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"shooting a line"- - a fishing term?

Posted by Sauerkraut on September 04, 2000

In Reply to: "Shooting a line"- - a fishing term? posted by Bruce Kahl on September 03, 2000

: : Can somebody out there tell me the meaning and or origin of the saying "shooting a line"

: The only time I ever heard this term was at my feeble attempt a few times at fly casting on a lake in upstate NY.
: In a standard cast the fly line and rod are lifted with a smooth motion in an up and back direction. This backcast motion is stopped when the rod reaches slightly past vertical. As the fly line begins to fall or straighten out, the forward cast begins with increasing acceleration as the wrist snaps the rod from the eleven to the one o'clock positions, shooting the line and fly forward toward the presentation area.
: Then there is the drug culture saying of "doing lines"--the setting up of 2" x .125" "lines" of a substance to be inhaled.

I've seen this in a nautical context, much like throwing a line = emergency help to someone who has fallen overboard. As navies modernized, a rifle-like device was used to accurately deliver a line (rope) to another ship so that a larger line could be hauled over. This was done to transfer or rescue sailors between ships, often using a bosun's chair, which was nothing more than a canvas sling suspended from a pulley. Thus to shoot someone a line is to offer help.