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Fly Lines : What makes a good line?

Sunray started making fly fishing lines in 2014. We invented the microthin fly line which is a floating line that is thinner than a comparable line of equal length and weight. The benefits of a thinner line are ten fold. You can use lighter tippets, softer fly rods and smaller flies. At first we would get customers calling, telling us how they had caught more fish than ever before using our lines. Then, we got calls saying how customers were catching their personal best fish. Soon, many world FIPS MOUCHE fly anglers were using our Nymph line in fishing competitions. Now, we expect to get calls from customers excited, telling us how our lines have changed their catch rate, quality of catch and fundamentally, their enjoyment of fly fishing.

A Sunray taper has been optimised for each length of rod. Ask yourself, how many brands talk about the length of the head of a line when partnering it with a fly rod? None, they only talk about line weight. You get a 5 weight line for a 5 weight fly rod. But, they make lines in the same range, with the same head lengths from 4 to 9 sometimes. Well, a 4 weight fly rod is not the same length as a 7 weight usually. Often a 4 weight fly rod is below 8 feet. A 7 weight is often 10 feet in length. If you use a 33' head fly line on an 8' rod it will cast well. If you cast a 33' head fly line on a 10 foot fly rod it will be unbalanced and wobble in the air. It will be unstable.

Casting is a triangle. You have the rod, the head of the line and the caster. If you change one of those sides lengths, from an 8 foot to a 10 foot rod for instance, you have an unbalanced triangle. Sunray alter the head lengths for each weight of line within a range to match the most commonly used length of rods in that class. We balance the triangle to give a balanced, easy, controlled casting experience.

Saltwater fly lines need harder coatings and stiffer cores to combat the heat. Fly fishing lines with sink tips need to have the correct taper from floating to sinking section, to combat hingeing where they meet. A Pike fly line needs the correct head length to maintain good loop shape whilst delivering large pike flies, with limited back casting space, into very tight spots under branches etc. All these factors are considered by our design team, led by Tom Bell, the founder of Sunray and the inventor of micro thin fly lines.

A sink tip line, full sinking line, line with an intermediate tip or midge tip fly line has to sink at a certain rate. We measure that by inches per second. A weight forward taper changes diameter near the front of the fly line. Depending on the diameter of that part, the line will sink at different rates. We change the density of each diameter to maintain an even sink rate for all our sinking fly lines. You don't want a sinking line to sink in an arc, unless it is a sweep line, designed to retrieve your flies in an arc subsurface.

A streamer line designed to cast a pike and muskie fly places very specific demands on us as designers. Fly fishing streamers is often misunderstood as easy. Fly anglers need to be able to control the cast whilst still hauling out big pike flies a long way. It combines the delicacy of a dry fly presentation line and the power of a Skagit shooting head. That balance is important in a streamer fly line.

Spey and Scandi shooting heads test taper design. They need to fly extremely long distances but land delicately. A Scandi line is the opposite of a Skagit line. A Scandi line needs to deliver small to medium salmon flies in clear water with tight back casting space. A Skagit casts heavy sink tips and big intruder flies for Steelhead. A Spey fly line is basically the longest head fly line you will ever see, designed for Spey casting small to medium size salmon patterns a long way and mend the line to dead drift or swing, whatever you need.

All these tapers need to be understood and perfected. It's critical to use the correct running line with a Scandi fly line. A Scandi head needs the correct resistance to turn the leader over but not too much so that it tuck casts too soon. A saltwater line needs a thicker shooting line to prevent tangling and jamming in fast spinning fly reel spools. We love all these challenges. Our motto is 'We don't make anything that has been made before.' We make fly lines that offer something new in terms of performance. We make the World's best fly lines.