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Making Titanium lines more visible

by Mike Wong
(Boulder, CO)

The wind really blows a lot here in the West, and I am preparing my rig for such occasions. I am going to try out the 15' Titanium line, but with a slight modification. Since most reviews here say that it is difficult to see where you are casting with a titanium line, I planned on adding some sight indicator that will not add much weight or wind resistance. I bought a chartreuse and an orange lillian in a size small from TenkaraBum. I cut off 3 pieces of 3" sections in each color and insert the titanium line into them 2 feet apart, alternating between the 2 colors. The alternating colors are intended for better visibility in different light conditions. I did not put any lillians on the top half of the titanium line. I started near the middle of the titanium line since we tend to focus on the business end of the line when we cast --- that is the end where the fly is. I put 2 lillians closer together near the end where it joins the tippet. To fasten the lillians to the line, I simply move the lillian/line carefully over a stovetop. The titanium line is not affected by that small amount of heat, but the lillian shrinks and melts to the line.

I have not cast this in open water yet, since it has been very cold and snowy here in Colorado the past month. But even when I look at it inside my house where I have a wood floor, it is quite visible.

BTW, the ends of the titanium line are a little sharp, and I will use some Loon knot sense on it as Chris suggested. But to put this into perspective, it does not come close to being poked by the trailing fly.

Comments for Making Titanium lines more visible

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Feb 08, 2014
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by: TenkaraBum


That is a very interesting idea and I definitely want to know how it works out for you once you try it on the water.

Keiryu anglers in Japan use a line that is so thin it is impossible to watch the way we watch tenkara lines. They use indicators that go on the line and work the way yours will - allowing them to see and follow an essentially invisible line. I think your plan has a lot of promise.

Feb 08, 2014
Ti Line
by: Terry Farmer

I think this is a great idea. I look forward to your on the water testing.

Feb 09, 2014
by: Clyde Olson(Savannah,GA)

Having somewhere near 20' of leader and tippet which you can't see in the air suggests some possible problems to watch for. First, titanium will slice through section 1 like knife-to-butter if the cast is errant. Second, sun glasses/some type eye protection would be advisable. And third, almost by definition several front-feet of the titanium will not be seen because it will be somewhere beneath the water's surface despite your colored indicators. Keeping leader off the water is a prime reason for tenkara and I doubt with 15' on the rod plus tippet that will be possible. I know you/me hate to start carving up 15' of expensive leader material, but that's what you'll probably end up doing here. I found 8' of titanium plus 4' of tippet(compound tippet with 1' of 3X and 3' of 6X) with a 1/2" white thingamabobber on the 3X worked very well with a Shimotsuke 360---tenkara/ESnymphing. Just be careful casting the Ti.

Feb 09, 2014
Tip section vulnerable?
by: TenkaraBum

I haven't noticed that the guys who bought titanium lines soon came back for replacement tips. I may have missed a few, but if it was a pattern I think I would have noticed.

Agree with the eye protection - for the fly more than the line, but still, that's good advice.

The line will be harder to hold off the surface than a light fluorocarbon line. Placement of the indicators will be trial and error at first.

Hopefully, more of the people who have the lines will chime in and share their experiences.

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