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    Handle thickness

    Fly rod handles are fairly easy to shape by hand without the aid of a lathe - at least, they're much easier than a long parallel coarse rod handle. Even the latter is possible with care and patience; I've done several. The trick is to keep the rod turning with one hand, making the same number of...
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    vivarelli fly reel

    I have used an old Mitchell 710 automatic reel on and off - mainly on one water where, besides the utility of rapid line pick-up being convenient to avoid tangling in the bankside herbage, the lack of audible check is a distinct advantage; the trout are spooky as anything and will bolt for cover...
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    Line rating / weight for old split cane rod

    Most nine foot cane rods take either a number 5, 6 or 7. If you start with number 6 you'll be one line size away at worst.
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    fly identification please

    If it was 1cm long it's not a Yellow May Dun - they are much larger. Also I don't think they inhabit still water. One possibility is Small Spurwing, which is about the right size and fairly pale, though it can appear yellowish in some lighting conditions.
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    Difference between a fisherman and a good fisherman

    I think it's a combination of things. Most good fishermen I know have some (if not all) of the following: Watercraft Observation Technique Attention to detail Imagination You can do very well with any three out of five, but all are useful. Good tackle helps as well, but it is probably the...
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    Tapered leaders

    If you make your own leaders using monofilament thick enough to transfer the energy from the fly line, they'll go curly. It's a function of the material. However, some brands are better than others; if you use Amnesia for the thicker sections it will straighten out quite well with only a few...
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    Insurance

    Korda (the carp tackle company) launched an insurance scheme some years ago, but I don't think it's still available. There may be other dedicated policies on offer, but to be honest it's very hard to provide cover to fishing tackle when outside of the home. You may be successful in a claim on...
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    Chalk Springs Visit

    I have strung out a two fish ticket on these waters for half a day many times, but it involves an awful lot of time spent looking and not fishing to make it work, and that doesn't suit everyone. Besides, if the water doesn't hold browns or big rainbows to target, all that looking is academic...
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    Chalk Springs Visit

    Not my area I'm afraid. I'm further west.
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    Chalk Springs Visit

    It's pretty standard south of the Thames, unless you happen to live near one of the few southern reservoirs still operating as trout fisheries. There are quite a few small stillwater trout fisheries within an hour of me, and all cost about the same - i.e. a lot! None are much under thirty five...
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    Split-Cane rods;

    I became an enthusiast of parabolic rod tapers when I got hold of a nine foot cane built by Tony Croft (given to me by Peter Cockwill, but that's another story). It was rated #7 but to my mind felt more like a #5 and was very soft in the butt. I couldn't get on with it at all until one day I...
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    The Itchen Carrier at Avington

    The Chess is a shadow of what it was thirty-five years ago, thanks to abstraction in the Chilterns. I believe it only exists at all downstream of Chesham because it takes all the treated effluent from the sewage works. When I first fished there it was the most perfect example of a chalkstream...
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    Do fly lines degrade?

    If you could explain why you think it can't be re-absorbed rather than just saying it can't, I'd be more inclined to accept your assertion. As it is, best we agree to differ.
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    Do fly lines degrade?

    That's just an example of leaching where a material having a plasticizer content releases it through exposure to UV light, heat and water, which is much the same as what happens to a line after extended use. It is not evidence that a plasticizer-rich medium cannot be absorbed back into the...
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    Do fly lines degrade?

    The same mechanism that allows plasticizer to leach out of a line enables it to be added back, if a preparation containing more plasticizer than the line is applied.
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    The Itchen Carrier at Avington

    The river Chess in Hertfordshire also had at one time a self-sustaining population of rainbows, though I doubt they are still present. My first ever trout was one such, caught in the mid-eighties on a weighted nymph below the road bridge at Scots Hill.
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    Split-Cane rods;

    I am familiar with silk lines and their ability to cut through the wind, but I've never thought they enable you to use a lighter line for any given rod; a five weight is (or ought to be) the same weight whether silk or plastic. Like you, most of my fishing is done inside 15 yards - in fact most...
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    Split-Cane rods;

    Do you find the 4/5 line works with that rod? My Phantom seems if anything to want slightly more than a #6 - more like a 6 & 1/2. It's never been happy with a no 6 DT Hardy Perfection line, but it works well with a no 6 DT Aircel Ultra, mainly I think because the Hardy line has a longer taper...
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    Split-Cane rods;

    The rod is a Phantom. Reel looks like a 1990s Hardy - not sure what model.
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    New (ish) to fly fishing - keep losing hooked brown trout

    I used to have the same problem with small wild browns (and small grayling, dace and so on), but since I started adding a six inch length of powergum to my leader I've had better success. The thinking behind it is that the cushioning effect of the powergum allows me to apply a shade more...
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