Fly fishing: the great leveller
“Forget your perfect offering. There is a flaw in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen
I had this new line. It was heavy in the forward part, and arguably more of a five weight than a four. But it was really awesome. I fish a five on that rod anyway, and I was worried that the four may be too light. I need not have worried.
I took it out on a hot Saturday afternoon and gave it a throw on the nine foot rod out on the lawn. All good. Very good!
It was time to chop the loop off the front, and risking a precious inch of the special, nipple pink, ultra flotatious half foot or so of good stuff, perform a superglue splice.
After much deliberation, I chose a “Yamame” flat butt leader. Expensive. All the way from Japan. Special like the line. The splice had to be special too.
I laboured over it at my desk in the severe summer heat. The sweat trickled from my brow. I got the sewing machine needle further up the core than I had imagined. I nervously unwrapped the leader and went about threading it, and pulling it right through the line tip with the needle. I paused, and roughed up the end with my hook hone, not sure how a flat butt leader would roughen up, relative to nylon ones I had tried before. It worked! I pulled the last inch of leader into the side of the fly-line with its thin coating of superglue……it slid in and ran fast and hard…glued right in there. Perfection!
As a precaution I did a wrapping of 7/0 fly tying silk. A delicate but tight wrapping, securing the leader butt inside the line. Failsafe.
It was braai time. I lit the fire. We opened drinks, and I relaxed and cooked meat and drank beer.
After dinner the family went to buy ice creams. I sauntered through to the lounge where the fan was still whirring beside my fly tying desk. I lifted the reel, and admired the neatly would line. I needed one more look at what I had done. One more loving glance at what I had achieved, before ice creams and bed. I stripped the leader from the reel, until I came to the splice. I changed my glasses to the stronger ones to get a better look, and I ran my fingers over the smooth UV glue coating.
Suddenly my beer muted mind was in a spin. I had one on. I was in the lounge. With a hand line. It was pulling. I pulled back in a mixture of mild delight, which was overshadowed by confusion. As quickly as it had started it was over. Snapped up!
The fan had picked up the tippet and wound it onto its shaft at several thousand RPM. The leader butt snapped mid way, leaving a short section of a foot below the perfect splice. Eighty bucks of Yamame, Japanese perfection was destroyed in a sobering second.
Back to the the drawing board.
Fly fishing. The great leveler.