Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 2:14:12 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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OK, here's a question for the fly fishing equipment experts out there.

I just got my 4W rod back from repairs from Echo and I paired it up with a new Echo Ion 2/3 reel. Because the spool only holds 75 feet of line (with backing) I was on the look out for some new fly line in that shorter length. I saw some on sale and picked it up, but when I got home I realized I purchased 3W line instead of the 4W I intended.

I'll take it back for exchange, but it got me thinking. Can I use 3W line on a 4W rod? Because I fish mostly smaller streams, I rarely need to make a cast longer than 25 feet. Accuracy is more important to me than length. Will this setup cause other issues, like the leader not turning over correctly?

I've read about folks "overlining" - using a heavier fly line than the rating for the rod, but not the other way around.


-Bill
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winonaflyfactory  
#2 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 2:49:36 PM(UTC)
winonaflyfactory
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I overweight my 3wt with 4wt line for the purpose of loading the rod with less line precisely because we don't need to make very many long casts. I can strip a decent amount of line out and make a couple short back casts which load my rod then I can shoot the line I stripped off. I don't know that using a 3wt line on a 4wt rod is helpful because you may not get the load on the rod you are used to feeling. I'm no expert but thats my initial thought on this subject, I'd be interested to hear other thoughts.
madguy30  
#3 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 3:35:38 PM(UTC)
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I don't know enough about gear (thankfully in a lot of ways) but I'd assume you'd be fine. Rods at one time were more universal for what weight they were specified for so I doubt going down a weight would make much difference.
Jimbern  
#4 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 5:57:37 PM(UTC)
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Funny you should ask.

I just replaced and Orvis floating WF4 with a Rio Gold floating WF4 on my 4wt 8ft rod and the differences were surprising. The weight forward part of the Rio seemed to be a little beefier than the Orvis. The result was a big improvement in rod loading which resulted in my casting stroke getting a little smoother— rather than "snappier."

So I guess the point is that the line rating is kind of random. A WF4 in one brand can act on the rod differently than a WF4 in another brand.
Hoggies  
#5 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 8:18:45 PM(UTC)
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It might be harder to get the rod to load up for short casts (unless, as noted above, you ended up with an over-weighted 3 that's closer to a 4 anyways. If your old line was at the lower end they could be pretty close). The faster the rod action is, the more pronounced it will be.
trapper  
#6 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2018 11:16:32 PM(UTC)
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Easy answer
Go to Sally world in by own and buy 44wt Cortland Fair play =$15
Get Reel
Pete  
#7 Posted : Saturday, May 12, 2018 12:09:56 AM(UTC)
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Hi Bill,
My 2cents: A 3 weight line on a 4 weight rod might work out pretty well for you on driftless streams. You may find the presentation to be more delicate. I think it will lead to a "faster" action on the rod: you won't be waiting as long for the line to load the rod, so there will be an adjustment needed to your timing. But it won't slap down on the water and hopefully will spook fewer fish. The main drawbacks will be trying to throw bigger flies-you may need a bigger gun to launch the larger foam hoppers in August and September-and trying to fish in any serious wind. But I would definitely give the 3 weight line a try before returning it; you might like it.
Guillermo  
#8 Posted : Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:34:38 AM(UTC)
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Most rods can handle a line weight down or up in addition to the rated line. Oftentimes I will fish a DT5 line on 4 weight rods because it helps load the road more effortlessly when overhead room is limited or nonexistent. Conversely, underlining may help with distance when you're in the open and have a lot of casting room. It will speed up the rod and probably end up being slightly more delicate.
OTC_MN  
#9 Posted : Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:02:33 PM(UTC)
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Honestly - and this is true with most lines/rods these days - you'll have to try it and find out.

The line weight ratings on fly lines today are next to worthless. It's supposed to be a standard set by AFTMA, but it's a standard honored mostly in the breach. Even within the standard, there's a range. According to the standard the first 30' of a 5W is supposed to weigh 140 grains. But it can be anywhere between 135 and 145. Plus there's no penalty or anything for over- or under-weighting a line. You'll even see some lines say it's a 5w that's a full line weight heavier, so 160 gr. Same goes on the rod side. Take what's marketed as a 'fast 5w' and put it on a deflection board and it'll curve out more like a 6W, and probably perform better with a 6W or even 7W line. I have one '5w' that's really a dog with a true 5w line, but it's great with the exact same line in a 6w.

All in all - total crap shoot. Blink
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
moosekid  
#10 Posted : Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:29:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
OK, here's a question for the fly fishing equipment experts out there.

I just got my 4W rod back from repairs from Echo and I paired it up with a new Echo Ion 2/3 reel. Because the spool only holds 75 feet of line (with backing) I was on the look out for some new fly line in that shorter length. I saw some on sale and picked it up, but when I got home I realized I purchased 3W line instead of the 4W I intended.

I'll take it back for exchange, but it got me thinking. Can I use 3W line on a 4W rod? Because I fish mostly smaller streams, I rarely need to make a cast longer than 25 feet. Accuracy is more important to me than length. Will this setup cause other issues, like the leader not turning over correctly?

I've read about folks "overlining" - using a heavier fly line than the rating for the rod, but not the other way around.


-Bill


There's alot more at play here. What's the taper of the line and the speed of the rod? A thinner line will make it more difficult to load the rod -- combine that with the fact that you're normally making short casts and generally don't have alot of line off the spool, and I'd recommend getting a 4. The taper is important here too -- if you want a delicate presentation you'd probably do better with 4wt double taper or triangle taper than with a 3WF..

A decent line can make a huge difference.
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