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Mend That Line
by Bill Throne

There's nothing more frustrating than to hook a nice 2 pounder, fight it forever, just to have your line snap, losing the fish in the process. Been there, done that.

Much has been written on the subject of fly lines. Everyone who has waded a stream has an opinion on the subject and a story to relate to. My learning experience really started at a hunting and fishing sports show. You know, the kind where all the vendors and manufacturers display their wares? At my first show I got a new reel, spare spool, backing, weight forward fly line, leaders, and tippet material. I learned how they all play an important and intriguing part in the art.

The vendor helping me was a manufacturer's rep. He set me up with everything I needed and explained why I needed it.

 
Then he got to the issue of maintaining the line. He told me how line gets dirty, oily, dry, and brittle. He also explained how line could lose its memory, its buoyancy, how it can stretch too much or not have enough flexibility in it, and the effect it has on my casting and hooking capabilities. More importantly, I learned that line cleaning and dressing is a helpful edge everyone must know and use.

With the new fly lines out on the market these days and their high cost, it is essential that line maintenance per the manufacturer's instructions be followed religiously. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or something like that).

Today, the market place is inundated with line cleaners, conditioners, and restorers to cover any and every type of line on the market. Which is best? That's a good question, although there is no right answer. I have my preference and others anglers have theirs. My suggestion would be to do your own research. See what the line manufacturer recommends. Some line companies even have their own procedures for their own lines.

Fly line dressing and cleaning pads, applicators, and solutions are all useful in extending the life and dependability of your fly line.

By the way, have you ever hooked a nice lunker, only to have your very next catch break off your line? Teeth are the number one cause for line breaks. Kinked lines also can cause the line to break. To help prevent this from occurring, check your line for any frayed spots after every catch and before your next cast.

Tight lines and wet flies!

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