Review of Scientific Angler's Lefty Krey Weight Forward Fly Line
What is a Weight Forward Fly Line?
Floating fly lines come in several different designs based on function. The most common is the weight forward fly line. Weight forward lines have, as the name implies, more weight near the front of the line. The goal of having more weight near the front is that you can cast farther and cast larger flies. Now, this does not mean that the weight increasingly tapers all the way to the front of the line (this is called a bullet taper by the way). Too much weight at the front of the line hits the water surface too hard causing splash and ripples that will generally spook the fish. So, a weight forward line typically is tapered for the first six to 16 feet (called tip and front taper), then thickest for another 18 to 30 feet (called belly), then tapered again for about five feet (called rear taper), and finely level (called running line) all the way to where it is indirectly attached to the fly reel. Of course, various manufacturers vary the weight distribution and claim certain characteristics of their particular line. Most are up front with their design and give you their line dimensions on the line's box or even their catalog or website before you purchase. Now, if you enjoyed high school physics you could look at the line's dimensions, determine the type of flies you plan to cast, and determine the line that is best for you. Fortunately, for the rest of us, there usually is a drawing of the line next to the dimensions, of which we can look at and say, "That looks about right." Suffice to say, the dimensions and drawing of the Left Kreh fly line being reviewed are given below.
Fly Rods, Fly Lines, and Marriage
Fly rod and fly line manufacturers try and make it easy on the customer by giving both number designations on fly rods and fly lines. In theory, if you match the line number with the number on the rod, they should work well together. Oh, if only it were that easy. The variability of fly rod materials and taper makes each rod function differently, while the same can be said for the fly line. It is very similar to marriage in that two people can learn about each other as much as possible, but you never know how they are going to function together as one unit. Hopefully my review of this line will help you find a good match.
The Right Marriage
I purchased Scientific Angler's Lefty Krey 6wt weight forward taper line and matched it with the Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Krey Signature size 5wt fly rod with a 9 foot length. With weight forward lines, I typically like to overload the fly rod with a one weight higher fly line than the fly rod. The two ended up being an excellent match. I would consider the rod as advertised, moderate fast action, perhaps a little more on the fast action end. I also have a Cabela's Cahill 5wt with a 9 foot length. It is a slower fly rod and while not handling the line as well, the performance is satisfactory.
I have had this line for three years and have fish it on average about 25 times a year. Here are some of the highlights:
Endurance: The line has held up extremely well. No fraying or cracking. Now mind you, this is with cleaning the line fairly regularly and applying line dressing about twice a year. Also, there are not any rocks where I fish, so abrasive material is pretty much absent.
Loading: The line loads fairly quickly, likely because it is heavier than what the rods are designed for.
Shooting: The line shoots through the eyelets extremely well allowing casts up to 55 feet on wind still days. The line has a noticed slickness to it, especially after dressing it.
Floating: The line floats well and has continued to do so.
Memory: The line does keep some memory when coming off the reel, especially when you first start casting with it. The coils are not large enough at the start to warrant stretching the line out by hand before casting. After about ten minutes of use the line straightens fairly well, although not totally straight. I fish in water rarely colder than 60°F, so memory may be more of a concern with colder water.
Accuracy: This is more a function of the fly fisher and fly rod, but I would have to say the responsiveness for accuracy is good, especially at longer distances. Because the line loads and handles better at longer distances, shorter casts at 20 feet or so are a little trickier. It isn't that the line fails to load at short distances; it loads well. It is more of a challenge not to disturb the water's surface with a heavier portion of line dominating the length of the line being cast.
Price: The line typically sells at the mid $40.00 range, which is below the average price range for weight forward fly lines. In truth, I cannot compare it to expensive fly lines. I can't bring myself to purchase a fly line over $60.00.
Other: I don't believe the line came with a welded loop. If it did, I cut it off. For some people a welded loop is important. A unique feature of the line is its color. The box states the line to be willow in color, which like willow leaves, is a mixture of green, light grey, and white. I really get hung up on line color in terms of spooking fish and try to go with a color that is common on the lake surfaces I fish - some shade of green.
If you are on a budget and want a responsive weight forward fly line with a good casting distance, the Scientific Angler's Lefty Kreh Signature fly line is worth considering. The line loads and shoots well. The material is rugged and should last you several years if you clean and dress it faithfully.