Sunday Classic / Line Marking Shorthand

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Clever Stuff Photo by Louis Cahill

I’m told that Lefty Kreh came up with this, but I learned it from my friend Rick Whorwood.

It’s a great idea, who ever thought of it. As fly lines get unspooled and respooled it easy to lose track of exactly which line is which. This simple short hand system for keeping up with line weights is a life saver.

Mark the line on each end with a sharpie. Heavy blocks represent a value of five and thin lines represent a value of one. Just like “V” and “I” in Roman numerals. So a heavy block and three lines means this is an eight weight line. Couldn’t be simpler. Mark both ends so you can quickly identify a line whether it’s on the spool or on the reel.

I’m sure this will be old news to many of you but if this is the first time you’ve heard of it, you’re going to love it.


Louis Cahill

Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Line Marking Shorthand

  1. I do a presentation called “More time fishing less time with equipment ” I not only share that tip but take it a step further and include marking your leaders in the same manner!

  2. I Mark the length of line at 10 foot intervals so I know how much line is flying overhead. It helps me judge when I have enough line extended to reach that sweet spot that may be hiding a smallmouth bass on the other side of the river.

  3. I’ve been using this method to keep track of line weights for many years and it works well. My problem is differentiating floaters from sinkers from intermediates; cold water from warm water lines. Those little stickers the line manufacturers provide with the new lines are great – if you have a separate spool for every line you own. I’ve been on too many trips in which I’ve switched lines. Stripped the one off my reel onto the floor, loaded the new one onto the spool, then carefully wound the one off the floor onto the plastic spool. I quickly learned I needed to mark the backing end of the line as well as the leader end because when I switched lines as described the leader end is buried under 90 feet of fly line. That was an easy lesson learned. But now I have floaters and sinkers and intermediates and Rios and Scientific Anglers and Cortlands all spooled onto plastic spools and I can’t remember which is which. I’ve written the info on little cardboard tags that come with a string to attach them to the line. That helps. But it’d be nice if the info was permanently fixed to the line. I’ve considered different color markers for floaters vs sinkers. Anyone care to share a system they like that solves this problem?

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