PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

Welcome Bruce Richards

Moderator: Paul Arden

Post Reply
User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 19416
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 2
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Welcome Bruce Richards

#1

Post by Paul Arden »

Hi Bruce and welcome to a week with you :p

How did you start fly fishing and did they have flylines back then?

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions
User avatar
Glenda
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 12:44 am
Answers: 0
Location: Queensland, Australia

Welcome Bruce Richards

#2

Post by Glenda »

Welcome Bruce!

Where is your favourite place in the world to fish please and what is your favourite species and why?
"my biggest worry is that when I am dead and gone my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it". ......Koos Brandt
User avatar
Merlin
Posts: 2082
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:12 pm
Answers: 0
Location: France

Welcome Bruce Richards

#3

Post by Merlin »

Hi Bruce

The current line weight system was born more than 50 years ago. Since then computation science is largely available, and I would like to know if this is part of the developpment process of modern fly lines. While it is likely possible to make line at their exact nominal weight, the trend seems to target the upper limit of tolerances, maybe with the aim to compensate for the (not so) general speed increase of rods.

Many thanks in advance for your comments.

Merlin
Fly rods are like women, they won't play if they're maltreated
Charles Ritz, A Flyfisher's Life
Bruce Richards
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#4

Post by Bruce Richards »

Hi everybody! Thanks for having me, this should be fun...
Paul, are you implying I'm old? I started fly fishing in about 1964, after spin fishing for bass, pike, panfish with my Dad. I don't remember exactly when, it was just a transition. But I wanted to fish for trout and we didn't do that with spinning gear in our family! And yes, we did have fly lines, and even modern plastic coated ones, I'm sure I started with an SA AirCel line... My Dad's best friend was the sales mgr. at SA at the time, I spent many days as a kid in the SA factory when Dad went to visit. I didn't know it at the time, but it was all part of the grooming process for what was to come later...
Bruce
Bruce Richards
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#5

Post by Bruce Richards »

Hi Glenda,
I've been asked that question often and doubt I've ever answered it the same way. But if I had to say... wading bonefish flats, alone, in the Bahamas or Belize is high on the list. I'm also very fond of trout fishing for big trout sipping small flies on slick water, like the Missouri, Bighorn or spring creeks here in Montana. Both are very challenging, requiring good casting and a lot of analysis to get it all right. Like a chess match on a trout stream!
Bruce
P.S. I really like tarpon fishing too, the fish are spectacular, but it's a bit too involved since you need a boat, and guide, etc.
Bruce Richards
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#6

Post by Bruce Richards »

Hi Merlin, good question... Yes, some simple computation science is used in line development. But not as much as you might think. I used some formulas I developed to calculate the estimated mass profile of lines, especially lines with changing densities. But the formulas just got me started. After the initial line was made and cast it was much quicker to just make the tweaks the test cast indicated and make another line and cast again. Time is money, the trial and error method was faster. Of course, that only works if the designer has a lot of knowledge/experience.
It is possible, of course, to make lines any weight that is desired. There certainly has been a trend lately for line makers to make lines heavier than AFFTA standard. There are good reasons for that in some cases. Lines designed specifically for beginners, who can't get the line straight and are casting short, work much better if they are a bit heavier. Also, lines designed to throw big/heavy fies with larger loops work better if they are heavier. But today many lines are just simply made heavier because a line designer thinks rods are too stiff and a heavier line makes them work "right". Personally, I think this is dangerous. Rod makers design rods around fly lines, hopefully AFFTA standard weight fly lines. If they use a non-standard weight (heavy) line instead, the rod will be stiffer. Then the line makers make the line even heavier, and a vicious cycle has started. In my ever so humble opinion, fly rods MUST be designed around AFFTA standard weight lines. There is no standard for fly rod flex, line weight is the only real standard we have to control rod flex.
Now I'm not saying there isn't a place for heavier lines, but I do strongly feel that if a line is made heavier than AFFTA standard that must be clearly stated. If rod and line mfgs. stray too far from the standard we have we enter a confusing wilderness of matching lines to rods, not unlike what exists in the spey market today..
Bruce
User avatar
VGB
Posts: 6029
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:04 pm
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#7

Post by VGB »

Hi Bruce

This is an interesting statement:
If rod and line mfgs. stray too far from the standard we have we enter a confusing wilderness of matching lines to rods, not unlike what exists in the spey market today..
In a recent discussion, the instructors unanimously agreed that the precedence in tackle configuration should be:

1. fly
2. leader
3. line
5. rod
6. reel

Just looking at forums, you can see that in practice the world works the other way around, evidenced by the number of threads that ask what line will load a rod, I'd say that the AFFTA system is already busted. I'm not sure that designing a rod around a 30ft line mass is any more useful than the # designation that is out there. For sure, print the line mass on the box but I'd also to know it in 10ft increments until you hit the running line, I'd also want to know the core diameter at the tip as well. Mind you I also wanted Cameron Diaz a couple of years back and that didn't happen.

Thanks for the Celebration Day recommendation, its been given a few airings in the last year.

regards

Vince
In Fly Casting Instruction, Soderstrom and Bjork are thought to be an ABBA spin off

https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/ ... f-coaching
Bruce Richards
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#8

Post by Bruce Richards »

Hi Vince, good comments. I'm not sure what you mean by "precedence in tackle configuration" though. In my book on lines many years ago I suggested to the industry a way to improve the fly line weight standards. You're right that weighing all lines at 30 ft. doesn't work very well. It did in 1962 when devised, but things have changed. Heavier lines should be weighed at longer lengths, they are cast/fished at longer lengths. In reality, each line size should be weighed at it's own length, say 2 wt. at 20 ft., 3 wt. at 23 ft., etc. That would be a big improvement, but wouldn't solve all problems. I didn't get much support from the industry, even though I offered to do the majority of the work. Of course, making such a change in a production setting isn't nearly as innocuous as it might seem from the outside.

There have been not infrequent request over the years for line mfgs. to list more weight info for each line. SA is in the process of posting both 30 ft. weights and head weights for many lines. Not exactly the weight every 10 ft., but a little simple math will get you close.

The beauty of the current system is that the avg. fly angler, and that's who buys most gear, can put a 6 wt. line on a 6 wt. rod and it works, most of the time. Knowing head weight or weight every 10 ft. only stands to confuse those anglers. Whenever these discussions are had a question that is raised is "will this confuse the bulk of our customers, or help them?" The experts, like folks on this board, would appreciate the info, but if the mfgs. lost sales to the largest part of the market through confusion, it's a net negative.

I'm still hopeful that there will be improvements made to the AFFTA weight standard at some point, but no one is pushing for it now, that I'm aware of.
Bruce
User avatar
VGB
Posts: 6029
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:04 pm
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#9

Post by VGB »

Thanks Bruce, what I meant by order of precedence was the order to select your approach to the fish. Fly to tempt the fish, leader to present the fly, line to carry the terminal tackle etc. I suppose that the current system works as a good rule of thumb and if you don't understand the workings of the line, the rest of the information is noise. Are there any material improvements in the pipeline or will it be manufacturing that provides any revolution in design?

Regards

Vince
In Fly Casting Instruction, Soderstrom and Bjork are thought to be an ABBA spin off

https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/ ... f-coaching
Bruce Richards
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:38 am
Answers: 0

Welcome Bruce Richards

#10

Post by Bruce Richards »

Got it... and I agree, the fly drives the order of decisions. Of course, there are some outlier situations. It would be easy to throw most modern tarpon flies with a 7 wt. rig but that rod is light for the fish. Conversely, some bass/pike/musky flies require a 10 wt. line/rod to cast them, but the fish could be handled with a 7 wt. rod.

We at the high end see things related to our tackle very differently than the vast majority of the market, average anglers and average retailers. They need to be able to put a 6 wt. line on a 6 wt. rod. If it's a lot more complicated than that, sales will be lost. Most of the experts I know who are asking for more info don't really need it. They can make anything work and also know enough about lines to make very good educated guesses about weight at length.That said, there are very few fishing applications that don't require us to change the length of line we cast frequently. This means we're always casting varying weight of line, and fly rods are designed to do that. For example, my 5 wt. Sage XP fishes very nicely at 25-50 ft. and farther. It also works well when carrying 80 ft. of a 5 wt. MED, which weighs about 300 grains. Competent casters simply adjust their stroke to the line being cast. As always, the REAL solution to most casting problems is to become a better caster!
Bruce
Post Reply

Return to “A week with...”