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Fixing a flyline

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    Posted: 23 May 2019 at 1:58pm
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I just tried fixing a flyline. I destroy too many flylines when I'm fishing around the rocks so figured I need to try fixing some.

Biggest problem is snagging your fly. I don't snag regularly but doing it even once can destroy your flyline. When you pull hard on the flyline with your hand in order to rip the hook free from the snag the flyline core can start to move inside the coating. Eventually the coating will come away.

Of course, if I didn't use 20lb tippet there wouldn't be a problem. A 12lb tippet would probably snap without doing damage to the flyline. But I'd lose fish too.

So I've tried joining a peeling line back together and will see how it casts in the next few days.

I ended up cutting out the bad section in the flyline and rejoining the two end with two dacron loops. I used uni knots on the loop then pulled them up tight together in the loop to loop knot. Then I worked the flyline ends up the dacron sleeve until they both nearly touched the knot then filled in any gap that remained with some half hitches of the loop to loop tag ends. Then a tiny drop of glue was added to the loop to loop tag ends as well as the ends of each dacron sleeve.

It will be interesting to see how badly it casts!

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jaapie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 11:25am
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Hey Craig, if I might suggest a better method.

Instead of cutting anything and tying knots, just leave the section as is.

I have used two repair methods over the years that have worked quite well.

The first is a bit fiddly but does work well and that entails sliding a section of that mono that they use to make mono loops up the flyline to cover the damaged section. Of course you can use dacron, but it is just a bit thicker than the surrounding core and you really do notice that 'bump' everytime it goes through the guides.

Once you have the section over the damaged bit, you need to pull it tight and I can't stress this enough, a TINY drop of superglue just to hold the mono in place on either end. Let it set for a minute then whip over the whole lot using a bobbin under tension. Blind splice the tag end and you have a beautiful repair.

Feel free to add a bit of  silicone over, but I have done away with that over the years. The silicone just seems to come off and leaves the bare repair.

The other way is simpler, and just entails whipping the damaged section using tying thread on a bobbin under pressure. It works just as well although you do need to manage the 'bulge' if it gets too thick in areas.

I did a tutorial not that long ago about making loops and it uses the same principle.

Start and finish a few millimeters either side of the damaged section and blind splice to finish. Tiny bead of super glue over the whole lot and you're good to go.

Hope this makes sense mate.

"Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught,will we realize that we cannot eat money" - 19th Century Indian Creed
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 11:45am
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Thanks Kev. Yep I'm planning on doing that with another flyline that isn't too far gone. That flyline had a big metre plus section that was totally rooted so I cut it and went for the rejoin. Could only find some light 20lb braided mono amongst my mess so went with the dacron.

Also I find the section of line just beneath the head goes first so I'm thinking if I cut out the stuffed line in that section I've still got a fair bit of shooting line and just a shooting head join.

I could have just jammed both ends up a single piece of dacron or braided mono but I went with a couple of closing loops because it gave me some better thickness in the gap and a couple of tag ends to half hitch into the gaps.

It'll probably still hinge really badly and be awful to cast.

Buggering around really. Nothing is ideal when it comes to fixing lines. Only going there because I don't want to take a brand new line into some of the territory I've been fishing lately.

As you say getting some braided mono over the small cracks and splits before the whole lot falls to bits is undoubtedly a far better way to go.

Cheers mate
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jaapie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 12:41pm
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Yep - all good brother.

Those big fixes are a nightmare all right.

Hey, out of interest, what fly lines are you using?

Reason why I ask is if you're using the outbound with the head section, why don't you make up your own shooting head lines. You don't need the T14 which is really heavy - instead go for the T8 which is lighter and gives you the same results within reason. It has the core strength of 35lb I think from memory.

I've made all my own running lines over the years using dacron with mono stuffed up the core.
At 80lb core strength it doesn't suffer damage and it's quick to change heads in the field if they get stuffed.

Only thing is that those running lines burn like buggery when you have a good fish heading for the hills - kind of like hanging onto hot solder Big smile
The burn marks make for some interesting comments!

At any rate, most of the damage seems to come near the heads on lines and if using home made heads, it's a fraction of the cost of whole lines.

Just a thought - I've lost my share of lines over the years and I know the pain. $$$

Good luck mate - 
"Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught,will we realize that we cannot eat money" - 19th Century Indian Creed
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 2:04pm
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Yeah the trouble is I enjoy casting and love a sweet casting line. It is somehow morally wrong to take a newish line with no problems into some of the locations I fish. And financially painful. I may have to go to home made lines as you suggested for the fishing I do in dirty country. Don't know about the nylon/dacron running lines though. I hooked what was probably a dogtooth in the Seychelles. Had some nice line burn after that. A dacron shooting line probably would have taken my fingers off

I won't mention line name as I'm sure most PVC lines would suffer a similar fate given the same treatment. I don't think a "direct pull that breaks twenty pound tippet" is something considered by most flyline manufacturers.

It maybe that I have to drop down to a 12lb 'breakaway' section in order to save the life of my lines in this sort of line-eating country .


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote wolfie5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 6:15pm
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There are always the cheapo lines on trademe that go around 20-30 dollars - certainly not advanced taper designs but still cast a good distance in most cases.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 6:19pm
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I wonder how they'll handle my destructive fly fishing practices I must try them
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mudfish marquand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 6:48pm
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There is something special about casting a sweet line. Unfortunately some of the nicest casting lines don't stand up to constant use before developing radial cracking. I have used the cheaper Chinese lines and I do find that they last longer than some of the brands we are all familiar with. I don't claim to be a good fly caster but I find with the cheaper lines, I sacrifice two or three metres. Sometimes those few extra metres are what counts. Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2019 at 6:56pm
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Interesting! Thanks MM.

What sort of core strength do those Chinese lines have? Anyone know?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote muchalls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2019 at 9:30pm
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I’ve got an 8wt floating ‘outbound short’ I’d be more than happy to let you try. From ‘Wish’. Cost under $40, not particularly smooth and I have no idea of the core strength.
If you’d like I can post it to you to try out?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2019 at 6:19am
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Thanks Charlie. I'm ok at the moment, but may try it when you're over next. Currently researching all my options on the net. You've given me another one to look at with 'Wish'.

Core strength seems to be a problem right across the cheaper line range and finding the right type of line is an issue as well. I wish I had a flyline factory so I could make a Kiwi snapper line for rocky terrain in a temperate climate!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2019 at 10:17am
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Interesting thread boys.   

Iv only just purchased a digital temp control heat gun for the purpose of building custom shooting heads and running lines for double handed fishing this season.   You can weld the PVC back on itself, by utilizing clear heat shrink.  Iv got to that point where of-the-shelf lines don't fit the bill perfectly, so time to customize! 

Not really the kind of repair that you guys are looking for as the core strength is vital in the salt, but could be a good way of improving the finish to the repair?   Join the core in which ever way you prefer then weld new PVC over the top to get a nice clean robust finish? 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2019 at 12:33pm
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Yeah, sounds good Fraser. I may go down that track. First of all though I've got to tackle the question of how strongly is the pvc coating attached to the core. It kind of makes a mockery of fly lines with strong cores if the whole integrity of the flyline is rooted by a direct pull of around 10lbs pressure.

I'm now left wondering about the lifespan of some of those GT lines.

The trouble is the damage to the line often manifests itself some time after the event so people don't aways click as to what it was that rooted the line.

And I'm going to make lots of friends in the flyline manufacturing world by pushing this topic along
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mudfish marquand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2019 at 3:57pm
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Well, you guys may have solved the mystery of how I can wreck an expensive fly line in around the hundred hours. I reckon that maybe I am separating the internal core from the coating by really laying into the kings. It's not the hours of blind casting, it's the hour or two of fighting time that the line gets. My damage is radial cracking. I don't get problems with #6 and below.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Crochet Cast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2019 at 6:38pm
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I’ve given up on Rio flylines they are awesome when new however they just don’t seem to last for me. I have switched to Airflo and they seem to hold up at least twice as long. Different coating.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FishMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 6:35am
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Yep, Airflo are well known for their ruggedness and Rio are well known for their beautiful casting ability. I am just not sure whether airflo will stand up to the extreme stretching abuse I'm handing out to my lines any better than any other line. And I don't think anyone is going to give me a whole lot of free lines to destruction test anytime soon!

I actually have to do a whole lot more research before I can take this further. There are quite a few different core types out there in flylines from monofilament to mutistrand to braided. I need to understand what type binds best to its coating and what combo of core plus coating stands up best to punishment.

It will be an interesting journey
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 12:04pm
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Yea Craig, id love to know if the loops on those high strength lines are created with something stronger than just the coating welded to to each other, or if there is some mechanical connection for the core? 

A couple of months back Simon Gawesworth was in the country.  Would have been good to corner him on that side of things and get the lowdown on the construction of those Rio lines. 

An interesting point about radial cracking.   Iv had that happen to most fly lines in the freshwater, but iv discovered that its down to the DEET destroying the PVC.   Airflo aren't made with PVC, and seem to be relatively immune to DEET, hence that's all I use these days.  I wonder if some of the cracking could be due to a reaction to suncream  or DEET? 

A braided core line would obviously resist the cracking better due to the extremely low stretch, that been said iv bough a few braid cored lines and the lack of stretch can be a huge hindrance when hooking and playing a fish.  You don't realize how much you need that stretch, until you don't have it!  
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mudfish marquand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 12:38pm
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A couple of times I have had a welded loop start to lift off at the end of the join. To be honest, I don't trust them anymore, particularly at the backing end. I prefer to cut the welded loop off and add my own connection. As far as radial cracks and Deet go, most of my fly lines, one well known brand in particular develop radial cracks, and in my opinion, well before their time. None have been exposed to Deet. I am well aware of what these chemicals do and it was a major issue when I was guiding clients in South Westland. I agree with your comments about stretch in fly lines. Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote FISHBYFLY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 6:55pm
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could be the factor of plastics,
ie/ the only thing that sticks to plastic is the same plastic[learned this from teaching myself plastic welding]
 
so when the flyline is made it fits well to its core, but as it is exposed to air and sun and temp changes and strain , it drys out to a thicker diameter and cracks,
 
I wonder if constant application of flyline dressings halts this process, it definetly makes it shoot better but I wonder if it really adds to the life of the line?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snuffit. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 8:29pm
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Originally posted by Fraser Hocks Fraser Hocks wrote:

Yea Craig, id love to know if the loops on those high strength lines are created with something stronger than just the coating welded to to each other, or if there is some mechanical connection for the core? 

A couple of months back Simon Gawesworth was in the country.  Would have been good to corner him on that side of things and get the lowdown on the construction of those Rio lines. 

An interesting point about radial cracking.   Iv had that happen to most fly lines in the freshwater, but iv discovered that its down to the DEET destroying the PVC.   Airflo aren't made with PVC, and seem to be relatively immune to DEET, hence that's all I use these days.  I wonder if some of the cracking could be due to a reaction to suncream  or DEET? 

A braided core line would obviously resist the cracking better due to the extremely low stretch, that been said iv bough a few braid cored lines and the lack of stretch can be a huge hindrance when hooking and playing a fish.  You don't realize how much you need that stretch, until you don't have it!  



Hey Fraser, Tim Angeli did hit Simon G up about loop strength and was told that they test all loops and they’ll break at line core strength. My view based on that response is that fishing conditions aren’t anything like lab conditions.
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