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How to Mend Your Line (23 of 35)

What is a mend? How do you mend your line? It’s easier to accomplish than you think, and it’s no more than repositioning your fly line on the water. Exactly how much line to mend, and which direction to mend is a bit trickier, but Tom Rosenbauer will walk you through the basics.

Video Transcript:

What's a mend? Well, I think a lot of people get confused about mending line and they make it more complicated than it is. A mend is merely flipping your line upstream or downstream with the tip of your rod. So, it's very easy. You cast across the river and you just lift up some line and then put it back down in the water. That's all a mend is. Where to put the mend is another story. Sometimes you have to mend upstream, sometimes you have to mend downstream. The object here is to keep your fly line either upstream or even with your fly. What you don't wanna do is have that fly line pulling on your flies. That's called drag, and that's gonna make your flies most of the time, behave unnaturally.
So you have to kinda look at the water and you have to figure out, "Do I need to mend upstream or downstream here?" Also, when you're fishing nymphs, a mend helps those flies sink better because your fly line is on the surface. And the velocity at the surface of the water is always faster than down below. So, you almost always need to mend a little bit when you're casting straight upstream. That current is gonna take that fly line and put a belly in it. And that belly is gonna pull on your flies, and drag 'em out of position, and make 'em behave unnaturally. Try not to mend too often. Mending disturbs the water a little bit. Sometimes you can move your flies. Try to mend so that the mend doesn't actually move your dry fly or your indicator, or whatever you're using.
Try to mend just enough so the line almost goes to the indicator or the dry fly. And sometimes you might need to make multiple mends through a drift. If you see a belly of line starting to bow downstream, then just make another quick mend. So it's very simple, again, cast across or wherever, lift up line, and then you've got the line a little bit upstream and it's not affecting the drift of your fly so much.