WARNING: Do not use any dressing/floatant, that contains silicone, on any silk fly line! First the silk fly line must be dry before applying either Red Mucilin or Thebaults dressing. It doesn't require a lot of dressing but the dressing must cover the entire surface. SILK LINES ARE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT MONSTER--THEY MUST HAVE A COATING AT ALL TIMES OTHERWISE THEY DRY OUT AND BREAK. Do not use silicon on silk lines.
In the early 1950's fly lines approached those of today. A synthetic, non-porous outer shell over a braided thread. The types, weights, lengths, colors and tapers of today began their infancy. Needless to say, there are so many choices now available, we may have to write an entire book to discuss them all. But basically, there are sinking and floating; tapered and weight forward lines. The one thing though you can count on, they do not last forever, and should be treated with care.
I do not take my line off the spool after every usage and dry. Most casts are only 30 feet, and most of the wear is in the first 5 feet. So my attention is on this first 30 feet. I simply peel off a little more than 30 feet and take a clean paper towel and liquid detergent and wipe down. Then I dry well again with second paper towel. Then I put a glob Accardo Silicone fly line conditioner or Albolene onto this same paper towel. Coat the entire 30+ feet (and leader if you like) with these and then lightly wipe clean--you want a little residual for the buoyancy. Don't leave too much for it will pick up trash on the water, then sink. Do this after every outing.
Lastly, when the distal 2-3 feet begin to show wear (look for cracks when you bend the line), I simply cut it off then replace my loop, for leader attachment, with another secured by a nail knot. One can do this 2-3 times without affecting the function of the line. With a DT (double taper) line you can, after "cutting off" 2-3 times, turn it around on the reel, cut it off 2 or 3 more times and essentially double the life expectancy. DT line is the kind I like for this very reason. My lines last several years using these methods, and they are quite expensive.
Why DT and not WF (weight forward) floating line? Purely and simply for the above reasons. You might be able to throw you line a few feet further, but in most rivers, this makes no difference. And for the doubling of life expectancy, it is definitely worth buying the DT.
Bent rods, screaming reels and perfect line loops to you all.
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