While hipsters continually ‘re-inventing’ fly fishing in ugly shirts, punk-ass hats and greased beards may get all the press for what’s ‘new’, a lot of the more useful, though quiet advances have been made in lines.
A great new example is RIO’s new LL line. It’s like taking a step back and turning the volume down from eleven back to seven, and changing the tune from any rap noise to actual music. They work the rod without bending it in half and are designed to present flies rather than drive them like they were stolen into the surface.
I really like RIO’s low-stretch Perception lines and run them in WF tapers on everything from #3 through #7 weights for all my trout fishing, but they don’t make them in a two weight so that rules out any comparisons there, but I can compare the Perception to the LL on my 4-weight and will say the double-taper LL suites the slower Circa better for dry fly-fishing and fiddly risers in general, but the weight-forward Perception, at around ten grains heavier in the head and more aggressive in taper is better for indicator nymphing and long casts. In the same weight, but glass or grass, the double-taper LL would be my pick for any kind of fishing anytime.
On my very, very twiggy graphite rods like the winsome little Wellner #2, there’s no question the #2 double-taper LL is a good match as it in no way overloads the tiny rod and brings back control because of it. The feel and accuracy with ten to twenty feet of line out is amazing and adding a quick twenty feet to that in one shoot is also easier than it should be.
The LL double-taper lines are half cream and half brown, both flat and un-flashy. Being a double-taper line, you can run it either way and I chose to lead with the lighter colour for better visibility in the tight stuff and some obvious advantages for photography. Were I fishing over more selective water, brown might be a better choice.
(For what it’s worth, I think if the colour of your line is spooking fish you might need to work on your presentation as much as anything else—my Kiwi friends may disagree however.)
It’s also good to see that the length of the DT lines is back to seventy feet for the #2 and eighty feet for the #4. This makes it a little easier to fit on normal-sized reels.
On the weight-forward versions of the LL line, the head is brown and the back taper and running line are tan. The Wf #3 is eighty feet in length and the #4 and #5 ninety feet.
Like other lines in the RIO range, the colour change can be a very useful visual clue in longer casts and I find it quite helpful on my heavier rods.
Double-taper lines may seem a little old-fashioned these days, though there are sound arguments for their use on lighter rods, better roll casting and mending being the most obvious and light presentation the other.
I think the real bonus would be having two exact halves of a line and being able to turn it around on the reel if one side is showing its age.
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