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Old 03-20-2010, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

Hi Dan

I've been fly fishing for 37yrs and have had lines in a multitude of colors. I pick my lines by the casting qualities they offer not by the color. I've had lines in florescent orange to dark brown and never had trouble catching fish in even the spookiest streams. If one is casting correctly the fly line spooking fish should be of no concern. You should not be casting over the fish with the fly line. All the fish should see is the fly and the tippet which should be small enough the fish don't notice.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
If black is the best color from a reflection standpoint, then why are almost all saltwater fly lines either sand or some light color (even light blue)?

I am not doubting that some articles and books have stated black is good and light is bad, but for me that simply does not make much logical sense. Any color line will show as a "crack" in a mirror surface, but the closer the color to the "silvered" mirror color the hard it should be to see the "crack" line.

Until someone can get a fish to tell them what is best, I will take my cue from nature, fish are dark on top, and light on the bottom, so that prey species do not see them when they are looking down (dark blends with the bottom) or looking up (light blends with the sky/mirror). This may be a simple way to look at this issue, but it make logical sense to me.

jbbfly - I agree with you, I do not care for the bright orange or optic green lines either. I prefer a pale moss green or a willow (off-white) flyline.
I agree with you. In fact, your first two paragraphs are points I tried to make with my friend. He was unswayed by them. I figured the "Nature thinks light is better, look at fish" would make sense to him. It didn't. I was ready to rip both of my eardrums out with a sharp pencil after about five minutes.

---------- Post added at 05:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:30 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo View Post
Hi Dan

I've been fly fishing for 37yrs and have had lines in a multitude of colors. I pick my lines by the casting qualities they offer not by the color. I've had lines in florescent orange to dark brown and never had trouble catching fish in even the spookiest streams. If one is casting correctly the fly line spooking fish should be of no concern. You should not be casting over the fish with the fly line. All the fish should see is the fly and the tippet which should be small enough the fish don't notice.
Well put. I have been fly fishing for about the same time, old fart too huh? I fish still, deep water pretty often and have tossed line right over the top of Smallmouth, and catch the heck out of them whith every color made, except black that is. Only because there is not a single black fly line in my posession. As long as you are not tying the fly right directly to the fly line, fish don't have the brain power to associate the fly with the fly line.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
I am not doubting that some articles and books have stated black is good and light is bad, but for me that simply does not make much logical sense. Any color line will show as a "crack" in a mirror surface, but the closer the color to the "silvered" mirror color the hard it should be to see the "crack" line.

Until someone can get a fish to tell them what is best, I will take my cue from nature, fish are dark on top, and light on the bottom, so that prey species do not see them when they are looking down (dark blends with the bottom) or looking up (light blends with the sky/mirror). This may be a simple way to look at this issue, but it make logical sense to me.
The Trout and the Fly - Google Books

please see the first photo on page 86
Unfortunately the full text of the book is unavailable
It's eye opening and based on research rather than just opinion
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
please see the first photo on page 86
Unfortunately the full text of the book is unavailable
It's eye opening and based on research rather than just opinion
That is really eye opening. But in looking at the pics I'm wondering if the white would be as noticable in murky water, or if the sky was clear. Or if the sun was shining from overhead. If light is refracting on the surface of the water, might not the white line blend a little better?
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
The Trout and the Fly - Google Books

please see the first photo on page 86
Unfortunately the full text of the book is unavailable
It's eye opening and based on research rather than just opinion
Rip - The text is not exactly definitive, stating: "There can be little doubt......that white or light-coloured flylines should not be used when trout are close to the surface."
Does this mean light colored fly lines make no difference when the trout are not near the surface? e.g - it might not make a difference when nymphing?

I think ant's questions regarding water color and sunshine vs. overcast could possibly have significant impact on what the fish see as well. It is interesting to note that the authors are comparing "white" vs. "dark" fly lines. I do not know - are there any floating fly lines that are actually "white" or "Black"?

I think Davo's comment is the best - don't line the fish and color doesn't matter.

The book does appear to be a somewhat interesting look at trout in general. I will add a copy of "The Trout and the Fly" to my wish list for reading.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:23 AM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

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Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
JP, what color are the fine silk lines they use there? Doesn't it make sense to you that a fly line colored to blend in with the sky would be better than black? Black should be easier to see against the sky and harder for the angler to see against the water. The worst of both worlds, I would think.
Click the image to open in full size.
here's a silk line I used...some use a Robinson...it's even thinner and its color is"honey"...I've never said colored lines were bad...I said I wouldn't fish with themwhat I'm sure of is that ...a very light(weight) line is far better to fish fast and pocket waters...in that case there's often no line or a very short lenght of line on the water
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

After 40 years at this sport I agree with Davo, Line color does not matter in fresh water. In salt i would say a lighter line has an advantage.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

I have no positive proof this is true or not but I've settles on more subdued colors for fishing and bright, Optic Orange lines for casting practice and teaching.
It seems to me that because the bright lines are indeed easier to see by humans when casting, the fish can see it too.
I can come up with no reason at all to fish with bright lines as long as the fisher knows how to cast and how the line is behaving in use.
My color choices have served me quite well for a number of years.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

There is a big difference between seeing the line from above, as you do, and seeing the line from below, as fish do. The sky being light, there is no color more contrasting against the light sky than black. If you look at the spectrum with white on one end and black on the other, how can you get a worse color line than black? I would think that the fact that there are tons of Orange floating lines and not a single black one on the market says a lot. I have a Scientific Anglers XXD WF6F line that I cast over the top of fish all the time with and have noticed no reduction in the fish I catch from my green or blue lines. It's optic orange. I have several other lines that are various shades of orange, that I have caught fish like crazy with. I have an optic yellow line I clobbered the snot out of Crappies with, in water that looked like sparklets drinking water, and lined whole danged schools of them. I have Several Pike Musky lines that are all either red or orange and I line at least half the fish I catch.

How much money do you guys think that the major line manufacturers have sunk into research on fly line color alone? What are the odds that all of those companies, with all that money and research, would miss black being the best floating line color? My guess is zero percent. My guess is that the fact you can't even buy a black floating line, says it's a bad color. Most likely not because it is the most contrasting line color against the sky, but hard for the fisherman to see. Given the absolute rainbow of colors out there in lines, this makes sense does it not?

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Old 03-22-2010, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Fly line color, does it matter?

Diver Dan... I'm not condoning dying lines black. I'm just saying that I prefer subdued colors while fishing. Not so much for when the line is on the water than in the air. On the water, because of contrast I think the trout just see a silhouette.
I honestly can't think of a reason not to have subdued colored lines while fishing... especially now that every major line manufacturer offers them.
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