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Stretching fly line


Jonn Graham
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And does Mr. Graham agree or disagree with what Airflo has to say about the stretching of the fly line?

 

Personally, I never stretch mine. I did it once and it just seemed like a big waste of time to me, time which could have been spent on the river.

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Let me rephrase what I said above...........................I don't stretch the line as I normally forget about doing it before the trip or during the trip. I am normally so mentally psyched just to be on the water that I am not thinking about stretching my line. Any one who has fished with me will understand what I am talking about.

 

I do clean my line before every trip using Rio's Wondercloth......................simple and easy. Get the cloth wet and run it over your line. Cleaning takes approximately 1-2 minutes.

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A coiled line will not shoot through the guides smoothly thereby inhibiting the cast's efficiency. You don't have to straighten the entire line,only the portion actually coming off the reel depending on how long you're casting.The minute or 2 spent straightening it by puilling on it between your hands before starting to cast will definitely make for better casting.On lines that tend to coil(Airflos don't) it should only have to be done once per outting.If it coils repeatedly get rid of it.

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When it comes to fishing, I only stretch the truth, and rarely the line.

You nailed it Rob. :)

 

I have not stretched the line since switched to large arbor reels. Even back in the small arbor reel days, all I did was striped enough line out, casted downstream, and let the current did the work.

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As I mentioned in another post, if you have a low-memory core and softer coating (as coldwater and some other freshwater lines have), you don't have to stretch the line. That doesn't mean that same line will perform well in all conditions. It also doesn't mean that warm weather/water lines, most intermediate lines, and especially tropical saltwater lines don't need a stretch in many cases. They do.

 

A great, short source on this topic (by Bruce Richards of 3M/Sci Anglers, FFF, & author of "Modern Fly Lines") that summarizes some of the points I've made recently:

http://midcurrent.com/gear/fly-line-memory-and-stretching/

 

I'm also for stretching the truth when it comes to fish tales, especially in tropical conditions ;)

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Tim, nice article, thanks for posting.

I met Bruce Richards (author of that article) one time and he was kind enough to answer some questions I had. This guy IS SA development and really knows his stuff. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak about the subtle differences in tapers, definitely worth a listen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been trying to remember the last time I had a fly line coil up. I have had lines crack, loops pull out, or just get dirty. Now what I have had to stretch are mono leaders, hand made and pre made tapered leaders. It didn't seem to matter what brand they all have some memory from being coiled up on a reel, or in the package it came in. It was no big deal to attach the leader to a tree branch and give it a good stretch with a good steady pull. Their is one thing I always try to do is clean my fly line whenever I fish and I may clean the line more than once depending on water condition, dirty water = dirty fly line. Take a old sock and make yourself a cleaning kit. I like glide ,the 3M cleaners for fly lines even some pads. Carl

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I have been trying to remember the last time I had a fly line coil up. I have had lines crack, loops pull out, or just get dirty. Now what I have had to stretch are mono leaders, hand made and pre made tapered leaders. It didn't seem to matter what brand they all have some memory from being coiled up on a reel, or in the package it came in. It was no big deal to attach the leader to a tree branch and give it a good stretch with a good steady pull. Their is one thing I always try to do is clean my fly line whenever I fish and I may clean the line more than once depending on water condition, dirty water = dirty fly line. Take a old sock and make yourself a cleaning kit. I like glide ,the 3M cleaners for fly lines even some pads. Carl

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I never cleaned my lines like I should have in the past until someone pointed out how much better the line shoots and doesn't stick together when it's coiled up ready to cast. I clean them ritually now before I fish, warm water fishing really does a number on lines.

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I have been trying to remember the last time I had a fly line coil up. I have had lines crack, loops pull out, or just get dirty. Now what I have had to stretch are mono leaders, hand made and pre made tapered leaders. It didn't seem to matter what brand they all have some memory from being coiled up on a reel, or in the package it came in. It was no big deal to attach the leader to a tree branch and give it a good stretch with a good steady pull. Their is one thing I always try to do is clean my fly line whenever I fish and I may clean the line more than once depending on water condition, dirty water = dirty fly line. Take a old sock and make yourself a cleaning kit. I like glide ,the 3M cleaners for fly lines even some pads. Carl

Thanks Carl for reminding us to clean the fly line. As I don't do it as often as I should also.

 

To get rid of the memory of a new leader, I normally rig the rod with the new leader and a fly at least one night before fishing, keep the fly on the hook keeper of the rod and let the rod stretch the leader over nigh.

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To get rid of the memory of a new leader, I normally rig the rod with the new leader and a fly at least one night before fishing, keep the fly on the hook keeper of the rod and let the rod stretch the leader over nigh.

 

and of course then I get a nice L shaped bend and kink in my leader at the tip top. If I remember to pull my fly and leader down further and under my reel foot and then back up and hook it on my stripping guide, then the fly line will be bent on the tip top and not my leader, of course I almost always forget to do this. Doh!

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and of course then I get a nice L shaped bend and kink in my leader at the tip top. If I remember to pull my fly and leader down further and under my reel foot and then back up and hook it on my stripping guide, then the fly line will be bent on the tip top and not my leader, of course I almost always forget to do this. Doh!

You can always pass the leader over the reel's spool rather than the foot to avoid a hard kink (and potential damage) in the leader. And, of course, the fly line should straighten with quick tug. ;)

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I always try to make sure that I have some fly line outside the rod tip. It just lets me ready to fish. I then will pass the leader down and around the reel hooking the fly to one of the guides where depends on the length of the leader. This practice will always means you are ready to fish. I don't always start with a fresh leader but what I will do cut the leader back a bit and Tie on a new piece of tipet material. Carl.

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