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Line Woes

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I just finished the third rod that I have built. This is an 8ft 6in. 5 wt. I finished the rod wraps and coating them last week. This morning I put on the tip piece. Last night I put the reel seat on so it could dry overnight. Then I got to the part that never works for me.

I put the backing on the reel. Even though I may never catch a fish that will take me into the backing, I still put it on so the loops for the fly line are larger. It does remind me that I did hook and land a 18 lb channel cat on a 6 wt. I went into the backing that time.

As soon as I picked up the spool the fly line was on I knew I was in trouble. I tried to pull the loop end off first and that did not work at all. I then found the other end and tried to bring it off. That worked for about two turns of the spool and then it was locked up. I knew that the fly line Gremlin had showed up again. Actually I think this happens as the factory as the Gremlin knows that this line is coming to me.

I tried to see if I could find the line on the spool and just undo maybe one knot, twist or whatever was there. The best that I could figure out was that the line made a 90 degree turn and went to the center of the spool wrapping itself around every loop of line three times on its way to the center. Fortunately I could get the spool to come apart. I was trying to do this gently when it came apart and the line acted like the proverbial coiled spring. I had line going in all directions and coiled all over itself.

This has happened with every fly line that has ever come in on a spool. Every one of these lines hates me until I can get it whipped into shape. I found the loop end and started to undo all the knots and loops and twists from that point. I am not sure how many knots I took apart and how many times the line was twisted around itself. It did take me about 25 minutes to get all of this straightened out. I then did manage to get it attached to the backing and wound onto the reel. One of the surprises was how close I was on the backing so that the line was near the edge of the reel but not too full. I had forgot that part of wrapping the line first then wrapping the backing. Then strip it all off and put it on in reverse form.

I put on a leader and tied on a fly. Just before quitting time I had time to run out to a little pond behind the office where I am at today. No fish but I did get to cast it a few times. I do like the way it feels and the way that it casts. In spite of the fly line I think it was worthwhile to make this rod.

I hope that you have better luck with fly lines.

I hope that you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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