J. Castwell
November 3rd, 1997

OH, What A Line!

Common sense might tell you that in fly casting, the rod is the most important element. It may be, or it may not be. If the fly line is not the most important, it comes in a darn close second. My point is, the vast majority of fly casters put far more attention to the selection of a fly rod than the fly line. I suppose difference in cost would account for that, but add up the cost of the fly lines you own, and you better be sitting down when you do.

You may also notice you have lines you no longer use. Bought the wrong one? It has happened. Not so much the wrong one as just not the best one for the job. You found this out after you had fished it tho. If you hope I can keep that from happening in the future, hope again. I have done it myself. I will probably do it some more. Have ever wondered what it would be like to talk with the manufacturer before you bought a new line? Well, we are going to do that right now.

Improvements in technology keep new lines appearing on a regular basis, as does competition. Perhaps your financial condition changes and allows you to upgrade? Things change and you get new lines. I am going to get some more new lines very soon. I am going to use each one for one day at our Bone Fishing Party in February of 1998 in the Grand Bahamas.

What follows here are the words of wisdom from each of the fly line manufacturers on which line I should use and specifically why! I will write a report here late in February, 1998, as to how they performed for ME. I will be using six and eight weight, nine foot, fast action fly rods.

All of the lines will be backed by 200 yards of #20, braided Microweb dacron backing from:

Elite Products
(860) 739-8185

I do want to very sincerely thank each company for the fantastic response to my rather short deadline request. No winners on that one; perfect tie. So, in no particular order here are the replies.

RIO PRODUCTS INTL, INC
Phillip A. Chavez
(208) 524-7760
Rio's Warmwater-All Purpose Fly Line

Specially created as an all purpose fly line that performs under the most damaging combinations of saltwater and warm water fishing, during the summer months of Southern US regions and during the cooler months of tropical climates.

This line has a medium stiff coating formulation on a nylon multifiber braided core creating a smooth coating that stays stiff and won't go limp when you need it. It is not as stiff as our bonefish or tarpon lines. It fits between tropical fly lines and RIO's coldwater fly lines, resulting in excellent line control, loops that won't sag when it gets hot, no memory problems when it cools down a bit, and long distance casting performance.

Features: RIO's high float, medium stiff, warm water coating formulation with high grade microballoons, smooth self lubricating surface. Nylon multifiber braided core. Color - light green.

ROYAL WULFF PRODUCTS
Doug Cummings
(914) 439-4060

The Triangle Taper saltwater flylines are superior in design to other flylines for the following reasons. The unique 'continuous taper' design enables heavier line to turn over lighter line as the line unrolls on the forward cast. Less effort is required to cast the line because of this mechanical advantage. Less effort is required to get the same distance that you would get with a standard weight forward.

Also, due to the finer tip, you get a more delicate presentation to the fish. Always a factor with spooky bonefish. Other reasons for TT's superior performance are a thin diameter running line which gives you less friction in the guides on the shoot which translates again to more distance, less effort.

The short 30 foot front taper allows you to 'get going' in a hurry with a minimum of false casts, thus the line can be fished back to the boat or angler and be in action quickly.

The TT's Mint green color allows the line to be visible to the angler, but allows it to blend with the environment.

CORTLAND LINE COMPANY
Steve Tubach
(607) 756-2851

The winner of this year's World Bonefishing Championship used our new 'Tropic Plus LAZERLine'. Warm weather fly fishermen are raving over the new series. Cortland's technicians and field testers have developed the ultimate saltwater fly line. It has a durable, hard outer finish to handle the rigors of saltwater fly casting. At the same time, the braided monofilament core has virtually no memory so your line stays untangled and ready to cast to any saltwater speedster.

Our new long body saltwater taper incorporates designs that let you quickly load your rod and fire a cast within seconds. Floating and intermediate lines are available in weights 7-12. Floating line is yellow; Intermediate line is cream.

3M SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS
(800) 525-6290 for your nearest dealer.

Mastery Bonefish Tapers - The Mastery Bonefish Tapers were designed specifically for bonefishing. The lines are made on a special braided monofilament core that makes the lines fairly stiff, and the running lines textured, for unmatched casting performance. A unique saltwater coating minimizes line diameter and is very tough making these very durable lines. The heads on these lines are longer than normal for a saltwater line making long, accurate casts easy for an accomplished caster. The combination of the core, coating, and taper design make these the ultimate bonefish line.

FLOWTECK, INC.
Monic Tropical Fly Lines
Bob Goodale
(303) 530-3050

Monic Clear Floating Tropical fly lines provide the fly fisherman with more latitude when stalking bonefish. Specifically, errant casts made over a school of bonefish without spooking the fish.

Casting itself is easier and you can significantly reduce leader length which is a real benefit for those encounters that require a cast into the wind. The tough finish and durability of Monic Tropical Lines is an added plus when contact is made with the ever present coral.

Testimonial data and source information on these and other Monic Fly Lines may be found when you visit our website.

AIRFLO LINES - Main Stream
Iain Sorrell
(860) 489-4993

Airflo offers a choice of models that have proven ideal for bonefishing. In addition to Airflo's Bonefish tapers in both Floating and Clear Intermediate models, many anglers have also used the Cold Saltwater models and Delta Taper versions very successfully.

Anglers who normally fish the cooler NW or NE waters have found that unlike PVC lines their Airflo Cold Saltwater models will work just as well in warmer blue water climates ideal for the occasional destination fisherman. In flat, calm conditions try the Ultra long front taper of the Delta series lines that offer delicate presentation - even at long rang - to spooky fish.

Another method that is catching on is to use the Clear Intermediate models casting well ahead of the cruising fish and allowing the line to sink. This eliminates any fish scaring line 'shadow' or 'wake' and the fly line can be simply retrieved to intercept the fish. Anglers report very confident takes as the fly often 'kicks-up' puffs of sand just like the natural shrimp or crab.

Airflo's new low stretch 'Hi-Sense' line core offers greater casting control, improved hook sets and superb bite detection over regular stretchy core lines. Airflo also uses an ultra low memory polymer that unlike PVC line coatings is guaranteed five years against cracking.

So, there it is, the straight stuff, right from the guys who make them. Can I tell from what they said which is going to be the best? Nope. If I cast them before I go I could get some idea, but, UNTIL I FISH THEM, I won't know for sure. Something changes when I fish a fly line. It's one of the things which cause me to always be on the lookout for yet another 'new fly line.' ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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