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Line heavier than rod?


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Remind me of what the suggestion is: do you go up a size on the line? Put a 6 wt. line on a 5 wt. rod? Does that work at any level?

I just got a 5 wt. rod from Cabela and have a 6 wt. line sitting around unused.

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Go for it. In the house, 6 on a 5 wt is overlining or outside the box. Flash, dude! 4 on a 5 wt rod is underlining or outside the box. Flash, dude!


WHAT THE HECK! Try that 6 on the 5 wt. If you feel the difference, buy the 5 wt line. Send the 6 line to me and I will find it a good home. :wacko:

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some times a line heavier works fine. sometimes a line heavier makes the rod a little doggie. it just depends on the rod and the line as well. since you have the line and just got the rod try it and see what you think. timohty troester

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Going all the way back to the days of fiberglass rods I've overlined all my rods by at least one line weight.While not necessary for trout fishing with its small flies & typically shorter more delicate casts a heavier line turns over the larger flies/longer more powerful casts for warmwater /saltwater gamefish. It'll also cut thru the wind better.Lines that have come onto the market in recent years such as Rio&Clouser are 1/2 wt heavier,ie a 5 is really a 51/2 etc .so for them it's probably best to stay with the designated weight line.I've always found that flyrods can handle more than one line wight nicely & should've always been labeled to reflect that.The only one I've ever seen that did is my 6wt 20 yr old Powell that's rated for either a 6 or 7wt line on which I use a 7.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It "works" the same way a spinning rod can throw different size jigs and a little kid can toss a brick--a range of weights can be used but some are more optimal at certain distances (and some other circumstantial variables; e.g. in jig fishing, depth or wind; mending, wind, etc in flyfishing). The rating on the rod is a recommendation of the best weight of line to load the rod. The line weights, while comments above suggest are not standardized, are built around a set of semi-standard "ranges" of weights for the first 30' of line minus the level tip portion. So, just like an ultralight panfish spinning rod can toss a 3/8oz jig, just not very far, while a muskie rod can throw a quarter ounce a few feet, but you might not feel it, any fly rod can handle a range of line weights.


Overlining= good for loading rod in-close, short casts, or using slightly bigger flies


Underlining = good for carrying lots of line (taper-dependent though) for longer casts (Left Kreh often touts this point)


"Same"-lining (using recommended #) = best all-around line weight for diverse conditions and mid- to long distance casts


So you have to think about where and how you usually fish on the fly. If you never cast more than 40-50', you will probably be very happy uplining by one size (or using the "1/2" size up lines as mentioned in other posts). But rod action matters a bit, as whippy/noodle-like/medium action fly rods might feel out of control with even a one size increase, whereas the same line would feel perfect on a stiffer, faster stick.


For fun, rig up a few different spinning rods with your fly line and hold them at the top of the grip where it meets the blank. Make some casts on the lawn or water, and you'll be breaking these cognitive barriers to understanding how rod-loading works. All of these things are still governed by laws of physics, not by the marketing policies of gear manufacturers. NOTE: I don't recommend actually fishing fly lines on spinning rods, just an afternoon experiment. My 5'6" UL spinning rod slings a #6 fly line nicely ;)


So rig it up and go fish!

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  • 3 months later...

Any decent rod of modern vintage should be able to comfortably throw a line a weight above or below the rod's rating. Try it out and see how it feels.

Just as important as the rod, is the flies you normally cast. If you tend to throw larger or weighted flies, the five weight line may give a bit of trouble.

The weight of the line not only carries itself, but has to turn the fly over.

I try to keep the line matched to the rod, simply because as stated by Tim A, best all around for diverse conditions.

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