"On the spool this looks almost ridiculously thin."
On the spool this looks almost ridiculously thin. The key to this line is in the subtitle – “FIPS legal micro-diameter nymph line 0.55mm.”
FIPS rules require a fly line on the reel, no thinner than 0.55mm. This is designed to be exactly that.
Since diameter is the key characteristic, with a fresh battery in my trusty digital calliper, I started checking. Thing is, fly line is plastic in the other sense of the word, meaning it is flexible squeeze it between the metal jaws of a micrometer or calliper and you can see it compress. I found myself measuring 0.55mm and a tiny bit less if I squeezed the line.
This had me wondering how FIPS invigilators would check fly-lines. The current FIPS rules are available under ‘Documents’ on www.fips-mouche.com. Article 27 specifies fly lines:
“27.1. Any factory made floating, sinking or sink tip Fly Line may be used, except for lead core lines. Every fly line used in a FIPS-Mouche competition shall have a minimum coated diameter of 0.55 mm (0.22”). Only fly lines meeting this requirement are authorised for use in FIPS-Mouche competitions (not to fit in the 0.53 mm slot in the gauge).”
Go looking for the gauge in the FIPS rules and you find a diagram of a neat, if complicated, rectangle with assorted carefully specified holes and slots used to measure flies, beads and the rest – and a 0.53mm slot. If a fly line fits in that slot it is too thin. A beautifully simple, practical solution eliminates the problem caused by squeezing a line between metal jaws, cheap so invigilators and competitors can have a gauge and use it, incredibly easy to use.
That said, the reality of this form of fishing means the fly line may never actually get wet, so the need for a FIPS legal line remains a little absurd.
Sunray have opted for a dark line – on a dark rod it is virtually invisible. The core is monofilament, and seems quite fine, the PVC coating is smooth and otherwise conventional.
Looking at this on a reel, this needs a large arbour, for that matter it needs an LA reel with a shallow spool. On a mid-arbour or conventional reel I need a massive amount of backing to fill the spool.
This fly line is one of a very small group of lines made specifically for FIPS rules – all of which must be no thinner than 0.55mm. This looks expensive but the market/need for these is small, so the price is justified.
Tel: 07507 905850