Varivas Fly Lines - a first look
Reviewed by Terry Lawton
When trying a new fly line, the first thing that must be said is that a brand new line is always going to cast and shoot well compared to a tired, well-used and probably dirty old line. The two 4-weight Varivas lines that I tested both flew through the rod guides, due in no part to the Double Flex Hard Coating which the manufacturer claims helps the slickness of the line.
One of the first things that I noticed was that when transferring the first line - it happened to be the weight forward - to my reel, just how easy it was. There were no tangles or twisted, knotted loops as can be the case. I am pleased to say that the line seemed similarly tangle-free when I was casting it. How much of this was down to the cold weather (40 C) remains to be seen when I can cast the line in warmer conditions.
Varivas floating lines are built around what the maker refers to as "the renowned AIRS Hollow Nylon Single Monofilament Core" which is claimed to improve buoyancy by 20 per cent when compared to other floating lines. The coating also helps improve buoyancy and durability, suppleness and slickness.
When I tried the lines on the river - only a short session I'm afraid - they both performed very well. They floated well which helped them to lift-off easily and they cast and "shot" well. The weight forward line flew with very little casting effort required. Even when I aimed deliberately low it landed on the water encouragingly gently.
Weight forward lines
Varivas weight forward lines feature the Wind Block Taper which is designed to offer more accurate and effortless long casting. The packaging shows the taper in schematic form but there are no measurements so it is not that easy to compare it with other weight forward lines. The taper is shown as increasing to the point of maximum thickness from the tip, and then an identical reverse taper to the level running line. Weight forward lines are 30 yards, or 27m, in length.
Double taper lines
These lines are only 22 yards (20m) long (seemingly the shortest line on the market) which is, no doubt, a reflection on the fact that they are not designed for maximum distance but subtle presentation at shorter ranges. These lines have one taper for the 2 and 3 weights and a different taper for the 4 to 8 weights, designed to achieve precise, smooth line control and perfect presentation. The 2 and 3 weight lines will have immediate appeal to light-line enthusiasts who are not that well catered for with lines of these weights at a sensible price.
Interestingly, the diagram showing the two tapers includes dimensions. The lighter lines have a 40cm tip, 160cm taper and a belly of 16.1m. The heavier lines have the same length of tip, a longer taper at 180cm and a slightly shorter belly of 15.7m. Both weights have the same tapers and tips on the other end of the line.
Although the length of this line will limit just how far you can cast, it shoots really well and if you do ever need a long cast, the line won't let you down. The sample line was a pretty strong orange colour so how "shocking" the shocking orange line is remains to be seen. Probably not for the faint hearted or dry-fly only water! The traditionalist will favour the more muted tone of the sand colour.
It's quite some time that I have fished or cast a double taper line and I missed the feeling of the head of a weight forward loading the rod. Even so the line feels nice on the fingers of your line hand.
All in all, these are two very good fly lines available at a sensible price. I am going to upset the traditional angler and go for the weight forward line as my preference of the two. I intend to fish with both lines and will report back on how well they float and perform after some serious use.
The Varivas double taper floating line is available in weights from 2 to 8. Colours available are orange, shocking orange and sand. The recommended retail price is £45.
The Varivas weight forward floating is available in 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 weights. Colours are orange and sand. The recommended retail price is £45.
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