The range of offering in rods and reels
for fly fishing is incredibly wide, but
the most significant favor to consider is
the balance (matching) between the rod weight,
the reel and weight of the line to be used.
Each fly rod is made for a specific weight
or range of weight lines. The price of a
graphite rod can range from $90 - 500 and
of reels from $20-200. For lake fishing with
sinking lines you will need a rod that helps
you cast your line a maximum distance, against
strong winds from a low position in the water.
For this type of fishing with sinking lines you
will not need to pay as much attention to accuracy
in casting as with dry fly fishing. Some
outfitters offer a combination graphite fly rod
and reel set ranging in price from $150-244 which
you will find quite adequate for float tube fishing.
For fishing in the strong winds often encountered
in large western mountain lakes a 9 or 9 ½ foot
rod which takes a 6-7 weight line and in even
smaller lakes you might need only an 8 ½ foot
rod matched for a 4-5 weight line.
Reels not only need sufficient capacity to hold
fly line and backing, but should have a smooth
drag to stop large fish. Since you will be needing
at least four different types of sinking lines,
depending on the depth you intend to fish, you
will need extra spools (the exchangeable inner
part of the reel that hold the line) for each
type of line. Some reels are so relatively
inexpensive ($20) you might consider buying a
reel for each line you plan to use. This means
that when you want to change lines while fishing,
you need only exchange the reel instead of taking
the spool in and out.
To gain maximum distance in casting, it is best
to purchase weight forward sinking lines ($35-40).
These are lines that are constructed so that the
whole line sinks at the same rate. Full sink lines
are different from sink tip lines which are basically
floating lines with a small sinking front section.
Each line needs to have at least 100 yards of Dacron
backing material ($5-10) which is attached at one end
to the reel spool and on the other end to the fly
line. The backing allows you to let a fish run
farther than the length of your fly line and also
fills up the reel so that the line can be more
easily handled. In addition, the backing protects
the fly line from wear and tear through being wound
too tightly on the spool.
Two of the major brands of weight forward sinking
lines are made by Cortland and Scientific Anglers.
These two brands use different terminology for their
lines and a different range of sink rates...A range
of sink rates is given for each type of sinking line
because lighter line weights sink slower than heavier
weights. For example, an 8 weight Scientific Anglers
Wet Cel II line sinks faster than a 4 weight line.
Knowing the sink rate of your line enables you to
cast and count down your artificial fly to the precise
depth you choose to fish. If you are fishing near the
bottom at 15 feet and you are using a sinking line with
a sink rate of 6 inches per second, when you cast your
line, your line and fly will be on the bottom in 30
Most lake fishing is either done near the surface in
the productive shallows or near the bottom of the lake.
The Intermediate, Wet Cel I or Type I line is best
for the shallows and the other sinking lines are
used dependent on the depth of the lake. If
fishing down at 10-20 feet the Wet Cel II or Type
II line is used. To fish down deeper, use faster
sinking lines to get the fly down where you want
it more quickly.
Although these lines are quite durable you do
need to protect them from damage. First, you
should keep you line clean. Algae from the
water coats your line while fishing and builds
up through normal use. To remedy this, wash
the line with a mild soap and dry with a clean
cloth. You can also restore a well used line
to its former condition with prepared line
conditioner after you have clean it. In
between uses store your line on a reel in a
place that is not excessively hot or cold.
During use avoid: stepping on the line, pinching
the line between spool and frame of your reel,
casting in such a way that whips in the line,
leaving your leader attached to the fly line
when storing and allowing exposure to suntan
lotion, insect repellents, etc.
In summary, for fishing large western lakes it
is recommended that you use a 9 - 9 ½ foot rod
with 8-9 weight, weight forward sinking lines
with sink rates that range from slow to extra
fast. ~ PCP
Continued next time.
Credits: Excerpt from Float Tube
Magic By Patricia C. Potheir, published
by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use