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  #1  
Old 04-07-2014, 04:42 PM
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Default AFTM - what's the point?

After speaking recently on here about line breaking strains and the general angler's total trust in what is displayed on the label (which has, on more then one occasion, turned out to be totally untrue !), I have turned my attentions this week to fly lines.

I have recently been doing quite a bit of saltwater flyfishing. The outfit I use for that is an airflo blutooth AFTM rating #8/#9 with a JohnNorris BigFly line AFTM # 8.

This set up works really well for me. As the name suggests, the line is designed to cast big flies "Tapers designed for casting big bulky flies" and this is why I chose it in the first place. It is indeed, very good at punching bait fish patterns and crease flies into the surf.
The rod, while claimed to be able to cast a #8 or #9 line works really well with this #8 line.
Personally, my belief on this one has been that by using the lighter line, I am getting a faster action than I would if I used the heavier #9 line. This faster action is helping me generate good line speed and this in turn is why the outfit works so well at chucking big flies into a headwind.

Being a bit of an obsessive over tapers, the one thing that drives me daft with this line is that I cannot get hold of a spec sheet showing me the taper design, so today, I took the line off the reel, found the various tarper start and finish points, marked them up and measured them out (sad I know !!). While doing this, I decided to check the actual weight of the line.
The AFTM scale shows that a # 8 should weigh approx 13.5 grams.
The #8 big fly weighs ..... 18 grams !!!!
That's the equivalent of a #10 according to the AFTM scale

Do I have a line that was boxed incorrectly?
If I buy another one, will it turn out to be 4.5 grams lighter?
Is this line designed to be heavier than the scale? A quick flick through any line manufacturers catalogue shows massive deviations in line ratings, away from the AFTM scale, so if that is the case, there's nothing new there.

The fact is, the rod and line work well together and I shall happily continue to use them, but how are we supposed to know what to spend our money on?
When we walk into a shop to buy a rod and / or line, how can we trust that either are suited? They may well have an AFTM stamp, but what is this really telling us and can we trust it?
Isn't it about time we used grams rather than an AFTM scale? That would at least let us know what actual weight the rod was designed to cast and then we can choose a weight of line to suit our purpose.
That would still leave the unfortunate issue that my #10 "#8 big fly" might have been boxed wrongly, in which case we are down to weighing the first 30 ft of every new fly line we purchase, just to be sure
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2014, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

It is just the first 10 yards that are weighed to get the AFTM rating, is that what you weighed? I'm sure you did but it's worth checking.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Yep, first 30' minus the level tip.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Interesting post, and I agree 100% the aftm system for rods is utter tosh. In my opinion, a non scientific rating system for rods is no real use to anyone. It's like Lewis Hamilton telling me that my mass produced estate car does, or doesn't handle well. Means nothing to me, as I don't possess Lewis Hamiltons driving skills to put his conclusions to the test, or benefit from them.

I think in your case you have been the victim of a double helping of marketing bullsh|t. In the first instance, your 10 weight rod has been rated 8/9 so it can be described as 'fast' actioned.

In the second instance your 10 weight line has been called an 8 weight, for 'easy loading' of 'fast action' rods.

Luckily, you rumbled them, but its all worked out peachy in the end
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

It might be a short head for turning over heavy flies which means the weight will be in the first 25 feet or so rather than the thirty feet that is usual. Get a micrometer and find the level head then move it back until you find the rear taper and then re-weigh that length and see what you get.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishtales View Post
find the level head then move it back until you find the rear taper and then re-weigh that length and see what you get
That's what I did. Mapping out the full profile (like I say, very sad !!!).
Only 6" of rear taper fall into the first 30'. subtracting that won't make much difference.
Adding the weight of the rear taper as well takes the total weight up to 20 grams.

For any other saddos out there the profile is:
Rear taper = 7'
Belly = 25'
Front taper = 4.5'
Tip = 1.5'

No complaints about the line. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I can't fault it at all.
I do have a concern over just what it is. ie, if I go for a new one and buy the #8 again, will it be the same? Short of taking some scales and a tape measure to the shop to check it, how would I know?
I will be in the shop over the weekend and will ask, but there are plenty of other lines out there the same.

The rio i line is a simple one to work out. It has a short, 27' head so all the weight falls into the 30' AFTM measuring system. The line is not given an AFTM rating, but sold in weight, 11gm, 13gm, 15.5gm. SO you know exactly what you are getting.
Obviously, you need to then work out what weight your rod wants to cast, but at least it's a more accurate and non misleading system.

When rods are given an AFTM number, what line is used? Is the test line correct to AFTM , with the only weight (apart from running line) kept within the front 30'? Or, does the test guy use a 40' head, carry the whole lot in the air and then give an AFTM rating which should read "#5 + another 10'" !!!
Why can't the manufacturers just use weights. That way we know the weight that our rods are best at dealing with and the weight of line we are buying, we can then choose to buy whichever line weight we feel will work best for us to match the rod.
I know it's all subjective. Everyone has different preferences and abilities, but at least we would know what we are dealing with. If you feel a line is too light, you could then go and get a heavier one whereas now, going up in line size from say a #5 to a #6 might actually mean that you end up with a lighter line if you use a different model !!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Very interesting thread going here. The 'New Thing' here is line builders making 'half size up' lines. So a 8 wt would actually be 8.5. One more reason to get you to spend more money.

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Old 04-07-2014, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spider316 View Post
That's what I did. Mapping out the full profile (like I say, very sad !!!).
Only 6" of rear taper fall into the first 30'. subtracting that won't make much difference.
Adding the weight of the rear taper as well takes the total weight up to 20 grams.

For any other saddos out there the profile is:
Rear taper = 7'
Belly = 25'
Front taper = 4.5'
Tip = 1.5'

No complaints about the line. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I can't fault it at all.
I do have a concern over just what it is. ie, if I go for a new one and buy the #8 again, will it be the same? Short of taking some scales and a tape measure to the shop to check it, how would I know?
I will be in the shop over the weekend and will ask, but there are plenty of other lines out there the same.

The rio i line is a simple one to work out. It has a short, 27' head so all the weight falls into the 30' AFTM measuring system. The line is not given an AFTM rating, but sold in weight, 11gm, 13gm, 15.5gm. SO you know exactly what you are getting.
Obviously, you need to then work out what weight your rod wants to cast, but at least it's a more accurate and non misleading system.

When rods are given an AFTM number, what line is used? Is the test line correct to AFTM , with the only weight (apart from running line) kept within the front 30'? Or, does the test guy use a 40' head, carry the whole lot in the air and then give an AFTM rating which should read "#5 + another 10'" !!!
Why can't the manufacturers just use weights. That way we know the weight that our rods are best at dealing with and the weight of line we are buying, we can then choose to buy whichever line weight we feel will work best for us to match the rod.
I know it's all subjective. Everyone has different preferences and abilities, but at least we would know what we are dealing with. If you feel a line is too light, you could then go and get a heavier one whereas now, going up in line size from say a #5 to a #6 might actually mean that you end up with a lighter line if you use a different model !!!
Manufacturers have a problem with profile lengths, for example the Rio tournament line has a very long head, designed to be used with a long carry, so they have spread the head weight over more than the first 30', technically a 5 is a lower AFTM,

Yours is an example of the opposite, i'm not sure how manufacturers should go with specialised profiles, the AFTM rating does give a weight range than can be referred to in grams, what surprises me is that your line gives no indication that its designed that way, does it say on the box?

I quite like the iline, which is basically a shooting head, i'd be surprised if it does but does it fall into its AFTM?
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

The Common Cents System was put forward years ago. When I read it at the time I thought it was a handy system to know. Not that I have ever had the need to use it

The Common Cents System

According to the copyright notice it was 2005.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: AFTM - what's the point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohanzee View Post
I quite like the iline, which is basically a shooting head, i'd be surprised if it does but does it fall into its AFTM?
The i-line doesnt have an aftm rating. It is simply sold by weight 11gm, 13gm or 15.5 gm.
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