Running Line Demystified


To follow is what I consider to be, up to this point, the most comprehensive evaluation of modern spey pole running string ever published on the inter-web.

Jim Kerr


Adam McNamara, of castaway Guide service writes:

Well here is my .02 cents regarding shooting lines. First I will skip any of the bizarre shit I have seen people show up with such as 20lb Super braid (yeah I would love to get that tangled on my finger on a big bomber cast and lose a digit) or 30lb Stren mono (what the hell!! You spent a cool grand on a spey set up and cant shell out more than four bucks on that twisty, stretchy, tangled crap!)

So what should I spend my hard earned greenbacks on instead of these horrible options?

  As I see it the first of two real options are the floating fly line type lines. They are usually offered in a few different sizes such as .029”, .035” from almost every major fly line manufacturer. Every one I have ever tried from anyone has performed about the same. First the good; they are easy to hold on to and that’s great for beginners or people who like to fish in gloves in cold weather or just about anyone with the sissy finger strength of a seven year old girl. They also have the tendency to float so in slower water they stay up on top and don’t dredge the rocks and sticks, tangling on every little piece of bottom topography and causing every cast to get yanked out of the air half way out into the river therefore forcing you to invent a new 47 letter swear word after half a day of sucking.

 What could be bad about such an amazing product you ask?

 Well first they drag off of the water bad enough that it doesn’t matter if you tangle on bottom as you will only be losing about 10 feet of casting distance if your cast gets cut in half. There is a saying that goes something like “if a bunch of monkeys banged around on a bunch of typewriters long enough one of them would crap out Romeo & Juliet” or something. Well if three spey fishermen stand in a swift flowing river for a full day using flyline type running lines by the end of the day one of them will have a plastic sweater. In other words often times your loose loop in the water will tend to twist and tangle resulting in some frequent and often epic tangles.

 What should I do since its not 1982 and the sweater is not the pinnacle of sexiness?

 The other viable options are the hard flat mono running lines like Verivas and Compline. First, these lines shoot forever, they will make even the mid level caster feel like Billy Badass ripping out casts like they never thought they would make. This is a combination of low drag through the eyelets and low stick on the water. Second they have a tendency to not make any sweaters as they are a little stiffer and don’t twist quite as bad.

 Sounds perfect you say?

 Well let’s just say that when they do tangle it is usually instantly pulled tight causing something akin to the Gordian knot right in the middle of your running line. YEAH! Now you get to spend the rest of your day sitting on the bank untying a huge know and watching your friends enjoy what will undoubtedly be the most amazing bite of the whole year wondering if you should just cut it and live with only half a running line. While we are talking about the cons we must remember that all that slickness comes at a cost, namely that even those of us with super human gorilla big diesel hand strength will sometimes have that tiny little slick stuff slide through our fingers while making a cast and it will inevitably be when we are trying to bomb a monster cast in front of the only hot chick in the world who thinks spey casting is sexy, and she will laugh, and she will leave, and it will leave us feeling broken and emasculated.

 So what am I to do you ask?

 Take up golf. Spey fishing sucks. Its expensive, difficult, and last I checked it never got anyone laid.


Keefer, with the troll


Next up, “Swinging in the rain”, and, “Will wining like a bitch get my product or service reviewed on Rain Coast Guides” (Teaser, no, but free shit might help)
Jim Kerr
Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Fly Fishing Classes and Workshops, Steelhead Fly Fishing Gear | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.