Review of Streamer Fly lines

Review of streamer lines for 2016

When the water temperatures on our local rivers get into the mid-4o’s on a daily basis 2 major things happen the get all Fly fishers very excited around here. It’s the beginning of the Blue Winged Olive hatch which signals the real Dry fly season and it’s the kickoff to Streamer season!  When it comes to fishing fish imitations to fish there is definitely a method to the madness. 6&7 wt. tip flex rods are almost an absolute, but also pairing the right line to the task at hand is just as critical. There are a multitude of options for streamer fishing, but here in the mountain big river’s I have simplified the program down to 3 real choices. There is no need for a crazy long sinking fly line or even a 25 ft. sinking head line. I have tried them all, trust me.  The best lines I have found are the Orvis Bank shot floating line, Rio Power Fly floating line and a sink tip line from either company The lines are designed to cast large, heavy flies and that’s where the similarities end.  The Orvis Bank Shot HD line ($98.00) has a much more aggressive front end that measures 20.5 feet. and a 20-foot handling section. The back end taper of this line is what gives the average angler trouble. Basically this line needs to be handled by someone with really good line control ability and experience casting this type of fly line. The Bank Shot line is definitely my choice because of its ability to not only catapult a double or even triple streamer rig, yeah I know I’m a nutjob, but for the fact that it can roll cast that rig almost as effortlessly. In the right hands the Orvis Bank Shot is an awesome line.  The Rio Power Fly line ($74.95) is a more user or what I would term client friendly streamer line. It also has a fairly aggressive front taper like any line of its kind should.  The thing that makes more user friendly for many anglers is that the overall head length is 40-feet and not so dramatically tapered on the back end, making it an easier line to use.  As a guide its very rare that I wouldn’t give this line to my clients to fish from the boat.  If you are a capable caster who can get on the strip quickly and are fishing very large deeper rivers like the Colorado where you can see a distinct shelf, then a streamer tip line of an intermediate sink rate is very good option as well.  Both the Orvis Streamer Stripper ($79.00) and the Rio In-Touch Streamers Tip lines ($84.95) are very similar lines with the difference in the length of the sinking tips. The Rio line has a 10-foot intermediate sink tip. The Orvis streamer Stripper line has a 4-foot intermediate sink tip. As for the overall user friendliness of these lines I have to give the nod to the Orvis. The shorter sink tip is just much easier for the average angler to control and pick up for recasting as well as controlling the flight of the flies.

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