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  1. #1

    Default Line color... again

    Sometimes I wonder about things I read in these magazines.
    American Angler in its latest issue had an article busting 20 angler myths.
    I'm puzzled about how a light colored line will leave less shadow on the river bottom than a darker fly line and how darker lines absorb light and so are easier for the trout to see.
    I know on the South Holston or Henrys Fork waving an Optic Orange line around might very well have you give up fly fishing, or is that my imagination?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)
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    Default Re: Line color... again

    I agree, fish see things drifting overhead all the time and what seems more natural an olive or earth toned color or bright orange. That being said I think its more of a personal confidence thing I feel better when my line is "camo" but good old Cortland Peach and some of the old level and DT lines I've seen were white or cream and they fished well.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    quiet corner, ct
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    8,605

    Default Re: Line color... again

    I was just reading an old magazine article where Lefty says he prefers brightly colored lines because they can be cast more accurately and a more accurate cast will have less chance of spooking the fish.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Line color... again

    OK, when I got done crying....... I am absolutely positive the best color fly line is white. Nature agrees with me because of millions and millions of years of evolution, it picked white for virtually every fish belly around. If you don't want birds to see it, then go with a darker color like oh, how about the back of a fish? Most people look at this from the wrong side of the line. The opposite side the fish is looking at it. I'm going to get a call over this from my Canadian fishing buddy who thinks black is best. Now look what you've started.

    By the way he does catch a ton of fish on those black lines and so do I on the white ones. I think as long as you have a leader longer than three inches it's not going to make a whole bunch of difference. I also by the way have caught a ton of fish on an optic orange line and lined pretty much every single one of them.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Line color... again

    I'm questioning the two items brought up in the article that bright lines leave less of a shadow on the river bottom than dark lines and that trout see dark lines easier because they absorb light.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2011
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    Rio Rancho, NM
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    105

    Default Re: Line color... again

    Quote Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
    By the way he does catch a ton of fish on those black lines and so do I on the white ones. I think as long as you have a leader longer than three inches it's not going to make a whole bunch of difference. I also by the way have caught a ton of fish on an optic orange line and lined pretty much every single one of them.
    That is essentially the sam thing Ed Quigly says in his book "Fly Fishing advise from an Old Timer"

    I believe that if you fish it properly the line color is probably not that big a deal.

    Jimbo
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fly fish and he'll probably go C&R, so you'll still need to feed him.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Line color... again

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    I'm questioning the two items brought up in the article that bright lines leave less of a shadow on the river bottom than dark lines and that trout see dark lines easier because they absorb light.
    That's an easily testable thing. I have to agree that It deserves questioning. After all, white is white because the entire spectrum is being reflected. Black is essentially the absence of color because most of the spectrum is absorbed. I don't think absorbtion has a dang thing to do with it. I would think it should be viewed more as how you would do camoflage. The sky is a light blue with a lot of white. Black makes a terrible camo against that background. It does work pretty well with looking down into dark water. If your goal is to keep small birds from taking a rest on your line, use black. Lines being round and with the various reflections, reflects more light around making the shadow less on the bottom. I do not think that is an overly important factor. Ripples in the water make a myriad of shadows. I'm sure that fish learn to ignore all of them that don't seem to be coming from a really big bird of prey, and even then the birds seem to do OK.

    OK, it's a bit off subject, sort of, but.....
    I had a Senior Chief Radioman on my first Submarine that qualified Diving Officer. One day we were coming to periscope depth to catch a transit pass. Chief Creel was on the periscope and spinning around like a top as we stuck the scope up looking for contacts. The Officer of the watch asks him "Senior Chief, do you see any contacts?" to which he replies, Yes Sir! I have a squadron of GU 11's bearing ...I don't remember, some bearing.... The Officer of the Watch all jumpy goes "What are they doing chief?!" He says "Circling to land and take a rest on the trailing wire." Get it? GU 11's? We all broke out laughing. He was insane. By the way, the trailing wire was black.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Line color... again

    We need a volunteer with snorkeling gear to test this for us, it is an interesting question though. Gives us something to discuss on non fishing days.


    Quote Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
    That's an easily testable thing. I have to agree that It deserves questioning.
    Okiemountaineer

  9. #9

    Default Re: Line color... again

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    I'm questioning the two items brought up in the article that bright lines leave less of a shadow on the river bottom than dark lines and that trout see dark lines easier because they absorb light.
    I agree Jackster.

    All opaque lines cast the same shadow on the stream bottom. Since a light colored is no more transparent that a dark colored line, the shadow they cast will be the same.

    As for dark lines being more visible than a light line, that is more complicated. For floating lines, I think it depends on the background they are viewed against and the ambient light that is reflect off the bottom of the fly line. For example, if the fly line is blue and the stream or bottom is white, light is reflected off the bottom to the bottom of the fly line and the blue color of the fly line will blend in with the blue color of the sky better than a red or black line. But if the fly line is a sinker and the river has a dark bottom and a dark colored river bank, a dark line would blend in better than a blue line.

    I think that is why sinking lines for rivers are generally dark in color. A light color is more easily seen if the line is a sinking line. When fishing salt water flats over a white bottom, a clear camo line might be best.

    I think I know what Aaron is trying to say in his article but it wasn't expressed very well.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Line color... again

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    I agree Jackster.

    All opaque lines cast the same shadow on the stream bottom. Since a light colored is no more transparent that a dark colored line, the shadow they cast will be the same.
    I think that would be true if the water was dead calm, not a ripple in sight, and the line as still as a rock on the bottom. But being that it isn't, and with light being reflected off of a white line better than a black one, there will be more light scattered around. Some of that will be scattered into the shadow making it lighter. I would bet it would take very very sensitive equipment to detect how much lighter, because I doubt it's enough for the human eye to detect. It's kind of like the difference in the damage a 15 pound sledge hammer will do to an object as compared to damage a 14 pound 15 ounce sledge hammer will do to the same object. I'm sure there is a difference, but I doubt you would be able to quantify it easily.

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