Lines for bamboo rods?

Jim Kelley

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I inherited a couple of old cane rods and over the years acquired a couple more. I'm clueless on line designations and would appreciate any help with the following.

One is an HL Leonard from about 1970--2 piece 7 1/2 foot. The "recommended" line is a 65ACM--what does that mean, and how do convert it to something like a 5 wt line? Should you use a forward taper line, or what's called a double taper line? What's the differences between those?

I have two other handmade rods, not famous makers, one of which recommends a DT 5 line,and the other a #4 line (doesn't say DT). What are the advantages/ disadvantages of DT vs today's weight forward lines casting a cane rod? I expect I'll mostly fish spring creeks with these rods, generally 10-14 inch fish, but some hit a pound or more.

More generally, where can you find these lines?

And how do you care for cane rods, beyond wiping with a damp cloth?

Thanks for answers, and any other tips about cane rods.

Jim Kelley
 

jayr

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There are many good lines for bamboo.

Not in any particular order:

Cortland 444 Peach

Rio LightLine

406 Fly line
 

Hayden Creek

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I don't know that line designation but can say this.
Lines are pretty personal as some will make the rod come alive.
I fish Rio Technical Trout on my bamboo rods. True to weight WF.

Rod care. Dry cloth not damp. I use a chamois. Store in it's tube with the cap off except during transport.

Last thing out of the vehicle, first thing in.
Don't twist when putting ferrules together. Line it up and go straight. Keep ferrules clean with a q-tip and a bit of isopropyl.
Hands close when putting together, slightly apart when breaking down.

Fishing Bamboo by John Gierach is an easy to read reference.
 

silver creek

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I inherited a couple of old cane rods and over the years acquired a couple more. I'm clueless on line designations and would appreciate any help with the following.

One is an HL Leonard from about 1970--2 piece 7 1/2 foot. The "recommended" line is a 65ACM--what does that mean, and how do convert it to something like a 5 wt line? Should you use a forward taper line, or what's called a double taper line? What's the differences between those?

I have two other handmade rods, not famous makers, one of which recommends a DT 5 line,and the other a #4 line (doesn't say DT). What are the advantages/ disadvantages of DT vs today's weight forward lines casting a cane rod? I expect I'll mostly fish spring creeks with these rods, generally 10-14 inch fish, but some hit a pound or more.

More generally, where can you find these lines?

And how do you care for cane rods, beyond wiping with a damp cloth?

Thanks for answers, and any other tips about cane rods.

Jim Kelley
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WNCtroutstalker

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Though I obviously can't see what's written on the blank, not sure that's a line recommendation. I believe ACM = Arthur C. Mills and the 65 is likely a model number. Perhaps try to search for some old Leonard catalogs for the particulars.

In addition to the lines recommended above, you also might look into the Wulff Bamboo Special and the Wulff Long Belly. Those two lines have identical tapers, the only differences are the colors and price (LB is $10 less).
 

LePetomane

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There is no set sequence for matching a line to a rod. Every rod is different. For example, one of my rods that the maker suggests a WF5 handles a DT4 beautifully. The 5 weight is too much. I would start out with a WF5 and work from there.
 

redietz

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I have two other handmade rods, not famous makers, one of which recommends a DT 5 line,and the other a #4 line (doesn't say DT). What are the advantages/ disadvantages of DT vs today's weight forward lines casting a cane rod?
The "DT" is to distinguish from a level line, not a WF. Many older rods specified one weight for a level line, and one (usually a size heavier) for a tapered.
The first 35 or so feet of a DT line are the same as the first 35 feet of WF (barring some specialty tapers). for the same line. Don't read it as recommending anything other than saying "5 weight."

That said, as other have pointed out, line weight is a personal choice. People's preferences have changed over the years, and frequently a cane rod rated for one line weight back in the day will feel more natural with a line one weight (sometimes two) lighter, especially if you're coming from graphite.
 

Bambooflyguy

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If you already have some modern plastic dry fly lines, cast those first. Weight forward or double taper work on bamboo. My favorite dry line for bamboo is Cortland Sylk, no memory and high floating.
 

LePetomane

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I haven't used Cortland Sylk in quite some time but the first time I used it, the line was sinkng by noon and the dirt was impossible to clean off. I was not impressed with it at the time. I hope they have improved it.
 

doraifurai

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I inherited a couple of old cane rods and over the years acquired a couple more. I'm clueless on line designations and would appreciate any help with the following.

One is an HL Leonard from about 1970--2 piece 7 1/2 foot. The "recommended" line is a 65ACM--what does that mean, and how do convert it to something like a 5 wt line? Should you use a forward taper line, or what's called a double taper line? What's the differences between those?

I have two other handmade rods, not famous makers, one of which recommends a DT 5 line,and the other a #4 line (doesn't say DT). What are the advantages/ disadvantages of DT vs today's weight forward lines casting a cane rod? I expect I'll mostly fish spring creeks with these rods, generally 10-14 inch fish, but some hit a pound or more.

More generally, where can you find these lines?

And how do you care for cane rods, beyond wiping with a damp cloth?

Thanks for answers, and any other tips about cane rods.

Jim Kelley
I inherited a couple of old cane rods and over the years acquired a couple more. I'm clueless on line designations and would appreciate any help with the following.

One is an HL Leonard from about 1970--2 piece 7 1/2 foot. The "recommended" line is a 65ACM--what does that mean, and how do convert it to something like a 5 wt line? Should you use a forward taper line, or what's called a double taper line? What's the differences between those?

I have two other handmade rods, not famous makers, one of which recommends a DT 5 line,and the other a #4 line (doesn't say DT). What are the advantages/ disadvantages of DT vs today's weight forward lines casting a cane rod? I expect I'll mostly fish spring creeks with these rods, generally 10-14 inch fish, but some hit a pound or more.

More generally, where can you find these lines?

And how do you care for cane rods, beyond wiping with a damp cloth?

Thanks for answers, and any other tips about cane rods.

Jim Kelley
I like the Cortland Sylk line best. I've tried the Rio line and other lines, but the Sylk has worked the best for my rods---Winston, Howells, Aroner.
 

ibookje

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Many bamboo fishermen like the lines sold by Hook & Hackle. They are very affordable ($35) and often on sale for just $25.

Made for the shop by Cortland and available in WF and DT. Very supple line and a tad thinner than then regular box store lines like SA, Rio etc.
 
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