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Fly Fishing Line Buyers Guide

Since the inception, fly fishing lines have come a long way, and today you get to see different types, sizes, and weights available when choosing the best option.

The availability of multiple options has made it even daunting for the anglers to choose the best fly fishing line. Thus, selecting the most reliable fishing line is nothing less than a nightmare.

But, this definite buyer's guide will assist you in making the right purchase decision. We have covered every single detail you should know about fly fishing lines, so it'd be easier for you to decide without any fussy research.

Let’s have a look at the critical factors you should check before buying a fly fishing line.

Why is this buyer’s guide important?

It's natural to think about why a buyer's guide is essential when selecting a fishing line. But once you have a look at the umpteen options available, you'll get to know the importance of some extra support that aids you in buying the best line.

The buying guide here will help you with the information fetched from expert anglers who have been using fly fishing lines for years. No matter if you are new to fly fishing or you hold some experience, checking this full-fledged guide will ensure that you are investing in the right fishing products.

Factors to consider while buying fly fishing line

Fly fishing lines are available in a variety of colors, lengths, weight material types, and memory options. So you have to shortlist the best one based on these parameters. Below we have described how these parameters can impact your fishing skills.

Length of the line

Checking the length of the line is important to ensure that you can cast to a great distance. Generally, all fly fishing lines have a different length, so it is something you should never compromise with. Further, there are some other reasons that depend on the length of the line, like how the fishing hook will behave after you cast it into the water.

You can start by checking the length and then looking for some other factors while selecting a fly fishing line.

Material Type

Fly fishing lines are made of different materials, and each type boasts different capabilities and performance. You can choose the type of material you need depending on where you want to fish.


This material is durable and smooth. Also, it is extremely resistant to abrasion and doesn’t lose its integrity even after multiple uses.


Braided fishing lines have low memory, and these don't curl up or kink easily. However, you have to spend a significant amount to get this fishing line.


Monofilament fly fishing lines are highly versatile and affordable. The material is available in a plethora of color options, including completely transparent lines. However, there is a downside that comes attached to these fishing lines, and that's high memory.

Bending and curling up is common with these lines so that the line can lose its integrity after some time due to continuous bends.

Lead core

Lead core lines are best for fishing in open seas and deep lakes. The line is heavy as the center part is made up of lead. Lastly, these fishing lines are more expensive than monofilament but not as braided lines.

Weight and size of the line

Weight and size are two critical factors that need your attention while choosing a fly fishing line. There are different weights and thicknesses available that can handle different fish species as some are very powerful and need a robust line.

Here’s how to select weight and size correctly:


If you are looking for a fly fishing line that's highly durable, go with the heavy one. Heavy lines are ideal for using heavy baits, and you can target bigger fish species without even worrying about the line getting damaged during the fight.

Fly fishing lines at 7 to 8 weights will help you catch all types of bass fish, and if you go with eight and above, then these lines are useful for saltwater and freshwater giants.

Weights from 4 to 6 are ideal for catching small bass, large trouts, small spike, and walleye. Lastly, at 1 to 3 weights, you can fish in small lakes and water bodies, for example, small streams and pongs. With lightweight lines, you can catch panfish, small trout, and other such small fishes.


By size, we mean the thickness of the line. The general standard to measure fishing line thickness is in millimeters. The diameter of the line has a considerable impact on its visibility, casting ability, depth, and stretch. The fish hardly see thinner lines, so these are good for fishing.

On the other hand, thicker lines are potent and should be used when dealing with bigger species.

A Pro Tip: The weight of the line should not exceed the fly rod’s weight as it can lead to difficulties while fishing and maneuvering the rod will be hard. To get a balance and harmony between the equipment, choose a line that suits the reel's weight.

Line Type

Again, the choice of the fly line depends on where you are fishing and what species are at your target. Generally, there are three types of fly lines available, i.e.:

  • Sink-tip lines
  • Floating lines
  • Sinking lines

Sink-tip lines

It is evident from the name what a sink-tip line is! Only the tip of the fly line submerges into the water, and the entire line remains floating above the level. The reason why you should use these fly fishing lines is easy mending and proper swing of drift.

Floating lines

The entire fly line floats on the surface of the water, and these are used for dry-fly fishing. Also, floating lines are useful for streamers and nymphs when fishing in shallow water. It becomes easy to control the line as it floats on the surface and is visible.

Sinking line

Sinking lines are best when fishing in deep water like ponds and lakes. You cannot see the line as it submerges into the water entirely.


What sets fly fishing apart is the tapering technique, which means adjustment of weight and diameter depending on the needs and purpose. The most common taper types used by anglers are double taper and weight forward taper.

But there are two other tapers available as well, which are commonly neglected by fishers.

Weight-forward taper

In weight-forward tapers, the initial part is the heaviest, most precisely the first 10 yards of the line. The thickness and weight make it suitable for smooth presentation and casting to a longer distance. The heavy tip section allows you to cast the fly with extra precision, and you can throw it to a great distance.

The taper is an ideal choice for beginners and experts.

Double taper

Unlike a weight-forward taper, a double taper or DT has a similar weight on both ends of the line. The middle part of the line is lighter as compared to the ends. The taper is excellent for casting to a smaller distance.

The best part about double tapers is that if the tip gets damaged somehow, then you can use the other end for fishing.

Shooting tip

Shooting tip has similar traits as of weight-forward taper, but the length of the fly line is 30 feet approximately. If you are planning for extreme-distance casting, then these fly fishing lines will be a viable option.

However, the line control isn't that good, so you cannot cast farther with these lines.

Integrated shooting taper

With an integrated shooting taper, you don't get the freedom to use different shooting heads depending on the requirements. In a nutshell, it is similar to shooting tip lines, but the head is permanently attached to the shooting line.


The coating on the fly line ensures added durability and protects the line from corrosion and other such issues as it has to remain in water most of the time. Furthermore, the coating has a lot to do with the durability, flexibility, and buoyancy of the fishing line.

You will see some common options like PVC coating that has excellent buoyancy and flexibility. Also, some fly fishing lines come with polythene coating, which is far more durable and resistant to abrasion. Lines coated in polythene are good for casting to a longer distance.

Strength and sensitivity

No one wants the line to snap while fighting with the fish, as it can be highly disappointing and dangerous. You should buy a fly line based on its strength and how much strain it can handle. Thick lines have better strength, and these are best for catching bigger species.

When it comes to sensitivity, you have to be extra sure before making any decision. Fly lines with high sensitivity will make you alert about the fish, so there's a huge possibility that you don't miss the catch. Fly fishing lines that have low sensitivity aren't the best as you can lose some of the catch due to now knowing about it.

Resistance to abrasion

Fishing means the fly line will be subjected to abrasion caused by harsh elements like weather, trees, and rocks. You cannot avoid abrasion, but getting a fly line that is resistant to abrasion is a wise idea. Generally, anglers tend to buy thinner lines because fish cannot see it easily, but these can snap due to abrasion.

On the other hand, thicker fly fishing lines can bear more abrasion, so you should go for it if you want the line to last longer without getting snapped during fishing.

Fishing line memory

While fishing, the line will bend and curl up as you fight with the catch. If a fishing line has high memory, then it will retain the curls after you wound it on the reel. These bends can affect the integrity and length of the line and sometimes curtail its durability as well.

Fishing lines with low memory are the best because these don’t retain the position. And the line gets back into the original shape once you pull it back on the reel.

Color and visibility

Most anglers don't pay attention to the color of the line, thinking that it has nothing to do with the performance. Yes, the color doesn't impact the performance, but it can increase your chances of getting a good catch.

Fly fishing includes camouflaging, which means choosing a color that blends into the surrounding conditions, and the line isn't visible to fish. Camouflaging even hides thick lines from fish; as a result, you return home with a bucket full of fish.

Roll casting

While selecting a line for fly fishing, never ignore its roll casting. There can be some situations when you have to fish in tight spots, and a line with excellent roll casting will surely be a great help.

Also, these lines go well with the traditional casting techniques, and you don't have to make a lot of effort to cast the line farther to get more catches. Make sure to buy fishing lines of prominent brands only as these are trusted by expert anglers, and you will get good roll casting with these fishing lines.

Loop stability

The reason why many anglers keep the loop stability on the top of their list when choosing a fly fishing line is because it helps in casting better. When you have a fishing line with superb loop stability, then you can cast to a significant distance, and the line unfurls properly without leading to any jerk.

Fishing lines that don’t have loop stability will not allow you to cast to a good distance, and there can be many problems that lead to the hook failing in the middle of the casting.

If you want the cast farther the checking the loop stability is paramount.

Easy nymphing

Nymphing with the fishing line means imitating the action of aquatic insects with the bait. A fishing line that allows you to nymph the bait will get you more fishes in your basket. Fishes get attracted to live baits, and the movement will surely attract them towards the bait.

Only expert anglers know the real power of nymphing, but you should also check it even if you are a beginner so that it becomes rewarding for you in the future.


The price of the fly fishing line depends on the type of line you are going with. Also, the size and coating of the line influence the price. Make sure to check all of these factors so that you can invest in the right line required for fly fishing.

FAQs about Best Fly Fishing Line

Q: Does the color of the fishing line really matter?

A: Yes, the choice of the right color has a lot to do with the line's visibility. Not only to the fish but also the color is essential for you. It is suggested that you go with fly fish lines that are easily visible so that you can find out where the line is exactly.

Further, the camouflaging technique helps you hide the line from the fish so they will have more chances of getting a good catch.

Q: Why is it important to clean the fly line?

A: There are many reasons why you should spare some time to clean the fly fishing line. A clean fly line will have good buoyancy, it will cast better, and you will get a considerable lifespan from it.

Using the fly rig on a regular basis can attract a lot of dust and dirt that can accumulate around the line. Also, algae can thrive on the fly line that can curtail its integrity, and there are chances that the line will snap while fishing.

In a nutshell, it is essential to clean the fly line before you pack it with the fishing gear.

Q: How to clean the fly fishing line?

A: Cleaning the fly fishing line requires you to follow a set of some basic steps you should follow religiously to enhance the longevity of the line.

  • Get a bucket full of lukewarm water, and add some liquid hand soap to it.
  • Mix the water so that the soap mixes properly for ideal cleaning.
  • Take the fly reel and start pulling the line out of it and put it inside the bucket.
  • Take a soft cloth and start running it from one end and the other.
  • Now, rinse the line in another bucket and take off all the soapy solution sticking to it.
  • Use a dry cloth to wipe the line before you respool it back on the reel.
  • Follow the cleaning process regularly to keep the line clean so that you can cast farther with it.
Q: How do I know if I need a new fly fishing line?

A: If you have noticed a dip in the line's performance like it has to go curls, and the casting is not that great, you should consider getting a new one. The lifespan of the fly line depends on many factors, for example, how frequently you are using it, whether you are cleaning it or not, and abrasion.

Always keep an extra fly line when you go fishing so that you can use the new one in case the existing one snaps due to any reasons.

Q: How to straighten the fly line?

A: Straightening the fly fishing line is easy. All you have to do is take the line out of the reel and pull it out to take out the bends and coils. You can also use your foot to stretch the line. Make sure that you don't pull the line aggressively as it can harm you.

Q: Why does my floating line sink?

A: The reason why your floating fly line is sinking is maybe that you are using an unclean line. The dust and dirt accumulated on the line make it denser and heavier. To avoid the line from sinking, clean it regularly using a soapy solution.

A clean line will float better, and it's the only thing you can do aside from getting a new floating fly line.

Q: Are fly fishing lines expensive?

A: It depends on the type of fly line you are purchasing. Generally, fly fishing lines are affordable, and you will see multiple good options at a reasonable price.

Furthermore, always care for the fly line so that you don't have to get a new one after some days and it will save you money.

Q: How to store a fly line?

A: You can store the fly line wrapped onto the reel, and it will not harm its integrity. However, after some time, you should strip off the line to ensure that it doesn't render any issues when you use it after months.

Q: What is the best fly fishing line?

A: The choice of the best fly fishing line depends on you. With this buyer's guide, you can quickly make a rewarding decision by selecting the best fly line. Make a list of a few lines and compare them on these factors to funnel down the best option.


Fly fishing becomes more interesting when you cast farther, and for that, you need a good fly line. This buyer's guide is intended to help you in making the best decision. We have listed every factor you need to check in the fly line before buying it.

Also, don’t forget to check the FAQ section to get some more valuable information about these fishing lines. Always choose branded options so that you get a strong line that can handle a significant amount of weight without getting snapped.

Happy fly fishing! / - © Copyright 2020