How to Select Fly Lines for Single/Two-handed Fly Rod? AFTMA & AFFTA
(I forgot to migrate this article from my old blog)
Many people are confused by the unique match making system for fly rod and fly line, but all forget the simple fact: fly rod is engineered to cast the head of fly line. That’s it. All you need is to match the weight of head of fly line to the power of rod.
In lure fihing, it is common practice to keep in mind how much weight your rod can handle, so it is pretty much the same for fly rod. If the weight of head exceeds your rod? Just snipp it off until it is the correct weight to fit within your rod’s spec. Or take the chance and see what happens. Every rod has a buffer for 30-50 grains higher or lower.
1. Single-Handed Fly Rod (AFTMA chart)
In single-handed fly rod, line weight is always measured at the first 30 feet which is the head of fly line. It is quite simple one-to-one chart between your single-handed fly rod and fly lines made ready for it. You probably don’t even have to remember the grain/gram part, if you’re only fishing in river for normal circumstances.
|Number Designation||Grain Weight||Margin for Error||Gram Weight|
However, when step your foot into hard games in which you need to use sinktip or heavy fly, you should keep it in mind so that you can rig the whole thing from fly to your fly line in correct weight. And you cast with ease.
2. Two-Handed Fly Rod (AFFTA chart)
When you walk into the world of two-handed fly rod from ordinary single hand background, you will be lost in confusion over selecting right fly line. First clue is to know how much weight your rod is engineered to allow. Then use below chart as guideline to select the correct fly line of your choice.
|Type of Line||Shooting Head||Short Belly||Medium Belly||Long Belly|
|Length of Belly||30-50′||50-60′||60-70′||70′+|
|Weight Measured at||40′||55′||65′||80′|
|6wt||250 grain/16.2g||420 grain/27.3g||460 grain/29.9g||600 grain / 39.0g|
|7wt||300 grain/19.5g||470 grain/30.5g||510 grain/33.1g||650 grain/39.0g|
|8wt||360 grain/23.4g||530 grain/34.4g||570 grain/37.0g||710 grain/46.1g|
|9wt||430 grain/27.9g||600 grain/39.0g||640 grain/41.6g||780 grain/50.6g|
|10wt||510 grain/33.1g||680 grain/44.2g||720 grain/46.8g||860 grain/55.8g|
|11wt||600 grain/39.0g||770 grain/50.0g||810 grain/52.6g||950 grain/61.7g|
|12wt||700 grain/45.5g||870 grain/56.5g||910 grain/59.1g||1050 grain/68.2g|
If you have two-handed rod designed to take 8wt spey line with medium belly, then your rod is probably 570 grain. You can select 10/11wt shooting head to make the match.
American Fly Fishing Trade Association