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Red_green_hOctober 16th, 2019, 6:16 am
New Mexico

Posts: 24
What's the general consensus for changing fly line? Is it based on time, how often you fish, or combination of both? And do you use loops or a nail knot to secure a leader. Is there any benefit of using loops other than time?
RleePOctober 16th, 2019, 8:49 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 382
I'll take a quick stab at this based solely on my own experience/perspective. Fly lines wear out over time and this wear can be accelerated by where and how you fish as well as by weather, UV exposure and other factors. The biggest wear factor on my lines has usually been abrasion/contact with rocks, logs and the like, things that are pretty much unavoidable in the smaller stream settings I usually fish. My trout lines usually last one to two seasons because of these factors. My bass/pike/panfish lines on the other hand last much longer, up to 10 years or more because in the still water settings I use them in, there is far less exposure to abrasion.

An easy way to check to see if your line is wearing out due to abrasion is to take the first 30-40 feet or so of it (the part that is most often being cast) and running it between your fingers to check for tiny, repetitive cracks in the pvc coating. Some of this (so-called) checking is ok for a while and the line will still function well. But once it starts, it only gets worse and eventually, the cracks will become numerous enough to affect how well you line shoots on the cast. Then it is time to get another line..

I don't fuss much with the line/leader connection. If the new line comes with loops, I use them. If it doesn't, I nail knot an (approx. 12") section of butt material to the line and put a loop in the end of it and then use the loop on the leader to make a loop to loop connection. When you add a new 12" loop butt section, it is usually a good idea to coat it with something to smooth it so it traverses the rod guides more easily. The old style Pliobond rubber cement works well for this, but newer stuff like a dot of UV resin or some such is probably better (and easier to find then Pliobond these days).

That's the short version, anyway..
Red_green_hOctober 17th, 2019, 8:33 am
New Mexico

Posts: 24
Thanks for the info. Has anyone ever used Piscifun Sword floating fly line? I'm thinking about trying it on my 586 rod. It can't be any worse the RIO Mainstream I have on it now. Problem with the Mainstream is it has too good of a memory, to me it's not a smooth cast, and the tip sinks.
RleePOctober 17th, 2019, 10:17 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 382
I'm not familiar with the Piscifun products, but based on a simple price comparison and factoring in Rio's pretty good reputation for quality, it seems to me to be a step down quality wise. But that's based what little I can glean from a quick online search.

What follows is opinion..:)

Most lower to middle tier fly lines (say under 60 bucks or so) will require repeated maintenance from time to time to keep the tip floating. It's just the way it is. Keeping the line clean in accordance with the manufacturer's directions will help to some extent. What always worked even better for me is keeping a container of green (silicone) Mucilin handy and dressing the line a bit as req'd. A lot of guys don't like it because it melts in the heat, but I never minded. It can make a $40 line shoot like a $70 line and its a pretty good dry fly floatant as well.

Just as an afterthought, when you decide on a line, you might want to look at the Cortland 333 (under $40) or 444 ($ medium price, around $55). They tend to be softer lines and may help with the memory issues.
Red_green_hOctober 17th, 2019, 10:56 am
New Mexico

Posts: 24
I think I'm gonna settle on the Rio Avid Trout. It's worth spending $25 more. Piscifun line I'm looking at is the same price as the Mainstream so it's probably comparable. I'm gonna get some of that Mucilin too. I'll take any extra help I can to shoot my line out farther, even though it seems most of the fish I catch are probably no more than 20 to 30 ft out.
MartinlfOctober 22nd, 2019, 5:27 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2911
I'm not one to disagree with Lee generally, as I respect his experience and knowledge, but I avoid Mucilin on my fly lines. I like the Scientific Angler textured lines, which shoot very well, if kept clean. They are pricey, though, and have gotten more so. I think Mucilin might gum up the line, unless it is cleaned off at regular intervals. It might be just the thing for a middle tier line, such as the Cortland lines he mentions (which is what I believe Lee is recommending Mucilin for). With the more expensive lines, it may be counterproductive.

I've been using a Dave Whitlock super glue splice for my leaders for a while, and like it, especially if I'm going to be fishing small midges on light tippets. The connection and transition is very smooth and never hangs in the guides. Domenick of Troutbitten fame just uses a knot (clinch or improved clinch I believe) to tie the butt of the leader directly to a fly line loop, for another relatively smooth transition. I'm toying with trying that, as the loop does provide some flotation. Loop to loop just hangs in the guides too much for my taste, but others use them and don't seem to mind.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TroutnutOctober 23rd, 2019, 12:10 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2543
I generally change my fly line when the old one has severe damage that impacts its ability to smoothly transfer momentum down the line. Often this comes from stepping on the line in the river with my metal wading cleats or some other form of abuse. Most lines around me find themselves on the receiving end of such mishandling before "normal" wear & tear would require a new line.

I generally do use a loop to make swapping leaders easier, because I swap leaders fairly often, at least on my 5-weight.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
RleePOctober 24th, 2019, 8:38 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 382
I'm with Jason in the sense that when I said: "The biggest wear factor on my lines has usually been abrasion/contact with rocks, logs and the like, things that are pretty much unavoidable in the smaller stream settings I usually fish", I left out the part where my wayward feet are also usually a significant factor in line wear. I'm tough on lines and routinely walking on them and grinding them into the substrate is a big part of it.

Which is probably why, Louis, I've always been a mid range line/Mucilin guy.

I might not be able to afford to trout fish if I used the higher floating pricier textured lines..:)

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