Deeter: Your Fly Line is Your Golf Ball

The analogies between golf and fly fishing are many. In fact, I often use golf terms to explain fishing theories.

Examples: You drive for show and putt for dough. You can't be hurt by a long, straight cast, but the difference between a good angler and a great one is all about the short game... presentation of flies. Your "course management" matters too. Think about it... in both golf and fly fishing, you'll spend hours walking and thinking, and only a few minutes actually swinging the club or fighting fish. What happens between the ears in those non-swinging/non-bendo minutes is key.

There are also gear analogies, and this is the one I like best... consider the fly line you use with the same care as you would choose the golf ball you play. Different clubs suit different swings. Same is true for fly rods. And just like some golfers prefer golf ball attributes like low trajectory, higher spin, distance, and feel, the same thinking applies to fly lines. I've already said that a $75 investment in a great line can help you cast better than spending a few hundred extra on a new rod.

For trout fishing, the "ball" I'm playing now is a Rio Trout LT ($75, www.rioproducts.com). It has a long taper, so I find it a bit more delicate when making dry fly presentations. But it's also a very castable line; at 40 feet in windy conditions, I think it's easier to form tight loops and roll cast than many other options. I also like the surface texture, which is slick, and durable.

What ball are you playing, and why?

Deeter