How/Why do we "stretch" fly line?

pjstevkopjstevko Posts: 513 Officer
I read a lot about stretching your fly line before casting it and was hoping someone could tell me......

Why this is done?

How to do it properly without damaging the fly line?


Thanks

PJ

Replies

  • anejo22anejo22 Posts: 1,511 Officer
    i used to use a nail on a telephone pole and pull it all off the reel.pull it tight have someone hold it and rub some fly line cleaner on it.you can tell the difference.
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,572 Captain
    Stretching your line helps remove the coils to eliminate tangles in your stripping basket if your line maintains a lot of memory. Some of the newer lines are not so bad.
  • sunflowersunflower Posts: 446 Deckhand

    OK, now you are just being adorable.

    So, you flew 2000 miles for a chance to catch a tarpon. You have thousands of dollars in time, tackle, air flight, hotel rooms, and guide services. You have dreamed of this moment for the past year. If you are lucky, you will make 20 casts to a tarpon today, 3 of which are good enough to have an actual shot at hooking a fish. You are going to stretch your line because if you stretch it out at the beginning of the day it will cast further/ better, and you just might get those 5 extra feet that is going to make a difference between the fish of your lifetime, and despair as a fish swims past your too-short cast. You are going to stretch it out so that, when you go to make that cast of a lifetime, it doesn't wrap around the strap on your sandals (which you shouldn't be wearing anyway) and bind up your cast before you even get a chance. You are going to stretch it out so that after you hook that lifetime fish, it doesn't break off in the first 20 feet as a coil wraps around your snake guide and breaks the leader.

    You are going to stretch it out because fly lines, left on the spool, retain "memory" and want to wrap around things and cast poorly. EVERY TIME! The worst things they can wrap around, at the worst time. Every fly line gets a little demonic possession as the last step in the factory before it is sent out the door to plague you.

    How do you stretch it? ... use the telephone pole on the bow of the flats boat. ... NOT!

    Here's how: first thing in the morning, you are going to get on the bow and start stripping line off the reel onto the deck. Every 6 feet, you are going to step on the line with your bare foot, and stretch that six feet up very hard with a hand on each end of the segment like pulling a shoelace tight. You can do it pretty hard. You will do this every 6 feet until you have about as much line as you can cast on the deck. Then, cast the line out in a false cast and strip it back on the deck so it isn't "upside-down" (the end of the line on the bottom of the pile) like it comes out when you strip it out.

    Now fish.

    HERE COMES THE FIRST ONE NOW!



    Mark

    grace finds goodness in everything ...



  • kbkeyskbkeys Posts: 691 Officer
    Love sunflowers quip about demonic possession from the factory! So true. When you stretch it with your barefoot, place a towel between your foot and the nonskid deck. That can be abrasive to the line. You'll get a good line stretching getting down and dirty on megalops.
  • redjimredjim Posts: 774 Officer
    Good stuff, Mark! Thanks,.....
    sunflower wrote: »

    OK, now you are just being adorable.

    So, you flew 2000 miles for a chance to catch a tarpon. You have thousands of dollars in time, tackle, air flight, hotel rooms, and guide services. You have dreamed of this moment for the past year. If you are lucky, you will make 20 casts to a tarpon today, 3 of which are good enough to have an actual shot at hooking a fish. You are going to stretch your line because if you stretch it out at the beginning of the day it will cast further/ better, and you just might get those 5 extra feet that is going to make a difference between the fish of your lifetime, and despair as a fish swims past your too-short cast. You are going to stretch it out so that, when you go to make that cast of a lifetime, it doesn't wrap around the strap on your sandals (which you shouldn't be wearing anyway) and bind up your cast before you even get a chance. You are going to stretch it out so that after you hook that lifetime fish, it doesn't break off in the first 20 feet as a coil wraps around your snake guide and breaks the leader.

    You are going to stretch it out because fly lines, left on the spool, retain "memory" and want to wrap around things and cast poorly. EVERY TIME! The worst things they can wrap around, at the worst time. Every fly line gets a little demonic possession as the last step in the factory before it is sent out the door to plague you.

    How do you stretch it? ... use the telephone pole on the bow of the flats boat. ... NOT!

    Here's how: first thing in the morning, you are going to get on the bow and start stripping line off the reel onto the deck. Every 6 feet, you are going to step on the line with your bare foot, and stretch that six feet up very hard with a hand on each end of the segment like pulling a shoelace tight. You can do it pretty hard. You will do this every 6 feet until you have about as much line as you can cast on the deck. Then, cast the line out in a false cast and strip it back on the deck so it isn't "upside-down" (the end of the line on the bottom of the pile) like it comes out when you strip it out.

    Now fish.

    HERE COMES THE FIRST ONE NOW!



  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 191 Deckhand
    I'll add a variation to Flower's theme/melody. When? If it's your skiff no problem. It's your call when to do it. But if you are in the Keys and guided and you follow Flower's suggestion then “when” becomes a problem. You show up on the dock...Cap looks you over...lets see what you got...you had him your rods say 12, 11 and 10 for Permit, your flies attached. He says nice but we will change the 12 with one of mine. It's starting out good that is until you forget to step on the casting deck towel to take the tar off your soles and his white skiff deck turns black. You can do the stretch now but you will have to put the line back on the reel better than nothing but... You're off; he's got his early morning spot ...just as he takes the pole and climbs the platform, he says fish incoming at 12 ...you're stretching your line and not ready to cast. Depending upon the vintage of your Captain...the remark will be forget that... get the F..ing fly to the GD fish or the more cutting but refined... those were nice fish looking to eat maybe a chance at some more.
    Solution: IMHO use a tropical line that does not have the extra stiff core. I like the old Cortland Lazer Tropic Plus 12 for my 12 RPLX but it needs a good stretch I'll do it before I get on the skiff; while not ideal it's better than nothing; however, on the 11 Xi3 blank I use Wulff Bermuda Short which does not need stretching at least on a 4.25 diameter spool.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    In the past, I stretched my line at the beginning of each season..................after that, I stretched my line on the first fish of the day. :wink
    .......Rick
  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 226 Deckhand
    I'm with Permit. Good fly lines, even cold water lines, don't need much stretching except after a long period of storage, and if you're asking, you're probably not into "trophy" fishing, just general angling.
    If I'm getting snakes I'll stretch it in sections by hand once (remember to release the tension slowly after you pull and hold it), but I generally count on the first fish or two to get the kinks out. A lot of times I plan on backing up from a dock post and pulling, but I invariably forget until I'm on the water.
    :)
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