Flylines: The Afterlife

Flylines: The Afterlife

Matt Klara | Sunday, 10 April 2016

I enjoyed hearing about how some folks like to clean and store their flylines. Of course, Lars has a label maker. Don’t worry, mate, so do I. This sort of cleaning and maintenance is critical to maximizing the life of a line, the price of which seems to go up every day. But the reality is that flylines are a product with a limited life. Under regular use, a couple of seasons is a typical life. Under hard use (think fishing guides) lines typically won’t even last a full season.

I hate throwing out old gear of any sort, so a long time ago I started hoarding my old, worn out flylines.  I noticed that, in reality, only a small portion of a flyline actually wears out, but that wear renders the remainder of the line somewhat unusable.   Aside from a number of household uses for old lines (it’s just expensive string, after all), I started repurposing the un-cracked sections of the old lines by braiding them up and making lanyards for myself. Worn around the neck, I find a lanyard handy for holding my nippers, hook hone, and a spool or two of tippet while I fish.  Obviously, one guy doesn’t need many of these lanyards, so I started giving them away to my fishing friends.  People seem to like them.  There is even a company now that makes these things, along with keychains, sunglasses retainers, coasters, and even dog collars.  I’m not sure where they get their lines and if they are used or not, but I’m all for repurposing anything that might end up in the trash otherwise.

This winter I got really cranked up about making used flyline lanyards and carved out a corner of the fly tying workshop for making them.  Like fly tying, I find it therapeutic to make lanyards.  It’s a great activity to do while watching the ball game - especially cricket, which I still don’t quite understand despite a colossal effort by my Aussie friends to explain it to me.   In any case, I’ve used up nearly my entire supply of old lines, my friends are all sporting new lanyards, and I might even try selling a few at my local flyshop this summer. 

Take Care & Fish On,


PS - If you really want to see which flylines and brands are the most durable, make a lanyard out of them.