Drew C.

Rods, lines, musings, rants

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This past Saturday started a 4 day stretch of me being off and I had big plans to fish. Well, a positive rona test changed that (my wife was sick (really sick) last week). Since I didn't/don't feel all that bad I took the time over the weekend to go thru all my rods and lines and mess around. I've been wanting to do this for a while.

 

I've pretty much always used shooting heads in the salt and while it worked for me for what I do up here it also caused me to have several casting issues which were exposed during my prep for Florida. I have a bunch of rods - Burks in 7-11, CTS (from HL) in 7-10, T&T 11wt sextant, my 25yo SP+ 8wt, and a Sage X 697 that I made. 

 

The Burks and the Sextant are pretty spot on for lines (lines are tropic type stuff, so longer heads). They're also good for the traditional +1 for a shooting head. The SP+, which was a past favorite of mine is close but a little off, lets call it an 8-9. The CTS 7-9 are all off, they need one line wt more but the 10 is good with a 10. So that means that both the 9 & 10 need a 10 line. They're not exactly the same but both cast well with a 10. The Sage X 6wt, that rod sucks and blows as a 6wt, it needs an 8 at least and maybe a 9. I've had other Sages along the way and they've also been like that. At this point eff Sage, they need to get their **** together.

 

Lines... I have a bunch of tropic type stuff. Flats lines, permit lines, tarpon lines, etc. I think, at most, they're 1/2 size heavier. Across the board they pair up properly with the rod. But for striper type lines, they suck. I have several Rio lines, all with 30' heads, all are amazingly overweighted. Try a 9 on 9, 10 on 10 - complete mush. Even using the 10 line on the 11 rod it still feels a little mushy. The 9 on 10 isn't quite as mushy but could be better. 

 

I've bitched about this before but getting rods and lines are a pain in the ass. Nothing seems to pair up right out of the box. It seems that as rods have gotten faster lines are getting 'heavier' for their stated line wt to keep up. Like many people, one ends up with a collection of lines that don't work are expected on a rod and that means getting another. It's pretty annoying and somewhat expensive.

 

I'm going to spend some more time today messing around. I've gone thru most of the stuff, but not all. Somewhere in my garage are some older lines, left over from a Belize trip in 98. All floating, it will be interesting to try those out and see how they compare. Hopefully, I can find them.

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Had this rant at a fly shop last week with a couple local guides.  Rod weights are meaningless, just give its sweet spot in grams. If your 6wt needs a 225 gr WF floater, it’s not a 6 ;) ymmv

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I haven't found my older lines but I did come across an older 9wt Rio Lumilix. It actually works quite well on a 9wt rod - imagine that...

 

 

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9 hours ago, Drew C. said:

I've bitched about this before but getting rods and lines are a pain in the ass. Nothing seems to pair up right out of the box. It seems that as rods have gotten faster lines are getting 'heavier' for their stated line wt to keep up. Like many people, one ends up with a collection of lines that don't work are expected on a rod and that means getting another. It's pretty annoying and somewhat expensive.

Agree 100%. Im going through it right now looking for a new 7wt. Experimenting with lines is getting expensive.

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48 mins ago, Surfinator said:

Agree 100%. Im going through it right now looking for a new 7wt. Experimenting with lines is getting expensive.

I have a pile that will be going on BST at some point. Rio and Sage seem to be the biggest culprits of the mismatch. 

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Not uncommon any more to spend near as much for lines as you do a good mid priced rod trying to sort it out.very frustrating indeed. Sadly rod makers will probably never give us an accurate grain window on new rod offerings...then they'd have no chance of selling you an extra or two to pair with all the lines you bought trying to pair up their first one !..

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1 hour ago, Drew C. said:

I have a pile that will be going on BST at some point. Rio and Sage seem to be the biggest culprits of the mismatch. 

Rio for sure. I tried my first Airflo line and I really like it so I'm hoping I can something from them that works.

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I've found " breathe deep and adjust" to be my new mantra for lines. My biggest string of curses ,cast into the general universe , is  from poor cold water performance with coils that can't be stretched out and  lines breaking down behind the head. If a line is in a general grain wt., say a 350, I can heave it on an 8-10 wt somewhere between 75 to a 100 feet out of my basket. It's enough to catch stripers. Adding an extra tick to the back cast, a more pronounced stop, shortening the leader, whatever it takes...... I also don't get any more fishing  performance out of new rods compared to ones I've worn the cork to the blank.  However, I'm starting from a "high" point, as the lines are Airflo, Rio, and Orvis, and the rods are Sage, Winston and Orvis. Worst thing? Nothing decent goes on sale, now.  Well, maybe 30% off a musky taper that can throw a real rat through a plate glass window.

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Best advice I can give anyone having difficulty with line matching is to get a cheap digital postal scale that shows grams, grains, oz.

 

Then when you find a line that works for your rod, weigh and measure the head (30ft, full head) write down the particulars on a piece of paper and keep with the stored line in a zip lock baggie when not in use.  Something like:

 

"Airflo intermediate clear, 220g @30ft, 300g @40ft, WF taper

Marches: Redington Predator 9ft 7wt, Nautilus FW 7/8."

 

When the line is on the reel, the paper tag stays in the zip lock.  End of season, clean the line and dry it. store in baggie.

 

Then when you need a new line, look for something online (good luck finding any actual data, so may need to call the Co.) to find a close match to the measured length and weight.

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5 mins ago, Killiefish said:

Best advice I can give anyone having difficulty with line matching is to get a cheap digital postal scale that shows grams, grains, oz.

 

Then when you find a line that works for your rod, weigh and measure the head (30ft, full head) write down the particulars on a piece of paper and keep with the stored line in a zip lock baggie when not in use.  Something like:

 

"Airflo intermediate clear, 220g @30ft, 300g @40ft, WF taper

Marches: Redington Predator 9ft 7wt, Nautilus FW 7/8."

 

When the line is on the reel, the paper tag stays in the zip lock.  End of season, clean the line and dry it. store in baggie.

 

Then when you need a new line, look for something online (good luck finding any actual data, so may need to call the Co.) to find a close match to the measured length and weight.

This seems like it's more of a problem now.

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Here we go again, the the fact is that the numbers they put on both rods and lines have become meaningless.

I think people are approaching the problem of matching lines and rods backward, it could be made a lot easier by by starting out with choosing the line you want to use and then finding a rod that will work with it, don’t buy a rod you haven’t tried. 
With the price of premium rods these days, I’d be pretty disappointed to find the 8wt rod I just bought won’t load with the 8wt line I like and am planning to continue using, then you’re up against the problem of trying to find a heavier line at $80-100 a piece with no ability to try it out without purchasing. 
JC

 

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2 mins ago, JonC said:

Here we go again, the the fact is that the numbers they put on both rods and lines have become meaningless.

I think people are approaching the problem of matching lines and rods backward, it could be made a lot easier by by starting out with choosing the line you want to use and then finding a rod that will work with it, don’t buy a rod you haven’t tried. 
With the price of premium rods these days, I’d be pretty disappointed to find the 8wt rod I just bought won’t load with the 8wt line I like and am planning to continue using, then you’re up against the problem of trying to find a heavier line at $80-100 a piece with no ability to try it out without purchasing. 
JC

 

That's because you should have purchased a 6wt for use with that line lol

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Posted (edited) · Report post

16 mins ago, JonC said:

Here we go again, the the fact is that the numbers they put on both rods and lines have become meaningless.

I think people are approaching the problem of matching lines and rods backward, it could be made a lot easier by by starting out with choosing the line you want to use and then finding a rod that will work with it, don’t buy a rod you haven’t tried. 
With the price of premium rods these days, I’d be pretty disappointed to find the 8wt rod I just bought won’t load with the 8wt line I like and am planning to continue using, then you’re up against the problem of trying to find a heavier line at $80-100 a piece with no ability to try it out without purchasing. 
JC

 

They're meaningless because they don't match. 

 

I'm still going thru some lines. Some are 1/2 size higher crap mentioned above, why? Maybe don't make rods that are so fast, stiff and unresponsive that it takes a heavier line to get them to load? That would be nice.

 

More bitching - what does 1/2 size heavier even mean? I was just looking at Monic's site. They make some nice stuff but fall under the radar. They at least have the grain wt for the first 30' on their site. 

 

Given the variety in lines, head lengths, etc - the first 30' is as good as any other way when it comes to making sense of this. 

 

Edited by Drew C.

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1 min ago, Drew C. said:

They're meaningless because they don't match. 

 

I'm still going thru some lines. Some are 1/2 size higher crap mentioned above, why? Maybe don't make rods that are so fast, stiff and unresponsive that it takes a heavier line to get them to load? That would be nice.

 

I think you’re missing the point, lines can run from AFFTA spec to 2 sizes plus heavier than spec, rods tend to run more powerful than their designation. Fast action has nothing to do with it, that’s just the flex profile. We need to have lines listed by grain weight and rods with a designated grain window, then we wouldn’t have to deal with the great mystery of what does this rod or line do.

JC

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