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Fly Lines Let's talk about fly lines

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Old 01-31-2011, 04:55 PM
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Default Fly line life expectency.

My buddy is just getting back into fly fishing and he hasn't fished for 5+ years (I swear...it really is a buddy and not me ) and asked me if his lines are still good. I told him I would thinks so as he always took real good care of his gear and cleaned his lines after use. Plus he only ever used to fly fish for trout in streams. I told him there mosty likely will be a lot of curl to the line since it has sat wound on the reel for so long. I told him to get rid of the curls that he should streach the line pretty good before using it.

What say you experts??

I'd hate to have to tell him to go out and buy a new line when money is tight for him. Some of those lines are down right expensive!!

-Mack
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Mack: I agree, your advice is spot on, don't waste money on new lines until you have to.

Larry
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Hi mack,

What Larry said! And........... When a line no longer floats high and is not optimum for dry fly presentation you now have a streamer line. I am currently using lines I bought in the late eighties and throughout the 90's. The only time I get new ones is when I get a new rod and reel that need a line.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Pull out an old (way old) line. Lay it out. Inspect it. Clean it. Inspect it. Dress it. Inspect it. Spool it. Inspect it. Fish it. Inspect it. That's the only way to know for sure. Oh, did I mention that you should really inspect it? As long as it hasn't cracked or otherwise degraded, it's a fishable line.

I've been through that a few times. Finding out whether or not an old, forgotten line works is a true win-win situation. Even if it doesn't work well for you, it doesn't matter. You still get to fish. And we all know the worst day fishing is better than the best day working.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Stroud View Post
Pull out an old (way old) line. Lay it out. Inspect it. Clean it. Inspect it. Dress it. Inspect it. Spool it. Inspect it. Fish it. Inspect it. That's the only way to know for sure. Oh, did I mention that you should really inspect it? As long as it hasn't cracked or otherwise degraded, it's a fishable line.

I've been through that a few times. Finding out whether or not an old, forgotten line works is a true win-win situation. Even if it doesn't work well for you, it doesn't matter. You still get to fish. And we all know the worst day fishing is better than the best day working.

Pretty much right on the money. I would add that the first post about stretching line is true too. Sadly as much as I love my conventional spooled Hardy reels, large arbors do have one distinct advantage, line will definitely last longer when spoiled in larger coils. This may be the one rub of five year old fly line stored on reels. Most Fly lines will hold up well without wear, it's going thru the rod guides that wears them out.

But if they were stored wet, or not in a place with that is cool and dry you may have issues with the coating degrading or the core rotting. The only way to find out is to test them and apply some tension to them.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Stroud View Post
Inspect it. Clean it. Inspect it. Dress it. Inspect it. Spool it. Inspect it. Fish it. Inspect it. Oh, did I mention that you should really inspect it?
Spoken like a true student of Rickover, and that's why we don't have accidents.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Dan, you know you can take (or retire) the nuke out of the Navy, but you can't take the Navy out of the nuke. And thanks to Rickover, I'll have one thing stuck in my little brain for the rest of my life: "You get what you inspect, not what you expect."
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Great!! Thanks for the conformation guys. We'll definatly inspect it and give it a go.

-Mack
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

Don't forget to inspect them while fishing too.

Just yesterday, I was just off the reef edge running and drifting. I always cast out my line after a run to re-organize the coils on the deck of the skiff, and good thing too.

There was a large black mark in the middle of the WF belly, which turned out to be a burn mark from the ember from a smoke, either mine or my buddy's - both of us are addicted to the foul things. I pulled on it and it broke very easily.

So I wound up having to tie a new loop in the fat part of the belly with a couple nail knots and using the shortest head I have ever heard of and re-looping the leader.

We had already raised one fish, so I was slowly and deliberately hurring as fast as I could. Within minutes of being back in half-business, we raised another.

So another horror story was avoided through careful inspection. Check your lines and hooks frequently. It is embarassing to lose several fish in a row because you are fishing a fly with a very dull hook or worse one with the hook snapped off at the bend.

Of course, this kind of idiocy would never happen to you or me, but it's nice to remind friends about.


Cheers,
Jim
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Fly line life expectency.

I sometimes wonder what the age of a new line is. Never know for sure how long it's set in the warehouse before it ends up being sold.
I figure if they can last for years on the spool from the factory, they should last for years on the reel - IF they are cared for properly!
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