look into it for him.

A big outfit I talked to wanted a initial order that was way out of line for my rod maker buddy so I went to a smaller company. He was willing to make a lesser number so the three of us went up to one of those huge casting ponds they have at such shows. These are about thirty feet wide, eighty feet long and four inches deep. We had two rods with two of the line makers products on them.

My rod-maker pal cast one out about sixty feet or so, but it was a very unusual cast. The line went out very straight, it looked like a line drawn on paper. Not a wiggle in it. I could see I may be in for an education. How right I was.

He made the cast and put the rod down, tip pointing right at the line and didn't touch it again. I had no idea of what he was doing, so I just kept my trap shut. Soon, quite soon in fact, the line started to form little serpentine wiggles in it. The longer it stayed floating there the more it got and the worse they became. He said that type of line would definitely not be accepted in Europe. He reeled it up and cast the other rod, doing just like he had done the first one, perfectly straight, and put that rod down also. Again, waiting, we saw the line do the same thing. As the cooler water temperature affected the line the little wiggles would form. This line too was rejected.

He explained to the line maker that he needed a floating line that would not 'recoil' like that when it cools. That, when using a floating line on a lake, if you want to keep control, you need a constantly rather direct connection with the fly. When the line creates wiggles, you must always be retrieving little amounts of line to keep that connection. That means you are always bringing your line in. Not really the object at that time.

So there you have it. The best line for a lake might be the one that does not 'recoil' as it lies on the water. I have no idea of who's or which lines will perform best on that type of test, but, at least now you know of yet one more thing to look for when choosing a fly-line for lakes. And once again, I have left you with more questions than answers, sorry about that. But, heck, if I knew everything, I wouldn't be doing this for a living. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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