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All floating lines float in the "film" or meniscus, not on "top" of the water. Put on a diving mask and look up at a bunch of different floating lines. They ALL pretty much look dark grey to black on the water due to the light "bending" around the line... In the air, a light line should be less visible against the sky than a dark or very bright unnaturally colored one, and maybe they are, but the fish don't really seem to care unless you cast right over the top of them... "Right over the top of them" is a flexible measure that depends on a lot of factors, like pressure, water depth, clarity, etc. Apparently something being visible, and something being considered a threat are two different things to the incredibly simple reactive organ a trout brain is. I had one client who came in one day with video from a trip to New Zealand. He kept saying "you gotta have a grey line there, nothing else works" As I'm watching the video he is stealthily (sp) moving up on a trout and casting his grey line at his guides direction, and hooking a steelhead sized trout, while no more than 70 feet behind him, on a rise, clearly visible in the trout's window is an orange, red and white helicopter sitting there with the blades truning :rofl

A good approach is all you need. Bright lines make your life easier.
 

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Ironically, I think they do more harm than good... They tend to be a little chubbier (more cash= more splash?) than a comparable opaque line and cast a HUGE shadow underwater. Plus, I have horrible shoulders, both sides, and while I can cast well at most ranges, and better than most into obstructions, it isn't automatic. Every stroke has to be thought about and midstroke corrections happen all the time. I count on my line to tell me my casting stroke isn't working, and there are some conditions where I can't see the clear line (DUH!) in the air. I'm a better caster with the cheap light blue cortland intermediate than I am with expensive clear intermediates. Better casting = more fish for me... They are not a "ninety foot leader" as some who have a need to sell lines often say.
 
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