The art of designing fly lines involves a multitude of factors, and to succeed we have to look for the optimal mix. A crucial initiation of a successful cooperation between a contractor and a fly line factory is to have a meeting where the options and the limiting factors are presented and discussed. The next step is to design profiles and specifications for the first batch of prototypes.
A fly line is normally divided into 3 or 4 major parts. A WF-line consists of a level belly that is tapered down in both ends. A normal front taper is triangularly (smoothly) tapered from the belly to the tip (though for some lines – especially sinking lines – stepwise tapers are preferred) and a normal rear taper is triangularly tapered from the belly to the running line. The last part will, of course, be the running line. A shooting head will not have a running line, but a belly, a front taper and (most of the time) a very short rear taper.
When we design profiles, diameter estimations are crucial, but we will also have to take weight, length and density into consideration. The longer the head the heavier it can be (a normal length 5-weight WF-head weighs about 12 grams, while an extreme Long Belly # 5 can have heads over 20 grams). One of the most important factors for Scierra is that our lines fit all of our rods of corresponding weight classes.
Other important factors involve core elasticity and coating stiffness. Do we want non-elastic lines to ensure optimal sensitivity every time a fish strikes or do we aim for more elastic and less stiff lines to ensure better turnover qualities and less coiling? We design different mixes for different kinds of lines. Coating quality is another important factor. We want our lines to be as smooth as possible (minimal friction between guides and line). Our loops are infinitely small and light and this was an important factor for us from the very start.
We have been through four batches of prototypes before our nerdy and perfectionist brains were satisfied. Knut Ekelund (Mr. Fly Line himself) and myself are not the easiest of designers to cooperate with, but we are both able to recognize satisfaction when a superb fly line appears. And Scierra’s new fly lines are truly superb!
Scierra Product Developer