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Thread: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

  1. Default How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    I bought a 10wt fly rod recently and measured it based on a rating system that supposedly indicates it's effective rod number - it registered about a 13wt instead of a 10wt. But it casts some Orvis 9wt fairly well. I picked up a bargain on some Orvis WF 11wt (looks more like clothesine rope) and although I was able to cast it, the loops seemed to "sag" towards the ground both in front and behind me with more of an arch than being straight out. And I was working hard to keep from dropping the tip.

    Can I assume the line might be a bit too heavy for this rod or would it mainly be my poor casting ability? I can keep the line horizontal pretty well with lighter rods including a my 9wt. But all of those rods pretty much measure up to the exact rating that's listed for those rods - just trying to figure out if it's me, the line's too heavy for the rod, or if heavy fly line is just hard to cast to begin with? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    The longer you've been casting a fly rod, the easier it is to cast the different weights. Experience certainly counts for something! However, it does sometimes take some time to get used to a new rod, especially if it's vastly different in weight than what you're used to since your timing is going to be different. The distance you're attempting to cast will also make a difference.

    Heavier rods are more difficult to cast, primarily because the line weighs more. I only had a 6 wt for a long time, and first time I cast a 10 wt, it took a bit of getting used to. I can cast my 3 wt, much easier than my 6 wt. although I really do not have much difficulty with any rod weight at this point. (45 years of fly fishing!)

    If that rod is rated for a 10 wt line, then chances are, it will also cast a weight heavier, or one weight lighter. It should not be so far off that it will work well with a 13 wt line. However, again, experience will make a difference as to how well it will cast each line size. With the 11 wt line, if your timing is off a bit, it may seem like that heavier line is wrong for the rod. It of course could be, but the only way to really determine that it to compare it with another line, like a 9 or 10 wt. One or two casts may not do it either, since it could just be a matter of timing.

    I also have a 10 wt rod that casts either a 10 or a 9 wt pretty well, so I use both size lines with it. This works well for me, and that's the real bottom line with any rod & line combination. I've never tried an 11 wt line with it, so don't know how it might cast it. Really see no need to try it.

    Once you determine which line works best for you with that rod, then that's what you should use with it regardless of it's rating.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    I agree with Big Jim.

    Basically, you have to just try them. The CCS system doesn't work for me because it doesn't reflect how I actually cast when using the rod.

    The line weights that work for me with my rods are either at or lower than what the rod is labeled at by the manufacturer even when the CCS system labels that same rod 3 weights higher. Like yours, mine are typically rated by CCS as 3 weights heavier.

    If the 9 wt line is close, then I'd try a 10 wt when you get the chance.

    PS out of curiosity, what rod and model is it?
    Last edited by wjc; 11-02-2011 at 02:24 PM. Reason: afterthought
    http://www.miterclamp.com/Images/N_Amer_FF.jpg Cheers, Jim

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by wjc View Post
    PS out of curiosity, what rod and model is it?
    I'm curious as well. Most heavier rods I've tested seem to test out pretty close to the stated weight. They don't generally turn into big fibbers till you get down to the 5 wt. rods.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    I would say to try casting shorter lengths of the heaveir line and gradually work your way up. Try 15 ft of line first rather than ripping off 30 feet as the starting point.
    Regards,

    Silver



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

  6. Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by wjc View Post
    PS out of curiosity, what rod and model is it?
    It's a Colton Tradewinds UD82 10wt. They have a big following on the Stripers Online forum and since they were 40% off right now I thought I'd take a shot at one. It has a rather stout saltwater butt section which is what I wanted for salmon fishing here in Michigan.

    Most of the fly guys on our main salmon river here seem to use 8 wts and when they hook a fish, they have to pull anchor and chase it all over the river trying to land it. I want to just sit in the boat and after I'm done playing, I want to turn them towards the boat and reel them in. I also bought their Colton Torrnet 911 fly reel - it makes my Ross Canyon 5 look like a toy!

    I can't find my Umpqua fly line checker at the moment to verify the 11wt line is really 11wt but man that line looks thick!

  7. Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by tpcollins View Post
    I can't find my Umpqua fly line checker at the moment to verify the 11wt line is really 11wt but man that line looks thick!
    Finally found my Umpqua line checker and this line weighs in at a solid 13wt - no wonder I had trouble.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    I have never heard of this line checker. What is it and how does it work. I have a drawer full of lines I never bagged and marked and I now don't have a clue what weight they are.

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckfluffer View Post
    I have never heard of this line checker. What is it and how does it work. I have a drawer full of lines I never bagged and marked and I now don't have a clue what weight they are.

    Mike
    I've seen these before but never knew if they actually worked.

    Umpqua - Umpqua? Fly Line Scale
    The best way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How do you know you have the right line for your rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckfluffer View Post
    I have never heard of this line checker. What is it and how does it work. I have a drawer full of lines I never bagged and marked and I now don't have a clue what weight they are.

    Mike
    I have used this system to find out what they are in the past. Hopefully there are a few U.S. pennies floating around over thee if you decide to try this. I never made the fancy stand, and just used the cupboard door handle.
    http://www.common-cents.info/part4.pdf

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