Choosing the Right Fly Fishing Line
Fly line is available for both freshwater and saltwater conditions. When purchasing fly line, some key features to consider are taper style, line weight, and line type.
Taper style can simply be described as where the line tapers, or becomes thinner in some areas while remaining thicker in other areas. The weight of the line is manipulated to be lighter or heavier in different spots based on an angler’s personal preference and/or the environmental conditions.
Two common taper styles that are available are:
- WF – Weight Forward: Weight forward is fairly self-explanatory – the bulk of the weight is in the first few yards of the line as this is where the line is its thickest. Weight Forward is designed to ease casting, especially on windy days.
- DT – Double Taper: In a double taper line, both ends taper inward as the bulk of the line remains a constant depth. The double taper allows for a light touch and soft presentations when casting.
Line weight directly correlates to the size/weight of the fish you are intending to catch. As with traditional fishing, fly gear varies by size depending on your chosen location and the type of fish you are intending to catch. Fly outfits vary by weight from #1 weight, the lightest, all the way to up to #15 weight, which is designed for the largest fish. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start somewhere in the middle with an outfit ranging from a #4 to a #7 weight. Rods, reels, and lines are marked by weight to simplify your selection process.
Line type will specify if the line will float or sink and will be depicted with an F or S, respectively.
- Fly Fishing Leader: Fly leaders are used to attach the fly line to the fly.
- Fly Fishing Tippet: A tippet is a piece of flexible line that allows the fly to more realistically imitate an insect.