Fishing Tackle 18th Century Style 4
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 | Simon
The industrial revolution brought with it rapid advances in the production of fly fishing tackle. Ironically, though the manufactured lines manufacture brought a new set of problems in their wake. The late 18th century saw the appearance of lines woven from silk and horsehair and by the early 19th twisted and plaited silk lines had come on the market.
Horsehair lines had plenty of disadvantages. Not only were they very light, could not be easily 'shot' easily and had terribly memory, particularly when newly-wound off one of the narrow spindled reels that were used in this period. Conversely, silk lines absorbed water quickly, wore out in no time at all, and became too heavy to cast, problems that would not be resolved until finely-plaited dressed silk lines became widely available in the 1890s.
Mixed silk and hair lines were an extremely poor compromise, since the two materials have quite different properties. Nonetheless, the mixed lines were widely used. Which is odd, considering they were expensive, wore out quickly, lacked strength, kinked easily, and owing to the protrusion of innumerable points of hair ran, badly through the rod rings.