Barrio Switch Fly Line

just out and designed to do everything listed below very-very well, i’ll add that as an added bonus it also brings a smile to every cast.
after playing with one of the prototypes for the last several months that last part is indeed subjective but that’s what really sums it up to me.

from Mike Barrio’s online page:Barrio Switch

The Barrio Switch floating fly line is a full floating line designed for two handed Spey and overhead use on Switch rods.

Many Switch lines on the market are sold as lines for both one and two handed casting, thus being a little light for two handed use and too heavy on a long rod to be comfortably managed single handed.

The Barrio Switch features a compound rear taper similar to our SLX single handed line, this helps to produce sharp controllable loops from dead line roll casts and allows more line to be carried into the D loop when we have space and the need arises. The head length to the colour change is approximately 30ft on the Switch and up to 6ft can be overhung for long range casts where required.

Barrio Switch Lines are designed to work well with poly leaders or 10 to 15ft heavy butted tapered salmon leaders. With the right leader set up, these lines will delicately present a micro tube on a long leader in low summer conditions, yet will also carry “heavier gear” for fishing bigger waters, high flows on spate rivers, or bouncing flies at depth for Pacific species.

The 7/8 and 8/9 lines will carry fast sinking 10ft salmon poly leaders, lengths of “T” tip material and moderately sized copper or brass tubes straight from the box, however if your fishing dictates that fast tips and big flies are usually the order of the day, then the line can be cut back by up to 18 inches from the tip.

Our 5/6 line will carry any density of trout poly leader up to 10ft in length and the 6/7 will carry 6ft to 8ft salmon poly leaders in any density and short “T” tips, plus long tapered leaders for fishing small flies to spooky fish in thin calm water.

Target head weights:
Switch 5/6 – 340 grains (approx 22 grams)
Switch 6/7 – 380 grains (approx 24.5 grams)
Switch 7/8 – 425 grains (approx 27.5 grams)
Switch 8/9 – 470 grains (approx 30.5 grams)

* Please note that our fly line profile diagrams do not include information regarding any compound tapers that we may have included within the profiles and that the dimensions may also vary for each individual line weight.

since i get asked all the time: Barrio fly lines are not available in any store but only through Mike’s online shop. not going through middlemen explains why they are all at more than reasonable prices and those prices include shipping anywhere in the World.
they are all highest quality premium fly lines more often than not better than any of the big-name brands in their respective category.
click the image to access the Barrio Fly Line page.

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the Tangle-Free Duncan Dropper

tangle-free dropper TLC 6-4-13
i came about this way to rig a dropper quite by accident sometime last summer. it was pretty dark and i was changing the tippet of the main leader and noticed while attaching it to the tippet ring with a Duncan Loop knot shown below (falsely named Uni-knot) that i had poorly judged the amount of tag end (something like 20-25cm / 8-10″…) and for some reason continued, finished and seated the knot. i obviously hadn’t planned adding a dropper and fly but this accident decided for me. in a “what the hell” mood i gave it a try, tied on a nymph and a few casts later caught a fish on that same dropper fly. good beginning.
as we can see, the Duncan’s knot slides along the standing line and seats itself against the hook eye. other than that the knot itself is basically symmetric meaning, in my eye, and after subsequent tests that that compared to a lot of other knots it’s equally strong whether it’s pulled in one direction or the other.
now, the funny thing is that this knot was originally intended to be a loop knot to allow the fly to move freely (read ‘falsely named Uni’ link above) but it easily slides towards the hook eye with a good pull or a good fish but it doesn’t readily slide backwards when pulling on the tag end. interesting.

sure, there are other ways of making droppers and this is just another option. with tippet rings one can just tie the dropper leg to the side of the ring similar to a Pater Noster the bait freaks use . without rings they can also be made by using a long tag end of a Blood knot or double/triple Surgeon’s knot. (i don’t use Surgeon’s because they seat overlapped and crooked. i know very well that it’s a very good, strong and reliable knot but i can’t stand the crooked presentation nor its messy ugliness… )
another method is to tie the dropper from the bend of the preceding fly’s hook bend and the whole rig stays in line. some call it New Zealand style. it’s a great method and nothing could be simpler but it can, depending on the upper fly and how it’s intended to ‘swim’, impede it’s action.

now, the tangle-free part. apart from the ‘off the bend’ or horrid Surgeon’s knot, they all tangle like crazy while casting, specially when casting mid to long range where we tend to false cast more and that’s a shame as it puts off a lot of anglers from using multiple fly rigs (when allowed by local regulations) because it’s a big pain in the ass to constantly untangle and maybe even more so because every drift that had a tangle in the system was a drift that might have put off the fish because the fly(s) where probably going sideways or even backwards all the while having a nest of monofilament mysteriously connected to these awkward imitations, something i’m sure most fish don’t feel too good about.

what’s so cool about the Duncan Dropper is that it rarely tangles if at all.

logic, for lack of a better term, would dictate that a dropper somewhat firmly held at a right angle from the main line would tangle less but it turns out that it’s the other way around. my guess is it has something to do with higher air resistance and the ensuing turbulences created during the casting stroke(s). just a guess that’s not important but what is, having the tag/dropper end come out parallel to the standing line from the knot itself takes away almost all hassles leading to more fun while fishing.
an extra bonus is this method allows us to fish much longer droppers than usual. 50-60 cm are no problems even with bigger flies such as streamers. the longer dropper not only takes the fly away from an online ‘symmetric’ presentation (with the other flies) but since the dropper is longer, the monofilament gives a more fluid/less rigid connection to the main line leaving the dropper fly to move freely thus more lifelike. the extra length of course means not having to redo the dropper after the consequent shortening due to changing flies as much as with shorter lengths.

this dropper does have the limitation of needing to be connected to a ring of some kind but it works equally well on either fly line end loops, monofilament loops (such as a Perfection knot or double/triple Surgeon’s (yuck) and even on furled/braided/poly-leader type leader bodies.
EDITbig D’Oh !!! moment happened later on today when i was out practicing and connecting the red Amnesia line as seen above to another piece. i had forgotten about the Duncan to Duncan knot and using this takes away the limitations mentioned above.
i use the D-to-D to connect mono when joining say, bigger to smaller mono diameters (the Blood knot doesn’t hold well unless the two materials joined are close or similar ex: 4X to 5X is fine but not so good  from  4X to 6X or 7X) and also to connect the finer tippets like 7X and 8X. knot1

i don’t know how i forgot this but there you go, it’s not limited to being attached to some kind of loop or ring. perfect !

as for its strength with a fish on, it’s not like we normally target the bigger, stronger species using dropper rigs but just as an example, a few weeks back i landed a very fit, hard fighting river rainbow trout of 64cm and the knot didn’t move the slightest bit.

to conclude, it’s not like fishing multiple fly rigs are a necessity. they do after all offer a few inconveniences (tangles) say, when landing a hooked fish, multiple hook ups can be a bit stressful to the heart (although fun as hell !) and of course, those who are fond of casting their flies into branches lose two or three flies instead of just one.

thing is, i’m more and more convinced that two or three flies get a fish to commit a lot more than with a single fly and this whether it’s a fish on its own or in groups where these flies might trigger a competitive reaction. something definitely worth trying.

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fitting into tight spaces

by Lee Cummings

over the last few years and among a whole lot of other things, Lee’s been doing a lot of research on shooting heads and more particularly, short, mini and micro heads to be used in the tightest of areas where other lines can’t deliver (pun intended), such as this little seatrout stream in northern England. Lee C's tiny seatrout stream

sure, the need for these is situation-dependant but it does give us the possibility to fish in areas we might generally pass. (and if we pass them there’s a good chance other anglers do it as well, meaning that fish who aren’t comfortable in high-pressure areas will happily congregate there)

without going into the micro-short, the set up below directly inspired by the Skagit school is a very good example of out of the box thinking even though it actually comes straight of a box without any cutting up, weighing, measuring or other fancy finagling. taking the Skagit concept and scaling it all down gives this, and that’s a good this !

“This awesome little set up is handy for fishing the tightest of the tight when it comes to available casting space.
The head in this example comprises of a 5ft Rio floating Skagit cheater coupled with the 1.5″ per second 15ft sink tip that came with the Rio Skagit system.
The running line is simple mono so as to offer minimum resistance and maximum range to this super short and deadly fishing shooting head.”

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Fly Line Selection: Head lengths, weight distribution and other goodies

continuing with the Fly Line series, today’s gem comes to us from Lee Cummings.LC Triangle SL Gathering

“One of the questions I normally ask a client whilst setting up his/her own equipment is “may I ask what line you are currently using there?” and secondly “what is the head length ?”

These are not trick questions, I just simply wish to learn about the clients mindset as to why they chose that line, or why it was recommended to them. Quite often the client remembers the name of the line manufacturer and even the model name and its AFFTA classification number, but there the knowledge of it often ceases.”

“If a line of inappropriate and excessive head length has been purchased, the angler “after some frustrations” does the sensible thing and only false casts out to a length which they can manage, sadly the outer most reach of their fishing is regulated by a head length issue right there.”

and that’s just a few snippets i hope will wet your appetite for more.

if you’ve ever gone out and bought a well reputed fly line and wondered why it wasn’t living up to your expectations you’ll find some very important thoughts in Lee’s highly recommends article. enjoy !

Getting Head Smart

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Tension Glasses

i remember Lee Cummings bringing this up several years ago and i’m pretty sure it’s still in the back of his mind.
the idea being, through high-tech chemistry and ingenuity, someone could devise a fly line that would change colors as it goes through various degrees of tension throughout the cast. the tension glasses would allow the caster or viewer to see these colors while the line is dancing in the air and as a bonus, look extremely cool and cause large amounts of envy by having shades no-one else has !

it’s easy to see how a visual back-up confirmation of explanations such as this would greatly benefit casters of all levels.
“With a beginner, one way I like to describe fly casting is to get them to imagine that the head of the fly line out beyond the rod tip is like a piece of bath plug chain of the same length and the typical objective of a normal overhead cast is to get every ball and link of this chain moving in the direction toward intended target area prior to ceasing to apply force with the rod.
If we don’t do this then there is the risk that the last few links/balls at the very far end of the chain were not fully utilized as available weight during the casting process and as one result, the leader and fly of which is attached may not be directed accurately at the target.”

tension glasses lee cummings

as per Lee’s ‘vision’ demonstrated by the photo-shopped image above, bright red would designate highest tension and i guess, bright blue when completely slack. (blue being at the opposite end of the visible spectrum for humans)

anyhow, somewhere right in the middle of downright absolutely f’n brilliant and something pulled from an old pipe-dream sci-fi flick, i fully applaud this kind of thinking and imagination because, even if it never really comes through, (but i hope it does ! this already exists so changing a few things here and there and transposing the idea to a fly line doesn’t seem so exotic) the idea might lead on to another way of achieving the same result, furthering the knowledge of fly casting without resorting to horrendous and boring charts, graphs and equations that have become the norm when discussing casting physics.

“I think if I ever get these glasses it would open up a whole new dimension to fly casting pleasure, actually seeing tension change with the eye would probably stand right by what we have actually come to learn what it is that we feel when we cast.”

for the complete Fly Casting seen through Line Tension Glasses article click this link or the pic. put on your shades and enjoy !

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Fly Lines: Taper Designs

with the hope the following article will help clear out a few ideas on fly line selection and since there’s been some recent comments regarding the use of level lines…, here’s an introductory excerpt on the hows and whys of fly lines tapers from Bruce Richards‘ seminal book Modern Fly Lines via Virtual Fly Casting.
as a reminder, Bruce was head line designer at Scientific Anglers for over 30 years. we can consider him to be the ‘father of modern fly lines’, “What Bruce doesn’t know about flylines, probably isn’t worth knowing. In fact some of what Bruce *does* know about flylines you probably wouldn’t want to know either.”

“Obviously, heavy and wind resistant flies offer more resistance to the fly line than light, small flies. Lines with long front tapers have less mass in the front section of the line than lines with shorter front tapers. Less mass means earlier acceleration, earlier dissipation of energy, and a more gentle, less powerful delivery which will effectively deliver small, light flies, like most trout flies. Lines with short front tapers dissipate energy less efficiently, resulting in a more powerful “turnover”, suitable for the heavier, wind resistant flies usually used for bass or saltwater fishing.

Casting into the wind increases the wind resistance the line encounters, and more energy is dissipated from the line than in calm-air or downwind casts. Lines with shorter front tapers, which dissipate energy less efficiently, work better for most anglers casting into the wind. When all else is equal, lines with longer tapers deliver less powerfully than lines with shorter tapers. It is the actual line weight that determines the range of fly sizes that can be cast effectively. A light line (2 to 5- weights) with a short, powerful taper is not going to throw big bass bugs well, because the line is just to light to carry the energy necessary to overcome the resistance offered by a large bug.

The primary purpose of the front of the fly line is to allow proper delivery of the fly and leader. The taper from the belly of the line to the tip acts to reduce the mass of the line. As the loop of any fly line travels through the air, the mass of the moving part of the line decreases because that part becomes shorter. In lines it decreases even more because the line becomes smaller towards the tip. This increases acceleration, resulting in greater Drag, wind resistance and greater Dissipation, and therefore a more delicate delivery.

It should be mentioned that the tapered leaders tied to the end of fly lines continue the dissipation of casting energy. If you have ever cast a line without a leader, you probably noticed it did not cast well. Lines are designed to be cast with leaders. A properly designed line will have just the right amount of energy left at the end of the cast to turn over the leader and deliver the fly. If a line is cast without a leader, it will ‘kick’ and be most difficult to cast. Lines are designed to be cast with a particular leader commonly used with that size type of line. A light fly line will be overpowered by a heavy saltwater leader; the line will not have enough energy to turn it over properly. By the same token, a light trout leader won’t be able to handle the large amount of energy a heavy saltwater line passes to it, and the line will ‘kick.’ Casting a level line with no front taper demonstrates very clearly how tapering effects the way a line casts. Even with the correct tapered leader, level lines ‘kick’ when casting because thy have so much undissipated energy left when the line straightens. To avoid the kick the caster must modify his or her casting stroke to reduce the amount of casting energy by slowing the line and by casting with a larger, more wind-resistant loop.

Level lines turn over very abruptly and land on the water forcefully because the energy dissipates poorly because the tip is just plain heavy without the line taper. Sinking lines are said to ‘hinge’ when cast; there is a significant change in the density where the floating and sinking parts of the line join. If cast correctly, a properly designed sinking-tip line does not ‘hinge’ but rather ‘kicks’ just as the level line does. The tip of a sinking line is very heavy and dissipates energy poorly. To compound the problem, lines with very high density tips are very small in diameter and offer less wind resistance even when the do finally accelerate. The key to casting these lines effectively is the same for level lines, namely to open the casting loop and slow the line down as much as possible.

The ability of the caster is important to consider. Lines with longer, more delicate tapers require good loop control and may be difficult for an inexperienced caster to use. There are lines on the market specifically geared toward beginning casters, lines with shorter tapers that dissipate energy less quickly during the cast. Most novices cast with relatively wide, open loops that are quite wind-resistant. If a line with a long, delicate taper is cast with this kind of loop, too much energy is dissipated and the line and leader will not straighten. With a shorter, more powerful taper, effective deliveries can be made even with less than perfect technique.

Instructors may often overlook the fly line a student is casting with. Ask the student what line it is they are using. This may be especially important when dealing with advanced or intermediate casters.
For example, many intermediate casters attempting to cast a line to 75 or 85 feet are simply unaware that in the case of a Weight Forward line, they must learn to control and understand what “overhang” is, and how it will affect their ability to control the line for longer casts. Overhang is simply the position of the rod tip in relation to the distance between the running line and the end of the rear taper. While experienced casters can control lots of overhang the intermediate caster should not attempt to cast with more than 2 or 3 feet of overhang outside of the rod tip. It is highly recommended that an approximate overhang point be marked with a permanent magic marker allowing the student/ caster a consistent “pick up” point that will promote greater efficiency when learning to cast a longer line. Again we turn to “Modern Fly lines” for a detailed description of why understanding “overhang” is critical.

A fly line is controlled by the tip of the fly rod, the angler’s last point of contact. The rod tip moves the part of the line that is in the rod tip, and that part of the line moves the rest of the line. For the rod-tip part of the line to move and control the rest of the line effectively, it should have enough mass to move the line connected to it.

A good caster can cast effectively with running line in the tip, however, if the line is kept very straight during the cast. Energy can be transmitted through the straight, small- diameter running line to the head of the line. But it usually desirable to choose a line with a belly that will insure the belly is at least very close to the rod tip during overhead casting, roll casting, or mending. In closing it is important to note that it is the fly line that delivers the fly to the target. Understanding how fly lines transmit energy to deliver the fly to the target is predicated on a firm understanding of taper design.”

EDIT– since publication of this article the Virtual Fy Casting site has been deleted/removed which also deleted the images previously added to this post.

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What is a double taper line for fly fishing?

as alluded to in yesterday’s post Double Tapered vs Weight Forward Fly Lines – Which is really better?, there’s an enormous amount of let’s say, less than informative information available on the net when it comes to explaining this or that about fly fishing, fly casting and basically fly-anything.
here’s a real gem in the rough in the matter. the poor guy is so lost at attempting to teach us something that he doesn’t know. it would be sad if it wasn’t so funny…. enjoy !

btw, it’s this.
and to get a little more technical, a taper is:
taper |ˈtāpər|

• a gradual narrowing: (click the link at the top of the page for Bruce Richards’ basic explanation of mass, weight distribution and other goodies and how they affect a fly line’s performance).
•diminish or reduce or cause to diminish or reduce in thickness toward one end : the tail tapers to a rounded tip | [ with obj. ] : David asked my dressmaker to taper his trousers.• [ no obj. ] gradually lessen: the impact of the dollar’s depreciation started to taper off .

ORIGIN Old English (denoting any wax candle), dissimilated form (by alteration of p- to t-) of Latinpapyrus (see papyrus), the pith of which was used for candle wicks.

hmm, it turns out that thanks to Mr. DT we found out that the word taper finds it’s origins in candles and we can use it when chit-chatting about trousers so, i guess it aint all bad.

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Double Tapered vs Weight Forward Fly Lines – Which is really better?

by Bruce Richards

constantly amazed that this subject is still an issue with so many anglers, on so may forums and by so many ‘experts’, i thought it might be of worth to pull up this article and let Mr FlyLine explain it himself.
of further interest we’ll note that the exact same principles of mass (or of more practical use,  diameter), tapers and lengths apply equally to leaders. a leader is to be designed as the continuation of the fly line and not an entirely separate entity.  what applies to line selection applies to leader selection. the two work hand in hand, so to speak, to enable the fly angler to meet the specific casting/fishing challenge at hand.

“Few fly line subjects have been discussed more than which is the better taper, double taper (DT) or weight forward (WF). The answer is, neither is inherently better, but one may be better than the other for you.

A lot of generalizations are made about these two tapers based on outdated or incorrect information. We’ve all heard that DT lines are more delicate, give better control, roll cast better, etc. In some cases some of these things are true, but not always.

Delicacy of delivery is determined by the mass of the front part of a fly line. This is determined by line diameter (which relates directly to mass), and taper length. A line with a small diameter tip and a long taper has much less mass up front than a line with a large tip and short taper. Don’t be mislead by taper length alone, a line with a long front taper but a large tip diameter will not deliver delicately. A DT and a WF line with the same taper and tip diameter will deliver the same.

For many years most DT and WF lines were made with the same tip diameter and front taper length so there was no difference in how they delivered, although many claimed there was. Today, some of the DT lines are actually designed to be used specifically for spring creek type fishing and do have longer tapers and/or smaller tips.

Anytime a line (or any product for that matter) is designed to do one thing very well it usually has a shortcoming somewhere else. Lines that are designed to be very delicate have little mass in the front to carry larger or heavier flies, and don’t handle windy conditions well. It takes a better caster to throw the kind of loops it takes to make these lines perform their best. And no, DT lines aren’t more “accurate” at normal fishing distances, that is entirely in the realm of the skill of the caster. Good consistent loops and practice are where accuracy come from.

It is very true that DT lines are easier to control and roll cast at longer distances than WF lines. At shorter distances there is no difference. The key to line control and roll casting is that large diameter line belly must be in the rod tip. If small diameter running line is in the tip it is nearly impossible to transmit enough energy through it to the belly to make the line do what you want. What many people don’t consider is that WF lines control and roll cast as well as DT lines at the distances most people fish.

Most WF lines have heads that are 35-40 ft. long. Add a 9 ft. leader and the distance to the fly from the end of the head is 44-49 ft. To that, add the length of the rod since roll cast normally end with the rod parallel to the water and pointed at the target. That is the distance at which DT and WF lines control and roll cast the same. There aren’t many typically trout fishing situations that require roll casts longer than that, and not many casters who can roll cast that far. What this all means is that DT and WF lines work pretty much the same at the distances we fish most of the time.

Certainly if someone fishes a big river that requires a lot of long distance roll casting and mending he or she should consider a DT line or a WF with a long head. Rods longer than 9 ft. are almost a necessity also, roll cast distance and mending performance is directly dependent on rod length.

Everybody knows that WF lines are better for distance than DT lines, but is that really true? Well, yes, but the difference isn’t as big as you might think. Certainly WF lines shoot better because of their small, light running lines. But remember, this benefit starts at 44-49 ft. when the running line is in the rod. If you will be making a lot of long casts it is certainly a little easier to do with a WF line, but don’t think that DT lines won’t shoot, they will, just not as far. With the advent of new slick coatings like AST DTs shoot better than ever.

For most people it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference which taper they use. Most of us fish at distances less then 44-49 ft. which is where WF’s start to shoot better, but lose line control. Most of us don’t have the need, or the ability, to roll cast longer than 45 ft..

So, how do you decide which is right for you? If you do mostly small fly fishing at short to medium range there is no reason not to get a DT line. There is always the budget issue, DT lines are essentially 2 in 1 so are less expensive over time. If you are consistently throwing long casts you will be able to make them with fewer false casts with a WF line, but lose the ability to do long roll casts and mends, if you ever need them, and are able. For most of us it doesn’t make much difference which taper we use most of the time, make your decision based on how much short distance fishing, or long range fishing you do.”

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Making a furled leader by hand (no tools or jigs)

nope, this won’t be the end-all leader solution for everyone’s needs but it’s for sure a good one to have in your bag of tricks.
what i like best with this video is that it shows us how easy, inexpensive and fast it is to create your own furled leader, hopefully inspiring enough to roll your own and try it out for yourself and experiment with different leader materials, their diameters, taper proportions and length to suit your own needs. have fun !

Amnesia-20lb-red-l  i’ll be trying this out soon with some highly visible Red Amnesia material for casting demos and courses as it can only make the already very visible leader even more visible ! pics to follow.

Fly Line Management in Flowing Rivers

here’s another fantastic article by Jim Williams via this month’s Eat, Sleep, Fish issue 12

ESF no. 12

What is good line management?… in part it refers to your control of the fly line during and after the retrieve.

ESF no 12 - 1

What part of the line am I actually trying to manage?… in this case and having deployed my cast at what ever distance & upstream angle, it is the trailing fly line that will occur from the retrieve as I pick up slack as presented to me by the moving current. 


apart from they’re always being brilliant examples of a well thought out process, what i like best in sharing Jim’s articles is that there’s absolutely nothing for me to add !
(except for, click either pic to access the full article and view the great explanatory videos Master Jim made up for us this month !)
enjoy !

a variation of the ‘Figure of Eight’ retrieve

as all fly fishers know, once the line’s out there we have to bring it back in one way or another and we don’t depend on our reels for this.
whether for retrieving the fly to impart some ‘life’ to it or simply bringing the line back in to cast it out again, some form of retrieve is necessary and to do this well (to avoid tangling the line or have it washed away by current) we need to find the right line management for the particular situation of the moment.

among many, the figure of eight retrieve is quite common and here’s a very clever variation of the ‘8’ as it not only brings line in at a regular speed (but nobody says you have to retrieve it at a regular pace !) but it’s all stored where we need it most: right there at our fingertips and not on the ground or water. particularly suited for situations where we’re fishing rather close (a non-conclusive example might be upstream dry or nymph fishing in rivers), here’s a great tip from Peter Hayes on how to combine retrieve and temporary line storage at the same time.

as a child, i was taught a very similar technique to the one below with the biggest difference being that the line was brought in between the four fingers instead of using the thumb. the inconvenience of this method being that even though we don’t have to twist our wrists as much, less line can be brought in and because of the narrower gap of the fingers it doesn’t shoot out as well but the basic principle is the same as the one below.

as Peter writes, this is a:
“Constant speed retrieve as an alternative to the standard figure 8.
Benefits. Very Fast, Never tangles.”

enjoy !

Gram to Grain chart

here’s something useful for those trying to make sense of fly line weights.
not exclusive to, but of particular use for the double-hand casters, here’s a quick reference chart that avoids finding a calculator and even worse, finding out what in the heck a Grain is and what it refers to in the real world…
feel free to lift the chart and save it somewhere in your files. hopefully this will prevent a few headaches !

Spectra and Super Braid Fishing Knot

via animated

at first look, the fly angler will probably think this of no use or something solely reserved the for the Anal-Angler, but ! what got my attention with this one was:
a lot of the smaller trout reel spools leave very little room for backing and even though it’s almost never i get to see the backing when fighting a trout-type fish i like to have some there just in case ! to make up with this lack of backing space i’ve been using very thin braided line from the luring/spinning industry as it’s incredibly thin for it’s strength. the connection to the fly line is a loop to loop with a loop big enough on the backing end to be able to easily slide a reel or line spool through it to be able to change lines quickly. now, what that leaves me with is a very fine, un-stretching connection connected to a much bigger and softer one. it hasn’t happened yet but i’m pretty sure that if enough force was put on this connection the thinner braid would just cut through in the manner a wire cheese slicer does. not good !
placing a sleeve over the braid as in the video below before making the big loop would keep the cheese slicing from happening and also make it easier to pull the loops apart when changing lines. good !
speaking of cheese, i’m off to have a quick snack and off to try out some new fly lines that came in yesterday. enjoy the day !

Typical North Country Spider Leader Setup

we’ve seen quite a bit on North Country Spider patterns and fishing techniques and here, thanks to Stephen Cheetham of Fishing with Style we get some greatly detailed  info and tips on general leaders setups for this method, with and without droppers.

a strong hunch tells me the knot above comes from commercial fishing, most probably used for ‘long-lining’ but it’s just the ticket for these leader setups and also a good one for dry & nymph rigs, particularly when using Reversed-Parchute  as the dropper cannot be attached on the hook bend. good stuff indeed, thanks Stephan !

be sure to click on the image to discover a lovely selection of flies and other goodies. enjoy !

Hair Lines

Horse Hair Fly Lines from Fly Fishing History

if anything, studying fly fishing history (or just plain history in general) is always worth a few wows, how did they’s and and a bunch of giggles.
in this informative article we get the lowdown on the origin of fly lines, how they where made (see the Machiavellical contraption below), their pros and cons and a few ideas on their performance.

” From Walton onwards, very few authors ever seemed to agree about the ranking of different colours of horse-hair, and to make matters worse, there was considerable dispute about what sort of horse the hair should be taken from. The consensus favoured stallions, given that mares’ tails became soaked with urine and were liable to be rotten as a consequence… “

click either pic for the complete article (and wear gloves if you try this at home). enjoy !

fly line testing (a postcard from Spain)

we’d already seen the making of a fly line and here’s a sneak preview of how they’re carefully tested and evaluated !
brought to you from one of the deepest-darkest of secret testing grounds/Barrio Team vacation camps in Spain, Mike Barrio himself  “well, doing what’s gotta be done because that’s what I like to do, besides, once it’s doned I can start all over again… “

” Just back from doing some top secret trials of a new fly line coating in Europe.
The coating appears to go very well on pretty stiff rods, producing tight loops and good distance !

if you’re not familiar with these lines yet, do yourself the favor of checking out the page below. yes, as Pro-Team member i’m quite partial but i wouldn’t be on the team  if i couldn’t fully endorse the products. they’re that good.

psyche-far out-delic Color-Changing nylon !

via Discoveries + Breakthroughs Inside Science

Nylon fishing line is designed to have some natural stretch to it. But if you pull on it too hard — which happens when fighting to reel in a particularly large fish– it can stretch so much that its structure is badly weakened.”

what’s more relevant in this issue and apparent to anyone who is 1- cognitive and 2- an actual fisher, is how stretch affects knot strength, the over-tightening and consequent weakening of the material by the over-eager, over-excited taurinesque Redbull filled angler being a much greater cause of break-offs than the actual rectilinear strengths of the material.
as seen on the image below, this particular knot is choked at  the standing line side and the remainder of the tippet has changed to a sickly, gross, Alien barf green, a sharp tug and Goodbye Charlie !

“HOW IT WORKS: The new fishing line contains a type of polymer that fluoresces — emits light — when viewed under ultraviolet light. The color of light emitted depends on how much stress the polymer molecule has experienced. When the line is not under stress, the molecules are close together and emit reddish-brown light under a UV lamp. When it stretches, the molecules pull apart and emit green light. A fisherman can check his line under UV light and discard it if it glows green.”

ok, so the first thing i’m thinking is, groovy.
trés groovy indeed but we’ve come to rely on a lot of other aspects in nylon selection that unless this maybe-future color-changing line has all the other qualities we require, we’re pretty unlikely to go out and change all our countless tippet spools for some material that’ll induce yet another anxiety to the fly fisher: the fear of leaders and tippets going Alien-barf green.

on the other hand, using this material to demonstrate that certain knots and connections are better than others would be a great boon for a lot of people.
as an example, we could prove once and for all how the Clinch knot (which i suspect is the contemptible knot above) is utter shite and improve humanity by banning it from the world in a somewhat same manner books where burned in Bradbury’s hot and sticky  Fahrenheit 451.

well yeah, fly fishing purity might just need to happen through fire ! :mrgreen:

click the knot-pic for more info on this new juicy line.

Hinging or Myth…

brillantissime Jim Williams once again !  Jim’s one of those big things that pays attention to the little things in life and here’s a doozy !

this time it’s about connecting loops:

(don’t worry and yes, that’s the WRONG way. it’s only there to hopefully peak your interest enough to click the pic to find the correct way once you’ve finished reading here)

but more importantly and the real gem of this article because hardly ever mentioned: loop size, monofilament stiffness/suppleness and how they all go together as a whole to create a flawless energy-transmitting non-hinging  connection. enjoy !

Single and Double Hand Fly Line Weight Charts

always good to have as references, these quick and easy to understand charts give us the low down at a glance.
if there’s any questions or confusion (specially with the Double Hand ) please leave your comment below and we’ll work it out.

Single Hand

Double Hand

the new kid on the block

just out to the public this week comes the next generation of long belly fly lines, one that will be present not only in future distance competitions but on any waters for the angler who wants maximum versatility. i’ve had the pleasure of using two prototypes since this spring and after a short ‘getting to know you’ period have adopted them full time as my floating 5wt lines. one’s for practice, teaching and demos and the other is reserved for fishing.
close-up, mid range or far, try as i may, i can’t fault them on any aspect.
as a last note, i’ll remind you that these lines are sold for 25£ (31€ or 39$) including shipping anywhere in the world, don’t hesitate.

some specs from Mike’s page

” The new Barrio GT125 longbelly fly line has been designed for distance!

The GT125 offers superb line control, stability in the air and turnover. Our new 73 ft head helps to achieve great line speed and the reduced running line diameter over the last 25 ft improves line shoot when pushing for maximum distance.

Our relatively short belly and front taper produces a line that will load a rod well at short range for “off the tip” casts, yet our long rear taper allows huge lengths of line to be aerialised under control.

The Barrio GT125 excels at distance and provides a real alternative to other top end distance lines currently on the market, but with one real difference …. it is a superb fishing line!

Barrio GT125 Weight Forward Profile
(front taper & tip: 10 ft) (belly: 22 ft) (rear taper: 41 ft) (running line: 52 ft)

Welding, Adapting, Looping and Single-Hand Shooting Heads

by Lee Cummings

Lee’s one of those rare people you meet once in a while that really thinks outside the box and comes up with brilliant solutions whether it be about casting instruction, fishing or tackle. forever on the hunt to customize and optimize his fishing and casting, he’s been working on short-short shooting head systems for the last few years and here we get a juicy preview on some of these findings and an awesome how-to tip for welding loop systems to these lines.
randomly cutting up some heavier line doesn’t mean it will handle well and turn over properly, and judging by the videos this system does both extremely well. this kind of set up is a real boon for anyone trying to fish in confined spaces, or with heavy wind and i’m thinking that they’ll be a big bonus for night fishing as well and all that whether your using aerial casts or rolls and speys: awesome.

” Short headed lines “around 20 – 25 ft” for single-handed use are not in production and I needed a short head that integrates the sink tip range into its total head length. The Versi leaders and tips I use are between 10 and 15 ft, so ideally I want shooting head bodies that are between 5 and 10 feet long. To enable this, we are going to need a reasonable amount of mass over a short distance to provide the driving impetus, my choice here in this example then, is to utilise the first 9 ft of a factory looped steep back taper off a damaged Scandinavian style shooting head and then weld a loop on the thick blunt end in the following way. “

as a little teaser, here’s Lee casting one of the above mentioned rigs-

click HERE for the full article, loop tutorial  and extra video. enjoy !

WF vs DT debate

via  Scientific Anglers 

“It gets a bit more complicated when people claim that a DT can pick up easier, can carry more line, can mend better, and the favorite, can roll cast better than a WF line.  All of these claims assume that you are fishing distances beyond the rear taper of the WF line.  If you are fishing distances less than the length of the Front Taper+Belly of the line, you are virtually fishing the exact same line.”

hard to disagree with most everything there. there does seem to be however a WF biased opinion not only in this article but how it’s reflected by the pretty lacking selection of DT’s on their catalogue. not having a search bar the site isn’t the easiest to navigate and as far as i can tell there’s only one very generically named line in the DT format: Floating

personally, as a general line for trout-type species in rivers and streams i find the DTs hard to beat because i’m often fishing behind the head length, specially if it’s a short head and i’m adding enough line length to perform curves, mends and drag-controlling slack.
being limited in how i fish by the line’s head length is about as obnoxious as it gets.
having the majority of the line’s weight at the rod tip for all the roll and spey casts i find absolutely necessary in river fishing makes them easy, smooth and pretty and easies, smooths and pretties are there for aerial casts too.
ok, with DTs we generally don’t shoot much line if any at all and for most people that’s a very good thing as far as fly presentation goes.
shooting line and being delicate and precise while controlling the running line with WFs is of course possible but demands more casting practice work than most anglers are prepared to put some effort in…
DTs aren’t the end-all solution to everything, nothing is. they are however a very viable option a lot of anglers might be happy to re-discover.

it’s a shame that fashion over reason has made them almost obsolete but some companies like the Barrio Mallard Double Taper Floating Fly Line and Rio and the S.A. line mentioned above give us a choice.
another non-negligable aspect is the average price of a DT compared to WFs. as an example, the Barrio Mallard is £19 each including free worldwide shipping.
who can beat that ?