The buying of the new line proved to be more of a pain than the cutting of the old one. In the 3 shops I tried there were only 4 coldwater 8wt floaters only one of which was actually an 8! There were few tropical or warm water "#8s" available, although I doubt any of them were actually the right weight either. There were some of the SA lines there, which although marked with an AFTMA number at least are honest enough to be labeled as overweight or have the grain weight on the back of the box. The drawers were full of Rio outbounds and Airflo snipers, so those 8s are 10s but even goung down 2 line sizes, they'd be no use for carp fishing- I want to make quiet presentations at relatively short distances. Hardly the place for a shooting head. It'd be like using a mash hammer to try and fit skirting! The real problem I have is that with a lot of the lines I had to get my phone out and get googling to check if the lines are actually what they say they are. In the end I went for the only true to weight line, the SA trout WF basically it's what now seems to be an old fashioned weight forward that is labeled right on 210 grains and it feels about right. It's fine and it'll do what I want. But I didn't really have a choice, just the illusion of choice.
I'm not a casting superstar, but I'm quite good and I practice often, I know what I like and I know that on the rod I mainly use for what I use it for, I want a 8 that is an 8. I don't want an 8.5 or a nine and I dont want a 7. I certainly don't need to put a shooting head on and pretend I've suddenly got better at distance casting. Of course there are situations where overlining can make sense, like fishing poppers to cover in the float tube. The thing is though, it'd be nice to be able to just pick up a line without having to check if it is what it says it is. Going in to the shop meant I could fish the next day, but it took ages and was quite frustrating because of all the googling. It was really bursting my tits, but buying online probably wouldn't have been any simpler as most shops I'm aware of still just have drop down selections by line weight number.
I'm not really that fussed about the need to change the system as I've heard some people talking about, the marketers would just find a way to skew whatever replaced the current one. I really just think fly line manufacturers should: a) put the grain weight under the AFTMA number on the front of the box, so that those of us who aren't just trying to buy a shortcut can easily see what we're getting. and/or b) maybe stop making everything overweight.