How to Choose the Best Fly Line for Panfish
Fly fishing for Panfish is a great way for beginner anglers to get into the sport. These fish are easy to fool and fun to catch on smaller setups. If you're wondering which fly rod is best for Panfish, we've covered that here.
Now that you have a fly rod picked out, it's time to choose the fly line that will help you catch more fish on the water. Choosing a fly line for Panfish isn't technical; there are many line options that will work well. Let's start with the basics.
First, choose a fly line that matches your fly rod. If you read the post above about choosing a fly rod for Panfish and selected a 3wt fly rod, partner that with a 3wt line. If you're fishing a 5wt rod, select a 5wt line.
Panfish are most often caught in shallow water or close to the surface. They're also a freshwater fish. Therefore, you should be considering a floating fly line that's designed for freshwater. Lines like RIO Mainstream Bass Pike and Panfish or Scientific Anglers Aircel Panfish are great options.
Fly line choice, like choosing other gear in fly fishing, also depends on your fishing style. An expert angler who wants to target Panfish in his/her downtime will have more success with a different fly line than a beginner who is learning to fly fishing for the first time. Here are a few suggestions.
If you plan on...
- fishing poppers or bulky flies, choose a line with an aggressive front taper for turning over bulky flies in the wind.
- fishing dry flies or hoppers, a line with a long, gradual taper is the best choice.
- targeting Panfish to get into the sport of fly fishing, choose a more beginner-friendly line with a short, aggressive front taper.
- fishing for Panfish AND a different species, choose a versatile freshwater taper.
FLY LINE RECOMMENDATIONS
Ok, so by this point you should know what type of fly line best fits your fishing style. Here are some line recommendations that are ideal for lightweight Panfish work. Remember to match line weight with rod weight and to choose a freshwater floating fly line.
Scientific Anglers Aircel Panfish Fly Line - This is a great line for a 5wt or a 6wt rod and a variety of Panfish flies. The line taper is pretty versatile and caster-friendly so you can throw dry flies, nymph, and even streamers to Panfish and Bass.
RIO Mainstream Bass Pike and Panfish Fly Line - Similar to the line above, RIO's Mainstream Series allows novice anglers to throw a variety of flies. This is a line with a heavier, shorter front taper to make casting poppers and larger streamers easy and efficient.
Scientific Anglers Mastery Bass Bug Fly Line - This is a great line for streamers and poppers with a short, heavy head that's ideal for novice anglers. If you're fishing for Panfish AND Bass, this line is a solid option.
RIO Outbound Short Premier Fly Line - While this is the most expensive line of the bunch (by far), it's a stellar line for anglers who target a variety of species. RIO classifies it as a 'freshwater and saltwater line' so if you're chasing sea trout and panfish, the OutBound Short is a great line for your 6wt.
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