How To Choose A Fly Fishing Line

Fly Fishing Lines, like the name suggests, is used for fly fishing and casting. They are irreplaceable. You can try casting a fly with a normal monofilament fishing line.

They come with many options for you to choose from with different titles such as double taper, weight forward or sink tip. All of these might really confuse you if you don’t have proper knowledge about this fishing line.

So in case you want to go fly fishing and are searching for one or 2 fly fishing lines to buy, read on this article from Randy, Co-Founder of BraveHunters to learn what you need to consider and how to use them properly.

How To Choose A Fly Fishing Line

Lets have a look at all of the features that you need to pay attention when choosing fly fishing lines:

yellow fishing line

  • Length: You can find most of the fly fishing line with the lengths ranging from 80 feet to 90 feet and I think these lengths are enough to cover most of your fishing situations. However, if you want to cast for a further distance- for example, when you go saltwater flat fishing, you can consider buying a 100-foot long fly fishing line.
  • Weight: The weight you can see on the label of any fly fishing line product refers to the weight of the front 30 feet of the fly fishing line. On the market, you can find any fly fishing line with the weight ranging from 1 weight to 15 weight.
  • Tapers: You can find tapers in most of the fly fishing lines on the market nowadays. There are various different types of tapers designed specifically for your needs but they will all support your fishing experience and help you to cast much more easily and efficiently. They include:
  • Weight Forward: This is unarguably the most common taper on fishing lines. A weight forward fly fishing line will have a running part that is 50 to 60 feet long and then with the last 30 to 40 feet of the line, there is a taper attached to it, which is called the belly. This design helps you to gain more power with the line and then allow you to cast further.
  • Double Taper: With this type, the taper is attached to nearly the middle of a fly fishing line. There are 2 main advantages of this type. First of all, you can reverse the line and use it as normal since the taper is in the middle. Second, it helps you to have better bait presentation in comparison with weight forward type.
  • Specialty Taper: There are also other types of tapers which are the level and shooting taper. They are hardly used and you cannot find much of these products on the market.
  • Types: There are 3 main types of fly lines, which are sinking, sinking tip and floating fly line. While a sinking fly fishing can submerge into the water at a high speed, the floating fly line floats on and allows you to have far distance casting. The sink tip type allows the tip of the line to sink under the water and the rest of the line is still above on the surface.

– The choices of the type you use depend on the areas where you are going fishing. For example, if you go fly fishing in freshwater areas such as lakes and rivers, you should use floating fly fishing lines. In case you want to target fish which are feeding on the bottom or you go fishing water areas, you can go for sinking fly fishing lines.

– Sinking-tips (best used in moving water) are sinking portions of fly line (usually 8 to 15 feet) connected to the front of floating lines. They are excellent for shallow and deep nymphing, for mending fly line to create a drag-free float, and for turning over and sinking very large streamers in river-bank and pool fishing.

  • Colors: You need to decide whether you want to buy fly fishing lines with bright colors or transparent colors as both of them have their own pros and cons. While bright colors help you to see where the lines are and when a fish catch on the lines, transparent and clear fly fishing line can blend well with the surrounding areas and are better in tricking fish into biting your baits.
  • Coating: Make sure the coating is lead-free; otherwise, the line cannot perform like you expect it to. Aim for coating such as polyvinylchloride for a durable cover while allowing the fishing line to float on water without any difficulty.

Sinking Fly Fishing Lines

I will talk a little bit more about sinking fly fishing line in this section. The main difference between different types of sinking fly fishing is how fast the lines can sink when you cast them into the water.

On the market, you can find at least 8 different types of sinking fly fishing lines regarding the speed, which are intermediate fly fishing line and type 1 to type 7.

If a fly fishing line is rated intermediate, it can sink at the speed of 2 inches per second. For a type I fly fishing line, it will sink at the rate of 1.5 to 2.5 inches per second. Each type will become faster, each at about 0.5 to 1 per second. Finally, when we come to the type 7 fly fishing line, we can have a line that sinks at the speed of 8 inches per second. In the end, your choice of which type to use depends on whether you go shallow fishing or deep water fishing.

You also need to consider how the fly fishing lines sink – uniformly or unevenly. You might want to buy a line that sinks evenly in case of still water fishing as it helps you to detect strike better. And since you can detect the movement of the line better, you would be able to act quickly and hence catch more fish.

Basic Gear Tips

Like any other type of fishing, you need to prepare a combination of fishing rod, line, and reel. Here are some tips on choosing these pieces of fishing equipment altogether.

Fly Fishing Gear

  • You should match the weight of your fishing rod with the weight of the fly fishing line you want to buy. For instance, if you have a 9 weight rod, you should buy a 9 weight fly fishing line. This would help you to have enough balance on the rod.
  • Make sure the fishing reel you buy has the sufficient capacity to hold the fishing line.
  • When you choose a fishing line, being able to read the label could help you a lot in picking the right fishing line. Here is one typical example – when you say a WF9F on the label, you should know that the fishing line you are looking at has a weight forward taper, weight 9 pounds and is the floating type.
  • The choice of fly fishing line, reel and rod need to be based on the condition of water and the type of fish you are targeting.

Maintenance Tips

Your fly fishing lines are exposed to UV rays, heat, moisture, salt, water and many other things that can impact severely on the quality of these lines. Nevertheless, with proper care and maintenance, you would be able to lengthen the shelf life of a fly fishing line up to 3 to 4 years.

Here are some things you can do to care for your fly fishing lines:

  • After you go back from your fishing trip, you should wash your fly fishing lines immediately to get rid of dirty, salt and other harmful compounds. You can wash them in warm water with some drops of dish washing soap or line cleaner.
  • If you cannot clean them right away, make sure you still detach the fly fishing lines and retrieve them onto the fishing reel.
  • When you finish cleaning, you would then dry them with a clean towel or let them dry naturally in a dark place.
  • Remember to apply lubricant to your clean fly fishing line frequently. This would help to add extra protection to the coating of the lines and prevent some elements such as water from absorbing into them.
  • In case you will rest for a long time before your next fishing trip, you should put these used fly fishing lines back into their original line spools.
  • You need to put your fly fishing lines in a cool dark place, away from the direct sunlight since the UV rays and heat can deteriorate the quality of these lines.

Here are some pieces of information about fly fishing lines, how to look for a suitable one along with other tips on using and maintain them. I hope that by reading through this article, you will be able to gain more knowledge about fly fishing line and can make a very informed choice towards fly fishing line- a very important line that you cannot miss on any trip.

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