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Fly Line Weight
All fly lines use standards set by the fly line manufacturers. The standard measurements will range from 1-14 and is clearly printed on the box of any fly line that you buy. This measurement corresponds to the weight of the fly line in grains (14 grains to a gram). The lower the number, the lighter the fly line is.Fly Line Weight 1-3: Small trout and any other small fish. Small flies and short casts. Fly Line Weight 4: Small to medium sized trout and other similarly sized fish. Small flies and medium sized flies. Short to medium-short casts. Fly Line Weight 5-6: The most versatile of the line weights. Fishes well for all but the smallest and all but the largest trout. Fishes well when using small, medium and larger sized flies (except the larger streamers). Allows for longer casts yet performs short casts well. Fly Line Weight 7-8: Designed for very large trout and other similarly sized fish. Used for pitching large streamers and large flies. Longer casts are excellent. Not the best for short casts. Fly Line Weight 9 and above: Monster fish territory. Mainly used ocean or lake fishing and fishing for Salmon and Steelhead. Click here to read more from Hooked on Flies
When measuring line weight, only the first thirty feet of line is measured. It also does not include any tapers. So if you are measuring a double taper line, the measurement begins after the taper and on the first thirty feet of level line.
Ok, so which one do we want? Well, once again it all depends on what you'll be fishing for. A summary of recommended line weights for various fly fishing by species is listed below:
Leaders and Tippets
Completing the outfit is the leader which is the connection between the fly and the fly line. Leaders for most fly fishing applications are virtually weightless, transparent, and tapered from a thick "butt" section to a thin point, or "tippet." Braided leaders are more popular in Europe than in America, where they fall in and out of fashion. The thick butt section is made of braided line that, some anglers believe, is easier to cast than a solid strand. Compound leaders (sometimes referred to as knotted leaders) use several strands of translucent fishing line of different thickness, tied together to make the whole leader taper from the thick butt end to the thin tippet. Advocates of compound leaders believe that the leader's construction makes floating artificial flies behave more like natural insects on the water. The sections of thin line leading to the tippet help prevent "drag"-which occurs when water currents make an artificial fly act unnaturally. Knotless leaders are a single strand of material, drawn through a machine that makes it thick at the butt end and thin at the tippet end. You can make the thin end even thinner by tying on a length of finer tippet line. Knotless leaders are especially convenient when fishing weedy water because there are no knots to hang up in the weeds.
All leaders have three parts which diminish in width as we get closer to the fly. The first part is called the “butt”. It is the strongest, most resistant section of the leader and it is tied to the line. Next is the section called the “taper”, which in turn leads to the “tippet”, the finest and weakest end where an artificial fly is tied.
The thick butt connects to the end of the fly line. The leader receives energy from the line during the cast to propel the fly toward its target. The fly is tied to the tippet, which is very thin so that fish do not notice it. A wary fish is as suspicious of flies attached to heavy line as you would be about a sandwich attached to a rope. When you are certain that you are fishing the correct fly, but fish refuse to strike it, your tippet may be too thick.
When you change flies, you cut off some of the tippet end, shortening the leader. However, several fishing line makers produce spools of replacement tippet material so you can restore the leader to its original length-or lengthen it. With new tippets, a single leader may last for an entire fishing season.
Leaders come in three basic models: "braided," "compound or knotted" and "knotless."
When you are fishing streamer flies beneath the water's surface, you can use a leader shorter than six feet. For fishing flies on the water's surface or just beneath it, you will need leaders of standard length, from seven and one-half to twelve feet long. Shorter leaders are easier to cast, but wary fish and crystalline water usually require smaller flies, longer leaders, and finer tippets. It is generally best to start with a 9’ leader and add on whatever amount of tippet you feel comfortable with.
Tippet manufacturers describe tippet thickness in X-numbers, from OX to 8X. The higher the X-number, the thinner the tippet and the smaller the fly it will cast. For example, tippets measuring 6X, 7X and 8X are used on the most minuscule flies. Tippets measuring 2X, 1X and OX are used for large steelhead and salmon flies.
A simple way to select an appropriate tippet for a particular fly is to take the size of the fly and divide it by three. For example, on a medium-sized #12 fly, a 4X tippet would be ideal. Dividing a tiny #22 fly by three, the closest tippet size is 7X.Click here to read more from Hooked on Flies