Keeping Track of Fly Lines?

Kai

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I have accumulated enough fly reels, extra spools, and associated fly lines that I've found it's hard to remember which reel or spool is loaded with which fly line. I pull out a reel, and wonder, "Is that the WF5F, or the DT5F, or the WF5S?" etc.

What do folks do to keep track of which reel is loaded with which line?
 

Frank Whiton

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Hi Kai,

I use stickers that I buy at an office supply store. They come in many sizes, shapes and colors. I use small round ones. Most spools have clearance on the back side of the spool to put the sticker. I write size, weight, floating or sinking and anything else I need to identify what line it is. You can use color tabs for different types of lines. For instance, White for floating, Green for sinking, Blue for sink-tip. With a color system you just need to write the weight down. Just use you imagination and make it simple so you don't forget what your code means.
 

BruceN

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It seems like most of the lines I buy (mostly Orvis) come with small ID stickers that I put on the back of the spool, otherwise I do what Frank said. I also usually add the date that I changed the line to the sticker, that way I know how old the line is, etc.

Bruce
 

FISHN50

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I tried the stick on tags but they invaribly come off. Now
I have one of those cheap neoprene cases for all the reels & spools I use & I magic marker the info on the inside of the case. This also keeps the reels in good shape. Since I fish the salt I have to take the line off the reels & rinse out the salt occasionally so I have to keep everything together to keep track of whats what, but if you only fish fresh water it's no problem with the marked cases.
 

Joe D

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Kai,

On reels or spools that I "put in storage", I wind the fly line around a large coffee can (or similar) and then place the spool or reel in the can and put a masking tape label on it. The large diameter of the can keeps the line from taking a set from the spool and with the backing still connected to the line, the reel/spool stays safe and clean from dust, etc. It only takes a minute to do and then another minute to put the reel back in commission.

Joe
 

Joni

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I use the stickers also, but the new Orvis line has stretching neoprene band with the line marked on it that is pretty cool. Keeps the line from coming off the spool also.
 

Colorado Cajun

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So far, I have not got to that point that I couldn't keep track. I have 4, 5, and 7wt rods , 4 reels with only 2 extra spools. I know which reels go with each rod and I only have one full sink and one sink tip. Everything else is WF floating.
 

tbrillinger223

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I have a 7, 8, 9# and one spare spool for each. I use shooting heads on my 9# they are color coded and in a wallet marked with permanent marker. as for the 7 and 8 I have floating on one spool and sinking on the other. The spare spools are marked with stickers with the size. Usually the floating line is on the reel.
 

flyguy100

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The simplest way I know of for marking/identifying flylines is to use a permanent marker to put marks on either end of the line back from the ends a little in the following manner. Use a wide mark to designate "5" and narrow marks for "1", thus a number 8 line would have a wide black mark with three narrow marks close by somewhere a ways from the tip, in case you must cut back the tip to tie on a new leader butt. Putting a similar mark on the back of the line could also help. If you are using shooting heads, the thread color on the loop could be used for marking the size of line. For instance a Scientific Anglers #11 shooting head used a yellow thread, a #10, red. As for the sink rate, the loop color may be used for telling you this as the sinking, fast sinking, and hi-d sinking are similar colors for the lines themselves but the loops are as follows: Slow sink is light green, fast sink, white, and finally, hi-d, a dark loop. The super hi-d and intermediate lines are altogether differently colored (grey and light green) than the regular sinking lines(darker green) and thus easy to know what they are. Other manufacturers may use a different system, but I use my own, as I make my own and have systems for many line size rods. I also have a hybrid system that takes the shooting head system up a notch or two.
 

jayr

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I use a $15 label maker I got off of Amazon. It's nothing fancy, but you can adjust the font size so as to get as much info on a s small a label as will fit on the side of the spool.
 

iracmiller

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My reels and spare spools all came with reel cases which have a small, clear plastic pouch on the side. I note the size of the reel, line name and weight on the back of a business card and stick it in the pouch. As long as I make sure to put the reel/spare spool back in the pouch from whence it came, I'm good.
 

markfrid

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Similar to Mr. flyguy100, above, I use a Sharpie to mark near the end of the line. I use one tick per the weight. A #5 gets 5 tick marks, a #4 gets 4 ticks, etc. I use both WF and DT lines so I space out the tick marks to represent the taper. Example: ,, , ,, is a DT5 where ,,,, , is a WF5. ,,, ,,, is a DT6
and ,,,, , , is a WF6. It works for me. One day, if I'm ever lucky enough to live in a place where I get to fish a LOT, my system might fail since the tick marks eventually fade through use. No law against re-touching them, though.

Mark
 

GrtLksMarlin

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In that they are not that expensive (I suspect you could even use a wide rubber band), I utilize one of these (different brand) for each and every spool I have:



On most there is a specific spot to write what the line is on it. So when the spool is loose, the line is marked and the line not loose. Those spools on a reel frame I leave the line tender in the reel case along with it. When I take a reel out of its case to use, I put the tender in my vest or bag so if I swap out spools, the correct tender goes on the right spool, and whatever spool gets put away with the reel, it's tender goes in the case.

Lines off the spool I simply add a piece of tape to hold the line together, and it is marked.

B.E.F.
 

caberguy

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I have a spreadsheet. Though it would be nice not to have to go double check on the old cpu to figure these things out.
 

timd

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I mark all my lines with a magic indelible markers. The newer lines come already marked but I use my marks anyway. For example a 5 weight forward line gets one long line and two small ones. Longer marks are 3 and short marks are 1. A double taper 5 would be 1 short 1 long 1 short. I do this on both ends of the line when I first put it on the reel.
 

dillon

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I also keep a list of my trout reels and the line that they hold. The weight of the reel and the date the line was purchased is also on the list. i keep the plastic spool for each line, so if I switch out a line it goes back on the original spool. i got the idea for the list from someone on this forum, but I just can't recall whom...
 

silver creek

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The simplest way I know of for marking/identifying flylines is to use a permanent marker to put marks on either end of the line back from the ends a little in the following manner. Use a wide mark to designate "5" and narrow marks for "1", thus a number 8 line would have a wide black mark with three narrow marks close by somewhere a ways from the tip, in case you must cut back the tip to tie on a new leader butt. Putting a similar mark on the back of the line could also help. If you are using shooting heads, the thread color on the loop could be used for marking the size of line. For instance a Scientific Anglers #11 shooting head used a yellow thread, a #10, red. As for the sink rate, the loop color may be used for telling you this as the sinking, fast sinking, and hi-d sinking are similar colors for the lines themselves but the loops are as follows: Slow sink is light green, fast sink, white, and finally, hi-d, a dark loop. The super hi-d and intermediate lines are altogether differently colored (grey and light green) than the regular sinking lines(darker green) and thus easy to know what they are. Other manufacturers may use a different system, but I use my own, as I make my own and have systems for many line size rods. I also have a hybrid system that takes the shooting head system up a notch or two.
This marking system was invented by Lefty Kreh. Your method of adding different colored threads is genius.

Lefty also denoted whether a fly line was DT or WF by the direction of his marking. If the heaviest of the markings was closest to the tip, the line is a weight forward and if it was furthest from the tip, the line is a DT as in teh illustration below.

https://templeforkrods.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/leftys-line-marking-system/

 

timd

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Silver, the only problem I have with Leftys system is how do you differentiate a weight forward 5 from a double taper when one large mark = 5. I guess you could make 5 small marks for a double taper and one large for weight forward but then what about a double taper 4 vs a weight forward. This is the reason I use a large mark=3 and small=1. Lefty was mainly concerned with salt water lines and for that his system is fine, for lighter weights I like the one I use.
 

caberguy

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Silver, the only problem I have with Leftys system is how do you differentiate a weight forward 5 from a double taper when one large mark = 5. I guess you could make 5 small marks for a double taper and one large for weight forward but then what about a double taper 4 vs a weight forward. This is the reason I use a large mark=3 and small=1. Lefty was mainly concerned with salt water lines and for that his system is fine, for lighter weights I like the one I use.
Per the picture, it seems that WF would go away from the leader and DT towards it.
 
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