For fly casting there is only one kind and that is the enameled silk line. Here is where quality counts and the finest are none too good. These lines are covered with a flexible enamel and not only covered but saturated with it as well. It makes the lines very smooth and increases their weight, both of which are desirable qualities for fly casting. It must be stiff enough to run nicely through the guides without drooping enough to bind, but must not by any means be stiffer than this — some of them are too stiff and none are too pliable. The enamel must be of the best so that it will not break, wear off or get sticky. The sizes used mostly for fly-casting for trout and bass are sizes E and F. The E size is used most, but for a very light rod the F size should be chosen. For salmon the size C is right.
The fine enameled silk lines have the dressing applied in a vacuum at a high temperature. It requires six months to enamel and finish one of these lines. When buying such a line double it sharply and pinch and roll it between the thumb and finger; if it turns white or softens or weakens at the place it is not a first-class article. See also that the line is flexible, and not sticky to the touch.
Of these enameled lines there are two kinds, known as level and tapered lines. The level lines are of even thickness throughout, but the tapered lines are two or three sizes smaller towards one end, if a single taper, or at both ends if a double tapered line. Tapered lines are better for fly casting, especially for use on lakes and still water; the heavy center pushes the lighter end out more readily, and the line falls more lightly. A double tapered line can be changed end about when one end gets bad.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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