Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fly Line Lifespan

I have seen quite a few blogs lately discussing fly line. There are a lot of questions about whether or not an expensive fly line is worth it. Here is my opinion. I have several fly lines that are over 5yrs old. I NEVER clean them. These lines are all lower end in my opinion. They cost less than $30. One is a Sage that was probably $50 band new but I got it onsale. The other lines are Scientific Angler and whatever comes stock on a Cabela's reel. Probably Cortland. I never have once stripped all my line off and ran it through a rag with line cleaner or dish soap. One thing I have noticed with my oldest line is it does look faded, dirty and it's definitely not as smooth as it once was. It does change how the rod casts and I think I get more tangles because the line is just tired. It still performs and I could probably use it a few more years without any complaints. I'm wondering if I had cleaned my line and maintained it properly how much more life I'd get out of it. People seem to switch fly lines almost as often as they do rods and reels. Most of my lines are at least a few years old. How long should a decent fly line last? If I pay $70 for line to me it should last a lifetime.


  1. It should.... I agree. The only time I've screwed up a line is thru a hook in my back cast ... or repetitive abuse against a cement overpass... in both cases all I had to do was cut off about 5 feet a line and that's it.
    I wish I was one of those people who could only get one season out of a fly line. theyre either fly fishing guides or really bad casters

    1. I'm starting to really wonder about the line classifications as well. A few times I've used my 3wt line with my 8wt rod. Not because I wanted to. It was mainly because I forgot my reel and only had my 3wt one available. I could still cast without much of an issue. It really made me wonder if the line wt really matters that much. Could you really use a 5wt line for a 5wt-10wt rods? I know there are reasons why you wouldn't do this. What I'm thinking though is if you really wanted to save money you could probably use the same line and reel for all of those rods. Yeah the rod wouldn't be balanced and might not cast right as you get to the heavier rods. I'm still sure you could adapt and make it work if you really wanted to. I guess that's what it comes down to. Do you want to adapt and make things work or pay to have the convenience of not doing anything different.

  2. I think fly lines manufacturers have done a great job in promoting and improving the quality of their respective products. You can buy a line now for almost any type fly fishing or fish you would like to tangle with. But, that being said, how much quality and technology do you need to catch the fish you normally fish for. I mean do we all have to drive Porsche's or can we drive the ol' Ford or Chevy and get the same results.

    I would willingly say that I also have read the hoopla about cleaning your line after a season of fishing it. I think I have done that once in my lifetime of fly fishing. I pretty much have stayed with Moderate to Lower priced fly lines over the years and have caught plenty of fish. So, it is what you make of it in my opinion.

  3. I'm another that doesn't clean my lines. Although I don't fish as much as many folks I do keep a good stock of different fly lines of differing quality. I don't think dirty fly lines is my problem!

  4. It isn't that difficult to clean a fly line. You probably have multiple reels and turn the drag to the loosest/lightest setting when not in use. Taking care of equipment, whether it is a car, some tools, your pots and pans, or a lawn mower helps the item last longer. It also helps them perform at their best. I hear people talk about fly line life spans in terms of when they no longer float. There are a ton of factors that impact whether or not we catch fish on any given outting. A clean fly line is way down towards the bottom of that list. Fly lines are solid performers. They do their job every trip without complaining. A little TLC won't hurt.