Sunday, 6 April 2008

Fly Lines & April Snow

Yesterday I was out with Gareth Jones (pictured) who was given a gift voucher at Christmas by his wife after 3 consecutive blank days. To be fair he had headed to Hawkridge reservoir which is not the easiest venue for a novice and so to start with we got to grips with the casting. Despite an icy northerly he was soon in to the swing of things and casting a decent line. As often happens Gareth had turned up with a starter kit. Now these can be great if they are put together by knowledgeable people but often they are just aimed at luring folk into parting with their cash thinking they are getting a bargain ... this often proves to be false economy! Gareth's technique was certainly improving and yet the line was not shooting as far as we expected. Why?


It all boiled down to the line which IS the most important part of your kit. Give me a good line and a not so great rod any day (although a good rod and line is better!) Gareth's line was almost sticky to the touch and made a grating noise through the rings. Examining it more carefully the outer PVC coating seemed almost "lumpy", not great for efficiency through the rod rings. So I strung up Gareths 9'6"#7 Rod with one of our 2 tone Platinum XDs by Greys. First cast and he was beaming! The line shot a superb distance, far exceeding anything he had managed all morning with his own line. Utilising the 2 tone we were able to pull the line back to the head section, false cast it a couple of times and then just let it fly. While these lines are super efficient (Gareth purchased one as soon as we got back to the shop!) they can deteriorate like any fly line if not looked after. At least every couple of trips pull your fly line off and coat it with cleaner. Over time the coating will polish up and you will have the most effortless casting of your life ... coupled with good technique of course!

While yesterday was cold, today was freezing in the North wind blowing down the Exe Valley and across the lake. My guest for the day was David Hilton who is off to the USA in early June after striped Bass. After several years of fly fishing Dave decided that his distance and technique needed checking out. Throughout the day we built the fly cast from scratch going through several elements including timing, rod stroke and of course double haul which so many anglers aspire to. This brilliant technique is easy to learn and in short creates huge line speeds; very important when hurling a 4/0 Bass Fly! Steadily things came together so that by the end of the day Dave's Loomis Crosscurrent was bending very nicely indeed. To finish we added one of the huge flies required for the Stripers and even got a Trout to take while stripping in for the next cast! Dave is an interesting guy who has caught many species on fly including Zander which is in my top 3 freshwater fish within the UK that I would like to tangle with. He is also very generous and treated me to a top carvery (you should try it sometime!) at the Anchor Inn just over the road from Exe Valley. We needed it too because look at the weather we returned to!!! It should be fun if It is doing this tomorrow as I am anticipating running into some Wimbleball Rainbows and these conditions will call for some Boobies. I had better get my kit together ....


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