Cold vs Warm Water Fly Lines

Big Red fish on Fly Fishing Line

Cold and Warm Water Fly Lines

By Captain Charlie Beadon

Big Red fish on Fly Fishing LineThis is a good time of the year to compare warm and cold weather fly lines. For years I did not change out my fly lines as the seasons changed and always wondered why certain lines cast better during the summer or winter. The answer is literally at the core of the line! Fly lines that are designed to be used in tropical climates have a monofilament core while those designed to be used in temperate climates are made up of a multifilament (braided) core. Basically, monofilament is stiffer than braid so in temperatures above roughly 75 degrees mono will hold its rigidity whereas below 75 degrees mono will become too stiff and holds an extreme amount of memory when you strip it off of the reel. Conversely, cold water lines (those with the braided core) work well in cooler temperatures but tend to cast like a limp piece of spaghetti in higher temperatures. For us here in the Lowcountry we have cold winters and hot summers so we need to swap out our winter and summer lines when the air temperature starts to regularly hover above or below 75 degrees. To make things easy most fly line manufacturers designate whether you are purchasing a cold water or tropical line and in many cases will also state at what temperatures their lines will work the best. By changing out your winter and summer lines you will see a dramatic increase in both distance and accuracy…plus a lot less tangles on the deck! Until next time, Keep on Casting!

Captain Charlie Beadon

Fishing Guide for Hilton Head & Beaufort, SC

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor