General Info Question.

Jake

(not really a sea otter)
I’ve done it on the salt out of necessity, and it’s worked okay, but I personally wouldn’t go out planning to do so.

Last spring I broke a rod tip on one of my 6wts, so I shipped it off to the manufacturer. I’m lazy about line/reel changes, so I usually carry two string up rods. Thus, I found myself carrying a 5wt Scott Radian on the beaches for a few weeks. The 5wt line wasn’t turning over some of the bigger flies well, so I threw on one of my 6wt reels. It worked alright, but it seemed to cost me about 25% of the distance I could otherwise get out of that rod in those circumstances with a 5wt line.
 

Shad

Active Member
Let the rod tell you what it wants. If it's underlined, you'll struggle to load it without lots of line out. If it's overlined, your line will collapse on longer casts, because the rod is over-loaded. Different tapers perform differently at different lengths, so try lots of different lengths of casts before making a decision.

As Jake alluded, some folks overline a rod to make it load with less line out. This can be advantageous in situations where you need to "shoot" line due to limited backcast space. I just use different casts to make it happen with my regular line (not always with great results, but I get the fly where I need it most of the time).
 
Let the rod tell you what it wants...
+1

I usually match rod and line weights, because I'm assuming the manufacturers know more than I do. However, the summer before last I needed a new floating line for my 5wt Sage ONE while fishing the Bighorn and I mentioned to a buddy of mine (current guide and former classmate from the Sweetwater Guide School) that I wasn't entirely happy with my ONE. He had seen me fish with that rod and recommended overlining it by one line size. I ended up with a SA Amplitude line in 6wt and it is a night and day difference both in accuracy, distance, and presentation. I'm sure part of that may be the Amplitude line (and its coating or the way the grain weight is distributed one the head), but in this case (with that particular line) I'm convinced that overlining made a difference. Also, part of it may have been psychological/confidence...

Learning the ins/outs of line types, weights, heads, etc is definitely something I need to learn a lot more about. Obviously, taking the manufacturers' weight categories isn't always a given. I wish it was easier to test out different rod/line/line wt combinations without dropping the $$$...
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Just because a rod had as certain weight on it, doesn't necessarily mean that is what it is.
Take for instance some of the salty 6 wt rods. Are they really 6's or just 7's in disguise?
Now add in lines that say 6 wt on the box but are over weighted by two line weights.

The only way really know if overlining will work for your outfit and casting stroke is to try.
Most modern rods can take overlining by two if not three line weights.
Guys have been doing it forever with shooting heads systems. It is a lot easier now with the integrated lines that are available.
SF
 

Jakob B

Active Member
Using weight to weight when lining a rod: higher line speed
Using a higher line weight on a rod: maximizes rod loading

Which ever of these would be your preference to "feel" when casting is what's best for you.

However, it is easier for beginners to cast with more rod load ie. overlined rod and some experienced casters don't need it or don't prefer it. That's just a generalization but there's truth to it.

Also some lines come a half line size heavy which would be found somewhere on the back of the fly line box. Likewise, some rods respond different to lines because they prefer a heavier or normal weight line on them based on their performance.

Jakob
 

wetswinger

Active Member
Two takes on this issue. One: the AFFTA weight system is broken. A #5 rated line could vary by over a hundred grain weights, depending on the line manufacturer. Rod manufacturers are the same. Many of their rods, when using grain weight ratings of which the system is based on, don't come close to the AFFTA guideline. You're best off to only use the ratings as a starting point. Find out the rod manufacturers suggested weight in grains and do the same with the line. It's popular for the line guys to already overline their product depending on its use, hence one reason for such variances. Two: I was taught to use a heavier line when fishing small streams. You rarely cast past the head length of your line and aren't able to load the rod properly. A heavy line gives you more feel and control in these situations.
 

tkww

Member
Overlining can be useful for very short casting as well. If you're in a situation where you're going to spend all day making 15-25' casts, overlining can make that easier.

But except for the above, in general I don't prefer rods/actions that need overlining, so I don't own them and don't end up overling much.
 

rawalker

Active Member
I had a buddy with a 7 wt rod he absolutely hated. Said he couldn't feel it load at all. Put on an 8 wt line and it made all the difference to him.
And as stated above, many beginners benefit from overlining as they aren't making very long casts and it can help with the casting feel.
 

miyawaki

Active Member
Generally, you can overline a rod when making short casts under 30 feet. Line weights are determined by weighing the first 30' of line. So it makes sense that when you want to make 20' casts with a hopper to the shore off a drift boat on the Yakima, overlining your rod would be a perfect solution. Overlining a rod to gain additional distance will put your rod at risk.

Leland.
 

KillerDave

Have camera, will travel...
Overlining is very good for roll casting; this concept is the basis for modern spey casting.

As others have stated, overlining is also really good to quickly load a rod for short casts. This is very helpful when it's windy.
 

Driftless Dan

Active Member
If I were to find this problem, use the Common Cents method to measure the rod (not a perfect method, but fine, give me a better one) and then find a line that matches that measurement. So if your rod is called a 5 weight but actually just nudges over to 6 weight, then find a line that is also on the light side of a 6-weight grain weight. It's a lot of work that, frankly, is caused by fly rod manufacturers purposely misrepresenting their rods, but I don't see a way to force them to use a common method to measure their rods.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
If I were to find this problem, use the Common Cents method to measure the rod (not a perfect method, but fine, give me a better one) and then find a line that matches that measurement. So if your rod is called a 5 weight but actually just nudges over to 6 weight, then find a line that is also on the light side of a 6-weight grain weight. It's a lot of work that, frankly, is caused by fly rod manufacturers purposely misrepresenting their rods, but I don't see a way to force them to use a common method to measure their rods.

the common method should be designing rods that cast a standard weight line.
 
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