Choosing The Best Line For Fly Fishing

Fly Line Reviews

Choosing A Fly Line

If trout only fed on food on the surface of the water, fly fishing would be easy. Since they feed in water as deep as 9 feet, fly fishing becomes a little more challenging. Choosing the best line for fly fishing becomes really important. As a result, you may need a section of sinking fly lines and also a floating line to sufficiently supply the anglers tackle bag.

Floating fly lines actually have multiple uses because of the versatility of the fly line. Therefore you can use a floating line when fishing with dry flies as well as fishing nymphs or insect larvae from just below the surface to the deep waters of the lake. However, floating lines have their limitations.

How deep you can fish with the floating line is dependent upon the length of the leader and the fisherman’s patience. Most importantly, a fisherman must wait for the fly pattern to sink to the optimum depth.

With leaders as long as 7 ½ feet in length, floating lines are efficient when fishing in waters about 5 ½ to 6 ½ feet. Furthermore it is extremely difficult to cast if you use a leader longer than that.

Also floating fly line can be used in the shallow shoal or littoral area of a lake where trout feed the most. Likewise it is also a good choice when using chironomid larvae and pupae, mayfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, caddis pupae or any of the adult form of these species.

No matter the length of the leader used just make sure it is tapered. Because this enables the fly to turn over after you have cast.

Fast Sinking & Slow Sinking

The Intermediate slow sinking fly line sinks about 1 to 2 inches per second. So when fishing in water that is less than about 6 ½ feet deep, this fly line is a good selection because of the slower sinking rate of the line. Finally learning to be patient is important for a beginner with the use of this line the amount of time you have to wait for the fly to sink is decreased.

A fast sinking fly line sinks about 3 to 5 inches per second. As a result, this type of fly line is perfect for fishing in the drop-off area of the lake. Trout like to occupy these drop-offs because of the cooler water temperature closer to the bottom. Consequently this can be very important to the trout during the warm summer months. The plants in most drop-off areas are still photosynthesizing, so the plants are still growing making for the abundance of insect or fish food.

RiverBum Monic Icicle Floating Fly Line
RiverBum Monic Impact Intermediate WF fly line

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Because a normal drop-off is about 6 ½ to almost 9 feet in depth, the use of the fast sinking fly line makes more sense than a slow sinking fly line. As a result you want to make sure that you are retrieving your line as close to the bottom as possible. So you will need to do some calculating.

First time the time it takes for the fly to reach the bottom using the specifications on the package. Since this will help you know when you should retrieve your line. However, if you are constantly getting snagged on the vegetation at the bottom, you will want to wait less time before retrieving your fly line.

When I was a kid going fishing, I learned absolutely nothing about the equipment I was using. As a kid, you went to the local store. Most of the time, a rod and reel came in the same package with fishing line already on it. Of course that was the conventional tackle not fly fishing equipment. However I never really knew there were so many different sizes and types of fly line, fly rods or even fly reels to choose from.

One really good thing about fly line is that even though there are several different manufacturers that make fly line, they all have the same name and classifications for their lines. So if you choose a 6-weight fly line from one manufacturer it is the same as the 6-weight fly line from another manufacturer. Therefore the difference in the fly lines are in the core, the outer material or how high the floating line rides, if you are choosing a floating line.

First of all, when choosing a fly line you must know several factors before making the purchase. For instance, what fly are you casting? Likewise is it a wet fly or a dry fly? Also will you be making short casts or long casts? Finally will you be making a delicate presentation or slogging nymphs or streamers?

Different Types Of Line For Fly Fishing

So while you are taking all of that in, let me tell you about some of the different types of fly line you will have to choose from.

Double Taper Line

The “DT”  or Double Taper line is designed to be tapered at both ends. First of all, it started out as a budget line. Since both ends are tapered, when one end wore out, you could take the line off the reel and rewind the worn out end first. As a result it has been used for a number of years as a dry fly line.


Triangle Taper Line

Then there is a newer line called the “TT” or Triangle Taper line, which has a longer distance of taper. Hence it is a good casting line and rolls out smooth. Likewise, this not only makes it a good dry fly line, but also a great line for roll casting.


Weight Forward Floating

The “WFF” also known as Weight Forward Floating line is used for fishing nymphs, streamers, and artificial bait. However some people do use it for dry flies where constant winds cause their fly line to collapse without any additional weight.


Level Line

Level line is used for steelhead or blue-water fishing from boat or shore. It is a specialty distance type of line. Therefore it is used as running line for shooting heads. Shooting heads with lead cores can be very heavy.


Weight Forward Sinking

Weight Forward Sinking fly line
Weight Forward Sinking Fly Line

A “WFS” also known as Weight Forward Sinking fly line is good for some special uses such as fast bottom fish or lakes. Consequently when you start pulling up a full sinking line out of the water and casting the line can be tough. So these are some of the disadvantages to a sinking line, other lines would be able to do the job better.



A floating line with a tip section of about 10 feet or so, will sink and take your fly with it. Similarly there are sink-tips that sink fast or very fast and you can also get the ones that sink slow and even slower than that.

Finally it all boils down to matching the type of fish, fly and water you will be fishing in order to choose the correct fly fishing line.

Choosing The Right Fly Fishing Line Video







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