Neon fly line
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Thread: Neon fly line

  1. #1
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    Default Neon fly line

    I snapped my first fly line my snagging it on a rock and attempting to pull it ou. The line was a Rio Gold, and the tip portion was an army green color.

    There was a good deal on some Mastery GPX scientific angler line so I ordered one to replace my Rio but upon receiving it, the neon green color hit me. I know I see a lot of rods rigged with bright fly lines and they hold value in when indicating a take. When compared to the army green on my old line it seems to me the bright colored line might spook fish and be much less subtle.

    Has anyone experience this, avoid bright lines for this reason, or use them as they offer better indication of a take?


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  3. #2
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    Good question. Iíve always wondered why people use neon green or orange lines. And, there have certainly been times when I thought I wish I was using a brightly colored line (but canít recall an exact time).
    My dry fly line is army green. Pretty hard to see (by me). But I figure if people worry about lining fish from false casting, the why the hell would I use a neon line? Like I said itís my ďdry fly lineĒ...but itís also my nymphing line, but Iíll fish a dry fly to my utter demise until I totally give in and stick a nymph under it.

    I do have pretty bright green line on my 3 wt small stream line, but I figure in such close quarters in small water I can manage just putting leader over where it needs to be.
    Anyway, Iím just rambling at this point, and Iím a subpar angler and plenty of fish have been caught on neon lines...but interesting question.
    salpal likes this.


  4. #3
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    For most fishing applications, that bright fly line will not spook fish with a leader of appropriate length. It can actually be an advantage sometimes as you can more easily track your drift and see a take. Exceptions would be technical dry fly fishing, especially in still or slow moving water or spring creeks or if you were saltwater flats fishing. In those cases, a more neutral color or clear line are far preferable.
    salpal likes this.


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  6. #4
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    Not sure the color really has that much to do with it. If a fish is attracted to neon green or orange flies, why would the same color line spook them? I think unnatural movement is what spooks them and when false casting the movement or the shadow of the line. I mostly saltwater fish and have caught fish in clear water and light colored bottom with a dark colored line and in dark colored bottom with light colored line. I do have some clear tip lines, but what is interesting is the rest of the line is bright yellow.

    Some waters and/or fish are finicky, where line color may make difference. But likely these are the exception, not the rule.
    salpal likes this.

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  7. #5
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    Thanks for the thoughts bmac and NC tribute. I only have the one 4 wght to fish western NC so itís all purpose and season, but I usually only use leader essentially and have some 12í tied up so sounds like Iíll be ok there.

    As for the do I think the line color maters for fish caring. I do think the brighter color can impact its visibility and therefore increase the chance that movement, which I agree spooks fish, is more apparent. Similar to how we use hotspots to increase attention to flies, I think the unnatural color could cause the increase in attention. But have heard this argument with fishermanís clothes both ways as well.

    I still Carry my blast orange had for hunters as recommended by another member of the forum regardless of if I think it impacts the fishing.


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  8. #6
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    I have always preferred lines to match my clothes on a stream. (Camo, drab greens and browns). Nowadays, it seems like drab lines that I like are hard to find, so the bright peach Cortland 444 Classic, and nearly all the Rio's with that garish bright yellow or peach, have been doing the duty. I haven't really noticed a difference in spooking fish, even in Desperation Hole in the Davidson. Like BMAC said, if you cast from a proper angle and manage your distance, the line should be well out of sight of the fish. Think "angles"... (I think at that point, how hard the line splashes down becomes more important than the color).
    Despite all that, I would really much prefer drab lines for freshwater fishing. (Can't speak much for saltwater flyfishing- still barely have my feet wet on that one). Just personal preference, and if it DOES make a difference to a trout, I'd rather err on the side of caution. 🙂
    bmac, and salpal like this.

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  9. #7
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    My suspicion is the lighter color of some neon lines might actually make them less visible to fish under clear water, bluebird sky conditions (ie spooky fish weather). Yes, it's easier for us to see a bright line against the dark water, but the fish are looking at it against a bright sky. Those "camo" lines with their dark silhouette against a sunny sky probably are gonna be plenty visible.
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  10. #8
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    I think the fish see enough sticks in the water floating by that another camo colored stick floating by is no big deal...that's always been my reasoning. But as I say, I haven't noticed any difference in catch rates between drab lines and bright lines, coldwater or warm. Do it right, and the fish should never see the fly line anyway.
    I thought it more interesting to hear (especially big game fishers) that some people use leaders and tippet in the 30-50 class range. Curious, I asked a Rio rep what the breaking strength of fly line core was, and he said it's typically 25 pound. Why in the world would someone not use a bite or class tippet less than the fly line? I'd rather loose a $5.00 leader than a $50.00(+) fly line! Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂
    salpal likes this.

    Lifelong fishing nut. Wish I was fishin, instead of wishing!

  11. #9
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    Leaders such as a Tarpon leader have a section at 20-25 lbs and then a bite tippet at 40-80 lbs for abrasion resistance. Similar for fish like snook, rough teeth require a heavy bite tippet, but usually have a section lighter. Some big game fly lines 40 lb cores. Only leaders I have seen at the weight you list are for blue water.
    salpal likes this.

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  12. #10
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    Musky hunters are the ones I was referring to; seems a lot of them fish tippets heavier than 25 lbs, from the reading I've done on the subject.
    Has anyone used the new Rio wire tippet? I figure to try some if I ever chase muskies or toothy saltwater fish.
    salpal likes this.

    Lifelong fishing nut. Wish I was fishin, instead of wishing!

  13. #11
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    stealthy wading/approaching the water is WAY more important than color of the fly line.
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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crassostrea View Post
    stealthy wading/approaching the water is WAY more important than color of the fly line.
    I think everyone agrees on this. I think the question is, do the bright flouro lines have a negative effect comparatively? IMO, unless fish are color blind, I don’t see how bright colored lines could be considered to be equal to neutral colored lines. But obviously...keep that leader ahead of the fly line.
    salpal likes this.


  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekod View Post
    I think the fish see enough sticks in the water floating by that another camo colored stick floating by is no big deal...that's always been my reasoning. But as I say, I haven't noticed any difference in catch rates between drab lines and bright lines, coldwater or warm. Do it right, and the fish should never see the fly line anyway.
    I thought it more interesting to hear (especially big game fishers) that some people use leaders and tippet in the 30-50 class range. Curious, I asked a Rio rep what the breaking strength of fly line core was, and he said it's typically 25 pound. Why in the world would someone not use a bite or class tippet less than the fly line? I'd rather loose a $5.00 leader than a $50.00(+) fly line! Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂
    Fly line cores for big game saltwater lines are often 50# or more.

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonz View Post
    I think everyone agrees on this. I think the question is, do the bright flouro lines have a negative effect comparatively? IMO, unless fish are color blind, I don’t see how bright colored lines could be considered to be equal to neutral colored lines. But obviously...keep that leader ahead of the fly line.
    The key is that fish are looking up into the light, not down into the darkness. How strong a silhouette the line cuts is more important than the color, and darker, neutral colored lines definitely have a more distinct silhouette.
    salpal likes this.


  17. #15
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    This is such an interesting case study re: people’s prejudices. After reading the original post, I just automatically assumed the OP was posing the question as a trout fisherman. He never mentioned what he was fishing for... shame on me!

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