Rod weights and line recommendations

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
#1
What the heck is it with recommending lines for rods and overlining them. It seems to defeat the purpose of what that rod was/is designed for.

Overlining a rod dampens the action and instead of going a line weight or two heavier wouldn't just casting with a longer fly line work the same but with longer distance??

Seems to me that overlining or underlining a rod would make every rod cast the same distance and also feel closely alike.

It's a simple function of a certain grain weight of line that is optimum for a certain modulus of rod.
 
#2
Short answer is throw a true X weight line on a true X weight rod for 30 ft casts. Overline for short work, underline for distance. Or adjust to get what YOU like. Bottom line is the rod (mostly) reacts to mass off the tip.

However industry has confused the situation.
Technically AFTMA standards only apply to fly lines, and 30-40 years ago the manufactures pretty much played along (both rod and line rating). Grab a 70’s vintage Fenwick and it probably says AFTMA right on the blank and tests true to marking. These days the industry pretty much puts any number they want on the equipment. Grab a hand full of contemporary rods and static test them. A lot of rods these days are undermarked. Even George Anderson’s shootouts show that. It’s great for distance though and that sells a lot of rods. Then grab a handful of lines and a digital scale and weigh the front 30’. Sure GPX and Grand are designed to be overweight but you might be surprised by the variation in “standard” lines.
Underlining, overlining? See below, Tom Kirkman pretty much nailed it about 15 years ago. Of course that was when the numbers on the products were fairly true.
http://www.common-cents.info/aftma.pdf
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#4
It's evolved from a system where the primary factor in the rod-line-leader-fly equation was the line, to a market dominated by the rod. It's helpful to realize that a "five weight rod" doesn't technically exist. It's a "rod intended to cast a five weight line". Unfortunately, the industry has lost sight of that over time. A rod should never be designed as a "5 weight" but intended to cast a 6 weight line. It also doesn't help that the line manufacturers often break aftma standard with their lines. That would be the equivalent of asking for 15" tires and getting 17" tires just because they perform better.

To further complicate things, the AFTMA standard was designed when the methods of fly fishing were very limited. It made sense at the time, especially compared to the old lettering system used. But nowadays having a system based entirely on the weight of the first 30' of the line doesn't mean much when the variety of head lengths, tapers and applications are significantly different.

In other words, there's no easy answer.
 

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
#5
How long would a 5 weight line be to weigh the same as a 6 wt? Seems to me a 5 wt designed to cast a 6 wt is a long distance 5 weight rod. Is it "thinking outside the box" that's needed instead??

Or...... is everyone happy just casting 30 feet. Try thinking outside the 30' box.
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#6
How long would a 5 weight line be to weigh the same as a 6 wt? Seems to me a 5 wt designed to cast a 6 wt is a long distance 5 weight rod. Is it "thinking outside the box" that's needed instead??

Or...... is everyone happy just casting 30 feet. Try thinking outside the 30' box.
In the hands of a decent caster, a 12 weight rod will cast a 3 weight line much farther than a three weight rod will. So you can always just buy a stiffer rod. No need to mislabel anything. That being said, the standard is out of date. Total head weight in grains is much more useful than that aftma size.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#9
This subject comes up to often to be a good subject. If you would do a search you would see that this subject gets lots of coverage. Or are you bored and just want to stir the pot.
 

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
#11
It stemmed from the previous "what's a good line for this rod" and had the thought that some rods were made for distance and wouldn't benefit from overlining but a longer length of line.

Are you suffering from "frozen mind" and unable to think beyond? This is not popcorn stuff but a different way to look of looking at things.