Fly Fishing

CSM Lines – They’re Just So Versatile

I recently went into a fly-fishing tackle shop with Anthony to get some hooks as he will be tying some winter creations soon, I’m sure. While Anthony was having a look around, I found myself looking at the fly lines, mostly for the pictures on the boxes. It struck me how confusing it must be for a beginner to look at this wall of lines and choose one that will suit their chosen discipline. The fly lines were very specialised almost guiding the angler to that particular line with the pictures, as it done with me.

I’m going to yet again use the word versatile here, bet your all sick of hearing that and rolling your eyes to heaven. So here I go again!!

Guiding brings me all sorts of genuine people wanting to get into the art of fly fishing. Many want to take up fly fishing afterwards thankfully. The question I am mostly asked is “what rod do you use” followed by “what kind of reel do you use to balance the set up”, at times little thought is put into picking a fly line.

Having the correct fly line or an all-purpose fly line is best if you’re unsure and just starting out in the wonderful world of fly fishing. Recently I had a client out that was having trouble with casting, perfect in close 20-30ft but when he went beyond that he said he had very little control. I cast the rod a couple of times and immediately knew the issue, not the caster but the fly line. I took a Cadence CF20 loaded with the CSM #4 Weight Forward line and put it on the rod and asked him to cast, which he did and thought it was a different rod, the difference was amazing as the line was a general purpose and held many characteristics.

The angler wanted mid to long range so needed a line with characteristics to suit. Now back to the word I seldom use “versatile”, A line that can cover close, mid and long range for me is what I need, I don’t ask for much do I!! I need an all-purpose line; I must be able to switch from wet fly to dry fly then even maybe dry dropper. I need a line to have a fine balance of characteristics to be able to be as close to perfect on each application as possible and being honest about it I don’t want to have to spend a small fortune either.

The Cadence CSM range of fly lines landed with me this year, mid-season. I generally guide with a 9ft 5wt or “the spud masher” as an angling acquaintance calls it. So I tried out the CSM #5 Weight Forward line on a trip. I usually use the needle knot on all my lines as I find the welded loops give a latch effect and are generally bulky. On this line the welded loop is very tidy and slim, so I left it on as it was different, and I wanted to give it a chance.

The different coloured running line is a nice touch and useful for those who may have a few different reels or even rods, it means that you can now tell the rod weight by looking at the line you have on the reel, handy.

To the lawn for further testing. I left out some cone markers at various ranges for accuracy testing. I performed some overhead casts firstly to see how loop stability was, I went from 20ft to about 75-80ft with the casts. The line really comes into life at 30ft I found and walks out to 75-80ft holding good stability at all ranges. The line is slick so shoots quite well, 45ft to 55ft is effortless. Around targets no problem the line takes command from the rod very well so aerial mends are made easy.

After the quick run over grass, I hit the river for some fishing. I tried dry fly first as there were a few fish rising at the tail end of the pool. I fished an 18ft leader to them to see how turnover was, it turned the leader over very well and I was happy with it.

Just back to the welded loop now for a second, the landing of the line created little disturbance which again I was happy with. I did however use the needle knot some days later as its just what I’m used to, and I enjoy tying them. So, for the anglers that like to use the needle knot the line is suited for this knot.

I did switch to wet fly and dry dropper as the day went on to see how the line performed. I enjoyed wet fly using the Circle C Single Spey Cast, which was no trouble.

The line also got tested using dry dropper which it had no trouble with. With some lines leader turnover can suffer trying to deal with a bushy Klink and tungsten nymph giving sloppy presentation.

So, I must say I did enjoy this line and found it to be “versatile” which to me is important. Premium performance at an attractive price point. If you’re looking for a premium all round line at a great price, then look no further than the Cadence CSM Fly Line range.

Dan O'Neill