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Fish: Rainbow Trout

Fly line weight

Post By: Salmon Slayer      Posted: 7/16/2020 2:13:18 PM     Points: 1560    
I acquired two vintage Fenwick HMG fly rods for the wife and me, and need help deciding the best weight of floating, weight forward line to use. Both rods are 2-piece 6 weights. One is GFF 806, the other GFF 856. I determined the actual weight of the rods per the Dr Hannemans Common Cents system [log in for link] as I first observed on a Youtube post [log in for link] . Both rods measured 5.35 on the scale. Internet posts show the action of vintage two piece HMG rods as medium fast.

I am an advanced novice, and my wife is a novice. We fish from shore, and prefer streams and small rivers, such as the upper Rio Grande--which I view as our sweet spot--in the area of Road Canyon Reservoir above Creede). As we improve I expect to branch out to larger waters, possibly including Spinney and the Arkansas River et al. I am inclined to go with 6 wt. line, expecting that it will help load the rod well. However, I don't know how the medium fast designation fits into the mix. We are seniors, and so need the easiest casting scenario possible. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Jul. 16, 3:07:33 PM     Points: 6858    
Weight Forward 6 Weight floating line is all you need for a 6 weight rod for normal use. It shouldn't be complicated. especially since you know it's a 6 weight rod. Buy the cheap stuff to start, so you don't spend a ton of money on a sport/activity you may not use weekly.

If you get proficient with a Scientific angler line, and want to get better, just spend more on the next line. Add line cleaner/conditioner to your order for best results.

Using my 6 and seven weight rods weekly through the summer, I get two years out of a line before replacing. After 5 years, the line coils badly, doesn't float, and I imagine this gets frustrating to many folks, and they give up on fly fishing because they don't understand the need to replace a $40 line occasionally. Brand new, fresh line casts like a dream, and makes you feel like a hero!

Have a blast with your new gear!
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Jul. 16, 3:31:41 PM     Points: 6136    
Good question. They're 6 weights and you should use 6 weight line. I wouldn't worry too much about over-lining until you're a few years down the road and fully out of the "novice" stage. Besides, by then I'm guessing you'll be like everyone else and want to get yourself a nice new rod :-D

What you've bought is a decent setup for learning. The heavier rod and medium action makes feeling the rod load up a little easier. It'll also be a good setup for throwing nymphs under bobbers. Since that's what most people do for "fly fishing" in Colorado, it'll probably serve you well while you learn and will be a serviceable backup if you get further into the sport and end up getting more rods.

Welcome to the sport, looking forward to the day you find that 6 weight overkill on the small streams you like to fish and decide to get yourself a nice 4 weight. You'll be fully hooked then! Good luck!
 Reply by: Salmon Slayer      Posted: Jul. 16, 6:39:13 PM     Points: 1560    
Thanks fellas. 6 weight it is. BTW Brookie, I also happened into a TFO 7', 4 wt. outfit. Lookin' forward to trying it out on a stream soon.
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: Jul. 17, 7:58:55 AM     Points: 2013    
Your rod is marked as a 6wt then use that line. Iím not really sure why you asked. Except maybe you think the 6wt is too heavy. The rod is marked med- fast. By todayís standards it may be considered a med action rod. It is still a 6wt. However the main reason Iím reaching out is lines are not the same. Besides the rod your line is the next most important part of you rig. As you said you like river and streams. Distance in casting is not important there. But accuracy is. The better line will be more precise. It will allow you to hit a certain seam or land your offerings near some structure. Without over casting several times that may put the fish down. Should you transition to lakes distance will come in to play. Especially if your on shore. You will want to cover as much water as possible.

My little fish finder will tell me out to 60í if there is a fish. Typically Iíll try to reach anything 50í or less. Bill will tell you that I do actually catch fish out that far. Iíve even called the hit at times. So IMHO the better lines are worth the money. Because I can get my flies in front of more fish. To me that is worth the extra money.