Fly Line Weight
Well, if you've come this far, I'm assuming you are interested in learning
more in-depth things about fly lines then what our basics section laid
out on the preceeding page. So, lets'
get started and dive right in to the wonderful, if somewhat confusing,
world of fly lines.
Understanding Fly Line Weight
As every angler knows, fly lines come in different weights? So....what
is the weight refering to. Good question. Here's the answer. All manufacturers
weigh their fly lines - and the measure of weight used is grains (there
is 14 grains in a gram, in the event you didn't know this well-known
Happily, probably realizing that America has no love affair with the metric
system, the manufacturers adopted a easy to remember "scale" to help
anglers quickly determine fly line weight. This scale runs from 1-14
(and, it should be noted, is occasionally being added to). The smaller
the number, the lighter the fly line is. And conversely, the bigger
the number, the heavier the fly line will be.
Well....thats' nice. Why do you need to know this? It's quite simple, really.
You see, the weight of the fly line determines what you fish for. In
other words, get the wrong fly line weight and you can watch your probability
of successful fishing slip away faster than snow under the Arizona sun.
Thus, before we can continue, we obviously need to know what fly line weight
is best used for particular types of fishing. So let's do that now.
Fly Line Weight Determines What You Fish For
Yep. The title says it all. Before buying that fly line from that nice
online store or your friendly fly shop, you need to know what you plan
on fishing for first. And the guide below will help you do just that:
- Fly Line Weight 1-3 :This weight is used if you will
be primarily fishing for small fish - panfish, very small trout or,
in somewhat rare circumstances, larger trout in very, very tiny streams.
- Fly Line Weight 4 : This weight works just fine for panfish to. But
also works well for all but the largest of trout. Best used on small/mid-sized
streams and where you don't have to make long casts.
- Fly Line Weight 5 : The "all-around" trout fisherman's
line weight. Covers virtually all trout-fishing situations you are
likely to find.
Works ok for smaller fish too - but not as fun to catch as on a fly
rod outfit that has a lighter fly line. This weight also works ok for
smaller bass fishing, particular smallies in rivers.
- Fly Line Weight 6 : Another good "all-around" weight for trout fishing.
Overkill for tiny trout and panfish - the stouter rigs needed for the
heavier fly line kills the fun out of catching small fish. But ideal
for large trout and all but the largest bass, too.
- Fly Line Weight 7 : At least here in Montana, you won't want to use
this line for trout fishing in a river. Instead, Weight 7 fly lines
are best used for larger, more powerful fish such as bass, smaller
salmon, and steelhead.
- Fly Line Weight 8+ : The fly line weights from 8 upward are designed
for very powerful, very large fish - saltwater and salmon species in
particular. If you fish freshwater, you won't have much call for this
line weight unless you chase the large salmon found in Alaska.
But....How Does Line Weight Relate to the Fish I Chase?
Ha....good question. But also, for once, an easy answer. Remember how on
the preceeding page it was mentioned that
the fly line itself is responsible for casting the fly? What this means
is that you need to be sure
to match up the fly line weight with the size of the flies you plan on
you fish. And the only way to really know what size flies you plan
on using is if you know what you plan on fishing for!
Thus, for example, trout flies generally fall in-between the range of size
0 to size 22, with the most commonly used hook sizes being 10-16. These
are small hooks - and the flies themselves are usually feather light.
As such, if you use too heavy of a fly line, what happens is that the
itsy-bitsy-light fly slams into the water propelled by the heavy weight
of the fly line.
This is, needless to say, not especially desireable when fishing for
trout! Moreover, not only will the fly likely slam into the water, it
probably will not be properly presented, either (landing upside down,
on its side,
On the flip side, lets' say you are chasing large, wary brown trout with
streamers. Hooks on large streamers are large - and the weight of the
fly itself is fairly substantial. If you start tossing that streamer
on too light of a fly line, you'll have zippo control. Oh sure, you can
make the cast, but the cast is highly unlikely to go where you want it.
And, just like above, all presentation is lost as well.
Remember, when you use too light of fly line weight for a heavy fly, you
are also using a light fly rod and a light fly reel (a fly rod outfit
consists of a fly rod, fly reel and fly line that all match - exactly
- in weight).
Because of this, not only is the fly line not heavy enough
to properly toss the
itself is not powerful enough
to properly power the fly line either! You thus have two strikes
against you before you even try to cast - not a good thing.
Well, that covers fly line weight. But, yikes, we aren't even close
to being done. You see, figuring out what fly line weight to use - and
why - is only the first step in determining the type of fly line to use.
The next step is Understanding Fly Line
Taper and how it relates to your
So onward, as we discover the exciting world of Fly
Big Sky Fishing.Com
Top of Page