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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    271

    Default Fly line colour - should they all be dark?

    A Kiwi on seeing my Carron Jetstream staggered - too orange ! Then collapsed when shown an ivory/white Rio Longcast. In NZ those would send fish back to sea or cause them to scatter at least. Even over broken , turbid water they spook fish, before one smacks them onto the surface.
    ''Bin 'em or dye 'em……they stand out like Liberace at a Goth concert!''

    He left worried by my rubbish field craft.

    Apologies if this 'obvious' question has been beaten to death already but should we use unobtrusive lines ? Are we frightening fish? Can we dye those excellent costly garish lines …?
    How do you dye a line? Can you use a permanent marker pen on Rio's best goods?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Have a look at Ard's line-dying thread on the NAFFF, it may help you.

    Sorry, pal, just caught up and see you've been there already.
    Last edited by Lewis.Chessman; 07-02-2020 at 05:22 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    I use marker pens to mark the loading points on all of my lines with no issues, it does come off over time though.
    Ive also heard of people dying lead core lines when they were banned years back.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Rrrr; 07-02-2020 at 05:24 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,606

    Default

    Most of my lines are light grey, I figure that if the fish are looking up the line is camouflaged against the sky. Never had a problem with light lines

  5. #5

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    Robert Pashley, the so-called Wizard of the Wye who caught an awful lot of fish in his time, remarked how many salmon fishers appear to ignore basic fieldcraft. He said that all to often someone who will willingly get down on hands and knees to approach a rising trout will, when given a double handed rod and put beside a salmon river, blunder straight into a pool without thought for a fish which is every bit as wild (and these days almost certainly a lot wilder) than a trout. In Pashley's day lines were made of silk and were more or less all dark green or brown in colour, but he certainly believed that a fly line could scare fish, and habitually used trout-sized lines for summer fishing.

    Those of you who read T&S may recall an article last year about another hugely experienced Wye fisher called Maurice Hudson. I've known Maurice since I was a boy, and he has influenced my fishing thinking in lots of ways. Much of the water he has fished (over a great many years) on the lower Wye is very flat and gliding, rather than having the rippled surface which many of us probably think of when we picture a typical salmon pool. In summer conditions, Maurice follows Pashley's lead and not only fishes with very light lines (usually a DT trout line), but he also dyes them a dull colour and is quite adamant that this approach makes a difference. It's also worth looking at John Goddard and Brian Clarke's book "The Trout and the Fly" for some pictures of fly lines taken from under water. I'll spare you the treatise on angles of incidence and refraction when light meets water; suffice to say the book illustrates quite clearly that, when seen overhead against the sky, all fly lines (even light coloured ones) appear as a dark silhouette. But further away, the line is seen against a background of a reflection of the river bed - which is usually dark. Here a white line is far more visible than a dull, natural coloured one.

    I have dyed lines, both for trout and salmon fishing. It's some years since I've had to do it, but as I recall, it's easy enough to do; I have used RIT dye which I bought in the US, but I have heard of other people using Dylon. Give the line a good swill round in a bowl of detergent to degrease it first, and just follow the instructions; I seem to remember that the dye takes very quickly. Make sure the dye mix isn't too hot or you can ruin the line.

    I would never use a bright orange or fluorescent yellow line by choice. There may be situations, particularly on nice ripply pools, where the colour may not make much difference, but I'm also convinced that there are times and places where a visible fly line can and will put fish down. Of course it's hard ever to know for certain how much difference it makes, but I think we can say for certain that there is very little to be lost, and there may well be something to be gained, by practicing a bit of stealth.

  6. #6

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    Just too muddy the water a tad,way back when I did the Falkus course ,he and one of his accolytes laughed at the confused look on my face when i tryed casting what seemed to be the white aircel ,as we all used in those days .The bloody thing sank .
    Falkus seemed very keen on the white sinkers!
    Come to think of it i do like my blue carron inters and when i could have them the Kelly green aircel inter .
    Andy Wren (doctor to US friends)

  7. #7

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    Seen some underwater footage of fly lines viewed from below and if I remember correctly they all looked the same. Could be mis remembering though

  8. #8

    Default

    I think the issue is maybe greater fishing for trout as it’s the false casting where the line is above the water that the fish may see the line. One advantage of fishing a Spey line is the lack of false casting. That said I do like the Rio scandi outbound as it’s a nice subtle dark olive colour. I think we maybe do get too focused on what lines cast well, not what the fish can see

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Good stuff all...I'm with Charlie H and Pashley...camo makes sense.
    I've noticed or perhaps been able to see that a spaniel in a fluro 'rain' jacket puts up birds faster and at a bit more range than one w/o said bright coat. Salmon aren't birds.. and the line ain't a spaniel....I know but I am of the opinion that there's a parallel there .It seems , perhaps, logical.
    What I do wonder is how best to tone down new lines like Rio's with their hydroscopic ultra slick surfaces?
    Do dyes work on 'new' lines or is a permanent marker best? Possibly matt with a broad chisel edge to the 'nib' through which one can tow the line?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    306

    Default

    From what I've read on the NAFFF thread the hydrophobic coating on newer lines is the issue with dying. I certainly wouldn't abraid a line to gain penetration.
    Not a new one, anyway.

    I like the idea of a camo line but the question remains what colour combinations? Army greens and tans? The greys and blues of the underside of military aeroplanes?

    As permanent markers aren't actually permanent on lines (so I read!) perhaps one option would be to experiment with them, changing or re-applying depending on results? One could quite easily blend a camo line with a few colours. I'd guess that only the head would need attention if a whole line is too much bother.
    Last edited by Lewis.Chessman; 08-02-2020 at 04:31 PM.

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