What’s up guys, this week we are going to talk about a simple but very important component of fly fishing: line management. Nothing is more frustrating than having a fish show up and as you try to present your fly you are rudely disrupted by a sudden stop in your line, or even worse when you get a fish to eat only to be broken off because your fly line is hung up on something. Being able to prevent this is pivotal in saltwater fly fishing.
Before heading out on the water one way to help prevent fly line tangling and coiling is to stretch your fly line. When the fly line sits on the reel for a few days/weeks, the line will form memory just like every other type of fishing line. To get this memory out, attach the fly line to something stationary and walk all the line out. Once the line is all off the spool, pull the line taught for a few seconds at a time. Do this a few times and let the line go limp. You will see if the line is relaxing or that there are still coils. You can also stretch fly line without taking all of it off the reel. Simply take a section of line off the reel and pull between your hands. Repeat this for the desired amount of line you would like to stretch. By stretching your fly line, you can minimize coiling and tangles when out on the water.
Carbon Marine has made some incredibly simple tools for fly line management on the boat and wading the flats. These include the Line Lair, Line Tack Lites, stripping buckets and Line Lair pro. The Line Lair Pro is a foam-based mat that can be used on the flats as well as the boat. Very light weight material incorporating the rubber spikes to keep your fly line from tangling on itself. The Line Lair is a rubber version of the Line Lair Pro. This also provides customization of the spikes on the mat. The stripping buckets come in varying sizes and come in an adjustable bucket. The Line Tack Lites are a rubber spike that are attached using 3m adhesive rings. You can configure these any way you would like on a boat, kayak and paddle board. All these products provide great line management by keeping your fly line organized, on the deck, and out the way of snags.
There are some other things to keep in mind while fishing that can help with fly line management. Wearing no shoes on the bow of a boat can help a lot with knowing if you are standing on your fly line, as well as keeping he line from snagging something like a shoelace. If you wear shoes on the boat, choosing a shoe that is streamline can help minimize snagging. Simms has created a few boat shoes that are very streamline. If your boat has a trolling motor, throwing a towel over the power cord can help prevent snagging.
The most important aspect of fly line management is simply being aware of where you fly line is. Before getting a cast on a fish make sure your line is organized and ready to go. After getting a cast on a fish, recover your fly line and reorganized it making sure there are no tangles, or it is not caught on anything. With these simple tools and techniques of fly line management you will increase your success on the water.