Light Weight Fly Lines For Nymphing

“So what kind of line should I put on the reel?”  I asked of Rim Chung.

“I started with silk lines, which were very heavy.  I may have been one of the few, if not the first, to fish less than a ‘zero-weight line’ before Sage first came out with their lines of ‘light weight lines’ in 1998.  I have not had a great deal of experience with some of the recently developed ultra-light lines. Yet, for many years now, on my two weight rod I have used .027 inch diameter floating running line for my fly line.  It is one of the thinnest floating fly lines available in the market today and was the first ‘0-weight line’ before there was anything advertised as such.  It has almost uncanny properties for the advanced stage of nymphing.  It slim profile actually minimizes the drag on the line.  Some of the new zero and one weight lines may be very similar.”

Rim Chung continued, “The greater the diameter of the line, the more force is exerted against it in the water.  To exemplify, simply place your arm out the window of your car when traveling on the freeway.  With you hand flat against the wind, your whole arm gets blown back.  Yet, with the thinner profile of your hand against the wind, it glides effortlessly through the air.  Moreover, since your line creates less drag, less lead weight on your line is needed to give the fly a natural drift.”

“But under weighting the rod is the opposite of the traditional thought that you can overweight a rod by one line weight, but yet no one recommends under-weighting rods, why?”

“By way of comparison, a two weight, weight-forward line is .031 at the weight forward section and .027 at the running line section.  Therefore, .027 running line would be closer to the new WF1 or WF0 line.  I do not agree that the running line under-weights the rod in a practical sense, although it is slightly less than the manufacturer’s designated rating.  The .027 running line under weights even the two weight rod somewhat, therefore a rod with a highly sensitive tip section will be the best choice in a rod.  With the sensitive tip, the rod casts very nicely with the light line.”

The fact remains you have to find an ultraweight line that suits your rod and your application, which the manufacturers seem to be still experimenting with as well, as the so-called ‘zero-weight’ lines have varied significantly in diameter and weight since the were advertised as such, first in 1998 to present.  I find a two or three-weight line more easy for casting for my wife and beginner’s but it depends upon the person and the rod it is matched to.

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