Fishing Light Lines

In point of fact, using lighter lines (1 to 4-weight for dry flies) is less likely to spook fish and you can use shorter leaders which improves control. Even better, lighter outfits are far less fatiguing.

A lot of fishermen prefer 5 or 6-weight set-ups. I like such rods for nymph and streamers but not dries. One immediate comment I'll get is that you can't really handle large flies or two fly figs on small rods. That's a lot of BS. I regularly fish a 12 foot leader with a hopper dropper combo on a 2-weight Sage SLT. The response to this statement might be: "That's fine, but what about windy conditions?"

To be sure real light lines can be difficult in the wind but I can punch out a very long cast with a 4-weight. The other argument is that the majority of fish are caught within 30 to 40-feet of an angler and most of these lines can handle this distance with proper casting technique for windy conditions.

Light outfits truly excel on small waters (the majority of what we fish along the Front Range). Many times you're casting only a few feet of line and a leader. The lighter line coupled with the shorter leader lets you use more of your fly line for casting. Shorter leaders will reduce your drag problems because your case can be more accurately delivered.

One last point: modern fly rods can easily handle one size larger lines. For instance I have a fast action 7.5-foot 4-weight that I'll use a 5-weight line sink tip on when fishing damsel flies in high mountain lakes. I also over line my 2-weight outfits when conditions warrant.