TUSA 2.5 FL-Pink Level Line Visibility Report
I fished an 11 foot long 2.5 level TUSA FL-Pink line on what is for me a medium sized small stream for about 5 hours yesterday. I fish dry flies on small streams exclusively. Because I am always watching my fly on the water, I always felt that line visibility was pretty much a non-issue for me in my Tenkara fly fishing. But this year I switched to a HiVis Orange T-line and I really like it as it is much easier to stretch the coil set out of the line, and I can subconsciously monitor the line's position in the air and against the background of the water with your peripheral vision while you are watching the floating fly on the water, than it was possible to do with the No-Vis lines that I have used in the past.
I also bought a spool of TUSA's size 2.5 Pink level line and made an 11 foot line out of it for a very light weight Seiryu rod I got from Chris. I also put pink transition sections on all of my size 3 and 4.5 level lines as well, to go in between the lines and the tippets to be used as sighters, with the joining knots probably being the most visible points on the whole line. But I have to say, to my eyes and in the backgrounds I am fishing under, the Orange line has proven to be more visible to me than the FL-Pink line has been so far, and the difference in diameter between the size 2.5 Pink line (about the same as 3X tippet material) and the size 3 Orange line is not all that great. A lot of the streams I fish have a willows and azaleas growing along their banks, and also dogwood and alder trees as well as conifers, and umbrella plants growing in the stream bed itself, so the contrast that the orange lines show against the green foliage shows up a lot better for me than either the green or pink lines do. But your millage may vary considerably on that score in your fishing backgrounds. The Pink line's visibility, while not as bright to my eyes as the orange lines, is more than adequate under bright sunny conditions. And may prove to be even better yet under dark cloudy and near dark fishing conditions.
On the matter of why the chartreuse or green lines appear to be more visible in some lighting conditions, T-Bum sent a length of level green size 3 line to me with a rod that I bought from him. Compared to the orange size 3 HiVis T-Bum line, the green line looked to be larger in diameter even though both lines are labeled as size 3 lines - at least a 3.5 in size or slightly bigger. But a dial caliper measurement showed the two different lines to be, in fact, the very same diameter. The green line just looks bigger. And I believe the same thing holds true for the pink lines as well. The lighter colored line, whether it be green or pink, appears to be bigger than it really is in some lighting conditions, and will show up a little better in those conditions.
I am also waiting to see what the New TUSA Orange colored lines will look like. My hope was to use line color as a line size indicator, pink for size 2.5 lines, one color of orange line for my size 3 lines, a different orange color line for the size 3.5 lines, and the chartreuse color for my size 4.5 lines, with all the lines bigger than size 2.5 having the pink sighters as transition sections with a short section of clear 6 Lb. test. FC line finishing off the transition section, before adding the desired length of either 5 or 6X tippets to the respective lines. There is one line company selling a lighter colored, slightly opaque, orange colored level line that may also appear to be bigger in diameter than its true size would indicate. I would be interested in hearing how well that line works for you if there is anyone out there who has tried it....Golden.
Last edited by Golden; 05-24-2013 at 04:48 PM.
Generally speaking I have been disappointed in the visibility of my size 2.5 FL-Pink TUSA line, but that may be a somewhat unfair criticism of the line it does not deserve. Let me explain: I went fishing yesterday, my birthday present to myself, and the stream I fished is quite small and densely packed with riparian vegetation, so the bow-and-arrow cast was used a lot. The rod used was a 9 foot long Soykaze 27 SR, with a green 9 foot long TUSA 4.5 level line, with a 1 foot long FL-Pink spotter section used, and about a 3 foot long tippet section to start, which was too long a line to use most effectively on this stream but shortening the tippet helped. The heavy line loads the rod well and makes it possible to do slow and accurate casts, which helps a lot in not spooking the fish you didn't spook trying to get into position to cast to them. And spooking the fish on these kinds of little streams happens a lot more than any of us would like to admit. Although I was fishing in a green jungle under bright sunny conditions with a lot of very strong shadows, I had no trouble at all in seeing the heavy green line. But a much harder time in seeing the thinner size 2.5 FL-Pink line segment spotter in the same exact lighting conditions, so I think a larger diameter of a line strongly contributes to the line's visibility under any and all lighting conditions. Under similar conditions I have found a HiVis Orange size 3 line to be relatively easy to see, and the difference between a size 2.5 and a size 3 line is only about a 1/2 of a thousandth of an inch. So line color and contrast with the fishing environment do play an important role in the line's inherent visibility for the angler outside of the line's diameter. If anyone else out there has bought and fished with the TUSA's FL-Pink lines, I would sure be interested in hearing about your observations and experiences in fishing with these lines.
How was the fishing, you ask? Tough but pretty good. Actually 40 beautifully colored brown trout were released over a 4.5 hour long period of time, with two hours of driving time involved each way, and another hour devoted to hiking down the creek to get to where the fishing was to begin. The largest fish was an honest 13 inches, I measured it against the rod butt and markings and checked it with a tape measure after I got home. There were quite a few fish that ran between 10 and 11 inches, with the remainder being the more small stream typical 5 to 8-9 inch fish. The largest pool on this stream, and there is only one pool that is that big, you can easily cast to the far bank with a 10 foot line on a 9 foot long T-rod and hold all the line up and off of the water. Most of the stream is half or less of the length of a 9 foot rod in width. Back in my Western fly fishing days I had a 5 foot 8 inch long, 4-piece glass rod made for 3-4 Wt. lines made for me to fish this stream with, and it is a very challenging stream to Western fly fish even with a rod that short. Last year was my first T-rod fishing experience on this stream, and I had a 20 fish day back then. This year I fished it earlier in the season, so the Umbrella plants that grow in the stream bed were only waist high yesterday instead of hitting me in my face and being over my head in height. As a result there was a lot more water to be fished this year. I caught 38 of those 40 fish on a size 16 and size 12 Two-toned X-rated Ant patterns, with the most and biggest fish being taken the larger pattern. The last ant pattern's top was completely shredded by the trout's teeth and the legs were missing by the time that I lost it, but it was still catching fish. The final 2 fish of the day were caught on the Foam Spider pattern, which was not fished for very long and was fished in the far and few between fish section of the stream, just before I got back to where my car was parked. Little creeks like this one do not get much fishing pressure, for obvious enough reasons. But if you are willing to put up with all the frustrations involved in fishing these kinds of waters with T-tackle, the fishing can be very rewarding indeed....Golden.
Last edited by Golden; 05-31-2013 at 06:14 PM.
Evidently, TUSA is acknowledging my findings to some extent. Take a look at what they are saying about their new line colors and their general visibility: http://www.tenkarausa.com/product_in...roducts_id/158
Update: Karl Klavon
Switching back and forth between the T-Bum Orange HiVis #3 line and the TUSA #3.5 Orange and the #2.5 Pink lines while casting in my backyard under dappled sun and shade lighting conditions showed the opaque lines to have an added visual advantage in the shaded areas. However, again, the thicker the HiVis line the better that it shows up in almost any lighting condition except total darkness.
All of these lines (including the older Chartreuse TUSA #4.5 line) are fluorescent under my Black Light, but the Orange TUSA line turns a pale pink and the pink TUSA line turns a pale shade of lavender, while the Chartreuse TUSA and the Orange Sunline (T-bum’s Orange HiVis line) light up much closer to their natural lighting colors during normal daylight conditions.
During periods of high relative UV lighting like dawn, dusk, and cloudy, overcast lighting conditions (in which we can’t see the UV light but the trout can), I do not know if the added line visibility these lines show to the fish will have any effects on the fish. But the one thing you can count on for sure is that these lines will all be much more visible to the trout than they will be visible to us, since fluorescent colors and pigments have the ability to take in invisible to us UV light from the sun, moon and stars and reflect visible light back of a slightly longer wave length that we and the fish can both see but they can see the UV light that we can't see.
The NoVis FC fishing lines and tippet materials that I have checked under Black Light do not light up at all, so you may want to use a transition section of a NoVis FC line and a longer tippet during periods of high UV light transmission to get more separation between your fly pattern and these highly visible to the fish HiVis T-lines.
Last edited by Golden; 06-13-2013 at 04:51 PM.
Well I fished the new 3.5 Tusa Orange line yesterday, all 5 feet of it to which was added a 1 foot section of the Pink TUSA 2.5 line as a spotter/transition section - plus 6 inches of 6 Lb. FC line to finish out the transition section before 3 feet of tippet was added, and I have to say that the thicker orange line was a lot more visible to me than the thinner pink line was under the same exact lighting conditions. This was under bright sunny conditions with heavy shadows. I am not saying that under some conditions the Pink line may beat the Orange line in visibility, but so far that has not happened to me. If and when it does happen, I will be sure to let you all know.