When you pull fly line off your reel, does it fall to the floor and look like a slinky? Coils can form on old fly lines, or lines left on a small arbor in storage for long periods of time. These coils can interfere with your cast in a few different ways. We will discuss the negatives of line coils and ways to fix them below.
- Coils in your fly line make it harder to cast because you don’t have a truly straight line. All those coils are adding bits of slack as you begin your cast which will interfere with the smooth acceleration period that is so important to properly load your road.
- Coils can reduce the amount of line you are able to shoot as the coils will add extra friction in your cast as the line rubs against the guides. This friction reduces line speed which means you won’t be casting as far.
- Coils (in the line and the leader) will also hurt your accuracy when casting. It is hard to lay that small dry fly down right in a fish’s feeding lane if every time you cast it is rolling in a different direction.
- Coils in your line can tangle or wrap on your reel seat. This is one of the more frustrating things in fly fishing. It is annoying when the line wraps around the butt of the rod as you try to cast but it is downright painful if the line wrapping around your reel seat causes a fish to break off.
We have talked in depth in previous posts about how slack is the enemy when fly casting. A good way to reduce slack besides proper timing throughout your casting stroke? Make sure you take the time to stretch your line or straighten out your leader before you fish. For the fly line, have a fishing partner hold the line around their hand as you pull it tight. You will be able to feel the line stretch some. Hold it there for a few seconds before releasing. You don’t need to do this for the entire length of line, just the amount you see yourself casting. If you are fishing solo, wrap the line around a fence post or trailer hitch to stretch it. For leaders, they sell leather straighteners but using your thumb to stretch it is just as effective. You want to hold one end of the leader tight and pull your thumb down the other end. You need to feel some heat here, you might burn your thumb a little as your stretch the leader but this is needed to straighten it out. Hold the tension for a few seconds then move further down the leader.
Finally, a thought to consider, when was the last time you purchased a new fly line? I know now a days that can require taking out a loan with the price of high end fly lines but I always try and replace my lines at least once a year. The need to replace a fly line obviously varies based on how often it gets used but no fly line will last forever. A fresh out of the box line will shoot further and float higher. Start your year off right, you deserve it!
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