A Fly-line is often equated to the tires on a car. You can have a great car (Rod) and great engine(Reel), but none of it works without a good set of tires. That’s why for many anglers the Fly-line is the second most important component to your Fly-fishing system.
You should choose your fly line to match the weight rod you are using (eg: A 5 weight rod, 5 Weight line). Depending on the fish you are going after and the type of fly fishing climate and water conditions you will be fishing. You need to choose a fly line that compliments the rod as much as anything. Fly-lines range anywhere from 70-110 feet.
When fly fishing was first introduced, fly lines were made of horsehair. As people and anglers understood the subtleties of fly fishing, they developed fly lines made of silk for extra smooth delivery and sturdiness.
Fly-line technology has come a long way in recent years . Most fly-lines are manufactured with a core of braided nylon or dacron. This core is then coated with PVC, which has been treated with various substances such as microscopic glass spheres for floatability or other additives that cause the line to sink at various desired rates (called multiple density production). Also many lines are treated with some kind of material usually proprietary to that manufacturer to make the line slicker. Meaning that the line moves through the guides with less friction. Less friction equals longer casts, easier feeding and retrieving of line. Fly-line durability is also very important.
What Are Tapers in Fly Lines?
You must understand it’s the line that we are casting, not the fly. So to create the energy that will propel the fly, the rod and line must work together to create the energy to get the fly where you want it. Tapers equalize the energy that develops from the rod to the line. This is where the taper of the line is important.
Fly-line taper is a small adjustment made by the manufacturer of the fly line to the fly line itself. This generally involves making parts of the line thicker in spots, heavier in spots, thinner in other spots, lighter in other spots. These adjustments to the fly line are done to give the angler better control of the line which, in theory, means improved casting. There are really only a couple different types of tapers in fly lines, but it’s the small variances in those tapers that will make a certain line cast better with the different action rods.
Weight-Forward Taper (WF) Are the most common of Fly-lines tapers there are nowadays. A Tip-flex (fast action) rod requires a line that has a more progressive forward taper. Meaning that there is added weight at the very front of the line so that the rod will load with less line on the water. These lines are most of the time a Half to Three quarters of a line weight heavier. A Mid-flex (medium action) rod will mostly be fine with a regular Weight-forward line. A Full-flex(slow action) rod will have a line with less weight placed at the front and more in the middle to create more subtle presentations. In Trout fishing if we are using a 5 weight rod we are going to use either a WF5F(floating) or WF5S(sinking or sink tip) line.
Double-taper(DT) lines place the thick(weighted)part in the middle of the fly line. Double tapers are longer than weight-forward ones. A double taper fly line is commonly used for short casts but is not practical for long casts. A Double-taper line is usually matched to the lighter weight rods 1-3 for subtle representations of small dry flies. They can also be turned around since the taper is the same at both ends. This can give the line a second life.
Level-Lines When the fly line has no taper, it is called level-taper. Level-taper fly lines don’t really allow for delivery smoothness and are, therefore, rather uncommon. But have become more common for European Nymphing and Tenkara fishing Fly-lines are also numbered to match the line’s weight to the weight rod you are using.
What Are Floating and Sinking Fly Lines?
Floating fly lines float on the surface of the water. They are the most common type of line and the easiest to use. Floating fly lines are better when fishing in windy conditions and are versatile enough for short and long casting.
Sinking fly lines are lines that sink into the water. These types of fly lines are graded depending on the speed and depth with which they sink. An intermediate fly line sinks slowly in the water.
Why do you need a sinking fly line? If you are fishing for fish that don’t come to the surface of the water, you want your fly to reach them inside the water, therefore you need a sinking fly line. If your fish are deep in the water, you will want a fast-sinking fly line: you want your fly to be tempting enough without alerting the fish that it’s bait, hence the need for speed.
As for sink-tip fly lines, most of the line floats but the last part sinks in the water. Sink-tip fly lines are used for fishing fish deep in the water. Their benefit is that most of the line stays atop the water: when you need to throw your line for recast, you won’t have to retrieve the full length of the line from the water.
Are There Differences Between Saltwater and Freshwater Lines?
Fly-lines are either made for freshwater or saltwater. Freshwater lines are usually fished in colder water and are made to be more supple for colder climates. A Bass line will be a little less supple then a Trout or Salmon line Freshwater lines are more opaque in color. Moss green, dull yellow or gray to match the surroundings of the fish. Saltwater lines are made to be more ridgid anh heavier construction for fishing to large fish in tropical conditions and many are colored blue or even clear so they are less visible to the fish.
How Long Will A Fly-Line Last?
At the beginning of this section we discussed how your line is like the tires on a car. Well like tires, Fly-lines have a finite life and that life depends on how well you take care of your line. Think about how much wear and tear a line will go through the Friction of moving through the rod’s guides, dirt, scraping on rocks of other debris in the water to being stretched and the heat and cold. Being wet then dry all over again and again will do damage to the line over time. Most line manufatuerer’s claim that a line if well taken care of should give you between 80-100 days on the water. So cleaning and maintaining your line will prevent cracks and dirt build up.
Fly Fishing Outfitters Have the Fly Line You Need
Whether you are fishing in saltwater or freshwater, we have the fly line you need, including Orvis fly lines and Rio Fly lines and many other manufacturers. We are always able to special order any flyline you are looking for. We carry several fly line weights and tapers to help anglers catch the fish they want. You will find floating and sinking lines as well sink tip lines as well as various fly line weights.
Since 2013 Orvis fly lines have been produced by Scientific Anglers. SA has long been known as a leader in fly line production. Anglers will find the ultimate line for their tropic game fish chasing needs in the formidable, yet smooth, design of the incredible new fly line – The Orvis Pro Saltwater Tropic. Not only has this been tailored to cut through any winds which may be present at the time, but it can also help them achieve throw-distance accuracy with its stout head. An advanced convex compound front taper is also included within this exceptional line to ensure that those spooky fish who may be meandering around on flats are presented with as much finesse and care as possible. Additionally, a stiff monofilament core has been incorporated into its build in order to maintain top performance even when faced with extreme hot weather or warm water.
Orvis flylines are made by Scientific Anglers. SA has been an industry leader and their quality is hard to match. Orvis purchased SA in 2013. The Orvis PRO Trout Smooth flyline is designed with advanced compound tapers to be the best all-around trout line available and is the most versatile trout line available for multiple techniques and environments. Orvis Pro lines are constructed with a slickness AST treatment that is incorporated into the line, it’s not a coating. AST means that the lines stay slicker and last longer. The 50′ head has a gentle front taper followed by a powerful belly for easy casting and delicate presentation. Longer rear taper is designed for better line control, casting, and on-water mending. A great line for casting both dries and weighted nymphs with an indicator.
In 2013 the Orvis Co. purchased Scientific Anglers. SA has been know as one of the best Fly-line companies in the industry for decades. One thing Orvis didn’t do when they purchased SA was to mess with a tried and true business formula. All Orvis flylines are still made in the same manufacturing facility and with the same quality control as before. Orvis PRO Trout Textured Fly Lines offer increased surface area, allowing the line to sit higher in the water, offering less drag, easier mending, less water spray and easier pick-ups. The micro-textured surface traps air to provide increases in both shootability and flotation while decreasing friction. PRO Trout lines are designed with advanced compound tapers to be the best all-around trout line available, and is the most versatile trout line available for multiple techniques and environments. The 50′ head has a gentle front taper followed by a powerful belly for easy casting and delicate presentation. Longer rear taper is designed for better line control, casting, and on-water mending.
For the best general purpose flylines when fishing the flats of Belize, Bahamas or Christmas Island and you are limited to the amount of gear you can travel with Rio’s Elite Flats Pro Floating lines are a great option. Rio’s Elite Flats pro lines will cast just about any fly. The lines are designed with a mid length head and long back taper for smooth casting and better presentation. all Rio Elite lines are also constructed with DirectCore – a low stretch, low memory technology that improves long distance casting as well making strip setting easier. Every Elite Flats line is built with Rio’s SlickCast technology- a proprietary coating that reduce friction as the line moves through the rod guise.
When you’re trying to catch and land one of the most powerful species on the planet there’s really no time to skimp on your equipment. Your flyline is a crucial element to landing a big Tarpon.
Rio designed it’s Elite Tarpon lines with a vey aggressive short head to easily cast and turnover large flies in the wind. Also there’s a longer back taper for casting long range and making a quick pick up for second shot casts.
Each Rio Elite Tarpon line is constructed with DirectCore technology that is extremely easy to stretch and will lay perfectly straight in the water. Every Elite Tarpon line is built with Rio’s SlickCast technology-a proprietary coating that eliminates friction as the line moves through the rod guides. When your facing off with these beasts, you need every advantage you can get.
The Rio Intouch Gold comes with a tapered design to provide loop stability at a distance. It features a front taper to deliver a precise presentation for the flies between the #2 and #22 sizes. The fly line has a very low stretch connect core that offers high sensitivity levels for a better cast-timing and easier line lift and accurate mends. The fly rod is a perfect combination of durability and performance. It allows anglers to get the float line performance while fishing and casting at distance.
Voted one of the best for 2020, the RIO Gold has been the go-to trout line for anglers around the world. This line offers a great combination of long head and back taper, allowing fishers to experience optimal control and stability when casting or mending at range. It’s specially designed profile ensures that you can load your fly rod with ease up close. The perfect front taper also allows you to make perfect presentations with flies between sizes #22 and #2.
Crafted with RIO’s SlickCast technology, the Gold Trout line is a testament to modern innovation. This proprietary coating has been scientifically tested to produce the lowest friction of any fly line on the market. Coupled with its unparalleled durability, this makes the RIO Gold an invaluable asset for any trout fisher seeking peak performance and reliability in their gear.
Rio has improved it’s longstanding Premier Grand flylines for 2022! RIO Grand lines are a full line size heavier than the industry standard, and features more weight distributed towards the front of the line to easily load faster action fly rods. Constructed with Rio’s new Slickcast technology, a proprietary coating creates less friction when line is moving through the rod guides. These lines were designed for todays much stiffer composite compound flyrods. The added weight at the front of the line helps to punch line in windy conditions as well.
Rio Streamer Tip lines are a series of fly lines with short, 10 ft sinking tips, specifically built for fly fishers that like to fish streamers out of a boat. a floating line built with a short, heavy head that loads rods at close range, allowing anglers to make fast, one-shot casts. Rio Streamer tip lines are designed with an aggressive, powerful front taper. Streamer tip lines are perfect for casting large weighted streamer patterns for Trout and Salmon. A welded loop on the front end allows anglers to change rigs quickly. Each Rio Streamer Tip line is built with SlickCast technology, the slickest, most durable coating on the market. The 2ips sink rate is perfect for most situations. The 6ips is great for deeper rivers or lakes.