Titanium Line

I had first heard of titanium lines years ago and was impressed by the ability of their main proponent, Tatsurou Okaniwa, to keep his fly in an extremely small eddy on the far side of a rushing current. I tried one and found it to be absolutely invisible against any background. Even with a 2' length of Hi-Vis fluorocarbon between the titanium line and the tippet, I had a hard time finding the fluorocarbon. It may be that I picked a bad time of day in a bad location to try it, but I hated it and never tried it again until last year.

I tried a titanium line again last spring and I still couldn't see it. The goal of the test was not to determine whether I could see the line, though, as I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to. The main purpose of my test was to determine if it would work well as a wind line and also to determine how the line casts.

The biggest difference between my recent test and when I had tried the line previously was that this time I tried it on a lake. I still couldn't see the line as I was casting, but I could see the ripples as the line settled to the water.

I have to say, the line was extremely easy to cast. Even with a breeze, I was able to get a complete extension of the line and tippet when casting directly into the breeze. And that was with a line of the same diameter as size 1.5 tenkara line! That's impressive.

Not being able to see the line, I fished by feel. The slightest "tick" on the line was a signal to tighten up, and it almost always resulted in a fish. I'd have to say that titanium line has gone up a lot in my estimation. I haven't yet decided whether I like the line, but I have decided to carry the line for those who want to experiment with it.

The titanium line I have, the Knot2Kinky nickel-titanium leader wire, is not made into finished tenkara lines. Knot2Kinky makes the line in 15' and 30' coils and in several different weights. I carry their lightest line (6# test) in 15' and the 30' lengths. The wire is knottable, resists kinking, and actually has the capability to stretch a little.

The manufacturer recommends either a perfection loop, clinch knot or Albright knot. The knots do not snug down the same way they do with nylon or fluorocarbon, but the manufacturer claims the knots will not slip. When I tried it, I used the same arbor knot I use to attach level line to the lillian, and sure enough, the knot didn't slip.

That being said, the tag end of the knot is surprisingly sharp. The line itself won't damage the rod and is no more likely to cut you than 3X tippet, which has the same diameter, but the very tip of the tag end feels a bit like a thorn. I would recommend covering it with something, and at this point, the best thing I can think of is Loon Knot Sense.  If you are going to use Knot Sense to cover the knot and tag end, you cannot use an arbor knot that has to slip.

I would go with the manufacturer's recommendation of a perfection loop. To that you would attach a loop of fly line backing or other braid and then use the girth hitch to attach the line to the lillian. I would tie a small perfection loop in the other end of the line as well, to which you would loop-to-loop a bit of Hi-Vis fluorocarbon or Amnesia - or perhaps a foot each of red and green Amnesia. Alternatively, you could attach the hi-vis line with an Albright knot. Illustrations for how to tie the knots are on the back of the Knot2Kinky package.

Aside from the clear advantage that the Knot2Kinky line has in the wind, it might also make a very good line for those who want to fish heavy nymphs deep. Rather than a couple feet of Amnesia and then several feet of tippet, I would be very tempted to leave off the Amnesia entirely and use a relatively short tippet. That would make maximum use of the high density of the titanium line to get your fly deep.

You would not be able to see the line, and would fish entirely by feel. This style of fishing would be more akin to Polish nymphing than Czech, with a heavy fly fished on a relatively short, very tight line, and pulled though the run. The relatively stiff tip and the tactile sensitivity of a cork-free grip would make a keiryu rod ideal for this approach.

As an alternative, one of my customers says it works very nicely with a 1/2" Thingamabobber as an indicator, which itself is easy to see and is heavy enough that it can also be cast in a breeze. The Thingamabobber also tends to keep the titanium line above the surface of the water.

I have also recently used the line in a lake where I wanted the fly to get deeper than I normally fish. A modestly weighted fly, short tippet and titanium line did get the fly down and was more pleasant to cast than a more heavily weighted fly and a standard line.  For fishing deep, though, you will need a rod with a stiffer tip, such as the Daiwa Kiyose 33SF or Daiwa NEO LT33SC or LT36SC. For a wind line or for a Polish nymphing line, I think the Knot2Kinky titanium line may be a reasonable choice.


Knot2Kinky Nickel-Titanium line, 15' coil, 6# test, .008 dia - $9

Knot2Kinky Nickel-Titanium line, 30' coil, 6# test, .008 dia - $15


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