Choosing a Fly Line

Choosing a Fly Line: There is so much equipment on the market these days that it really makes it difficult to know what is best for your needs. The first thing that I would recommend is that you stop by and talk to the guys at your local fly shop (or local to where you will be fishing) as they will have the best grasp as to what works for that area. That being said choosing the right fly line can become a little more difficult because how a fly line performs varies from rod to rod. To start with, consider the following factors to begin narrowing down your choices: fresh or saltwater, tropical or cold water, floating or sinking, fly rod weight, size of the targeted fish, size of the flies. This should get you in the ball park but we will still need to consider our fishing application so that we can choose the proper taper design. Lets look at a few examples; say that you plan to do a lot of wade fishing on the flats for tailing redfish, well here you need to make short accurate casts in a hurry so a weight forward redfish style line with a short head might be ideal as it will get out of the rod tip quickly. On the other hand, say that you plan to pole open flats for redfish and also need to consider the wind; a standard weight forward bonefish line with a longer head might be more appropriate for generating line speed and making longer casts. In the end the true factor that you must consider is how the line feels on your rod and considering that there is no standard for the action of different fly rods a line that casts smoothly on your buddies rod might not cast so well on your rod. Unfortunately, the only way to find out how a line feels on your rod is through trial and error. One thing that you can do to make things a little less complicated for yourself is to stick with one brand of fly line. For example; I use all Rio lines so I am familiar with the differences in how a Rio bonefish line casts compared to a Rio redfish or tarpon line. Moreover, I stock different weights of the same styles of line so that I can test them out on different weight rods. If you don’t mind spending the money I would recommend buying several different styles and weights of line from the same manufacture and test them out on your rod to find out which lines feel the best and then make notes on the boxes as to how they performed. If you don’t want to buy a number of different fly lines another option would be to get together with other fly fisherman at clinics and expos and try out their lines on your rod. When you find a line that matches up well with your rod you will be amazed. Until next time, Keep on Casting!