Thursday, December 4, 2008

Note on Running Lines

The choice of running lines comes down to four; Braided mono or Polyurethane, Dacron core, mono core and mono. Each of the types of line has a very loyal following.

The Dacron core lines have a coating of either PVC and/or Polyurethane. These have been the choice for most people and many new finishes have helped improve the shoot ability and keep them tangle free.

Braided running lines are made of mono or Polyurethane. These lines are just strong and noisey but they do not wear fast. These lines out last most other running line.

The Mono core line also has a coating of either PVC and/or Polyurethane. These are gaining popularity with new finishes help to improve the shoot and keep them tangle free. Mono in all of its shapes, sizes and finishes is the number one lines for many people do to the fact it’s very inexpensive and shoots with ease.

I have a number of different lines that I use with my demo reels and have not found any one to be the cure all for everything. Running lines have some inherit faults do to the fact of how they are built. One of them is wear caused by many factors but one biggest is the fact they flatten out when the power is applied during the casting stroke (as do all fly lines). The flattening out (folding) comes from that fact that you have no inherit hoop strength do to the flexibility of the line. This folding is much like bending a soda straw until it kinks. You have forced all the bending motion to the side or flatten edged of the straw (same thing as over loading your SPEY rod or fly rod). This folding will in time cause micro fractures in the outside radius of the bend (just the same as the power fibers of fly rod) and cause a crack in the coating. We can improve the hoop strength but without sacrificing the flexibility of the line.... This wear point is usually at the tip over hang point and it a simple matter of cutting it off and making a new loop.

Let us look at the flexibility of line and why we need to strive to keep it flexible.
The flexibility helps in the shoot and also keeps the line from tangling. The birds nest at the stripping eye will drive you to distraction and every one blames the construction of the line. Could it be something else? Let us look at How we handle the line and how it is stored (the reel). Poor line handling is the number one cause of birds nests not the construction of the line.

Here are a couple of tricks I learned years ago from very good salt water fly caster who used nothing but cheap15lb test mono. When you strip in the line strip it through your fingers. This will take the micro kinks out of the line. Second make large strips, flake the line downstream of casting target line (if the current will allow) and take a step back when you are done stripping.

The Europeans have been using shooting line for more years than most. They made one very big discovery quite a few years ago and that was Larger the storage area of the line the bigger the coil set (coil set is the inherent memory that is put into the line do to drying, heat, cold tension and the circumference of the reel spool).

Competition casters for years would have the line stored on large wooden hoops and put it on the reel at the event. Some contest casters put a reel with no line on the rod and cast with line flaked out onto the grass off the hoop. All of these casters would stretch the line during the primary set up time.

So what can I do? Stretch the line through your fingers when you are taking the line off the reel. Make large strips through the fingers when retreivaing the fly. Watch where you strip the line making sure it will not impede the shoot.

I have been doing work with mono running lines for my Intermediate students and have come up with one fact concerning all running lines. To put is nicely Americans are in love with reel that we designed for silk running lines. I started working with two Mega Arbor reels. One thanks to Castaway Flyshop is the Opti Mega Loop 5.25 inch Diameter spool with a Circumference 16.50 inches and the other thanks to Carmon Galvan is the Galvan Torque 16 with a 5.50 inch Diameter spool with a Circumference of 17.25 inches.

Both of these reels are on the Try Rack and are being used weekly and I must say watching the line streak out from them without tangles is a joy.

No comments: