Understanding Fly Lines

ohanzee

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Where do you, as an angler, decide that for yourself? Keep buying & trying lines?

Originally yes, I was fortunate in getting many free and trying others that were sent and so on, but I bought a lot, at the time the exchange rate was such that you could buy in the US less than half the UK shelf price, try it and sell it second hand for much what you paid.

I would hope that a thread would help others avoid that same trap of having to buy blind, or at least buy with a bit more understanding.
 

taffy1

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Originally yes, I was fortunate in getting many free and trying others that were sent and so on, but I bought a lot, at the time the exchange rate was such that you could buy in the US less than half the UK shelf price, try it and sell it second hand for much what you paid.

I would hope that a thread would help others avoid that same trap of having to buy blind, or at least buy with a bit more understanding.

Almost a sense of profiteering but I agree with not purchasing blind & a bigger breakdown of any type of line will assist a novice into knowing what's needed or wanted.
 

ohanzee

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Fantastic, show me.

I can only suggest you ask a physics expert to explain how a particular section of a line profile would behave.

Or find research to that effect, I presume you do agree though that the tapered bits do things.
 

PaulD

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That's because of marketing blurb. Unless you have the opportunity to cast each & every line produced for yourself, there's definitely no way of knowing .
No, it is not marketing 'blurb''. Differing fly line profiles behave is differing ways when being cast, that is not a marketing 'fantasy'. Why do you think that fly lines designed to deliver large, bulky flies have short heads with steep tapers . . . like lines for pike fishing etc. Why do you think people who fish small dry flies prefer line with long progressively tapered tips rather than shooting heads?

When you buy a car, do you test drive every car on the market? Or do you consider how much you can afford, think about what you're going to use it for and choose one with the performance that matches your needs?

When you buy anything you need to make a choice, hopefully an informed choice.
 

andygrey

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I can only suggest you ask a physics expert to explain how a particular section of a line profile would behave.

Or find research to that effect, I presume you do agree though that the tapered bits do things.
Refer back to James' post on conservation of angular momentum...
 

Tangled

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I can only suggest you ask a physics expert to explain how a particular section of a line profile would behave.

Now I need to consult a physics professor before buying a line?

Or find research to that effect, I presume you do agree though that the tapered bits do things.

I obviously agree that there are differences between line profiles that have different effects. The 3 or 4 basic shapes are pretty well established, to the extent that the vast majority of us now only use a WF line.

What we have after that are hundreds of tiny tweaks to head shapes that are supposed to have distinct effects. What I'm pointing to is the fact that nobody has ever demonstrated those differences empirically. Why not? If the effects are real let's see them.

Are the effects large enough to matter or are they marginal? Do you have to be a particular kind of caster to find them? Are the effects only relevant at edge cases? How much do they come into play during normal fishing?

What is the shape of a general purpose line? Is it really worth varying from it?

We have so far been unable to even answer the simple questions of which lines are best suited for which normal fishing circumstances.
 

Paul_B

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Now I need to consult a physics professor before buying a line?



I obviously agree that there are differences between line profiles that have different effects. The 3 or 4 basic shapes are pretty well established, to the extent that the vast majority of us now only use a WF line.

What we have after that are hundreds of tiny tweaks to head shapes that are supposed to have distinct effects. What I'm pointing to is the fact that nobody has ever demonstrated those differences empirically. Why not? If the effects are real let's see them.

Are the effects large enough to matter or are they marginal? Do you have to be a particular kind of caster to find them? Are the effects only relevant at edge cases? How much do they come into play during normal fishing?

What is the shape of a general purpose line? Is it really worth varying from it?

We have so far been unable to even answer the simple questions of which lines are best suited for which normal fishing circumstances.
or which rod ete etc
 

BobP

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I haven't bothered to wade through much more than about 5 pages of all this as I need to go and watch the paint dry on the bannister rails in the hall. However, my most immediate thought is that one rather vital thing appears to be missing and that is the bloke hanging onto the blunt end of the rod.

Go any busy fishery with say twenty people fishing and if you see two of them casting exactly the same then I'd be amazed. Better still, give those twenty the exact same rod, reel, line, leader and fly and then stand by and watch twenty different styles of casting. There ain't no such thing as a "standard" angler and we'll all make different use of the equipment we have.

Ask yourself why Hamilton gets more poles and wins more races than Bottas. They both have the same car and tyres, but it is just that Hamilton makes better use of that equipment.

Incidentally tangled, I'm one of those rare creatures who does not have a box full of junked fly lines. If I buy a new one I get rid of its counterpart that is damaged or worn out.
 

Tangled

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Well since you put it like that... a Courtland 444 peach floater for everything...

Right, so why?

(I bought one of those - what 30 years ago? - I thought it was ok. Didn't buy another.)

It's also quite difficult to even find out what the profile of that line is. All I can tell you is that it's 90' long. And we have the usual marketing puff

Product Description​



One of the all-time classics, the Cortland 444 “peach” line has set a standard for durability and all-round performance for over 50 years.
The Cortland 444 Classic Peach has stood all the tests that generations of anglers have thrown at it and emerged as one of the finest fly lines of all time. Extremely supple in the hand, fast through the guides, high floating, and legendary for it's durability. Precise tapers for ease of casting, turning over long fine leaders, or slapping down a #6 Wooly Bugger with ease. Cold water? No Problem! The 444 stays flexible in any water. Available in either DT or WF and Peach colour.
  • WATER: Freshwater
  • LINE: Floating
  • LENGTH: 90ft
  • CORE: Braided Nylon Multifilament
  • Weight Forward or Double Taper
  • Ultra Supple
  • Front Welded Loop
 

Tangled

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I haven't bothered to wade through much more than about 5 pages of all this as I need to go and watch the paint dry on the bannister rails in the hall. However, my most immediate thought is that one rather vital thing appears to be missing and that is the bloke hanging onto the blunt end of the rod.

Go any busy fishery with say twenty people fishing and if you see two of them casting exactly the same then I'd be amazed. Better still, give those twenty the exact same rod, reel, line, leader and fly and then stand by and watch twenty different styles of casting. There ain't no such thing as a "standard" angler and we'll all make different use of the equipment we have.

Ask yourself why Hamilton gets more poles and wins more races than Bottas. They both have the same car and tyres, but it is just that Hamilton makes better use of that equipment.

Incidentally tangled, I'm one of those rare creatures who does not have a box full of junked fly lines. If I buy a new one I get rid of its counterpart that is damaged or worn out.

That's Bob, really useful. Get back to your paint watching.
 
Last edited:

BobP

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That's Bob, really useful. Get back to you're paint watching.

So you are trying to claim that all anglers cast the same? Think you might need to do some proper thinking because it is very obvious to me that they do not.
 

PaulD

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Here you go . . .

Cortland 444 Peach.jpg
 

andygrey

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Right, so why?

(I bought one of those - what 30 years ago? - I thought it was ok. Didn't buy another.)

It's also quite difficult to even find out what the profile of that line is. All I can tell you is that it's 90' long. And we have the usual marketing puff

Product Description​



One of the all-time classics, the Cortland 444 “peach” line has set a standard for durability and all-round performance for over 50 years.
The Cortland 444 Classic Peach has stood all the tests that generations of anglers have thrown at it and emerged as one of the finest fly lines of all time. Extremely supple in the hand, fast through the guides, high floating, and legendary for it's durability. Precise tapers for ease of casting, turning over long fine leaders, or slapping down a #6 Wooly Bugger with ease. Cold water? No Problem! The 444 stays flexible in any water. Available in either DT or WF and Peach colour.
  • WATER: Freshwater
  • LINE: Floating
  • LENGTH: 90ft
  • CORE: Braided Nylon Multifilament
  • Weight Forward or Double Taper
  • Ultra Supple
  • Front Welded Loop
I was being slightly facetious so apologies for not being constructive...
My point is that pretty much any 'normal' fly line (and lets classify 'normal' as being a fairly standard WF profile such as the Courtland 444) will suit the majority of casters and fishing situations/casts. A good caster will be able to see their backing knot and perform a variety of mends. Speys etc. acceptably plus get good presentation.
However when we put different fishing disciplines, conditions and casting ability into the mix then other more esoteric line designs can have a benefit. i.e. Want to improve the distance of your cast (note not 'Your distance casting'!) then get a shooting head. Casting big heavy air restart flies for pike etc? Get a Barrio Predator. Like to aerialise a large amount of line rather than shooting? An Arrowhead or GT90 will make this easier.
A heavier headed line may help a less able caster but there are potential compromises on presentation and achieving more distance once they reach any more than 15' or so of the running line.
I fear that you are asking a question that is impossible to get a clear answer on.
 

Tangled

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So you are trying to claim that all anglers cast the same?

No Bob, that's not what I'm claiming or anything like it. But the thread is not called understanding anglers, it's called understanding fly lines.
 

andygrey

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That could almost be a shooting head?
I suspect that the diameters show are for illustration purposes and are not to scale of the actual line... however I've not measured one so can't be certain. It is almost unheard of for fly line manufactures to actually publish actual diameters and densities. The head length isn't out of the ordinary for a 'normal' WF line.
 

andygrey

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No Bob, that's not what I'm claiming or anything like it. But the thread is not called understanding anglers, it's called understanding fly lines.
I again refer you to James' post referring to the Conservation Of Angular Momentum. To 'understand fly lines' you need to understand this first. That will then enable you to make sense of how a change in diameter ('taper') of a fly line effects the energy transfer whilst the line is unfurling and therefore the merits and demerits of different profiles.
Also as I said slightly tongue in cheek in an earlier post, compare a 4oz lead on a very thin running line at one end of the scale against a level line at the other and ignore the contribution to the system of the flex of the rod (otherwise you are into an 'Understanding the cast' thread...and lets face it, no-one really wants that to kick-off!).
 

James9118

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Why would you take it as a given if you also admit that you don't know how to demonstrate it?
I've just had a look at the last few years of BFCC #5 distance competition results. In that time only two lines feature in the winning position. Surely that starts to provide some empirical evidence of what sort of taper gives the very best distance performance (in the hands of good casters) - both have very long heads.

The trouble with examining the performance of other tapers is the issue of subjectivity (out and out distance can be measured in feet and inches, whereas how well a line roll casts - where do you start?). I'd expect every decent caster to have their own empirical evidence based on experience, but making a comparison with someone else's experience is always going to be difficult.

James
 
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