Fly fishing is as much about fly lines as it is about rods and reels. Sure it pays to have a nice rod and reel, that’s definitely important. But part of the beauty of the sport of fly fishing is that the angler uses the line to load the rod to propel the fly forward into the water. Lines come in a variety of sizes, colors, tapers, and technologies. Matching a fly line to a rod size is important and choosing the right taper also helps increase the chances of success on the water.
Fly lines have a few basic measurements. First, an angler should choose whether he/she needs a floating line, intermediate line, or a sinking line. Floating lines are most commonly used for dry fly fishing, flats fishing, and any scenario where a fish is likely to come to the surface for a fly. Intermediate lines are used in shallow-medium depth conditions where flies are more likely to be eaten subsurface in the middle of the water column. Finally, sinking lines are used when fish are feeding at the bottom of the water column and increased sinking capabilities will put the fly in front of the fish more efficiently.
Fly lines also come in different tapers that are made for different rod types. A fly line with an aggressive front taper and a heavier construction is made for faster action rods that need a little extra weight to load properly. Lighter lines with longer tapers are used for moderate action rods and delicate presentations. If you’re casting to a wary trout that’s sipping dry flies at medium range, a lighter line with a longer front taper will land the fly more delicately and give you a better chance of catching the fish.
Most major fly line manufacturers create fly lines for every angling scenario. Scientific Anglers, for example, creates fly lines for saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, Spey fishing, and even some lines that’ll do all of the above. Perhaps their most popular freshwater fly line, Scientific Anglers MPX, comes in two different line models including Amplitude and Mastery. Amplitude is textured which allows the line to move through the guides efficiently whereas Mastery is untextured for anglers who prefer a smooth line. These lines are made for fast action fly rods and have an aggressive front taper that allows anglers to harness maximum power out of their fly rod.
Rio Products is another big name in the fly line sphere. Rio also makes a variety of lines for a variety of situations. Their most well-known saltwater fly line, Rio Flats Pro, is made for anglers searching the flats for Tarpon, Bonefish, and Permit. These lines are made with a tropical taper which means they function most efficiently in warm water environments. They’re floating lines, which means they don’t sink after the angler makes a cast, and allow anglers to present flies delicately and accurately to cruising fish.
Other popular fly line companies include Airflo, Cortland, Royal Wulff, and Orvis, to name a few. These companies also have fly lines that are made for different fishing scenarios although Scientific Angler and Rio are widely regarded as having the largest fly line selection in the industry. If you want information on any of these line companies or on how to choose a fly line, don’t hesitate to call the shop or email us anytime.