Line Over Weight
I have a Temple Fork 4 wt. with a 4 wt. line but it does cast or shoot well. Should I try a 5 wt. line? Do you think one weight up will help it shoot better??? Thanks Tom
Please don't take this the wrong way but, if you're using a weight forward line are you sure that it is spooled on correctly? It can be pretty easy to spool line on backwards so that you have the running line on top and the weighted tip attached to the backing. Just a thought and by the way, please don't ask me how I know this.
Some other possibilities:
Gooey dirt or scum on the rod guides.
Dirty line. I see this a lot with customers who claim their line doesn't shoot. It's usually the reason my lines don't shoot as well over time.
Low quality line. Better quality lines have better better coatings and shoot better. Even the least expensive lines from Scientific Anglers, Cortland, Rio, Airflo, Orvis usually shoot well when new out of the box. If they get dirty they do not shoot as well. Some of the inexpensive lines packaged with combos do not shoot very well at all.
Limp/soft line. Some cold water lines get limp or soft in warm/hot conditions and do not shoot through the guides well.
Don't have enough line out side the rod tip. Another common issue. A weight forward line will shoot much better once you get the entire belly and some of the back taper out of the rod tip. Depending on the specific line, you will need somewhere around 32-36 feet of line outside the tip to get into the back taper. More line helps load the rod better too. When it unloads it generates the line speed necessary to shoot line. Most of the line manufactures have specifications on their website where you can see the details of the line taper.
The extra mass of a heavier line may help slightly with shooting line in some situations but won't correct for casting deficiencies. In my experience the dealing with the other causes I listed will have a greater impact on shooting the line than going up a size.
Thanks for the info. I'll check out your suggestions but the line was an inexpensive "private" item from a supplier. I suspect that's the problem. I have a 8 wt. with good Rio line on it and it shoots so well it bangs the reel when it stops. That is the performance I want in the 4 wt. No body thinks a good quality 5 wt. line would be worth a try?? Tom
If the problem is the line a good quality 5wt will shoot better but that is because you have upgraded to a better quality line. A good quality 4wt will shoot better too.
Here is my take on over lining.
On my slow action and medium action rods, which I use for dry flying, I mostly do not over line. Mainly because I know I will often make some long casts and that means there will be a lot of line out to load the rod, so I don't need to have heavier line.
Now then, on many of my medium-fast and fast action rods, I do in fact over line. With those I am often chucking heavy streamers or doing some deep nymphing on large rivers. Many of the casts are fairly short and I want the extra weight of a heavier line to help load up my rod. In fact, on my Sage XP's, the Sage people suggested one line heavier for that reason.
Exceptions to the rule: Yes there will always be exceptions. When pocket water fishing on very small streams or creeks, I will often over line by one size just because I want a little more weight on the line since I am making very short and exact casts upstream then picking up the line and stripping in the line or high sticking the rod if the brush will allow that, so I want more control over my line.
So, depending upon how far you will be casting with your 4 weight and what size fly, you may consider going to a 5 weight line. But, since it is a 4 weight you shouldn't try to over stress the rod by casting flies that are simply too big or heavy. If you want a delicate presentation on a dry fly, stick with the 4 weight line. If you want to chuck a small streamer or popper or hopper out there, go with the 5 weight.
Either way, there is a reason why fly lines come in different price ranges. The better the line the more it costs. Recently a friend of mine called me and was asking what reel and fly line he should get for his new trout rod. My advice was to not spend a fortune on the reel, since for 99.9% of trout fishing the reel simply is a tool that holds line, but don't skimp on the line. The line is important, actually more important than the reel and for that matter the rod, since they are making so many decent rods now days.
That is my take on it and I am sure others have different opinions.
Sagefisher. Well said and totally agree. Michael J.
Thanks for all your replies they are appreciated. I also note that the replies come from all corners of this Country . . . amazing! I'm in South Florida fishing ponds for small Bass and Bream in the cooler months. Small Bass (10" to 14") are plentiful in the shallows during cooler weather and the bream are relatively large. I'm mostly throwing poppers. foam bugs and small streamers from the banks in the evening. Going 5 wt. I think. Thanks Tom
With regards to a dirty/gunky line, what is a good product to clean the line with? Is there something around the house that I could use?
I use mild dish washing or hand liquid soap. A few drops in some warm water and pull the line though a wet rag a few times. Try to avoid detergent based soaps, which acording to Scientific Anglers may remove the lubricants from the line's surface. I use Ivory, which is specifically recommended by Rio. The Scientific Anglers Line Cleaning pad is also excellent. I carry one of these with me. Most flyline dressings work best when applied to a cleaned line.