Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?
A modern PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) fly line is, at its simplest, an extruded mix of PVC, plasticizers, dyes, and micro-balloons over a hollow-braided Nylon core. The core is a constant diameter - the thickness of the extruded material varies the taper. Many fly lines are made on one length of core material and then cut apart for packaging.
The early plastic lines used a solid braided Nylon core that was tapered, and the plastic was a single thickness. This was a holdover from tapered oil-finished lines, both silk and Nylon.
The reason that PVC floating lines often have a problem with the tip sinking is two-fold - first, if the tip is made fine enough for good presentation, it doesn't have enough volume to offset its mass (the apparent specific gravity exceeds 1.0, the specific gravity of water); second, the hollow core may become saturated with water through capillary action.
Dressing the tip with a hydrophobic coating (red tin Mucilin) may help the tip to float. Also, plugging the end of the core with Zap-A-Gap couldn't hurt.
P.S. - a single PVC fly line probably costs less than a dollar in materials and a few dollars in labor. The real cost is in advertizing - convincing you that you need the latest in fly lines.
Last edited by overmywaders; 09-02-2012 at 08:46 PM.
Reason: a P.S.