** UPDATE ** The winner of the Cortland Competition Fly Line is Alan H. Congrats, Alan. There were four ways to sign up. So I asked my boys to choose a number from 1 to 4. They chose 1, which was for subscribers to the blog. I then asked them to choose another number relating to the order the new subscribers came in. Alan was 23. I’ll do another giveaway in about a month. Thanks to all.
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Some months ago I contacted a few fly line companies, inquiring about their competition nymphing lines. I had a lot of questions coming in from the blog about comp lines vs the Mono Rig, and I thought the best place to get answers was from the manufacturers themselves.
Cortland line company was kind enough to send me all of their competition lines (four at the time). I’ve spent time field testing them (LOL — okay, I went fishing a bunch), and I passed them around to some friends as well.
It’s fantastic to be living in a time when fly fishing manufacturers cater to specific, segmented markets. Although these competition lines are a specialized line designed for nymphing, they’re useful in many situations.
Cortland now offers a variety of competition nymphing lines: braid core and mono core in both level and double taper versions. The double taper lines vary in tip diameter from .017” to .026”, and the level lines are .022”.
The comp lines are great, and they’re a huge step forward from the Humphreys Deep Nymph line of similar design a couple decades ago — yes, I still have that bright orange line as well.
I’ve spent about ten years fishing the Mono Rig, so I’m thoroughly comfortable and familiar with manipulating 20 pound monofilament with my line hand. I often say that the Mono Rig acts as a fly line substitute. It certainly does. But the biggest detraction for some is that mono just isn’t fly line. That means a lot to some anglers.
Competition lines essentially take the place of the butt section in a Mono Rig. They cast like a Mono Rig far more than they perform like a traditional fly line. That fact is important to understand. These competition lines are really nothing like your average fly line — and that’s excellent. Because remember, for underwater presentation, fly line sucks.
The truth is, I still prefer a 20 pound Maxima Chameleon butt section for the Mono Rig. Taking away the weight of a traditional fly line is one of the key elements that make the Mono Rig work. Twenty pound (.017”) Chameleon is lighter than a comp line, and there’s no denying or getting around it. Chameleon is also stiffer, which I prefer in a tight line leader. Both Cortland lines are pretty stiff, though. The braided-core version has a little more flexibility than the mono-core.
In the end it’s a personal preference, and another example of Where the Lines Are Drawn.
Comp lines are an excellent alternative to using a full Mono Rig. Guys on the comp circuit have to use them — rules dictate that a leader can be no longer than twice the rod length, so the next best option is a super-thin comp line. Some have fallen in love with them, while others would spool up 30 feet of mono if the rules still permitted.
Anglers of various styles find comp lines to be a great alternative to a full Mono Rig. In George Daniel’s book, Strip Set, he writes about using comp lines for streamer presentations. We do something similar with the Mono Rig.
Bottom line, comp lines are an excellent tool. And here … I’ll give you one.
Cortland Comp Line Giveaway Details
Giveaway runs until Monday, 8/21 at 5:00 pm. I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday.
Earn one entry for each of the following:
1. Subscribe to the Troutbitten blog
2. Like Troutbitten on Facebook
3. Share this post on Facebook (The blue Facebook share button is down there at the bottom of this post)
4. Follow Troutbitten on Instagram
5. For those who’ve already subscribed to Troutbitten, or if you live a happy, social-media-free life, you can earn an entry by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.
Thanks all. Fish hard.
Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N