I love making and fishing horsehair lines. I also like to experiment with different lengths of line for different rods and situations. I have been trying to find the maximum length of line I can cast with each rod, partly to find out what my limit is and partly for practice; if I get repeatable accurate casts from a long line, my short line casting just seems to take off.
Usually for long line testing I just chop off a huge section of fluoro level line and flail away, cutting line as needed. Recently while making a delicate 9' line for micro-fishing I wondered about making a long horsehair line. I resisted the temptation of making a hugely heavy line (been there done that for the Amago) and decided to try a stout but manageable line for the Ito.
The end result was a 28' line made from 13 snoods. The "recipe" is 8-8-7-7-7-6-6-6-5-5-5-4-4.
I went tight mountain stream fishing for wild brown trout yesterday, with no luck other than scaring a few with ill-timed slips or stumbles. Heading home I saw some nice large pools in the headwaters of the Etowah river. I stopped and went to fish the one pool at the base of the bridge. No luck on anything finny. On a whim I decided to use this as a test pool for the long line. I mounted the line, tied on roughly 5' of 6x tippet and a size 10 Sekasa Kebari. After a couple of short roll casts to wet the line and test the feel I gave a cast. Watching that long horsehair line fly forward was like watching a spey cast. The line stretched out then settled very gently, turning the tippet and fly over to land barely first. Fishing with a horsehair line that long you are definately using western style tactics including the mend. After a couple of casts I got cocky and my line, not my fly; my line
fouled in a tree. Bad. Very bad. The knots in the horsehair snoods kept catching and eventualy stuck fast. The line ended up breaking near the knot from the last "5" to the first "4". I managed to get the end snoods, tippet and fly back, so re-knotted the line and cast (carefully) a couple more times.
End result; this is a good long reach, high wind, open spaces type of line. I am going to try to make a lighter line to see if I can still cast long cast but with a more "tenkara" type of cast like I've seen Daniel and Dr. Ishigaki do with long lines. Also, I'm not going to try to make the line quite that long, but still 20' or longer.
The experiment was a success in that it was fun and I learned something. It was a failure because I didn't catch a fish
Any scholars out there know what "I think therefore I tinker" would be in Latin?