My Silk Fly Line

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19-March-2008 (Wed)
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12-December-2019 (Thu)
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Steps to "My Own Silk Fly Lines"
Around when classic bamboo fly rods had been used, the fly lines loaded on those rods were made of silk. It may be true that silk fly line matches to the bamboo rods which were planed based on the classic tapers.
While studying a silk fly line, there seems to a be variety of tapers, braiding patterns, coatings, and floatants, etc.. A deep and interesting world was waiting for me.
Considering that the best way of knowing all about is to make it myself and started. However...
1. I made the first hand-driven braiding gadget anyway with an endurance of 8 months efforts.
2. Braided my first silk fly line by hand at first.
With 9 feet of straight taper at both ends of the line, 90 feet #3 silk line came out.
It took about a week to braid. It forced me to turn the handle of the machine 90 times in order to braid 2 inches of line. Wuhhff...
r0010341.jpg (41015 バイト) r0010342.jpg (45005 バイト)my first silk fly line,16 strunds braiding
Rod Design by Deflection
The truth of Stress Curve
The truth of Stress Curve No.2
Introducing DynaRod
Rod Deflection in Casting
Rod Action
Line Weight
Designing the Rod Angle
Wooden Planing Form
Rough Planing Form
Bamboo Canoe
3. Electorification

By attaching a power drill on the machine, unexpected troubles jumped out and greeted me.
While making, the part I made with less attention reinvited me to make them again. Thread bobbins jumped out of the machine while turning, sticked at some places and the machine stops, etc..
After all, I had to make such parts again and again precisely. And now, it works by electricity at any rate. Wow!
braider3.jpg (37837 バイト)the entire shape of Max's fully automated braiding gadget
4. Coloring the line
Do you know, any plant can dye silk? I tried to dye some test pieces using the skin of onion and
the leaves of bamboo. I expected, if bamboo has so called natural color, I would like to have the color on my rods, at threads and fly lines.
The results were very satisfactory as shown below;

takebasome.jpg (42009 バイト) yellowline.jpg (44885 バイト)
left: natural silk mid.: onion skin right: bamboo leaves yellow;Tall Goldenrod
4. Coating

Following the instruction of Mr. Reed Curry's web page, coating of silk line is made like this.
As you can see in the photo, 16 strunds line (green line) is thinner than white one, which is 8 strunds. This green line is dyed by the leaves of black bamboo which grows at the entrance of my house.

takebaline.jpg (36747 バイト)

5. Braiding with 16 spindles and 8 spindles
As my braiding gadget can braide both of 16 and 8 strunds of silk thread, I tried to make two type of #3 silk fly lines. As you can know, 8 strunds braiding will use twice thicker thread than that of 16 strunds braiding for the same weight of fly line. The resulted lines are using the same weight of silk threads.
What does it makes difference? You can look at the differences by the photoes below;
8spindles.jpg (24700 バイト) 16spindles.jpg (24713 バイト) 8vs16.jpg (23148 バイト)
8 strunds 16 strunds comparison 8(left) vs 16(right)
The differences:
* surface smoothness is different. 16 strunds is twice smoother than 8.
* line diameter is different. 16 strunds results in thinner diameter than 8.
* tention control of 16 strunds becomes far more difficult than 8 strunds. It is extremely tough to braide up 90 feets of line successfully without accidents.
What do these differences mean?
* less sound of Zeeeep when casting
* less diameter will increase line speed with less air resistance

Next to do is to make a matching bamboo rods this silk line.
My Silk Fly Line
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