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How flexible is the AFTM rating on fly lines?

For instance, could I use a #3 weight line on a fly rod rated #4/5?

I purchased a second-hand fly rod and reel which are not strictly a compatible combo, the fly rod is a #4/5 and the reel is a #2/3 with #3 weight fly line loaded on it, but as the fly line is only one AFTM rating lower than the rod, would they still be okay to use as a combo?


One Response to “How flexible is the AFTM rating on fly lines?”

  1. enufofthisshit says:

    it is common practice to go either one weight over or under with little ill result. like a 5wt rod f’rinstance. you can easily use a 4, 5 or 6wt line and have no problem. the only thing that throws me is when the mfgr takes it upon himself to put a multiple rating on the rod like your 4/5. that may already be the recommended limits.
    but l say go for it. going lighter will not damage your rod. it may just allow slightly shorter casts as the lighter line won’t load the rod effectively. it matters zilch on the size of your reel as long as the weight doesn’t throw it off much. l don’t see a major weight difference between 3 and 4 weight reels anyway. and at the other end of the spectrum, some of the automatic fly reels weigh four times as much as an equivalent size single action reel.
    therefore, go for it. it’s okay to use as a combo. fine, even.
    catch lots of fish. good luck.
    hope l helped you out.

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