Choosing a proper fly line

Choosing a proper fly line

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 13 April 2016

When you want to improve your fly casting skills choosing a proper fly line is quite important. As a fly casting instructor I have many different fly lines available in order to support every student's progress best possible.

The students of course enter my lessons with all different kinds of fly lines and fly rods. Depending on the student's fly casting skills and the line profile I often decide to change the fly line for most of the lesson. Also I may decide to change the fly line when the student's fly rod doesn't match well with the fly line.

For beginners I prefer to start with a short headed fly line. A head length of 25 to 30 feet often works excellent here. In addition I may choose to up-line one line weight (compared to what was recommended for the fly rod). If I up-line or not depends on the rod. If it's a pretty stiff one - that's when up-lining often supports beginners for a while. Having the head of the fly line in a different color as the shooting line helps me to see precisely what the student is doing - even from some distance. The color change also helps the student.

When starting to learn the double haul for a first time I prefer to change the line into one offering a really short and heavy head. A head length of around 20 feet and up-lined one or two line weights works great here. It supports a very fast learning progress. Once the student has the mechanism of the double haul available I mostly change back the line to a longer head.

Teaching advanced students I mostly prefer to have a head length of 30 to 40 feet available. If the fly line does not come in multi colors I like to mark the end of the head with a big black pen. Again this helps me to control the learning process even from some distance. It also often helps the student to have better control for many exercises.

Once the student is mastering a head length it really helps in order to support further progress to lengthen the head. For expert casters I prefer to have a serious long belly line or a DT available. These lines allow to aerialize more line length and thus support to further improve the important details of fly casting.

No need to say all fly lines should come in a bright color making the loops best visual.

When teaching fly casting I make sure to have a fluff (no hook) at the end of the leader. Depending on the taper of each fly line I choose the fluff to be little bigger or smaller. In addition I may decide for a longer or shorter leader. What I want here is a smooth turn over.

Offering fly casting lessons all this means I have a huge box full of different fly lines available. Would I expect a proper fly casting teacher to change the fly line in order to support a student's learning progress best? Yes, definitely. Having the right fly line available easily can make for a HUGE difference in learning speed!

What kind of fly line to buy when starting to learn fly casting?

Personally I would buy at least two lines. A) A line offering a head length of around 30 feet and b) a long belly fly line offering a head length of at least 50 feet. Line a) will help you to get into proper control of the line pretty fast while line b) will offer you to further increase your fly casting skills in long terms. Once you fully master the head length usually you will slow down in your learning process. If you are about to learning the double haul for a first time a truly short (and heavy) headed fly line will support you best. But it's fair to say this holds true for a first hour maybe. So such lines just support a fast start up in hauling. As I mentioned before as a fly casting teacher I want this to happen for sure!

Casty week to all of you.

All my best

P.s.: Yes, I know some fly lines are incredible expensive today. But for example Barrio fly lines offers great fly lines (different profiles and colors) for a fair price.

Some pictures from the past days.

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