Your fly line is critical to proper delivery and optimum presentation of your fly. It's easy to take your line for granted and neglect maintenance, but periodic inspection and care will extend the usable life of your line.
Cleaning with a soft cloth and cool water removes abrasive dirt and dried scum that accumulates during normal fishing. Manufactures offer products to treat the line once you've cleaned it.
Most wear occurs near the tip of your line, where it's often contacting rocks and logs, and where constant flexing can result in cracks and other damage. Even if you use a loop system to attach leaders, periodically you will have to cut off the loop and any cracked line and reattach new material.
Eventually the line will wear out. A worn out floating line will gradually cease to float well. Sinking lines get a beating, and they become shredded from constant contact with the bottom.
When it's time to replace a line, buy the best you can afford. You will notice a difference, especially if your skill level has risen significantly.
With floating lines, color is a matter of personal choice. Because fish see floating lines silhouetted against the sky, brighter colors appear muted from below. From our perspective, looking down on the line against the water, color helps us track our line more easily.
Sinking lines, as well as the sinking portion of a sink-tip line, are a different story. These are always a muted color because they are below the surface at the fish's eye level. When it comes to sinking lines, your options include sink rate (IPS), and in the case of sink tips, the length of the sinking tip.
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