« ForrigeFortsett »
better adapted than a hair line, if its extreme fine end be rejected, and the tapering, for a yard or so, before joining the collar, be continued with a substitution of twisted gut, forming what is called a “point,” or “bottom.” This “point” may be twisted with quills, in the same way that school-boys make horse-hair lines. It should be spun in three twists, that is, one strand or thread of gut in each quill, and taper downwards from stout to the very finest gut, so that at its place of junction with the collar it be not thicker than the coarsest end of the latter. These strands must be united, in twisting, by means of a very fine, neat knot, tied as hereafter directed, and the length of the strands must be so arranged that the different knots lie at some distance from each other. Remember, we are not speaking of twisting different series of triple gut, independently of each other, and then knotting them together afterwards like an old-fashioned knotted line, but of knotting the separate strands together during the process of twisting, so that, in one sense, the whole point may appear one entire piece. If properly made, the knots will be so minute that they will not only be no detriment to the lightest casting, but will also run glibly through the rod rings while being wound up with the line upon the reel. Unless hair lines are of the very best description—made of the choicest material, and spun evenly but not too tight, they are objectionable on the score of strength, and are apt to kink in using. The London patent line is exceedingly strong, even when run to the extreme of attenuation; indeed, its fineness is often its greatest objection, from the difficulty of throwing it against the wind, although this, of course, may be removed by rejecting the extreme fine end, and substituting a point. A light and fine line, as we have before implied, is obviously the proper adaptation to a small and pliable rod, and the reverse; and so long as this is kept in view, the choice between the different sorts of lines may be safely left to the judgment of the user. For ordinary trouting, twenty yards of line are sufficient; but in rivers visited by salmon—in which case, also, the tackle should be stouter than would be otherwise advisable — thirty, or five and thirty yards, will not be too much. We have proved it “no joke” to play Salmo salar with only fifteen yards of line, and therefore beg particular attention to the precautions we have given.” The colour of the line is not of material
consequence, but if there be any preference it is, perhaps, in favour of light green and pepper and salt colour. Lines of bay hair and white silk, intermingled, are the favourite sort of many; the best colour, however, is that which shows least conspicuously in the water, and it can be selected by the angler without further instructions from us. We hope, however, that he will not be too fanciful, and prove “more nice than wise,” for some ingredients used in dyeing lines, as well as other articles, have properties not calculated to increase their strength or durability. Oil is sometimes applied to lines from a mistaken notion of its preservative qualities, when the fact is that few substances make horse-hair more quickly rotten. Of this we had satisfactory proof, some years since, on the first day of the season, after our line had been saturated with oil during the winter. The day was most propitious — rising time had commenced, and we had the gratification to see the first large fish that we hooked sail off with some half-a-dozen yards of our “best London patent,” collar and flies also, of course. The best silk-and-hair wove lines, called the London patent, are sold at the rate of three pence per yard; silk-and-hair spun lines at three halfpence; and hair lines at a penny per yard.
We shall now treat of the reel, which is called also the winch, and, in Scotland, the pirn. Great are the improvements which have lately been introduced in the manufacture of this important article of the angler's equipment. The chief of them is the alteration of the shape of the frame, by contracting its width, from the old standard, and proportionally swelling its diameter — retaining, of course, the common or simple movement. This alteration of shape adds so materially to the speed with which it enables the line to be wound in, that the absence of multiplying wheels, on the old plan (taking their numerous defects into account), is more than compensated for. These wheels, from their intricacy, and consequent liability to derangement, were the constant source of annoyance to all who used them. But the multiplier (as this kind of reel is called) is now so entirely superseded by the simple reel of the contracted form, that further remarks upon it are unnecessary. The angler should be careful to select a light and nicely made reel, on the contracted plan, and as a guide to its proportions he may remember that the size to contain thirty yards of line is about half an inch wide by three inches in diameter. Its construction should be of the simplest character— merely an axle passing through a very contracted frame, and turned by a simple handle. But it must not wind too freely, or the line will be apt to over-run, and to be constantly getting entangled from the too easy and unchecked revolution. This over-freedom of motion is usually guarded against either by the application of a “ click,” which acts in a manner somewhat similar to a railway break, or else by the action of a spring placed between one of the fixed and revolving plates. Perhaps the latter is the neatest and simplest plan, but we confess to a partiality for the click, and chiefly on account of its music. It produces the
“— Something in that circling wheel Which wakes the heart's emotion.”
“Novelties” (as the drapers say) in “the article” of reels, are occasionally presented to the notice of the angling public; but, like many novelties of other kinds, they have, generally, but little of intrinsic excellence to recommend them. Many which have fallen under our notice were evidently the production of parties whose knowledge of the use of the articles they made was infinitely surpassed by their mechanical skill. The reel should be firmly attached to the rod in