Floating Fly Lines

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Ron Clay

Guest
After some 40 years of fly fishing I have to admit that I've had more different makes of fly lines than most. The best floater I have ever used for still water is the Lee Wulff Triangle Taper. I have used the Airflo Floaters a great deal but somhow this company needs to get it's act together with floating lines. Their sinkers and intermediates however are quite superb.

What do you think? Who makes the best floating lines?
 
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Rob Brownfield

Guest
Been using Cortland 444 (Peach floater and Nymph tip) for about 20 years now. Love them. The Lee Wulff is indeed a quality line and an exceptional shooter. The 20 quid Scientific Anglers floaters are pretty good value for money, and I use them in small streams etc where there is a chance of catching round rocks etc.
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
Had a very bad experience with Cortland. They came out with their new Lazer Line and the SA distributor sent me one to review. I went trout fishing and after about three or four casts the plastic coating started to come away from the core. What a mess!!

The Lee Wulff lines are, of course, manufactured by Scientific Angler (3M)
 
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Chris Warren

Guest
I like the Aircel Ultra a lot and have a soft spot for the ice blue Hardy line. I had a standard 444 which was lovely and limp but gave out after only a season. But I saw someone using one the other day and it certainly lies very straight. I think the Airflow floaters are simply horrible - but some people seem to think they are the cat's pyjamas (or dog'd doo dahs).
 
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Alan Roe

Guest
Stick with the old favourites Aircel Ultras and Courtland 444s and you will be fine The Courtland is a bit more fragile though..
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
The other day whilst fishing with my good friend Danny Peet, who by the way is disabled (legs)and was recently captain of the English disabled team, he commented that in his opinion a floating fly line will aid bite detection better if it doesn't sit dead straight. Danny prefers the line to have a few wiggles in it so he can watch for the wiggles straightening out which indicates a take. Airflo floaters are made from different materials to the rest, which causes them to have a memory. Coupled with that, Airflo lines have much less or even hardly any stretch.
This property of these lines I beleive may be worth studying. Rather than condemning Airflo floaters, we maybe should take a more open mind on the subject.

Comments anyone? Are you out there Paul Burgess?
 
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Rob Brownfield

Guest
Ron, are u trying to get Mr. Burgess to send u a heap of lines to try??...hehe

I used to use one of the Airflo floaters, but gave in after a season. If it sits on the reel for any length of time its like fishing with a spring. I like there intermediates though!!
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
I've got a heap of Airflo lines I have never used. About 8 years vintage however.

I think I will go out on Saturday and buy myself a new Lee Wulff, and have a look at one of those Predator rods.
 
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Rob Brownfield

Guest
Ron, I have a contact here in Aberdeen for geting cheap(er) lee wulff lines, plus he can get all the specialist ones they to too.

I recommend the Greys Esox...also if u have a Loomis or Sage of 9 (ish) feet for an 8 weight, this would be ideal for the lighter stuff. The newish Scierra range of saltwater rods is also fantastic, and the Reddington rods are pretty damn good too.

The Greys has a fighting handle infront of the normal handle, and many a time I have had to use this to lift big pike off the bottom. Great fun though!!
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
Let me know what you can get Lee Wulff lines and Greys rods for. Loomis and Sage are way beyond my pocket. I am hoping for a trip to SA in October. You can pick up most Sages for about half UK prices there. Greys do not have an agent in SA at present.

I've heard about the Redington rods. They do a pike special I beleive
 
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Rob Brownfield

Guest
Reddington do several ranges, from ?89 up to.....?600!!..Ouch! They do several 9/9.5 footers for an 8 or 9 weight, and i believe they also do a 10/11 and a 12 weight for the sea...and also in two, three or four sections. All the rods are pretty good, very powerful and well made, but obniously, u get what u pay for.

Also...have u heard of Enigma rods? I think Tightlines do them. http://www.tightlines.co.uk/ They have just bought out a range of sea fly rods. These are beautiful..about ?300, but amazing value for money!! Also do the Scierra rods I was on about ..?160

Carbotec also do a Saltwater special, have a look on there website for details. http://www.carbotec.co.uk/ Its about ?235 and again fantastic!!!
 

sis the roach

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i still think lee wuff have the edge i cant remeber when they first came out but the late fishing mate of mine jonny rolfe put me on to them i had allways used courtlands floaters wet cel sinkers
 

Fred Blake

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I've been a fan of the Aircel Supreme for about twenty years, and I've not found a reason to change. I also have a standard green Aircel and an Ultra 3, both of which are excellent. However, for delicate presentation I've found the Hardy Perfection to have a better taper. It won't cast well into a wind though.

I have used a few other makes in the past. I had a Shakespeare Worcestershire floater which was truly awful; in fact the only line I've ever found that was worse was, suprise suprise, a Shakespeare Glider. I still have a Galion floater that I bought over twenty years ago, which is as supple as any line I've seen - and it still floats. I did hear that these were made by Scientific Anglers, which wouldn't surprise me at all. I've not tried a Cortland, though the 444 has an impressive record.

The thing that I find most irritating about floating lines is the colour. If I'm fishing a deep nymph I sometimes use a white line (Aircel Supreme) because, naturally enough, I find it easier to spot on the water. But for dry fly or just sub-surface nymphing (where I don't need to watch the line for takes) I change over to a brown or green line.

I don't merely believe the colour makes any difference, I know it does. 100% unshakeable certainty, through observation and experience*. Yet the vast majority of anglers seem perfectly happy to use fluorescent yellow and orange lines. Not only do they scare far more fish than they catch, just half a dozen of them fishing a small lake for an hour will kill all sport stone dead for the rest of the day. I know there are plenty of people ready to point out that anglers using brightly coloured lines still catch fish; to them I say, give a dull line a fair trial first, and then make up your mind.

*On small, clear waters. I don't fish reservoirs so cannot comment, but I don't see why it should be any different.
 
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Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA)

Guest
The colour of fly lines, especially floating lines has been a bone of contention for many years. **** Walker was adamant that a dark coloured floating line was the best. Both Cyril Inwood and Arthur Cove believed that it didn't matter.

Now here we have 2 extremely successful fly fishers who were at loggerheads with none other than Walker. But In some cases the fishing styles of Inwood and Cove were different. Cove especially used long leaders, up to 20 feet on occasions.

In the classic book - "The Trout and The Fly", Goddard and Clarke decide to find out the truth and discovered that a dark line was less visible to the trout outside the fishes window.

I myself discovered in no uncertain terms that dark floating fly lines in small clear waters catch a lot more fish than brightly coloured floating lines.

In large reservoirs, using fluorescent coloured lines I have caught lots of fish.

My friend Steve Parton tells me that if the fish are spooky, use a dark floating line, if the fish are not, it doesn't matter.
 
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Graham Marsden (ACA)

Guest
Tried them all, including Lee Wulff, Sage, etc, and found none better than the Snowbee XS. I'm told they're made for them by Shakespeare...
 
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Shrek

Guest
I'd have thought a dark coloured fly line would have made bite detection more difficult as you would be able to see the tip of the fly line move when you have a subtle take.

I use an ivory Snowbee XS line and have just replaced it with the exact same and I've had no problems catching fish.
 
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Ron 'The Hat' Clay (ACA)

Guest
A dark coloured floating line can be seen quite well against calm water which has no reflections Adrian, less so if you have trees on the opposite bank.

But to be honest, I feel lots more bites than I see. That's probably due to my style of fishing. I tend to feel and watch the curve of the line falling from the rod tip - swing tipping it's called.
 
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Shrek

Guest
Fred, I see what you mean now having just read your post properly (sorry, skim read it the first time).

Ron, as for calm water having no reflections, I presume you mean off bank side objects......?
 

Fred Blake

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I must admit, when I'm fishing a deep nymph I prefer a white line if there are dark reflections against which to see it; I don't think there's as much chance of spooking deep-lying fish and, if I spot one take that I would otherwise have missed, then that's justification enough. A dark line is actually easier to see than a white one when it is lying against a reflection of sky. However, as Ron says, you often feel takes before you see them anyway with this style of fishing.

Nevertheless, when the trout are lying high in the water I would rather use a dark line than risk spooking them. With dry fly takes are easily seen; for shallow nymphing I watch the leader or look out for any movement near where I think the fly is.
 
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