Tenkara Grasshopper Central

What is a level line and why should I use it?

What is a level line and why should I use it?

by March 7, 2016 2 comments
What is a level line?
A level line used in tenkara is either made of a specially formulated flourocarbon or monofilament which will perform differently based on different conditions. The typical level line will be the length of the rod but with experience you can increase the length of the line as well.
What do the different numbers on a spool of level line mean?
When purchasing a level line either online or in a store you will find a number printed on the label. The number at the top will give you the overall size of the line on the spool. You will commonly find a numbers ranging from #1.5 on the small end up to a #5 on the high end depending on the brand. As you can see in the image above there is a #4.5 thus you know that this is a heavier line than a #2.5. When choosing a level line, we suggest going with the heaviest line available until you gain some experience. Therefore, we would suggest a #5 or #4.5 to start and graduate to smaller diameter lines such as a #2.5 as your explorations into tenkara expand. There are definite benefits to each line size which we have found as well. When using a #4 or higher line a tenkara angler will have an easier time casting in windy conditions but will find that the presentation of the fly is just a bit heavier on the water. By going down to a #3 or lower line the tenkara will get a softer presentation of the fly, yet they may find it a bit harder to cast in windy conditions.
tenkara level line

Tenkara USA #3.5 Level Line

What color line should I choose?
The typical level line colors that can be found range from pink to oranges and with a few random colors thrown in. Currently, I prefer eithere the pink or orange level line from Tenkara USA.   When choosing a color I find the orange to be the most visible to the angler in the widest range of conditions. That being the case I have come to use the pink level line more frequently, as I have many locations in which the background has more of an orange hue to it, such as granite or dry high altitude scrub brush. There have also been times when I have even taken two colors and combined them into one solid length of line. You can find a link to this technique in (Tenkara Tips Level Line Tricks Future Post
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