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One Hundred Dollar Fly Lines: Are They Worth It?
Eugene Macri

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© 2011 E. P. Macri Jr.

I recently tested a one hundred dollar fly line under very controlled conditions (on a pond). Most fly anglers are probably wondering for the average fly fisherman are these lines worth the increased price. I have talked about expensive fly lines in the past and you should realize I think they are overpriced for what you get.  I tested the line on two custom made bamboo rods.  Why?  Because most graphites, especially the stiffer ones under the use of a good caster like myself can get the rod to shoot anything.  However, on a bamboo rod  is a different animal because these rods have custom actions and if your timing is not on no matter what the quality of the line you won't get the same results.

The line I tested had a rough finish (most of these lines although by different manufacturers feel and cast the same).  Yes, a pebble like finish.  I used two different rod actions one parabolic and one slightly stiffer.  I was able to shoot the lines 50 feet with little effort on a windy day.  The lines and the rods were ACCURATE!  Yes, this is important.  It's not how far you can cast but how far you can cast accurately!  I was able to consistently put the line and fly in the exact same place that I wanted. One cast with the wind blowing in my face (around 20 miles per hour) I shot the backcast and hit a spot on the water of around 60 feet. There is no doubt I could have cast these lines 75 to 85 feet if I had room to back cast).

So is this line worth the hundred bucks?  Well, that depends.  First of all, if you can't cast a fly line accurately and precisely then this won't help you one bit.  Second, you do realize the average trout is less than 35 feet away on most streams and most fly anglers have too much line out to begin with.  However, if you are doing long distant accurate casting and need a line that will shoot in the wind without going to a double haul than these lines might be worth the money.  I could see this line being an advantage on some wide river like Henry's Fork of the Snake where on some sections you need to cast a long distance with a dry fly or spinner pattern especially with trout on the move then this line might be worth it because it will allow less false casting and more accurate distant casting.

For most fly fishing I buy the cheapest lines I can get.  I take care of them properly and clean them as I have instructed on this website. As always match your equipment to your situation.  An overly expensive rod, or expensive line won't fill in the gaps in your fly fishing experience, only practice and patience can do that.


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