line weight [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: line weight

05-04-2003, 05:54 PM
I am pretty much a novice fly fisher. I mostly fish small streams. I currently own a Scott G series 9' #5 line. Someone reciently told me that I could size my line down to a #4 for a more delicate presentation, and not change the way the rod handles by much. What do you think? Bushy

05-04-2003, 06:45 PM
I think you would be hard-pressed to notice a significant difference in presentation between a 5-weight line and a 4-weight line.

2 sizes - (e.g. 5 wt. vs. 3 wt ) - yeah, you would probably notice a difference - BUT it would be tough to cast with an oversized rod. I just don't think it would load the rod well.

I think more practice casting would be of more advantage to you, specifically working on your presentation and delivery.


Nooksack Mac
05-04-2003, 07:43 PM
You may really need a heavier line!
It depends on how small are the small streams you're fishing; more precisely, how much line is beyond your rod tip during a typical cast? Remember: rods are rated for lines based on 30-feet of line beyond the rod tip. If you're typically casting no more than 10-15 feet of line (and on tiny brooks, we often fish at knife-fighting distances with only the leader extended!), you'll load your rod better with a size heavier line - maybe even two sizes.
For the price of a new line, you can find a second-hand short fibreglass rod that can be your small-stream specialist. Some years ago I bought a first-generation Lamiglas graphite blank, 6.5 feet for 3-weight lines. Slow, soft, and out of its depth for 40'+ casts, it's perfect for really small streams. The blank cost $30.

05-04-2003, 09:28 PM
Mac, Don't know where I would find such a deal on a 3# rod like you did(I would love to!), but the other part of your response intrigues me. So you are saying that another way of making the SHORT cast(10-15ft) is to go to a heavier line. Would the theory be that the heavier weighted line would lay its self out sooner? Bushy

05-04-2003, 11:56 PM
I am going to second Bob K's post. I do quite a bit of small stream with a 5 weight. I am now working on different configurations of Leader / Tippet and am getting interesting results. You might try same as another option. The Tech / Research part of the sport is one I enjoy greatly!
Look forward to your results.

John Desjardins
05-05-2003, 08:39 AM
Welcome Bushy, The theory behind what NooksacK Mac is saying is that line weight is based on the weight of the first 30 feet of line. Manufacturers base their recomendations of a rods line weight on casting, outside of the tip top, the first 30' (or longer) of a given line weight. With your 9' rod & a 9' leader if you are fishing ~30' away from you are only casting ~15' of line. This means that there is less weight in the line to load the rod. If you use a heavier line you are casting more weight in the air making it easier to feel the rod load at short distances.

An alternate way to think of it is that a spinning rod casts poorly if you don't have enouugh weight on it but add a split shot and it sails out. Going up a line weight is that split shot if you are making short casts on a small stream.

Nooksack Mac
05-05-2003, 02:08 PM

Yes, it's true that a short amount of heavier line will load a fly rod for short-distance casting. You were concerned about delicacy: Most fly lines these days have tips of the same size (.038-.042") regardless of rated weight, so there's less difference in line splash than you might think.
As Deerhaawk indicated, leaders can also add a lot to your short game. With some custom tying, you can devise something like a 6-foot 6X, if that's what your small stream situation requires. A shorter-than-usual leader also means that you're casting a few feet more of fly line, the better to load your rod at short distances.

05-05-2003, 03:52 PM
everyone is right i fish a lot of small and larger streams with my 3 weight it helps to oversize your line for the shorter casts the rod will load much easier and it doesn't effect presentation much if you are fishing really tiny spring creeks than you might want to geta lighter rod some time in the future but not right away a five weight is perfect for you right now just practice.