While there may be occasions where overlining a fly rod is a worthwhile endeavour, this isn’t always the case. I recently made the mistake of packing my gear far too quickly for a family trip to Ifafa beach. While the wife wasn’t watching I grabbed my rod, reel, and flybox, and hid them cunningly in the back of the car. I should however mention that when fishing the salt I often bounce between a 5 weight and a 9 weight rod, depending on my target species and the conditions. This chain of events led to a very interesting experience.
One evening, when Emma was relaxed and Sharon was enjoying a glass of wine, I grabbed my rod and headed down to the beach to try for a few shad, or whatever species I could muster in the gullies and along the beach. Sadly the beach was busy with bait fishermen in most of the good holes and gullies. This meant I walked quite some way (roughly 1kms to MacNicols) before I managed to put in my first cast. I stripped my line onto the beach, flicked it out behind me, let the rod load, and then stood there confused at just how much the rod loaded and how close it felt to a piece of spaghetti.
A quick look at the rod confirmed my worst fears; I was fishing a 5 weight rod with a 9 weight line. FAIL! Now while overlining a 5 weight rod with a 6 weight line may have some benefits, this combination felt more like the end result would be a snapped rod. So with my lip dragging on the beach I reeled in my lose line and headed back to camp for an ice cold beer. Lesson learned!