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gregnash 08-23-2013 04:16 PM

Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
So I am a complete newbie to fly fishing. Been doing it for about a month now and had some good luck at my local watering hole. I currently run a 5wt 9' Redington Crosswater with whatever line they loaded on it and am really sticking to Trout fishing (most of what we have in No NV/Lake Tahoe area).

While I like the rod, seems to me to be a decent med/med-fast action rod, the reel sucked in the sense of drag so I recently got an ebay special and like it so far. When I got that I happened to find a deal at my local Cabela's for their Prestige Premiere line for $40 but have yet to try it (not gotten out since).

Anyways, $40 is really the max I want to spend on a line as I don't see the need for any real specialty lines and budget-wise, the misses would kill me if I spent more than that on a regular basis as much more money goes to my 85 Land Cruiser and Mtn Biking habit (and as she says, the last thing I need is another expensive hobby).

So the question(s) stand;
- is there such thing as a decent budget line that won't break the bank? (I like to have a couple back-ups just in case)
- is there a list of half-weight lines? I would be interested in trying one but also don't want to get the wrong thing.
- Is there anything wrong with going with something like an Iridieus, Cabelas/Bass Pro Shop, Allen, Hook N Hackle, or other off-brands?
- Since I am using a 5wt setup, what would happen if I went with half-weight line or uplined?

Again, right now I am strictly fishing for trout and have only done dry flies. This week I am going to try the NV side of the Truckee river and will probably end up trying my hand at nymphing or streamers. Also, main reason I am asking is I will probably end up grabbing another rod soon here and keep the Crosswater setup as a backup but the line on there absolutely sucks and has already started sinking the tip. Since the reel with line has already been relegated to backup duty I am thinking of replacing it soon with an off-brand or "cheaper" line.

two_nymph_rig 08-23-2013 05:53 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
Just keep your eyes open for the deals. I picked up some Rio Indicator line earlier this year for 39 dollars from Cabelas in 6 wt, it is normally 75 dollar line. I just bought some new Rio nymph line off ebay for 41 dollars. It has since been replaced by the rio indicator line, but it was a good line when being made. It was also 75 dollar line new. I have used cabelas prestige line for years with no problems. Buy what you can afford, and have fun doing it.

shotgunfly 08-23-2013 06:05 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
I did get a FREE line once, I think it retailed at $ sucked. It had SOOOOOOOOO much memory that when it came off the spool the coils looked like a dang SLINKY! Took a while to work out those coils for decent accuracy.

Compare that to a RIO line that cost $70 same age, same weight, coming off a similar reel, both stored in the same garage...and that line had less memory and straightened out better.

If you take care of your line (don't step on it, cast on asphalt, chew it) rinse it after each trip and juice it every once and a while it can last you 4-5 years I hear. Depends on how much you fish too. 5 years, that's basically $12 a year. Nothing really.

And cheap lines may not hold up as long as more expensive lines.

Don't get me wrong, there are probably some very good sub $60 lines out there. I just don't like having to deal with their shortcomings when I want to fish.

Over lining a rod can have some pleasing effects. I overlined a helios 5wt with a 6wt line and did well under 30ft for trout with accuracy. But it won't bomb line out a great distance over for the situation it was okay. For hitting a big lake or river for bass in clear conditions, I like to be far away and it's a lot of fun getting some line out (since trout situations in the virginia valley, don't call for it much).

Rip Tide 08-23-2013 06:08 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
First of all, I highly recommend the Hook&Hackle lines, they're custom made to their own own specs by Cortland.
As for other off brands, I've been using lines made by Northern Sport of Ontario for somewhere around 35 years. They've made OEM/private brand lines for at least that long.
You can find them cheap if you know where to look. The factory seconds that I use are $9.50 but the first quality lines start at around 15 bucks.
At that price just buy a bunch of lines and see what works best on your rods. That's what I do.

chased 08-23-2013 07:02 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
Cabela's brand line are pretty good for the money. Older ones were made by Cortland, this years models are made by Rio. Keep an eye on the bargain cave at Cabela's and online auction sites. You will be able to find some excellent deals on premium lines.


jaybo41 08-23-2013 07:18 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
I like Rip's suggestion, he beat me to it. Hook & Hackle line is a great value. I haven't used it but a buddy of mine who fishes much much less than I do uses it. He seems happy with it. I'm not sure if it comes with loops or not, but you can weld your own loops if that's important to you.

wasagawader 08-23-2013 07:18 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
Orvis is offering some decent sales right now on line

Discount Fly Line, Leaders & Tippet | Line, Leader & Tippet Sale | Sale Outlet -- Orvis

gregnash 08-23-2013 08:28 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
Thanks for the input guys... For the time being if I need to run and grab line then I will hit Cabela's and keep and eye on their bargain cave, but otherwise I will support HooknHackle.

williamhj 08-23-2013 08:47 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
+1 for many of the above suggestions. When I'm looking for a line I troll company websites, stores sites, etc etc looking through the sale areas. I've bought them from amazon as well as Hardy Marksman lines from ebay.

caseywise 08-23-2013 09:09 PM

Re: Newbie: Budget lines, half-weight lines, off-brands, etc.
i've found good line at sierra trading. also cabelas bargain barn. (as previously mentioned)
the canadian lines rip lines are nice too, have a few and really like them:)
i just bought a wf5-f sharkskin that was used once for 25 bucks shipped on ebay:p. the deals are there, just gotta sniff em out.


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