« Last post by Tom Jindra on August 15, 2014, 07:28:23 AM »
Yes, level lines fell out of favor long ago, because the performance is inferior to tapered lines. Their primary advantage is price, i.e. they're really inexpensive. In small diameters, they are also useful as running lines for shooting heads, and they can be used for building your own tapers.
I've not seen you cast, so I can't say why you found no improvement using tapered lines. But you're not going to find level lines being used by any of the top fly-fishermen, certainly not by any tournament casters for either distance or accuracy.
If delicacy is your goal, level lines cannot compare to a standard taper, let alone a specialty taper. Delicacy is why tapers were first developed. I.e., instead of having a heavy section of level line splatting down on the water, the line was tapered down to a delicate tip to minimize the impact.
Yes, a tapered line by definition pushes additional weight back to the belly as it takes weight out of the tip. But Teeny's Gary LaFontaine line has a front taper of about 8 feet. That means with a 9-foot leader, you don't get into the heavy belly until you're casting at least 17 feet. The Royal Wulff Triangle Taper has an even longer front taper, as much as 40 feet for some applications.
The acid test for delicacy is the spring creeks outside Livingston, Mont. The trout on those creeks get hit hard every year by many of the world's best anglers, so the fish are as spooky and as educated as a fish can get. Long leaders and lines with long front tapers are the standard there. I challenge anybody to find an angler using a level line on any of those creeks, unless he's doing it on a dare.
Does that mean you can't catch fish with a level line? Of course not. Just don't be deceived into thinking those lines offer any advantage in performance. Level lines will save you some money, but that's it.