Dying Fly Lines
Joshua asked about dull colored lines. During the fluorescent wave a few years back, I couldn’t find lines that weren’t so hot they melted the packaging they came in. So I started dying them dull colors. it’s easy to do. In fact, all one needs is Rit dye. Use 2 tsp. in 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Toss the line in for about 15 seconds, the rinse thoroughly in cold water. Don’t fasten the coils of the line with a pipe cleaner, or string or twist-em, etc. If you do you will get a tie-dyed line (I have a couple). Just leave the line in loose coils. Yes you will have to untangle it a bit after dying and rinsing in cold water, but it’s easily done.
Now, about that 15 seconds. The plastics used to make the line will absorb the dye at different rates. Softer plastics take the dye up significantly faster that hard plastics (stiffer–as in salt water lines). So, test the line first—no not that end, dip the back end of the running line in first to get the correct timing. Or, use an old line of the same color and plastic. For most lines the timing is about 15 seconds. Too much and the line will be black—hard to see at any time.
My favorite is to dye a bright yellow line with olive Rit and get an olive yellow line. It disappears against the leaves, but is easy to see on the water. Almost no flash. Dye an orange line with olive and get brown. A white line can be dyed any color you like. Want to dye a “camo” line? OK, coil the line in 18-inch long lengths (the diameter of the coil will be about 6-inches). Hold the coiled line and dip a portion in one color dye. Then dip an undyed section in another color, then a third undyed section in a third color, etc. yellow, olive, and brown make a great “camo” combo—dye a yellow line with olive and then brown, leaving the third section undyed.