Posts Tagged ‘fly lines

24
Mar
14

Adaptations: Lemons and Lemon Juice

“Life handed him a lemon,  As Life sometimes will do.  His friends looked on in pity,  Assuming he was through.  They came upon him later,   Reclining in the shade  In calm contentment, drinking.  A glass of lemonade.” Dale Carnegie

This morning, I was reading a piece over on Limp Cobra re casting styles. One of Marc Fauvet’s frequent topics is casting the fly line (hence Limp Cobra references a type of fly line presentation Marc created years ago). I was reminded, by Marc’s post today, that one has to adapt not only in fly casting mechanics under normal circumstances, but when things change in life due to physical limitations.

Photography-Injured Hand-Fused Wrist-Arthritis-Injuries-SwittersBYears ago, my right hand and wrist were repeatedly injured through various activities. Arthritis resulted in the right wrist and the pain became unbearable. Ultimately, my right wrist was basically disassembled, hip bone was brought in to replace the arthritic wrist, the new bone/joint was fused solid. Then a ten inch long titanium bar was screwed in from behind my middle finger knuckle up through the now fused wrist on up the forearm. Over the years, I have developed arthritis in my right forefinger and I am losing sensations in the finger tips of all the fingers. The fused right wrist of my dominant hand, was to some, an advantage in fly casting. I could now cast a fly line without breaking my wrist etc and the perceived imperfections of presentations. And, I have adapted pretty well over the years. It may not look pretty but it works. Even if the wrist does not break during casting, the shoulder can offer up some unusual machinations to alter the path of the fly line for sure.

At any rate, the long worded portion above is to suggest as a matter of course practice casting with your off hand…your non-dominant hand. Not for when you have that odd presentation, but in case you need it as life changes your physical abilities. I have had surgeries/procedures to my right hand, right wrist, left achilles, right achilles, neck, left shoulder and lower back. Throw in degrees of arthritis, aging, lack of fitness and the mechanics of casting (or any other physical endeavor) become very important. I have learned to cast with both hands now. When the right hand becomes fatigued from casting and all the fish I catch (tsk, tsk), I switch to the left hand and rest the right. A good benefit, too, is I get the fly out there and don’t make nearly as many false casts. More fishing, less casting.

Practice with both hands and visit Marc’s site at Limp Cobra and go back through his many posts regarding casting dynamics.

26
Sep
12

Stripping Line Onto the Apron (Stillwater Fly Fishing)

A frequent scenario that occurs while fly fishing: you are retrieving the fly line while presenting the fly. The fish takes the fly and the fly fisher, tight to the fish, continues to fight the fish, with coils of line at their feet or on the apron of deck of a vessel (float tube, pontoon boat or drift boat, etc.), by stripping the line/fish inward.

This is not a huge problem if the fish is smaller and the fisher can strip it inward to the net/hand. But, if the fish are likely bigger, my advice is to get the fish on the reel/drag. Do not continue to strip in lengths of line while pinching the line to the cork. I know this is common, I do it also for fish up to 18-20 inches. 

A second problem: the coils may or may not be a problem of tangling as they lay below the reel. I recently purchased a Rio Aqua Lux Intermediate line for stillwater fishing. My previous, older Intermediate coiled badly in cold weather and frequently had multiple knotted, messes tangled on my apron.

When a larger than usual fish took line, the knots jetted upward toward the stripping guide. The knots jammed there, or if they made it through the stripping guide, they definitely jammed against the more fragile second guide. Fish were lost or damage occurred. The new Rio Aqua Lux line never tangled once during days of fishing and thousands of strips. Sure there were a couple simple slips knots, but not the sticky, coiled tangled messes that use to beset my old Intermediate line. 

My suggestion is buy quality lines that are less prone to tangles/coils and when that uncoiled line slips up through the guides, as a bigger fish takes line, get that fish onto the reel. Even if you pinch tight to the cork at the first signs of a hook up, reel the loose line onto the reel in order to get tight to the fish.

31
Aug
12

New Intermediate Line…Rio Aqua Lux

This week, I ordered a new Intermediate fly line from Pacific Fly Fishers for my stillwater fly fishing. I had done some research on my own and arrived at two of the Rio lines (the Aqua Lux and the Camo Lux). I settled on the Aqua Lux and am excited to get out and use it soon. My old Intermediate is many years old and has been stretched tight many times. It served me well despite a gazillion coils and tangles. I am hoping the Aqua Lux will be a little less coiled and lay out there nicely when casting. I am a huge proponent of the Intermediate fly line for lake fishing (some even use it for fishing streamers on rivers although I have yet to give that a shot). The line has a aqua colored running portion of 60″ and a clear head of 40′. That will be of help in the retrieval up onto the apron. As the aqua transitions into the clear I will have a better idea of how much line remains in the water.

12
May
12

Stillwater Fly Fishing Lines (Options in Presentation)

Two Styles of Intermediate Clear lines. The Cortland Camo is my recommendation. ‘Clear’ lines have come a long ways in the last 15 years.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I am pointing the way to a piece by Denny Rickards. It is actually his site promoting the sale of various fly lines. In the promotion of the varied lines is a lot of good information that will benefit the stillwater fly fisher that has not quite sorted out the presentation part yet and still only carries a floating line. You would be well served to primarily use a ‘clear’ Intermediate as your primary line and from there consider the floater and perhaps a faster sinking line (less used). I do not promote any sales on this blog. I just believe Rickards does present excellent information about presentation, which is often as important or more important than fly selection. Rickards also had several informative books out on the market that worth a read if you are learning the basics of stillwater fly fishing.

24
Mar
10

Fly Fishing: Clean Your Flylines (and other gear)

Flyline maintenance is forgotten by many anglers. For others, it is a frequent ritual to strip the line from the reel and clean the line. I won’t say I fall into the frequent category, any more than I remember to change my oil as recommended. But, at $40-60 per line, a little effort will extend the life of the lines.

Draw the line between your finger tips and you can sometimes feel grit and abrasion along it’s length. With all the algae, shoreside dirt, stirred up muck etc. the line picks up a coating. Add to it line floatants, suntan lotions, skin oils, and chew juice and no wonder that floating line sinks.

There are convoluted efforts that take days and guarantee a revamped line. Also, there are post- cleaning additives or line treatments that put the slick back into-onto the line. But, starting from a practical approach, a little dish washing detergent and warm water is a good start every half dozen outtings (unless you routinely stand on you line in the muck).

Fill a basin, tub, sink with warm water and add a few drops of a mild detergent (don’t overdo it). Strip out loose coils of the line, laying one coil of line atop another in the water. Strip all the line off the spool into the basin. Let it the line soak about a half hour or so.

Then the next portion can get complicated (necessary or unnecessary, you decide)…the line has to get from the soaking tub/basin/sink back onto the spool….some advocate a winding device that stores your line similar to what fly shops have around. Some advocate pulling the line from the basin through a damp towel/rag and allowing someone to assist by returning the line back onto the reel. I would not advocate drying the line and allowing it to pile onto the floor prior to moving from the drying phase to the retrieving phase, unless you are putting the line on a clean sheet, rug, something. No gritty floors or carpet…wasted effort then.

Oh, you can do what I have done for decades and strip off  the line onto the living room floor spacing it out in large coils…then I take a damp, absorbent  cloth and retrieve the line up through the cloth periodically adjusting the line to a new, clean portion of the cloth. I remove lots of dirt. I don’t want to take the time for multi-day soaking efforts or the other machinations.  I recently heard of one fly fisher that advised a newbie to clean their line after every outting….to me that is akin to vacuuming or cleaning the toilet everyday…a little obsessive (unless fishing the salt or brown waters). But, do exercise some maintenance regimen on your lines, rod, reel (most important), waders (just cleaned mine), boots, raincoat, gloves (eek! can they stink), packs, vests or stocking cap.

02
Feb
09

Fly Line Management (Avoid Protruding Objects)

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It is important to manage your fly line when casting especially in windy conditions. Stepping on the line or pulling on the line to remove it from sticking points can crease or cut the coating on the line. Pay particular attention to not crimping your line when changing spools. The line can become momentarily wedged between the spool and the reel frame and damage the coating. Closing the line in a sharp edged fly box happens to me. I have had an amazing Kamloops torpedo stip our line so fast and once the line went taught the intermediate line snapped and stripped up through the guides in a heart beat. There went the fish and there went half my fly line. I had at some point cut deeply into the coating and apparently the core. Now in the above situation, I think the angler is assured of no damage to the line.    

Photo by Denver Bryan (Images on the Wildside)




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