So that’s the holidays over for another while, normal service is now resuming and Im glad the mountain of selection boxes is nearing an end. With a new season on the horizon and already started in some places a lot of anglers are making their preparations for the first day out on the water, yes, January is the time of year to get everything ready, check your fly boxes, the waders and see what condition the running line is in.
It has been all go on the running line front recently, customers loading up new reels they might have got for Christmas and others replacing the running lines that have more coils than a coily thing. Just like the leader, your running line is more important than you realise, not all are created equally and it has a vital role to play in the cast rather than just being another component you add to your head. You see, the running line and the leader have a really important relationship, they both provide resistance and it is this balancing act between the two that affects the cast. Too long a leader or too thick a running line can really hinder your casting, no matter the effort you put in, the cast won’t get any better if these components are not working together.
I wrote before about the goldilocks syndrome and running lines. The running line that is too thin, this leads to casts that do not turn over, there is not enough resistance to get that line to kick over, leader usually lands in a bundle. Then on the other hand when you have too thick a running line, the line turns over too quickly, leading to shorter, splashy casts. Just like goldilocks and the three bears, there is always a running line that is just right for your setup. To get the most out of your fishing it is important to use the correct diameter of running line for the heads you are using.
So rather than rambling on and giving reasons and explanations for one running line over another I am just going to share with you what running line you should be using with certain head weights.
For line weights from 14g/216gr to 20g/308g size 0.028”
For line weights from 20g/308gr to 24g/370gr size 0.030”
For line weights from 24g/370gr to 31g/478gr size 0.032”
For line weights from 31g/478gr to 35g/540gr size 0.034”
Like I said, not all running lines are created equally, even on this site you will find two different kinds., mono and coated. Monofilament running lines are being pushed a lot today, deemed the best thing since sliced bread if you want to add distance. Mono gives great contact with the fly, but it provides no resistance to the cast, if you have ever tried mono then you have probably realised the importance of feathering the line as the cast nears its end to make sure everything turns over. Im not a fan, I don’t like the feel of it and I don’t like its affects on the cast. I like to keep things simple and I prefer the coated running lines, when matched, these provide the perfect level of resistance to the head during the cast. I would rather have the fly fishing from the moment it hits the surface as opposed to just going for the distance which seems to be the selling point of the mono, if fishing a coated running line means not being able to cast as far as the rest then I am quite happy with that, at least what I can manage I will be fishing properly.