Originally Posted by duker
I've heard of a lot of anglers that overline their rods, usually by one, but that has never seemed like a good idea to me (and Diver Dan confirmed my suspicions, I think). Aren't lines already more or less matched to the weight of rods they're designated for? I realize that some lines are already "overweighted" somewhat--I've got a Rio Grand on my 6-wt, which I understand is half a size heavier. Why would you overline a rod?
I was fishing in Belize earlier in March--my first time saltwater fly fishing--and used an 8-wt tropical line on my 8-wt. rod. It cast fine, even with a bit of wind. One of the guides and a number of the guests told me that a lot of saltwater anglers overline their rods--casting a 9-wt. line on an 8-wt. rod, 10-wt line on a 9, etc. They claimed overlining made the rods easier to cast, especially since saltwater fly rods tend to be stiffer and faster and you often cast in the wind a lot. That makes some sense, but I'm still a skeptic.
Anyway, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but I find the discussion on overlining interesting.
The problem that comes in here is that fly rod manufacturers do not have a universal system for rod weights. Hence, a manufacturer may make a distance orientated 5 wt and we find that it's ERN (effective rod number) actually indicates that it should be casting a 6 or 7 wt line to load it. In other words, because manufacturers don't have a system to determine line weight and adhere to it, any given rod may be, in reality, not marked appropriately.
That's fine and all if you have a 5wt that should be casting a 7wt and you only need the rod for distance. But it is definitely not ok in an average trout fishing situation in which it is vital to be able to feel the rod load and cast ~40 feet. I have overlined rods and it works really well in some cases.