Beat Up Crappy Old Fly Line [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Beat Up Crappy Old Fly Line

03-19-2001, 08:30 AM
I have a 5 wt. floating line that is so old I don't know if I bought it or my dad did in the 60s. It casts great and still floats. Wondering, anyone else still use something like this? What is your criteria for trashing a fly line?
I know the thrust lately is to buy buy buy, or promote promote promote, depending on where you stand in the big business of FF. But does anyone use crappy beat up anything anymore? Hey Gregg Estey, now that your famous, big fish catchin, junky reel has been donated to a fishing club, are you still my hero of junk? Or have you been reformed into all new stuff?


John Desjardins
03-19-2001, 10:27 AM
Not being able to throw anything fishing related away, I prefer to say they have been retired, rather than trashed. That said I have retired a pair of lines. My criteria has been performance related. One was a six weight intermediate that, sank fast when I wanted it to float and floated when I wanted it to sink. It ended up being replaced with a floating line and on a separate spool a sink tip. The other line I've retired is a four weight floater that lost its plasticizers and became very hard, and kinky.

Now on the beat up, crappy tackle question, yes I use it at times. It's tackle that is proven and I have a high level of confidence in its abilities.

03-19-2001, 11:44 AM
Terry brings up an interesting point. As a kid & struggling adult, I only bought 2 lines for 2 rods which lasted me about 8 years. Now, when I have the $$, I buy a new line whenever I feel it isn;t meeting my expectations. This equals every 1 - 2 years.

For freshwater, don't dismiss the WF Cortland lines sold at WalMart for under $12.


03-19-2001, 01:29 PM
I keep stuff until it is exceptionally clear that it will no longer perform it's task - ie a floating line that behaves like a full sink line. I fished my fished my SA striper line all season last year despite serious cracking that cut my fingers unless I used a finger sock. That line went with the reel in the trade so I'll be getting a new one this year.

For SW this year I can no longer be your junk gear guru Terry. The reel was traded, the duct tape rod is now a back-up, the cracked line is traded, and all I've got left is the cracked sink tip that doesn't cut my fingers. On a brighter note I still have and use my first freshwater reel - a martin single action with an randomly alternating click/freespool and a seriously warped/bent spool. I also have my first rod - a seven weight berkley with a broken tip fixed with epoxy and a heavy duty paperclip. Oh yes, I am still a cheap bastard.

Norm M
03-20-2001, 02:32 PM
Hi Terry,
I have a floating line that my dad bought me for a fiberglass rod I made back in the late 60's(pretty lousy looking rod but hey I was only 9 yrs old). I still use the rod and line(still on a vintage pfleuger auto fly reel) almost every evening during the summer for smallmouths and rainbows on a lake in NH. The line and rod still cast great at 30+ years old and hundreds of days fishing. Sometimes I get a funny look from other flyguys when they first see the outfit but after they see a few fish caught and released the funny looks go away. Last fall my neighbor on the lake gave me an old Wright and McGill with a circa 50's Ocean City fly reel that belonged to her late brother, so the W&M may take some of the fishing pressure off the old home made this summer.
My salt outfit is more modern but still junk. Maybe you noticed, when we met up during the fall run last year, that I didn't exactly resemble a picture from an Orvis catalog. Having fished side by side with guys having equipment worth hundreds, sometimes thousands of $ more than mine, it doesn't seem to effect the number or size of fish caught and catching fish is what it's all about for me.
If it ain't broke I don't replace it.

Tight(crappy old)Lines

03-20-2001, 04:45 PM
The durability of fly lines is one of the great things about flyfishing. When using spin or casting gear, a fray or a twist in the line usually results in changing the whole spool to keep the casting ability up to snuff. This leads to several spool changes a year depending on how much you fish, what you use (spinners for instance), where you fish (jetties?), etc. That's a ton of dangerous nylon snares for birds and other organisms in the pretty places we like to fish. I wish more people would use the recycling bin at sports stores, or at least put the monofilament line snarls in the trash!

A fly line usually lasts me several years, with the exception with some that have been cracking to pieces on me lately... but the manufacturers make good on their warranties and I've had them all replaced with new lines.

03-20-2001, 05:51 PM
The other aspect of this is that it's actually cheaper to buy a $50 fly line and take care of it than to replace mono over the same period of time in most cases, or so I would wager.

03-20-2001, 07:02 PM
For what its worth -- If you look at canadian pricing you will see that some prices are very close to the US.$ but you in the States have a tremendous advantage with a dollar that I have to use a 1.57 factor to 1 to make a U.S. purchase. EXAMPLE $10.00 US. times 1.57 = $15.70!!
Where it sometimes dose not make sense we will pay the same price for some items in Canadian $,s as the U.S. price. Whose doing it to Who?
Some good buys for you in the Canadian market place


03-21-2001, 06:49 PM
Great story! Someone gave me an old crappy fly rod from the sixties. On it was a beautiful Ocean City Aluminum reel. Very nice. I'll snap a picture of it and show you. Not sure what to do with it. Seems to have a decen drag. Oh ya,
season before last I got my first 4 Albies....on a 60s USA Pflueger Medalist. Worked fine. I think drags are over emphasized (of course I don't hook huge stripers regularly like some people).


Norm M
03-22-2001, 01:40 PM
I'm using an LL bean GQS(discontinued model) I picked up at their outlet store for $50, fair to lousy drag(3 yr old 350gr line) and an old corroded Pfleuger medalist supreme, lousier drag(7-8? yr old intermediate line). Both of these have handled a bunch of what I consider big(15-35lb) stripers and a few blues 10-15lbs, the blues and the larger stripers just required extra finger pressure inside the spool to help slow them down a little. I only fish the north shore, NH or Maine so unless global warming really kicks in I don't have to worry about the speedy little tunoids swimming this far north and spooling me.
The Ocean City reel on the W&R I was given also has a drag that seems OK for a reel that old. Maybe it's a similar model to yours.

03-23-2001, 05:03 PM
I just inspected an old Gladding sinking line I've had for more than twenty years, and was thinking about retiring it, but it seems to be in good shape except for a few small cuts from the ends, so, it stays. And, I'm still using my Pfleuger 1498, among others. I guess I go the way John and others do, in not being able to get rid of anything fishing related. On the subject of relatively new stuff, I still have reels to be spooled up...

03-23-2001, 05:40 PM
Hey guys I hope the manufacturers don't catch wind of this... the premium prices we pay for flygear might never come down!

I'm kidding, if anything it speaks to the value of quality things.

The first flyrod I owned was passed on to me - and I passed it on to another. I'll bet it's still catching kibbies somewhere out there...