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Old 03-14-2007, 04:24 PM
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Default 3Wt. Fly Line

Hello Everyone,

I am a newbie to this forum. Great place. Well I have searched and haven't found what I am looking for. I got my first 3 wt. rod yesterday. G-loomis Metolius 7' and a Venture 3 reel for it. I got it to fish the little creeks in Southern CA where the longer rods just are a hinder in the brush and trees. My question is what 3wt. line would you suggest for small/very small creeks where the water for the most part are not deeper then a couple of feet and crystal clear. I want to go with a weight foreward or double taper line. Casting will be 10 to 15 ft. What brand of line and would a certain color be best?
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: 3Wt. Fly Line

As far as casting, you can't tell the difference between a WF or DT if you're only going to be casting 10 to 15 ft.

You might even consider a 4wt line. First of all, let me make this perfectly clear, I usually advocate staying with the manufacturer's suggested line recommendations or, in the case of the heavier weights 6-9, underlining by one weight depending on the circumstances. Wait a minute… did I say underline? Yes I did. Macnair opened my eyes to this concept. You see, it's in the amount of line you aerialize in making the cast. Consider for a moment that while you and I now know the weight in grains for the first 30-feet of our line, we don't know the weight of the remainder that typically includes the rest of the head, its rear taper, and the running line ... An interesting thought? It should be, because for every ten to fifteen feet we add to the initial 30 hanging in the air, we effectively add another line weight to the load carried by the rod. Said another way: a 5-weight line becomes the equivalent of a 6-weight when 40-feet of line are aerialized, a 7-weight with 60 to 65-feet in the air, etc. At some point, of course, our 5-weight rod will overload resulting in either a collapsed cast or worse, a broken rod. Then, as Doug would say, the Ancient Fishing Gods will be laughing.

OK, so what does this concept of underling a 7wt fly rod have with a small stream fly line? Plenty… the same concept applies but in reverse. Let’s say you’re using a 3wt rod with a 3wt line on a small stream. Most of your casts are going to be less than 15 or 20 feet. Take away the leader and you only have about 10 feet or so of fly line aerialized. Well that’s not enough line weight to allow the rod to perform as designed. So, in this case, its makes perfect since to overline your rod. Ten feet of a 4wt line might give you enough aerialized weight to allow the rod to perform better and thus improve your casting. So think about it. You may want to overline your new rod depending on how far you think you’ll be casting.

Line color has been a debated topic for years. Do a forum seach for "fly line color" and see what you come up with. If you cast well and your presentation is proper... it probably doesn't matter what color you use. Its not as much as the color of the line as it is the shadow cast by the line on the water. That's what usually spooks the trout. Yet having said all of this... I use an olive fly line on small streams. I also wear earthy colored clothing and branish no flashy accessories.

I use the Cortland 444 Clear Creek fly line in olive. As I said, I'm not sure if the color matters though.

Hope that helps
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: 3Wt. Fly Line

Steve's advice is right on, its almost like he teaches fly fishing or something. (teehee) I've got a 3wt line that I love (SA XPS), but its one with a long front taper for delicate presentations, which would be quite frustrating for your purposes. The reason why is that this front taper is around half the distance you say your normal cast would be. This would be a problem for the same reason Steve suggested a 4wt might be a better choice- a 3wt line with a long front taper will cast like a 2.7wt line with less than 15' of line out.

Ok, enough techno-babble on fly lines. I also think the color of the line doesn't matter all that much. I basically look at lines as "Bright" or "Not bright". If you wanna be stealthy, neon orange might not be the best choice. Greys, tans, greens, and such would be a sneakier approach. But once again (from mr.-self-contradictor) I have caught more fish on a neon orange line than any other. (though its due to fishing time with it more than anything else)
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: 3Wt. Fly Line

Thanks Steve for the help. With your thought in mind I think I will go with Rio's Rio Grande. It is somewhere around a 3.5 wt. line. I have never fished with such a small rod but I am getting a feeling I just might be a sucker for the small wt. rods. I am thinking of ordering a 8'8 GLX presentation 3 wt. or the 8' Metolius 3wt. and a Ross Evolution #1 to take to the Sierras. My wife notices my new toys as well as I notice her new shoes and purses. It's a beautiful thing.
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: 3Wt. Fly Line

Not to butt in, but I would make your next light rod a 4wt. They make small fish almost as much fun as a 3wt, but do much better to cast more weight, bigger flies, or in the wind. A 8.5' 4wt is a wonderfully versatile tool.

(I bet someone will chime in within a few days with "heck no, a 0/1/2wt is what ya reeeeeeaaaaally need!)
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