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Old 10-14-2013, 01:15 PM
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Default Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

First of all, as a new flyer I am quickly learning why some of you have more rods and reels than I thought you actually needed.

Everyday is a new learn for me. Little trout stream creek, wide open lake. Had my first encounter with a wind right in my face last night and it wasn't pretty. My casting is inconsistent and I need more practice. Now that that is out of the way here is what I have to work with if it matters.

3WT 7-6 Redington CT/Drift 2/3

4WT 8-0 Cabelas ThreeForks/Prestige

5 WT 9-0 ST Croix Reign/Okuma SLV

I just picked up some of the manufacturers second lines. I have a variety of lines in 3-4-5 to play with. Before I start experimenting, I would like to know what I should expect the rod to react to heavier or lighter line.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

As you will soon find out, the line weight designations on rods are often incorrect, and the same even goes with weight designations on lines. For instance, a rod may be labeled a 5wt, but its true flex and strength profile may actually make it more suited to a 6wt line. Similarly, a line may be labeled a 5wt, but the actual grain weight of the line may make it closer to a 6wt. What all of this mean is that you should experiment, as the real perfect pairing is when the rod loads optimally at the distance you are most frequently casting at.

The obvious advantage to a heavier line weight is that it has more mass and can carry large flies more efficiently, if the rod is not meant to have this extra mass, however, the rod could load too deeply, and ythe casting stroke may not be optimazed, negating the positive outcome you were looking for. Lower weight lines give a more delicate presentation, especially with smaller flies. Like overlining, however, a line that is too light may not load the rod enough, and casting performance will suffer.

I'm sure I've just confused you more, but that's the truth of it.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

if you search, there are probably a dozen or more threads dealing with this

edit: actually the search results are not that good for this....sorry...there's a lot there, but you kinda have to look for it.

heavier lines flex the rod deeper and slow the stroke a bit. Lighter lines will load the rod more off the tip.

I overline some rods, primarily those that I fish close in. I do not overline other rods because I need the rod to turn over a bobber and a couple of flies and some lead...

When I overline it's to get the feel I'm after, which is an individual kinda gig.

Last edited by mikel; 10-14-2013 at 03:16 PM. Reason: checked by searching myself and was disappointed :(
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The heavier lines will speed the rods up and you might find a couple of the rods like the heavier lines better. the light lines on the heavier rods are going to be awful.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Yeah I did try to search but the word "line" kinda complicates the relevancy.

So potentially heavier line for my three weight I normally use on streams, and I lose some finesse when tossing the little stuff. Got it. I am currently using some cheap heavy 3 on the CT. I was pleased with it, then the temp dropped 20 degrees and not so thrilled anymore.

The 5 WT has cheap SA Concept line. I have two newer and better lines to try out. A sink tip and a WF floating, but they are both 5WT lines. I'll play with those when the breeze dies down. My intent for it is tossing streamers and large woolies so going to a 6WT if necessary perhaps wouldn't be much of a disadvantage.

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Old 10-14-2013, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

I would not recommend under lining a rod as it literally turns the rod and cast into a wet noodle and will not usually lay the line out. Over lining is a common practice and is helpful, as stated above, to get you to your casting nirvana...

It takes time and practice to get your desired results. Most of my rods and line combos have resulted in something pretty good. I currently use a Sharkskin line on my 5wt. The sharkskin has a model that is actually a half-weight over for any given line weight purchased. It does well on my St. Croix.

Best bet is to go to your local fly shop and ask to demo either a particular line, or a certain weight line on your own rod. Find the one that works for you.

I was fishing Utah's Green River once and inadvertently broke my Sage RPL in a 5wt. I grabbed a backup which was a same length but fiberglass and I had just purchased it at a thrift store, with no identifying marks or specifications. I lined it up with my 5wt line and reel and discovered what it was like to cast a wet noodle. The rod must have been at least an 8wt and it would not throw that 5wt line on a bet.

Kelly.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

It's been drummed into us that to efficiently cast a fly you need tight loops and a fast line speed.
That sounds good but it' s not the only solution.
When you slow a rod down by overlining and using a longer casting stroke, more of the rod's length and it's power comes into use rather than just tip speed. The open loop that you're creating may not be technically as efficient, but you're still accomplishing the same thing.
It's a choice really to the same objective. High line (tip) speed vs more power.

However, there are certain advantages to overlining. The most obvious would be whenever you need to cast an open loop. When you're casting weight, droppers, or big air resistant flies.
Distance mending too. When your rod bends further down toward the cork, you're able to lift more line up out of the water.
And personally, I find the additional power makes it easier to cast in the wind.

I overline many of my rods. On one of my 8wts, I use 11wt line.
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

I don't buy too many new rods but I have had a few in the past couple years, I am not the most expert person to speak on this but that seldom stops me and here we go.

I have always put the line on the rod which the manufacturer designated and went fishing. When I was not a very good caster very little of the trouble I had could have been blamed on a fly line. I've been casting fly rods now for quite a while and I still put the 5 weight line on the five weight rod. Technique can make up for a whole lot when it comes to rod and line matchups and as you become more experienced at casting you may find that there are not many things that you can't make work.

Every now and then you may find that a particular new rod just doesn't feel right. In this case you'll make every adjustment that you know of in your timing, your distance and stroke speed / power in an effort to find what works. Only if I were to find that nothing I have ever learned about casting will make the rod work would I start buying lines trying to fix the problems.

If you ever stray into 2 handed casting you'll find there may be exceptions to even my stubborn approach with performance. I found that my style is better suited to medium action or traditional Spey rods and then with the line weight leaning toward the upper end of the rods rating. Here I find casting much more critical in regard to the line weights. However with overhead casting with either single hand or 2 hand rods I can live with the line that matches the number on the blank.

So what the heck did I just say? I believe I'm thinking that we, today, are overthinking almost every aspect of our tackle. There are way more sources of media at which we can read an incredible volume of opinions made by other fishermen who may themselves be overthinking things. It is not impossible that we get the idea into our heads that if we do not cast as well as someone we saw at the river or on a You Tube video, we can fix it by buying something. It has to be the line weight. The rod designers had to have made a mistake. It may not always be true but in the end, if we simply try harder to understand the physics and mechanics of what we are doing, we will get better at casting.

I could be very wrong, or I might be right. All I'm saying is that I don't worry too much about what this thread was originally asking I'm much more curious as to why the trout were not where they should have been last Wednesday than anything else and I can't buy anything to fix that.....................

Ard
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

To demonstrate what others have said swap the reels on your three weight and five weight and cast them in the yard a few times. You'll quickly get a feel for what the effects of under and over lining are.
Just to complicate things, some lines will simulate this. A bass bug WFF taper is pretty close to over lining a rod to turn over a big fly quickly. On the other end, a double taper line is almost like underlining , or at least it feels like it if you're used to a weight forward line.
Good luck.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Over or under lining a rod, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ia_trouter View Post
First of all, as a new flyer I am quickly learning why some of you have more rods and reels than I thought you actually needed.

Everyday is a new learn for me. Little trout stream creek, wide open lake. Had my first encounter with a wind right in my face last night and it wasn't pretty. My casting is inconsistent and I need more practice. Now that that is out of the way here is what I have to work with if it matters.

3WT 7-6 Redington CT/Drift 2/3

4WT 8-0 Cabelas ThreeForks/Prestige

5 WT 9-0 ST Croix Reign/Okuma SLV

I just picked up some of the manufacturers second lines. I have a variety of lines in 3-4-5 to play with. Before I start experimenting, I would like to know what I should expect the rod to react to heavier or lighter line.
Read this so you understand fly rod terminology:

Fly rod line rating, power, and action - an explanation.

stl_geoff has it backwards. Heavier lines slow down the casting and rod timing. The do not speed up the rod, which implies that they make the rod faster.

To clarify what Nick said about fly line mass, he is half right. Line mass does play into how far the rod bends and the cast timing; but it is not mass alone that bends the fly rod during a cast.

Here is some very basic physics, and if you going to really understand both why and how heavier fly line affect fly rods, you need to be familiar the following.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/work.html

When a fly rod casts a fly line, it is doing Work. Work is done when a mass M is moved a Distance D. When we cast a fly line, we are using the fly rod to do Work because it is moving a fly line.

Energy E is the capacity or ability to do work. When a fly line of mass M is cast a distance D, a certain amount of energy is used to do the Work W. There are two types of energy, Kinetic Energy KE and Potential Energy PE. KE is the energy of the moving fly line, and PE is the Potential Energy the is stored in the bent fly rod during the cast.

Now here is the important part. KE is a function of the fly line Mass M and the fly line velocity V.

Click the image to open in full size.


Kinetic Energy

KE varies with V squared! This means that the VELOCITY of the fly line is way more important than the MASS of the fly line in determining how far the cast will go.

This relationship between velocity and mass during a fly cast is why adding a relatively small amount of extra velocity with a haul during a fly cast results in a longer cast. A haul which pulls in the fly line actually REMOVES mass from the cast, BUT the increase in velocity more than makes for the decrease in mass. The kinetic energy in the cast increases enough, to not only pull back the line that was hauled, but shoot even more line into the cast, which result in a longer overall cast.

So what is the bottom line. As a beginner you are a very poor caster so you likely are NOT making tight loops or accelerating the fly line optimally. Initially, using a heavier fly line will bend the fly rod deeper BUT unless you are using that KE in the heavier line and the PE in the bent fly rod to cast a tight loop, that extra energy is just being WASTED.

My recommendation is go ahead and use a heavier line which will slow down the timing of the cast and allow you to feel the rod bend, BUT use that slower timing and deeper rod bend to IMPROVE your technique and not as a substitute for poor technique.
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