Colour of Fly Lines
Logic and science tell me that colour probably does not scare fish, particularly in fast running and broken water.
However, I like to see the line and so the brighter colours do not spook me too much. I also like the concept of making the rear of a line a different colour which is good for Shooting Heads and Spey Lines. It just makes finding the mark easier.
When it comes to using a Floating line on calm/still water (e.g. fishing Irish style Shrimp flies etc, I am on a different mind and prefer a bit of subtlety. I know Falkus stated colour is not that important - "why are all fishes bellies white?" However, I am a human and it gives me more confidence if using a muted colour of line for Salmon and Trout.
Hence, I will soon be putting my #10/11 Spey Line, DT9 and WF7 Floaters in a Dylon bath of Olive Green. I had checked this out with Bruce Richards of SA for my DT5 trout river line and he has said as long as I follow guidlines, it should be Ok. He did say there was no guarantee I would catch more fish!!
I also think Bright Orange and Pink etc Spey Lines are great for video puposes etc and following the creation and delivery of a cast.
I agree with you, and certainly prefer the muted subtle tones for calm, clear pools - whether or not it does catch more fish or not, I feel more confident.
You can certainly dye a fly line with dylon dies.. they work very well. The only thing I would clarify is that you mix the dye at the near boiling temp that the dye requires, then let the mix cool down to a temp you can dip your hand in without squealing, before you put your fly line in.
I can't imagine a black floating line.. tough for seeing the anchor point when making a single spey or a snake roll, but each to their own, and if your friend is happy with black and fishes with more confidence, then good for him.
He only single hand casts.
Originally Posted by Simon Gawesworth
I'm working on getting him to start spey casting.
The next thing he did was to hockey tape the grip. Must be the Canadian in him.
Simon, coincidentally, the subject of line colour came up recently on another forum. The owner of that forum also suggested that dark colours were a more difficult to cast, but when I queried this he didn't reply. Perhaps you'll be more forthcoming!
Originally Posted by Simon Gawesworth
People fished quite happily for years with the old dark green wetcel 2 lines, and managed to make spey casts without too much difficulty - and before them silk lines tended to be dark green or brown too.
Do we really need to see the line itself in the anchor? Isn't the splash of the touchdown all we need to see?
A very good question Simon!
For me the colour is really very, very important but not in the way you might think!
For the fish it does not seem to matter very much what the colour is - but it does to me. I love to fish in beautiful environments in glorious countryside so the last think in the world I would want to do is throw out a bright fluro orange, bright green, or hi-viz yellow line. Yuk. Burn them all :)
I’m fine with ivory-white, and perhaps pale blue (just) for floating lines but I would never use anything brighter – no matter how good it was. A decent rule of thumb might be – if I can’t see the colour in the environment around me then I won’t use it. (cars dont count - they should be hidden!)
For sinking lines – I like to match the colour of the water if I can – I just feel more comfortable that way. I used to love the chestnut colour of the old Masterline (I think) intermediate lines. They were really awful to cast though – but I loved the colour which seemd to fit with the peaty rivers that I fished at that time. Clear sinkers make sense to me but I haven’t found one I like yet.
Having said all that, I remember one chap I came across years ago – swore by the Falkus bright white sinking line – well I thought the line was a totally silly concept so I asked him why he loved it so much? “Easy” he said, “you are only allowed to fish with floating lines on this river now!” .... lateral thinking ......;)
As for a change of colour – I always think it is in the wrong place. I am watching the fly and my hands when I retrieve line not the rod-tip – so I mark the line at my hand to tell me when the head is at the rod tip. Much easier.
I also dont need colour as a casting aid.
Good luck, Dan...
Charlie, that is a good point - it is true that the old dark coloured wet cel sinking lines were used for years without complaint. I am not saying it is impossible, but have found that many casters prefer a brighter color line for seeing the line's path through the air prior to anchoring. It certainly doesn't matter if they are waterborne anchor casts - but with the single spey and snake roll (especially for beginners) the brighter colours do help. At RIO we have two colors of the AFS shooting head... one that is bright orange and one with a camo olive colored front end. I can see my anchor point far clearer with the orange one. Watching the splash of the anchor does work, but that can be hard to see when landing the anchor in rougher water.
Colin, I can totally understand that. I don't notice the "clash" of bright coloured lines in the natural tones of mother nature, but can see your logic. In fact, as a caster (before a fisher) I like my fly line to be contrasting to the background so I can watch my loops unroll... especially the good loops!!
I also agree that there are many casters that don't need a coloured loading point on a fly line.... sadly we cannot make a perfect line (nor color) that will work for everyone. Interesting comments, though, and thank you for throwing your thoughts amongst the pile.
Long years ago , influenced by Alan pearson some of us dyed our floaters black , i found in certain lights these lines were better than the fluro pink Cortland for cove type nymphing .
Yes the white Falkus sinkers I remember those .
the falk put a single hander in my hands and told me to have a go , looked like the then standard Aircel floater , could not beleive it sank like a stone face must have looked a picture !
white floating lines
I was lucky enough to have a couple of Trevor Morgan lines sent to me to try. The floating line has a white shooting head. As I had mentioned in a prevoius post on this thread, my Canadian friend colored his lines black with a magic marker believing light colored lines scare fish.The Trevor Morgan 'Javelin' line is the first floating line I have used with a white shooting head. I had however told my Canadian friend he was looking at his line from the wrong side. Fish are dark on top so they can't be seen from above, and white on the bottom so they can't be seen (easily) against the sky from below. Millions of years of evolution can't be wrong. I told him it makes much more sense to have the shooting head white, or light blue than black. I think I witnessed the truth in that last statement. I did a perry poke, and as I was coming up into the start position, a large fish struck at the line where it was coming out of the water. Clearly the the fish could not see the line, and thought there was something racing across the surface that may have been edible. It saw the white mouse, but not the line. If this does not show that white lines are hard for fish to see, I don't know what would.
The white line is also really easy for me to see, so as far as I'm concerned, white is the best of both worlds. Easy for me to see, invisible to the fish. If you don't think it is hard for the fish to see, hold a white line or twine against the sky, then try it with virtually any other color. I believe you will be convinced. This was my first white line, but I'm sold on it. I had theorized about white, but now I'm convinced.
I also used it from a boat casting parallel to a weed bed for Largemouth Bass. I ran the line over the top of almost every Bass I caught, and I caught a pile of them. Although Bass are not horribly line shy fish, I still think it still shows the white shooting head does not scare fish.
If you want to camoflauge something, you make it the color of the background you see it against. The only way I think you could make it harder for fish to see would be mottle it with light blue. Not that I'm recommending getting out a blue magic marker.:D