Understanding Fly Lines

James9118

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Given what you've been told, can you explain how you arrived at this:
"I'd also add that it seems quite important to know where that critical 30' point is on your line.
Remember, that's the amount of line outside your rod tip that the manufacturer reckons hits the standard for your rod. Anything more or less is over or underlining"


What's 'critical' about the 30ft mark? Have you ever spoken to someone who's been involved in rating rods? Do you think they just make casts with 30ft of line and determine the rod number that way? Sorry am I ranting again? :)
 

andygrey

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I think Mr. Sunray would have a fewer less critics if he had simply said "Pop this line on your 5wt.. don't ask too many questions (mumbles a bit about line ratings being a bit of a 'guide'...) and see if you can cast a bit further!"
Somehow I think that this particular approach got jettisoned at an early marketing meeting.
 

PaulD

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I have never known LINES sold with two AFFTA ratings. Some are sold with grain weights and the angler then has the responsibility for matching the line to his rod.
You're not an Airflo buyer!

AIRFLO FLY LINES.png
 

Tangled

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Given what you've been told, can you explain how you arrived at this:
"I'd also add that it seems quite important to know where that critical 30' point is on your line.
Remember, that's the amount of line outside your rod tip that the manufacturer reckons hits the standard for your rod. Anything more or less is over or underlining"


What's 'critical' about the 30ft mark? Have you ever spoken to someone who's been involved in rating rods? Do you think they just make casts with 30ft of line and determine the rod number that way?

I think you have a fair point, 'critical' is the wrong word. I'll rephrase it. But it's not obvious what the right word is. 'Optimum' has been objected to. It's not a minimum or maximum point either. But is IS a number that the rod maker feels important enough to put on his rod. So what is the right word?

Sorry am I ranting again? :)

No, you're raising a reasonable point, but perhaps in an unnecessarily aggressive way. But I can cope :cool:
 

Tangled

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Edit - I'm guilty of something here, I've just looked at the standard and there is no mention of how long the level tip can be. I do know that I have read that upto 6 inches of level tip are excluded, perhaps on a manufacturers website.

Thanks for that. It's really hard trying to sift the perceived wisdom, out-of-date information, rumour and old wives tales out, and get to something resembling fact.

I'm just an interested non-expert. Part of the process is to get stuff onto the page as best I can to be argued about and eventually edited.
 
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PaulD

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Have a read of this from my old pal Steve Parton who spent many years testing and rating rods for Shakespeare,


I love this quote from the article as it speaks volumes about Steve and the character he was, never short of an opinion . . . and always keen to share it!

"There is a little additional subtlety in this choice because the vast majority of flyfishermen are far better served with 30' headed Forward Tapered Flylines. This is because they are average performers only, in purely casting terms. They are the mass market we serve as a trade generally - not specialists, not aggressive young professionals or veteran casting heroes with arms like steel bands and the technical mastery of a Steve Rajeff!"
 

Tangled

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Have a read of this from my old pal Steve Parton who spent many years testing and rating rods for Shakespeare,


I love this quote from the article as it speaks volumes about Steve and the character he was, never short of an opinion . . . and always keen to share it!

"There is a little additional subtlety in this choice because the vast majority of flyfishermen are far better served with 30' headed Forward Tapered Flylines. This is because they are average performers only, in purely casting terms. They are the mass market we serve as a trade generally - not specialists, not aggressive young professionals or veteran casting heroes with arms like steel bands and the technical mastery of a Steve Rajeff!"

Thanks I hadn't seen that one. My favourite

“ When I test cast I deliberately attempt to cast like an average flyfisherman without double hauling. I try to be as like the average as possible and the average flyfisher is around 50 with a wife and 2.4 kids, a mortgage, well stressed and probably living a life of quiet desperation. He goes flyfishing at most 15 times a year. He may well also have slight tennis elbow and an imminent hernia!”

That's where I'm coming from - the weekend angler, the beginner that's fished for 30 years. A bit like the guy in the office that's got 20 year's experience in the job but actually has had 1 year's experience 20 times.

Anyway, I've added it.
 
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Rhithrogena

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Is the AFTMA standard out of date?
Some regard the whole standards system as outdated and defunct because the system was designed in 1959 before weight forward lines and differing line profiles were available.
Incidentally the first commercially available weight forward was probably Cholmondley-Pennell's Whip-lash line marketed by Foster's of Ashbourne in the late 19th century. The idea was develooed with several weight forward silk lines available in the early 20th C. Hardy's got in to the fray with their Filip tournament casting line in 1912. (More info in The American Fly Fisher vol. 41 no.1 Winter 2015)
 

Tangled

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The article I referenced above 'Foward Thinking' by Hoagy B. Carmichael, is available here;
You want the Winter 2015 issue vol 41 no1
A brilliant read

Isn't that interesting, double hauling in 1920 - exploding rods and all!
 

PaulD

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Here you are . . . a scan of the 1934, Hardy's Anglers' Guide and the details of the 'Filip' and so much easier to choose a line . . . "My rod is a strong 9 footer!". "Excellent Sir, you need this one, 35/-." Also revealing is that 35/- in 1934 is the equivalent of £127 today . . . perhaps Rio aren't so far off the mark?

Hardy Filip.jpg
 

James9118

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The only thing the 30ft marker is critical for is being the point at which the weight is taken for comparison to the AFFTA specification (allowing for the tip section as already mentioned).

How this is used for rating rods varies from person to person. On one hand you have Steve P who's approach is details in his Sexyloops page. Steve P was very much on the mass produced side of things and probably rated hundreds, if not thousands, of rods in his time. He mentions his technique was, indeed, to use lines with 30ft heads and to see which one was best - whilst mimicking an 'average' caster in his mind. I suspect with having to rate so many rods Steve wanted a quick and easy test.

At the other end of the scale you have someone like Paul Arden (who is mentioned in Steve P's page). Paul has a video that details how he rates rods, starting with casting just a leader, through to his maximum distance. He adds a bit of line at a time but does not put any more attention into the 30ft mark as any of the other distances. In his view, how it casts 10ft of line is just as important as 30ft and 50ft etc. He also performs roll casts and employs different types of stop whilst overhead casting. I suspect Paul has the luxury of time to do this, plus his rod range is extremely small compared to the mass manufacturers.

In Steve P's article he compared his 'quick' method to Paul's more detailed one and concluded "Once I worked in tandem with the good Paul Arden himself some years ago and it was most interesting to see how very closely we had independently agreed on almost every single stick!"

So there are clearly vastly different methods employed to rate rods depending on who is doing the job. Some may use 30ft of line only, but to others this is too restrictive, and how the rod feels across a whole range of aerialised lengths of a given line is the important bit. Either way, both will probably end up with the same answer.
 
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Rhithrogena

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I really like DT lines. I mostly fish lakes and like the easy turnover of long leaders on long casts (80+ feet). I started fishing with a level line, wet fly down and across, with a Shakespeare glass 8 footer
IMG_20181228_144628163-01.jpeg

That's me on the Isla, Tay tributary in 1973.
This year I am going to cut the front taper of one of my old Cortlands, whip a loop on it, and add one of a selection of Polyleaders of varying density to replace the taper. Anyone done this?
 

Rhithrogena

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Isn't that interesting, double hauling in 1920 - exploding rods and all!
I liked the Hedge 7 line; seven different tapers in the head with an 18' black shoot indicator before the running line. Nothing new under the sun, is there?
 

Tangled

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The only thing the 30ft marker is critical for is being the point at which the weight is taken for comparison to the AFFTA specification (allowing for the tip section as already mentioned).

What I think we've established so far is there's significant doubt about how the tip is used in the calculation of the weight of the first 30’ of line. But for the moment I'm sticking with the statement that it's excluded.

How this is used for rating rods varies from person to person. On one hand you have Steve P who's approach is details in his Sexyloops page. Steve P was very much on the mass produced side of things and probably rated hundreds, if not thousands, if rods in his time. He mentions his technique was, indeed, to use lines with 30ft heads and to see which one was best - whilst mimicking an 'average' caster in his mind. I suspect with having to rate so many rods Steve wanted a quick and easy test.

Steve is establishing what the optimum line is for that rod then. Is that your interpretation?

At the other end of the scale you have someone like Paul Arden (who is mentioned in Steve P's page). Paul has a video that details how he rates rods, starting with casting just a leader, through to his maximum distance. He adds a bit of line at a time but does not put any more attention into the 30ft mark as any of the other distances. In his view, how it casts 10ft of line is just as important as 30ft and 50ft etc. He also performs roll casts and employs different types of stop whilst overhead casting. I suspect Paul has the luxury of time to do this, plus his rod range is extremely small compared to the mass manufacturers.

Yes, i've read Paul's stuff and seen his videos on the subject (there's one talking about establishing the weights of his Hot Torpedo range in the 'Understanding rods' article. He's still struggling to produce a #5 weight.

In Steve P's article he compared his 'quick' method to Paul's more detailed one and concluded "Once I worked in tandem with the good Paul Arden himself some years ago and it was most interesting to see how very closely we had independently agreed on almost every single stick!"

So there are clearly vastly different methods employed to rate rods depending on who is doing the job. Some may use 30ft of line only, but to others this is too restrictive, and how the rod feels across a whole range of aerialised lengths of a given line is the important bit. Either way, both will probably end up with the same answer.

Yes, and we have Dave Norwich saying exactly the same thing - that it's the subjective view of several people. That too is in the Understanding article.

What we're not answering here is why the word 'optimum' is wrong and what a better word is. (I have already agreed that critical is the wrong word).
 

Rhithrogena

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I really like DT lines. I mostly fish lakes and like the easy turnover of long leaders on long casts (80+ feet). I started fishing with a level line, wet fly down and across, with a Shakespeare glass 8 footer
View attachment 35211
That's me on the Isla, Tay tributary in 1973.
This year I am going to cut the front taper of one of my old Cortlands, whip a loop on it, and add one of a selection of Polyleaders of varying density to replace the taper. Anyone done this?
I was thinking of 'salmon' leaders thinking they might approximate the thickness of the level bit of DT better, say DT5.....?
 

ohanzee

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What we're not answering here is why the word 'optimum' is wrong and what a better word is. (I have already agreed that critical is the wrong word).

If you mean 'optimum' in regard to the 30'(I didn't read back far) then one specific example off the top of my head is a Snowbee XS on any 9' 5 weight, optimum to pick up would be more than 30'.
 

Tangled

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If you mean 'optimum' in regard to the 30'(I didn't read back far) then one specific example off the top of my head is a Snowbee XS on any 9' 5 weight, optimum to pick up would be more than 30'.

I think we're now discussing whether the word 'optimum' can reasonably be used to describe the weight of the line to be used for the same weight rod.

But it's been a while, I could be wrong.
 
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