Q: When bonefishing, what is your opinion of bright colored lines over versus those that are clear or that have a clear tip?
A: In most bonefish situations I prefer a rather brightly colored line – but attached is a leader of at least 12 feet. On bright, calm days I will choose a leader of 16 feet in length. Such a long leader keeps the impact of the fly line on the surface well away from the bonefish. With a bright colored line and a long leader, if you keep your cast low to the water (not a high overhead cast) you rarely spook a bonefish. We often don’t realize it, but we monitor the fly line in flight to the target. The brighter colored line lets you see it in flight, and accuracy improves.
The disadvantages of a bright fly line are that fish can see it if kept too high on the cast – and other nearby bonefish are sometimes spooked by the line.
The advantages of a clear line or one with a long, clear tip are that you are simply lengthening your leader and reducing the chances that the bonefish will see the line. The disadvantage is that accuracy suffers with a clear-tip line.
However, with wise bonefish, like those in the Keys, a clear line or clear tip offers a definite advantage.