Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Winter Flyfishing: Stretch Your Fly Line to Cast Better and Slow Guide Icing

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

FlyTalk
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

November 26, 2012

Winter Flyfishing: Stretch Your Fly Line to Cast Better and Slow Guide Icing

By Kirk Deeter

I've always said that your fly line has as much to do with casting performance as your fly rod does. Even the most deluxe, high-tech graphite wand in the world won't save you if your fly line is chapped, dry, and especially kinked.

Trying to cast a kinked line through a fly rod is like trying to push a corkscrew through a straw. Crooked lines cause crooked (and short) casts. And yet many of us don't take the five minutes needed to straighten out our fly lines before we hit the water.

Stretch your fly line by attaching it to a fixed object and pulling on it, either all at once or a few feet at a time. I also like to rub my fingers (or better yet, a pad treated with line conditioner) along the fly line to generate some friction heat, which will help make the line more malleable. Doing so will also let you know if your line has any abrasions.

It's especially important to stretch that line in the winter. Think of it like stretching your body before a jog on a chilly morning. Not doing so can only cause problems. I like to stretch my line before I head out into the cold, and then again as I pull it off the reel before I fish. Once you start casting a kinked line in the cool water, it will only set up out of shape, and you'll never get things right until that line warms up again.

Which leads to another important point. Many lines are actually designed for certain temperature zones. Use a "tropical" line that was intended for hot conditions in a chilly steelhead river, and you might as well be casting a 90-foot section of vermicelli.

One of the big issues we have with winter fishing is ice forming in the guides of our rod. I think you can reduce that problem by 50 percent if you straighten your fly line before you fish. The other 50 percent? Well, that's another topic for another day.

 

Comments (7)

Top Rated
All Comments
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Good topic, and Iv'e used the ORIGINAL Armoral for years as a great conditioner that cleans, and slicks the flyline...not any of the new improved types of Armoral. But I have never considered stretching a flyline as being an "icing up" preventitive measure. What can really enhance icing is the wind! The combo of freezing conditions, and the wind is tough to combat. When that happens I just hope no one has taken my bar stool...3rd one from the end.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The other 50% is a topic for Koldkut to create a fix for this winter :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jaukulele wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I think you could probably coat your guides with a light mineral oil to prevent icing.

Good pointers on stretching/inspecting line. It's an important step that often gets overlooked...or so I've heard. ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

If you want to stretch your line quick, the process is speeded up if you have a bumper hitch on your rig.....say 50 ft of line and around the hitch in the middle...walk away and hold tension for about a count of 10. And frying pan SPAM, the stick to the pan preentitive stuff works pretty well, but that chill factor wind sends me off to happy hour.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Davidd wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

great insight. Have a young family and limited time. I find myself in a hurry to fish and it only makes the time harder. I should take my time and work the line before i start. Thanks for the heads up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from treelimit wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Kirk,

Who was President the last time you "stretch[ed] your body before a jog"?

I kid because I care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Treelimit. We do video game jogging now on our smart phones...no need to stretch. Everytime I go through WalMart I am embarrassed by the shapes I see. But I watch them shake, bounce, and shimmy. One of lifes many pleasures.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Good topic, and Iv'e used the ORIGINAL Armoral for years as a great conditioner that cleans, and slicks the flyline...not any of the new improved types of Armoral. But I have never considered stretching a flyline as being an "icing up" preventitive measure. What can really enhance icing is the wind! The combo of freezing conditions, and the wind is tough to combat. When that happens I just hope no one has taken my bar stool...3rd one from the end.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The other 50% is a topic for Koldkut to create a fix for this winter :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jaukulele wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I think you could probably coat your guides with a light mineral oil to prevent icing.

Good pointers on stretching/inspecting line. It's an important step that often gets overlooked...or so I've heard. ;)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

If you want to stretch your line quick, the process is speeded up if you have a bumper hitch on your rig.....say 50 ft of line and around the hitch in the middle...walk away and hold tension for about a count of 10. And frying pan SPAM, the stick to the pan preentitive stuff works pretty well, but that chill factor wind sends me off to happy hour.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Davidd wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

great insight. Have a young family and limited time. I find myself in a hurry to fish and it only makes the time harder. I should take my time and work the line before i start. Thanks for the heads up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from treelimit wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Kirk,

Who was President the last time you "stretch[ed] your body before a jog"?

I kid because I care.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Treelimit. We do video game jogging now on our smart phones...no need to stretch. Everytime I go through WalMart I am embarrassed by the shapes I see. But I watch them shake, bounce, and shimmy. One of lifes many pleasures.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs