Carol Northcut | Wednesday, 11 January 2023

No. This is not about second breakfast or elevensies. I was asking a friend about how to get the feel of “high and hot” on a longer pick up cast without a haul. His suggestion was to get an #8 shooting-head fly line, cut off the first 40’ and add heavy monofilament to the cut end to act as running line. Then try picking up with increasing amounts of overhang into the mono. He said that once you’ve got the feeling, you’ll never forget. Sounds like good advice, if nothing else to start playing around with lines. Problem is, I don’t want to cut up my #8 Big Nasty. So where do I find an old #8 shooting-head line? Fly shops have sale baskets full of old #3 and #4 lines or the odd #10. I’ll ask at my home shop if anyone has an old, beat-up one they wouldn’t mind parting with for $5-10 US. There are a few salties who take at least one trip to escape the long cold, grey winter. (I can only dream.) My friend then mentioned that some places sell “seconds.”

My initial Googling for places that sell “seconds” came up with only two places in the States. (There probably are others that Google doesn’t list.) These seconds are not actually seconds, or so I’m told. They are “factory overruns.” I assume that means the manufacturer made too many for an order, but that’s a guess.Or are they seconds, meaning a defect was found? In a YouTube video,, Rio assures they destroy lines in which any defects are found; they never sell seconds. I’m in the process of contacting another highly reputable line manufacturer and suspect they do the same.

Without knowing the manufacturer, how do you know what type of core is used or the profile of the line? I called one seller who claims to have factory overruns and asked. The customer service representative thought they are dacron core, but left me thinkinghe is not sure. Neither did he know the profile. I asked if he could mention the manufacturer and he replied they are not allowed to say. Well, that makes sense. For my purpose, it doesn’t matter because it’ll never see the water for fishing - warm, cold or otherwise. But for fishing, I want to know.

I called the second seller and asked about the taper profile of the DT line. He told me the name of the manufacturer and I could find the profile on its website. I was told the manufacturer makes lines branded for smaller enterprises. I looked it up and, sure enough, they list the type of core (braided nylon or dacron) and the profile. But here’s the deal, a friend sent me an article published in 2018 about a manufacturer who was pirating Rio lines on a second-party seller website, lines that were of an inferior quality, not only smudging Rio’s reputation but also resulting in a loss of sales. That changed my thinking. So, Ican get one of these no-name lines for $20 US which probably is good enough for my purpose. But, if the manufacturer might bethat disreputable, can you then trust any of what is advertised on the website?

A second-party seller is a bad idea for buying fly lines. Not only does it take more patience, but the pricing may not be that good.And if you buy a used one, you never know what you’ll get. As it says in the tail end of the article linked to, you get what you pay for.