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FLY LINES: Jim MacDonald Interview, 5 wt Fly Lines

Started by John Pierce, April 22, 2018, 08:00:35 AM

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John Pierce

Submitted by Member Jim MacDonald:

In no special order but range enables Jim to fish at any depth, numbers are Jim's reel #'s.

  • Hover line, 0.5 inches per. second it is very similar to floating line, but, is not affected by wind or waves as the whole line goes sub surface. I use in Ocean for pinks.
  • Rio Outbound Clear sinking tip. Tips sinks @ 1.5 inches per second. Nice to cast and color change in line indicates loading point and when to stop retrieve and set up for cast. Good for top three to four feet from surface. Perfect to cast into surfacing fish, ie targeting surface feeding fish.
  • Deep 6. For fishing close, or on the bottom. From my belly boat, I do not anchor. This is the line I use for chironomids and Boobies. I find you can catch bigger fish this way. Awful to cast.
  • Type 3 sinking tip, 3 inches per second. Fishes 4 to 5 feet from surface. When fishing two rods, I will pair up with the clear 1.5. I always fish with two rods on Lakes will fish two rods using a combination of floating, 1.5 and 3 particularly if I notice rising activity on surface, then a floating line. These three types of line allow me to cover depths from the surface to five feet and all are very easy to cast.
  • Clear line sink rate 1.5 inches per second. Depths can be varied by lengthening the amount of line in the water. Generally at 10 to 12 pulls sinks to 5 feet. Perfect for trolling a fly on a search pattern. A simple roll cast brings line to surface allowing ease of casting.
  • Type 3 sink. Fishing trolling a fly, ten pulls allows depths 6 to 7 feet. When using two rods again my combination would be the type 1.5 and 3. Generally, I fish close to the shore and if I have too much line out, bottom hookups become a very good possibility. I like casting towards the shore with my clear line, 1.5 ips, and just let the type 3 do what it wants. The slow movement of my pontoon boat generally creates enough movement on the fly that strikes can become a real possibility. A variety of depths can be obtained by letting more, or, less line out. I have seen some fishers let all of the line out the backing and in some instances allow well into the backing.
  • Rio Outbound. This is the line used for indicator fishing. Sometimes as much as 19 to 25 feet of tippet is required. I do use a formula and do not used taper leaders as I find they do not hang straight. So, 10 feet for the butt end, mid-section cut accordingly to depths being fished, barrel swivel and 4 feet of fluorocarbon. Butt section is 10 pound test, mid-section is 6 pound test and tippet is 4 pound fluorocarbon. Fishing at a 20 foot depth, 10 feet mid-section, 6 feet and 4 foot tippet. Attractor is set to the precise depth. A boat should be anchored securely using two anchors. In my belly boat. I generally use my flippers to control movement. Casting!!, wow, difficult, but well wort the effort. It seems big fish are attracted to chironomids. This is also the line I use for Dry Fly Fishing. It is probably much too aggressive for some presentations, but, it works pretty well. For a leader, I use a 4lb mono tapered leader. Fluorocarbon will sink.
  • Floating Line: A spare, not tapered.
  • Type 3 sink: A spare.
A variety of sinking tips can be created by purchasing bulk materials and cut to desired length and affixing loops to each end.  Clear tips can be purchased only as a bulk product is not available. Care must be taken when using custom cut tips. A type 18 for example weighs in at 18 grains per foot, meaning a ten foot section would weigh 180 grains. That is coming very close to the entire weight of a five weight line. If not careful, rod breakage could occur. If nothing else, casting would be very problematic.