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Stretch Your Fly Line For Better Performance

Regardless of the taper, if the line is of quality it should last many seasons and perform well if proper care is given. The number one rule to keep your line floating high and dry is to periodically clean your line. There are many quality fly line cleaners, which are now available. Greased lightening and Tiemco line cleaners are two to look for. If you don't have access to this and still need a lift for your line, try using diluted detergent and a cloth and scrub your line in the sink.

Even after cleaning your fly line, you can still get better casting performance simply by stretching the line. Storing the line on a fly reel for a long period of time will result in what is referred to as "memory". When line is pulled off the fly reel, the line will appear coiled and won't travel smoothly through the guides during a cast. The result is loss of distance in the cast. Larger arbor reels help avoid this problem by storing the line in a broader loop which helps diminish the coiling effect. No reel smaller than a garden hose winder will completely remove memory.

The easy answer to a curled fly line is stretching it. Most fly lines are designed to stretch at least 25% and you'll notice this as you take the line between your hands and pull. You'll also notice that once you do this, your line falls straight again. You can repeat this process every three feet or so to cover the first half of the line, or simply tie the line to a heavy object, pay out 75 feet of line and pull. Once you stretch the line well you will see how easily it shoots through the guides on the next cast. If you are fishing several days in a row, you won't have to do this each day. However, if you are like most, your line sits a bit too long in your fishing drawer waiting for the next fishing adventure and will be begging for a good stretching.

Contributed By: Burk White

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