June 15th, 1998
Cheap Fly Lines
I don't know if I am going to save you some money; or
cost you some. Save it for you, I hope. This has to do with fly lines
and the tendency for most new guys to save money when they get one.
The common mistake made is buying a level line. True, the
cost is far less, but for most fly fishing it is a poor line at best. The things
don't cast for beans. There is no taper on the end and it slaps the line down
hard on the water. Not a good thing for most fly fishing. They do not run
through the guides well and retain coils from the reel. So much for level lines.
Granted, the rest of us have learned our lesson about cheap
fly lines. However, we get a lot of new folks on this page too and I want to
try to convince them to spend a few bucks more on their first fly lines. It
is not good economy to buy the most expensive one either; but more on that
in another column.
So how about a cheap double-tapered line? You are only
slightly ahead of the level line. At least it will not crash down on the water
on the forward cast. It still will not run thru the guides well due to the
material in the coating of the fly line and will retain the coils from the
reel too. A double-taper is not a bad line design; just don't get a cheap one.
A cheap weight-froward line? About the same as above,
but with a different weight placement. I prefer to see a beginner start with
a weight-forward line as it has a front taper for presentation and a small
'running' part that goes through the guides nicely. But, not a cheap one.
It will be short, will retain the coils, and will not have a durable finish.
When you are starting out you need all the advantage you
can get. To learn to cast properly you should have a fly line that will run
the guides well, and perform in the air as it should. Cheap lines do not do
those things. If you do buy one you will slow your learning, reduce your
fishing enjoyment, and throw it away and buy a better one soon.
Till next week, remember ...