Fishing-lines are most generally composed of a mixture of silk and hair, and are spun of various lengths. For common Trout-fishing in rivers, twenty to twenty-five yards are sufficient; for lakes, where the fish are large, and a boat is not used, forty to fifty yards may be required. Single-handed-rod fishers prefer their reel-lines to run taper to the point, so that they may, by merely fixing their foot length of gut to the lir? }, wind it up close to their hand; and where the stream is narrow and bushes numerous, this is certainly a good plan, but for bold streams the reel-line should be of equal thickness throughout, and not too fine, in order that a taper hair-line, of ten yards in length, may be attached thereto.
The most important consideration in making lines is, the selection of the hair, which must be round, even, and free from scales. If plucked from the tail of a young horse or mare, it is not so good as that which is to be procured from a four-or-five-year-old gelding. The best is to he had from the tail of a well-grown stallion. Black, although the strongest, is the least serviceable colour; brown, gray, and white, are to be preferred, and ought to be picked with care. Hair-lines are proper for Roach, Dace, Bream, Gudgeons, Ruile, and Bleak, and may consist of six or nine hairs.
The links of lines for the artificial fly should be softly twisted, as they fall much lighter on the water, and are greatly superior to lines of silk and hair; the two top links should consist of twelve hairs, the three next of nine, the four next of six, and the five bottom links of three hairs, which, with the addition of a yard of silk-worm gut, will make the line long enough, and no other number of hairs will twist regularly or bed well together.
Lines for Salmon, Pike, Barbel, Chub, and large Bream, are made of silk or hemp, and should not be too hardly twisted. The whipcord lines sold in the country are sized, rubbed even, and tied very tight in hanks; in this state they look well, but have a very different appearance after they have been in the water; and out of a line of sixty yards it will be difficult to get twenty yards of one entire piece even and good. Raw silk makes very good lines; the finer sort twisted together for Salmon, Trout, Perch, Chub, and large Bream, and the coarser for Pike, Barbel, and Eels. These as well as lines made of silk, when new, ought to be tied tight at both ends, and rubbed with elder or cabbage leaves, and afterwards trailed on the grass, which will render them soft and pliable.