Your Cart is Empty

An Innovative Fly Line & Dry Fly Presentation

August 16, 2016 3 min read

Improved fly presentation

I am on a continual quest for improved fly presentation, particularly when it comes to the dry fly & grayling. I’ve found grayling to be far fussier than trout when it comes to drag-free drifts & accuracy. Generally they seem to be far more aware of micro-drag (drag so slight that the angler is unaware of it) & they usually seem far more reticent about moving off-line to take a drifting dry fly.

As a result I have made continuous tweaks & modifications to the equipment & ways in which I fish for what has become my favourite species. To delay drag & limit micro-drag when using a Western style rod & reel I opt for long (15’ plus), supple leaders ending in copolymer tippet that is as fine as I dare use (taking into consideration the size of the fly, the size of expected fish, any snags such as weed growth & the water speed). Typically my tippet will vary from 0.10mm to 0.15mm diameter.

I also generally use as long a rod as is practical to improve line control & to facilitate ‘high sticking’ when I can fish at close range which gives the advantage of being able to hold all the line & most of the leader/tippet off the water, thus reducing the influence of rogue currents on the fly’s drift.

This year I have been extensively testing out two of the new, innovative fly lines from Sunray for dry fly fishing with a conventional rod of 9’ or longer. On my 10’ 2 weight I’ve been using a 1 weight Jeremy Lucas Micro Thin Presentation Line teamed up with 12’ Hardy tapered copolymer leader plus 2 to 3’ of tippet. This set up has provided superb delicacy of presentation, but casting accuracy has been compromised when it has been windy (even when using the Italian Casting Technique) & it has doubled up as a reasonable set up for French / Euro Nymphing. I’ve also been using a 3 weight JL Presentation Line with my 10’ 4/5 weight rod, plus again a tapered copolymer leader of around 13 to 15’ to good effect. Tom Bell & Jeremy Lucas do not recommend such long leaders since these lines have such incredibly long, fine, front tapers, but I’ve been trying to stretch the envelope in order to achieve optimum presentation for both grayling & trout.

Micro thin fly line

Micro thin fly line

Both these micro thin lines are weight forward with a 33’ head length. The main body of the line is quoted at 20 -30% thinner than most other equivalent weight lines (similar to silk), therefore a density slightly greater than most other lines, but with a super-hydrophobic coating to ensure that they float. Then there is an 18’ front taper to a tip of 0.55mm diameter. The shooting line is also 0.55mm diameter. They are a nice heron-gray colour to avoid spooking fish. These lines are not recommended for casting big flies, for casting into strong winds or fishing on turbulent streams; however I’ve found them to cast surprisingly well on windy days using the Italian Style of casting & as long as they are kept clean or given a thin coating of Tom’s super-hydrophobic dressing they float fine on all but the most chaotic water.

Slick / minimal friction

The very slick surface means that they shoot very well & presentation is superb. Memory is zero & they have the big advantage of taking up little space on a reel so small capacity, light reels can be used. Unfortunately being so thin they are not ideal for use with my Vivarelli reels which have too big a gap between spool & cage. Cost is quite high at £60, but these are cutting-edge lines.

I shall still be using Mike Barrio’s excellent value DT Mallard lines for some of my fishing but having scorned the use of WF lines for many years I am now convinced of the value of these Sunray Micro Thin lines when delicate presentation is paramount.

I use the Jeremy Lucas Dry Fly Line and the Stuart Crofts Short for extreme presentation.

Large grayling on IOBO Humpy 

Grayling caught on size 24 CdC IOBO Humpy & a 1 weight Jeremy Lucas presentation line plus 12’ tapered leader & 2’ of 0.10mm tippet

This video is 1 of 94 casting tutorials explaining everything from basic set ups to master level casts

Fundamentals | Starting to Fly Cast

The basics of tackle
Language of casting
Sensory awareness


Fundamentals | Understanding Fly Tackle

Fly line weights, lengths & tapers
Rod lengths & weights
Leaders & tippet
Tackle to practise with


Fundamentals | Overhead Casting

How to hold a fly rod
Circles 8's & straights
Remove all slack
Plane of the Cast
Triangle Method
Overhead Cast
Stop & Drop
Retrieving the Line
High Back Cast
Breaking The Wrist
Shooting the line
Loop Shape
Slipping the Line
Stroke Length
The Forward Delivery
The Shelf
Drift Versus Breaking the Wrist
Backslash Forwardslash
Speed Ramp
Body Movement


Fundamentals | Double Haul

Intro to the Double Haul
Tackle for the Double Haul
Single Haul
Double Haul
Double Haul Fast Track
Cast Trajectory
Late Haul
Hauling Grip
Double Haul for Accuracy
Line Trays
Offset Alignment Guides


Fundamentals | Taking it to the Water

The Lift
Pick Up & Lay Down Cast
Roll cast
Energy of a Roll Cast


Advanced | Spey Casts

Intro to Spey Casting
Switch Cast
45 Degree Single Spey
Backhanded Cast
90 Degree Single Spey
90 Degree Snake Roll
45 Degree Snake Roll
90 Degree Double Spey
The Running Mouse
The Silent Spey
45 Degree Double Spey
45 Degree Snap T
90 Degree Snap T
45 Degree Circle Spey
90 Degree Circle Spey
Body Movement
Spey Cast Hauling
Beating Obstructions Spey


Advanced | Beating the Wind

Tail Wind
Head Wind
Side Wind


Master | Mends

Upstream Downstream Mends
Curve Mends
Reach Mends


Master | Pick Ups

Corkscrew Pick Up
Snap Pick Up
Roll Cast Pick Up
Double Spiral Pick Up
Snap Pick Up Variation
Aerial Spey
Cast Stringing


Master | Accessory Casts

Casting Big Flies
Feed Cast
Free Snag Cast
Snap Cast