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Old 07-02-2013, 01:54 PM
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Default Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

I was wondering what the differences are between fly lines designed for salt and fresh water. I assume there are disadvantages to using a freshwater line in the salt, but are there disadvantages to using a saltwater line in freshwater?

If both are the same price, and I might end up doing a little salt work with my rod, should I just go for the salt line.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

Aside from tapers (which you can see), the difference between various lines might be in the environments that they are designed to perform in. heat vs. cold, abraision resistance, etc. (or so, this is what the mfr. literature will tell you).

As for fresh water, I wasn't aware of a 'general' freshwater line. Most are marketed as bass taper, trout line, toothy critter, etc.

I suppose (short of buying another reel and spool it specifically for one kind of fishing) be realistic about what you are going to be fishing predominantly, and buy line to be good at that.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

There are regular (Temperate) fly lines and "Tropical" fly lines. Tropical fly lines are made to be used when the temperature is hot. I wish fly line manufacturers would not confuse anglers by labeling fly lines a "saltwater," which implies it cannot be used in fresh water.

Regular fly lines become very limp and sticky at high temperatures, so they are very difficult to cast in the tropics. This could be in fresh or salt water.

Regular fly lines are used in salt water in New England, for example, because the temperature is cool. A tropical fly line would stay in coils and be very difficult to cast in colder weather, regardless of whether it is salt water or fresh water.

So buy fly lines according to the temperature and not according to fresh or salt water usage. A "saltwater" fly line can be used in fresh water if the temperature is correct.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

Silver is correct, I have salt lines on my 10 and 11wt and if its 90* degress out I will use either one of them. The reason the heat is a big deal is the mono core of the salt lines is generally heavier then that of the fresh lines. I know my 11wt sage line uses a 100 mono center with all the pvc and floaty goodness wrapped around it. I have heard some rumors that its designed to float better in the higher density saltwater, so when you use it in fresh it can turn into a slight sink tip line, however I have no noticed this because im usually using a heavy weight fly when fishing the 10 or 11.

I posed the same question you asked, if they are the same price and I will use it every once and again in the salt, why not go for it? The general consensous was get the fresh since it will work better in the lower temperatures that it more then likely will be consistently used in.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

I originally assumed that salt lines had some sort of extra coating that made them more corrosion resistant or something and that the salt would somehow degrade a regular line. Thanks for clarifying everything guys.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

If a fly line has a special taper for salt water, a better way of labeling fly lines is to say a fly line has a "salt water taper" and place those lines in the temperate or tropical category.

That would eliminate some of the confusion about salt water fly lines, IMHO,

Rio kind of does it that way:

Saltwater Fly Lines | RIO
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

I think it completely depends on the manufacturer, I have seen fly lines labeled saltwater that the only difference is the taper/color. But most known manufactures the saltwater fly lines besides the taper/color have any of the following characteristics: Stiffer core for casting larger flies/casting in the wind, more resilient coating, smaller diameter to cut through the wind and overall are designed to withstand the heat, weather conditions and contain special corrosion inhibitors to normalize the tropical environment. Performance wise the special characteristics of a saltwater fly line are balanced through the taper.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Difference between salt/freshwater fly lines?

I use a saltwater taper here in Middle TN. It is hotter here than in FL in the summer. Even in Indiana in the summer a saltwater taper works fine. Winter is a different story an so is salmon or steelhead. It just all depends. Saltwater tapers are only available in heavier line sizes and so are Bass lines. It just all depends.
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