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FAQs on Fly Fishing Lines – 45 Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Questions on Fly Lines

Every angler, novice, or a pro at the game, will tell you that casting efficiency is crucial.

While techniques, skill level, and other things play huge parts in this, a lighter fly reel and a slicker line are the key steps to efficient casting.

Beginners spend so much time casting to hone their fly fishing skills.

An easier casting line will greatly reduce arm fatigue.

You make more casts if your arm isn’t fatigued in any session.

Thus, it speedily increases your proficiency and shortens the learning curve.

If you are spending more time fishing than resting your arms or false casting, be ready for more action.

More action = More fun!

Better casting efficiency is beneficial for all levels of casting.

More efficient casts give relaxed casting motions.

You can start shooting a fly line by feel and experience.

You will feel fly line tugs at the line hand while nearing the end of a forward cast.

It is easier to know the right time to release a fly line off your hand.

Almost unaware, you will be shooting the line and casting longer distances.

While you improve at casting, you will spend most of the time fishing and not untangling lines.

There is something special about fly fishing lines compared to other types.

Here’s the thing: Fly fishing lines are EVERYTHING to an angler.

Unlike spin fishing, the weight of the fly line allows a fisherman/woman to cast their fly.

Anglers who use the wrong lines will have the roughest time casting.

Fly fishing lines can be confusing and instead of whipping up a whole guide on the same, we made it easier.

We picked questions on fly fishing lines across the internet and curated the simplest answers for you.


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Can Trout See Green Fishing Line?


Fly fishing is a whole discovery on its own.

Trout can see green fishing lines and distinguish other colors as well.

But, trout see these colors differently depending on the water level.

At this point, you should be wondering the best fly line color to get to avoid trout from seeing it and fleeing.

Trout are known for their exceptional vision.

They can see like humans but can detect most ultraviolet frequencies.

There is a little bit of biological explanation that goes into how trout see and their eye structure (I will not go into this today).

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to match your fly line color to that of the lure.

An angler needs trout to notice their lure and eat it.

It is the lure that gets a trout to notice something and bite.

Trout see fly lines and swim in the opposite direction.

Ensure that the line blends into the trout’s surroundings.

Don’t choose the fly line color depending on whether it is visible to you.

We know how nice it is to spot your fly line but remember that if you can clearly see it, so can the trout.

Most fly lines that trout almost don’t see are clear monofilament, fluorocarbon, and pink fluorocarbon.


Can You Clean Fly Line with Dish Soap?


The type of soap to use to clean a fly line is among the heated debates among anglers.

But, I have discovered that there is nothing serious about it.

You can use dish soap to clean your fly line but, there are a few limitations.

I do the dishes in my home once in a while but I really can’t tell the difference between the dish soaps I have used in the past.

As part of research on this issue (as a fly angler, dish soap is a common supply) I discovered that there are different types of dish soaps.

Some dish soaps are harsh – Avoid using such types on your fly lines or any other tackle.

Mild dish soap or liquid hand soap is considered the best if you can’t find special cleaning agents for fly lines.

Be careful about bar soaps as some leave a thin film on your line.

You don’t want anything that can interfere with the performance of your line.

Harsh dish soap is abrasive and shortens the line’s life span.

Also, never use detergent since it is another harsh cleanser.

It strips lubricant off your fishing line.

If you are unsure about dish soap and don’t know how to identify a mild one, use liquid hand soap.


Can You Fish Streamers with Floating Line?


You can fish streamers using floating lines.

Some methods for fishing streamers using floating lines include using short leaders, long leaders, and adding sinking tips to a floating line.

Bring short sections of heavy fluorocarbon leaders.

A good example is a 5-6′ Berkley Vanish 10 Pound.

Fishing streamers will change the physics of casting with fly rods.

The Berkley Vanish makes excellent butt material for leaders if you need to improvise.

Here’s the surprise: The stuff doesn’t break.

You might need a longer leader for fishing streamers.

For instance, then fishing in shallow ponds or deep pools.

Longer leaders make flies sink faster but you will need some getting used to.

Adding a sink tip to a floating line is one of the favorite rigs among anglers.

You enjoy the friendly casting ability of your floating line and add all the weight needed with the sink tip to get the streamers down faster.

The rig is crucial for fishing in bigger or faster waters.

You can fish streamers with floating lines from a raft or drift board.

Wading fly anglers will tell you that rocky bottoms and fast currents characterize some of the best waters for this technique.


Can You Tie Tippet Directly to Fly Line?


You do not tie the tippet material directly to a fly line.

You need to attach your leader to the line using a loop-to-loop connection.

Then, attach your tippet to the leader’s end.

Some fly lines don’t come pre-looped.

If yours doesn’t, you will need to attach the braided loop before tying on the leader.

Or, you can directly tie it using the nail knot.

Tippets are vital parts of fly fishing gear.

You will need them for tying flies onto tapered leaders you attach to the main fly lines.

It might be very difficult to cast flies accurately with precision and proper form if you lack a tippet.

Most tippets will be 2-4’ long and anglers use surgeon knots to tie them to leaders.

Tippets are thinner in diameter and almost invisible.

These don’t ripple in the water and will not spook fish.

When the fly is 2-4 feet far from thicker and conspicuous line portions, it adds more stealth to lure the wariest fish.

The length of a tippet impacts the presentation of your flies.

When the fly and tippet don’t lay straight after a cast, reduce some inches from the tippet.

If the fly is yanking back, your tippet could be too short.


Can You Use Wet Flies with Floating Lines?


Anglers can effectively fish wet flies on floating lines without weight.

When a fly hits the water’s surface, it sinks momentarily.

The hackle sags and rises while the fish takes it in.

In this case, the fly imitates baitfish or merging insects in escape mode from under the surface film like they are swimming upwards for safety.

So many techniques involve presenting fly patterns under the water surface or within the film.

The two sections are mostly where fish are feeding.

Insects in different life stages like nymphs and pupa are in the water column or on the rocks.

While floating lines float on the water’s surface, normally, there is 4-20′ of the leader connecting the floating line’s end and the fly.

There can be other components of the tackle like strike indicators or split shots.

In this case, a wet fly sinks in a particular predictable yet controllable manner to be presented well in the water column where you fish need to see them: and in the same way, these species expect to see them.

A floating line will act like an indicator.

The line wiggles when immediately a strike occurs.

The wiggle is usually unnatural.


Do I Need a Sinking Fly Line?


You need a sinking fly line if you fish on reservoirs and lakes.

Anglers rig most fly fishing setups with weight forward floating lines but sinking lines open more opportunities to get more fish and large ones for that matter.

Going lower in water columns acts in favor of the fly fisher.

Sinking lines can also be used in rivers and sink from ¼ to ½ inch/second to several inches/second.

Fly fishers use sinking lines when different species are feeding low in the water columns and the anglers have to control the depths of their flies.

You can use sinking lines in moving and still waters.

It can be quite intimidating to use sinking lines in rivers.

The fly will be sitting lower in the water column.

You want to be cautious of the duration you allow the fly to drift.

The longer the time the fly drifts, the higher the chances of snagging at the fly.

One of the added characteristics of modern sinking lines is destiny compensation.

It means that the tip and midsection are sinking at the same rate.

The manufacturers want the fly lines to maintain straight connections between the angler and the fly.

You are in contact with the fly entirely as you retrieve.

Thus, you can detect even the slightest of strikes.



Do You Need a Tippet for Fly Fishing?


You need a tippet for fly fishing but you can do without it in some situations.

It is okay to tie the fly directly to the leader’s end.

Tippets are essential components of a fly fishing setup for throwing multiple flies or nymphing.

You need a tippet if you want to extend the leader.

The leader can shorten because of frequent trimming or tying flies.

It could have broken from battling fish or you bought a short one, to begin with.

You want to extend the leader when casting flies to skittish species.

There isn’t another way to fully set up a rig for multiple flies without a tippet.

For instance, dry dropper rigs need you to tie the first fly to a leader and the other to a part of the tippet tied onto the hook shank of the first fly.

It is best to add a small part of the tippet above the first fly when nymphing.

The knot connecting the leader to the tippet is a barrier and prevents weights from sliding onto the first fly.

If saving money on the leader, you can use a tippet.

Fluorocarbon leaders are the best but they cost more.

You can use monofilament leaders with extensions of fluorocarbon tippets.


Do You Need to Stretch Your Fly Line?


You will need to stretch the fly line isn’t shooting through the guides easily.

The line might lack the buoyancy it comes with when it is fresh from its box.

Also, if you spend a lot of time untangling the line, it needs stretching.

Fly lines reeled tightly on reels for a long time will have coil memory.

The situation worsens when the fly line sits longer on the reel unused.

The solution to this issue is fly fishing often.

But life can get in the way and you hardly get time to show up on the water even for half an hour.

Fly lines with memory curl and might turn into nasty tangles in a short while.

A curled fly line doesn’t slide smoothly through the guides.

This can greatly hinder casting.

Such a fly line also sits on the water surface in an inappropriate way which can affect an efficient hook set and good drifting.

The memory caused by the fly line sitting on the reel longer makes the line to unwind off the fly reel in curls that create knots.

It might be caught on the rod’s end.

The problem could arise while giving or taking the line while battling a fish.

You will have no chance of catching the fish of your lifetime.

To counter all these, it is advisable to stretch your fly line before your fishing session.


Does Fly Line Brand Matter?


The fly line brand doesn’t matter.

What matters is the line’s performance on the water and overall functionality.

There are so many fly line brands on the market today.

Some have been in the production business for decades and others are new ventures doing well in the angling department.

Here are some common brands that manufacture good-quality fly lines:

Rio is one of the recommended fly line brands by pro anglers and guides.

The manufacturer focuses on quality, strength, durability, and the latest technologies when making their fly lines.

Lines from this company last several seasons and you can cast and catch fish in some of the toughest spots to hit.

Rio lines boast versatile applications.

Scientific Anglers is known for its wide selection of fly fishing lines.

You will get some of the specialty lines from this brand.

Affordability is the company’s mantra.

Most Scientific Angler’s fly lines are designed for trout, but there are several with versatile applications.

You won’t miss a few for accuracy and long-distance casting.

Orvis is a legend in the fly fishing business.

It is known for its high-performing combos, reels, rods, and fly fishing apparel.

The Clearwater series blew up and its bunch of fly lines is excellent for fly anglers of all levels.

Airflo also has a wide range of specialty lines.

The company has any fly line regardless of your needs.


Does Orange Fly Line Scare Fish?


Fly line color is a controversial topic among anglers and manufacturers.

My feelings and thoughts on this have changed over the years.

Orange fly lines have the potential to scare fish.

Orange is a highly visible color for a fly line.

It can help you to see and control drifts better, which are the top most factors that influence if a trout will eat the fly or dodge it.

But, there are some downsides to having orange fly lines.

First, does it blend with the fish see around it?

Fish see colors and most of them have an eagle-sharp vision, sometimes, better than humans.

Shadows and some anomalies overhead such as flying birds or your 52nd false cast in a bid to lay your fly down will spook fish.

The first thing to do is cover the bets.

Do you see thousands of neon orange lines on fly store shelves like before?

The number has drastically gone down because of anglers’ opinion on the inability to catch fish because of spooking from the bright color of these lines.

Pro anglers are shunning orange for cream, gray, light brown, light green, and tan fly lines.

Others are opting for clear options with sky-blue wrappings because of the excellent blend with the clear blue skies above.

Most of the thoughts and opinions on orange-colored fly lines have to do with what anglers fish and the fly fishing technique.

Brown lines blend perfectly with tannic brown areas.

But if throwing gigantic streamers downstream, the orange color isn’t an issue.


How Do I Choose the Right Fly Line Weight?


Fly lines are available in different weights.

Every manufacturer weighs its line and measures it in grains.

For context, 1 gram has 14 grains.

Some countries have a love-and-hate relationship with metric systems and manufacturers use an easier scale for anglers to determine the weights of fly lines easily.

The scale is from 1 to 14.

The lesser the number, the lighter the line, and vice versa.

Fly line weight impacts the species you chase.

Know the species you want to catch before picking a fly line.

1 to 3-weight fly lines is for smaller fish like tiny trout and panfish.

These can catch large trout in smaller streams but very rare circumstances.

4 Weight lines work well for panfish and excel if catching larger trout.

Application is on small to medium size streams and in areas where you don’t need long casts.

5 Weight fly lines are all-around and versatile for the trout angler.

Such handle all trout angling situations and can catch smaller species, small bass, and other smallies in the rivers.

6 Weight lines are also versatile for trout.

These work well for monster trout and bass.

Some areas don’t need you to use 7-weight fly lines for trout in rivers.

The line weight mostly works for bigger and stronger species like steelhead, bass, and small salmon.

Fly line weights from 8 onwards are for more powerful and monster species.

You will mostly see them in saline areas and among salmon anglers.

Freshwater anglers might never need this unless catching bigger salmon in Alaska.



How Do I Keep My Fly Line Straight?


You can keep your fly line straight by stretching it before fishing or using a fly line straightener.

Fly lines fail to be straight because of coil memory from being tightly wound on the reel and remaining unused for a long time.

You want to avoid this by fly fishing often and removing the line from the reel if you know you will be storing your combo for a long time without any fishing action.

Fly line straighteners are for cleaning and straightening lines and leaders.

Most fly lines manufactured today have little memory because of the material choice and technologies used.

But, it doesn’t mean they NEVER get coiled or tangled.

Each fly line has the memory of the shape they are stored in.

Choose one fly line straightener if you want to extend the lifespan of your lines and leaders.

Some straighteners come with D-shaped attachments which makes them easier for anglers to take.

Others are made from EVA material for quick and effortless straightening.

Such also remove stubborn kinks from lines.

Straighteners have a softer feel to clean mud, dust, and stains from the fly line.

Pull the fly line through rubber-faced sides until they get straight.

Add some drops of the fly line care solution then pull the line through felted sides to remove memory and clean.


Why Use a Sink Tip Fly Line?


Sink tip fly lines help with line mending and control, casting speed, and line management during wading.

A primary reason to use sink-tip fly lines is for their added control in currents.

A small section of the fly line sinks while the rest floats on the water’s surface.

The angler can mend and reposition their line how they want it to help with controlling a swing or drift.

Full sinking lines on the other hand don’t allow for line manipulation to this extent.

But, there isn’t a superior fly line as you will require the two types, if fishing in different water bodies.

Sink tip lines with shorter sinking portions are ideal when you need your flies down while speedy with the presentations.

Short sink tips mean less line remains under the water, unlike full sinking lines.

It results in less resistance or drag.

You can pick up and re-cast easily minus stripping the fly line in so far.

Overall, it makes you a faster fly angler, especially in areas where you are peppering quicker casts constantly toward many tiny targets.

The line increases efficiency by giving more casts the entire day.

More casts = More fish.

Wading and shore-bound anglers know how sink-tip fly lines make their lives easier.

When stripping in a fly line that sinks fully, the loose line increases the chances of collecting debris down or from the surface.

It also offers more resistance while shooting line or trying to feed out on the following cast.

Stripping baskets become a necessity.

But, when the loose fly line floats like in a sink tip one, it is easier to maintain cleanliness, manage it and leap off the surface of the water as you cast.


How Do I Store My Fly Line?


Fly fishing lines are vital for any angler’s gear setup but surprisingly, these are the least cared for in all seasons.

It is recommended to wash all fly lines after every season and coil them loosely around the fly reels.

Times can get busy and you leave your lines in storage for extended periods.

It is best to have them on spare spools or Omni spools in such scenarios.

Fly lines should be stored loose and dry on spools.

Ensure the reel end is out to attach first.

New fly lines need to be wet thoroughly to avoid getting unnecessary coils in it

Anglers are encouraged to wipe lines with a damp cloth before prolonged storage.

Here are some things to do when storing your fly lines:


  • Tightly winding the lines to avoid cracking.
  • Never keep loose lines. Instead, use Omni spools for proper storage.
  • Do not store lines on smaller arbors to avoid coils.
  • Never leave the line as it is after fly fishing.
  • Thorough washes are recommended.
  • Packing away wet lines causes mold.
  • Ensure to keep the lines in cool dark areas of your house away from direct sunlight.

How Do You Clean a Sinking Fly Line?


Most people aren’t about cleaning and stretching their sinking fly lines.

But, this is crucial for high performance and durability.

There is a specific solution for cleaning sinking lines.

You can’t go in with mild dish soap like you would on floating lines.

The loon outdoor sink fast solution is your secret weapon.

Anything similar from other brands should work too.

It is a line dressing you need to carry anywhere you go with your sinking lines.

Have cleaning pads from Scientific Anglers or another reputable manufacturer.

You want to maintain specific cleaning pads for sinking lines to avoid using floating line dressing on your sinking line.

Hold the sinking line with the sandpaper part of the cleaning pad and drag the line to leave any oils and dirt on the pad.

Spray the loon solution on the other side of the pad and use it to clean the line.

The solution cleans and lubricates the line and since it has no floatation additive, be sure to maintain the sinking ability of the line.

Do this repeatedly until your line is slick as butter.

The line will cast, cut through the surface and sink better.

AVOID USING THE DRESSING ON THE FLOATING PORTION OF THE LINE FOR SINK TIP LINES!!!

The floating part needs to be cleaned periodically but with the right fly line dressing for floating lines.

Do as you would on the sinking part but use different sinking pads.


How Do You Fish a Sinking Line?


Begin with less when fishing sinking lines.

Sinking lines have greater water resistance hence, it is hard to pick them up and recast them.

Hence, you need to strip back in more line before pulling out of the water.

The sink rate, angler’s skill, and rod’s action influence the amount of line you need to retrieve before any new cast.

Ensure the tip of the rod is starting at the water surface when you want to cast.

You want to remove all the extra slack from your line and get the maximum motion range while pulling the fly line out of the water.

Faster sinkers need you to open the loop.

The lines have a different feel and if a big weighted fly is added, it can be a handful.

Sinking fly lines are thinner than floating ones and cast with greater power.

Shooting and cutting through the wind is easier but they are prone to smacking rod tips, the back of the angler’s head, and tangling.

Open casting loops keep rod tips angled outwards and the line and fly will be far from you.

The casting arc should be more open.

Heavier lines will need this and the Belgian cast for consistent and safer presentations.

Be smooth with whichever cast you are using and when picking your line off the water when making new casts.

Fast and extra-fast rods are the best for these lines.

You want a less deep flex and more power to hack weighted flies and heavy lines.


How Do You Match Fly Line to Fly Rod?


It is advisable to test the fly line on the water to know how it casts.

What about if you are buying it online?

Manufacturers assign each line a rating depending on the computer technology and field tester’s opinions.

In this case, the recommended line weight for the rod is a fantastic starting point.

But, each rod can cast different weights of fly lines.

The same producers rate the rods depending on a casting distance they believe works.

However, their distance might not match all anglers’ needs.

40’ casts for striped bass in bridges are better with fly lines with shorter tapers.

Sometimes, over-lining the rod with one or more line weights works better.

70’ casts on the edges of salt marshes will need lines with longer tapers.

Some anglers under-line their rods with one-line weight.

Distance casters require lines one weight lighter and add an extra false cast to have enough amount of line weight up in the air.

Grain weight is another consideration but lines vary since some brands don’t focus on industry standards.

A fly line box can say 8-weight while the first 30’ have an actual grain weight of 280.

This is a 10-weight fly line.

Such lines aren’t that bad as they come in handy when shooting lines with some false casts.

You can invest in a digital scale to get the accurate weight of your fly lines.


How Do You Prepare a New Fly Line?


Some fly lines come pre-spooled.

Anglers who only buy such don’t have the experience of lining fly reels with line.

Identify a space near you without any clutter.

You don’t want any dirt getting on your line or stuff hindering you from prepping your line.

Get the fly line out of its fly box and hold it in one hand.

Remove all the twist ties from the fly line but be very careful to avoid twisting the line.

Manufacturers tag their lines.

Identify the end that should tag to the reel and have it on.

It is the start of the line and you want to find it easily.

For blue/gray lines, the gray section attaches to the backing while the blue weight forward attaches to the fly.

Green/yellow lines have the yellow side as the backing attachment and the green WF as the fly attachment.

The green area is for the backing on sink tip lines while black attaches to the fly.

Use the other hand that isn’t holding the line to unravel the line while tagging the end first.

Lay the entire line on a clean surface.

Connect the end to attach to the reel to the backing using a loop-to-loop connection.

It will help you to easily change the line later.

The reel should now be in the non-retrieval hand and have the running line between the index finger and thumb of the hand that holds the reel.

Exert some pressure on the line and retrieve the entire fly line while evening it across the reel.


How Do You Rejuvenate an Old Fly Line?


Most old fly lines (I mean some you got a decade or so back or were or were passed down to you by enthusiasts) were made of silk.

If they aren’t rotten, you can restore them.

Do you know that these can sell for much more than the reel they are on?

You will need to soak the fly line in clean warm water.

Add a handful of baking soda to it.

There isn’t a precise measurement as you just want enough to clean the lines without wastage.

You can make it a quarter cup of baking soda to 1 quart of water.

Allow the fly line to soak for an hour.

Use a rug to pull the line through to help get rid of the gunk and grime.

If the line appears to have more dirt, repeat the soaking process in clean warm water and clean again.

Some gingerly pulls are necessary to confirm if the line isn’t rotten.

Rotten lines easily break and you need to trash them.

If yours is strong, clean again and coat with linseed oil mix or Tung.

In case the fly line is sticky, denatured alcohol helps before allowing it to sit for some days and then treating it.


How Do You Set Up a Fly Fishing Line for Trout?


How to set up a fly line for trout depends on the fish’s size, the pattern you want to use and how pressured this fish is.

There are various sure line setups for trout and a few alternatives that could work in case the primary options fail.

You can use the multiple nymph rigs in moving water.

These consist of a 9′ 4X leader, a clear bobbin indicator, a 2-3 size 4 splitshot, the first fly, 12”-14” 5x or 6x tippet, and the second fly.

You can increase or reduce weight depending on the depth of the feeding line.

Heavily-pressured trout need the 90-degree rig.

It has a 2-15’ 0X or 1X leader, or a 40lbs mono (if building a leader by yourself), a clear bobber indicator (it should have a perfection loop), size 14 swivel, 6-7’ 6X or 5X tippet for the first fly tied with an improved clinch knot, a splitshot 12-16’’ above your first fly, and a 12-14’’ 5X or 6X tippet to the second fly tied with a non-slip loop knot.

Drop shot setups are for catching trout in deeper pools and runs where there are multiple water column levels.

Get an 8′ 4x-5x leader, a clear indicator, and a weight at the bottom.

Use overhead knots to connect flies to dropper loops as you add more flies.

Flies should be 8-12’’ apart.

Stillwaters will need mayfly 18′ line setups consisting of 13′ mono lines, size 12-barrel swivel, 5′ fluoro tippet, weighted mayfly nymph, and a slow hand-roll retrieve.

There are caddis, midge, leech pattern, scuds, dragonfly and damselfly setups, and many more depending on trout flies.


How Do You Store a Fly Line in the Winter?


I know of a buddy who keeps shoe boxes to store in his fly lines in winter.

Winter might be extreme to step out and it isn’t a cup for all anglers even though its fly angling yields can shock you.

To store your fly lines, clean each of them first.

Soak in warm water with fly line detergent or mild hand soap.

Pull each line through a clean piece of cloth to remove any grime and gunk.

Apply some fly line dressing and allow the lines to dry.

Mark every butt end using a smart system.

Make dashes in a manner you can remember even after months.

You want to differentiate the lines to avoid getting mixed.

Coil every fly line in long loops and hang each from the duck.

If you have none, use a board with nail studs.

An old canvas back can take eight fly lines.

Hang your duck in a cool and dry place away from light.

You can leave the backing on the fly reel.

If hanging the line coils isn’t an option, use coffee cans to wrap around.

Using this method doesn’t need you to disconnect the fly line from its backing.

You can store this in a closet as you wait for spring.


How Do You Store a Fly Line on a Reel?


When winding the line in preparation for fly fishing you want to do this tightly while evening out the line on the reel.

That’s fine.

It is advisable to store the fly line off the reel in loose coils and hand on a nail.

But, some people don’t do this for one reason or the other.

You might find yourself in this situation.

The first thing to do is strip the line off the reel and clean it properly.

You want to store a clean line on the reel because you might not know when next you will need it to fish.

Don’t store damaged lines on the fly reel.

It is good to inspect the fly line during cleaning for weak points and breakage.

Treat the line with the right dressing and allow it to dry for a few days.

Once you are ready to keep it away, coil the line on the reel in big chunks.

Store the reel in a spacious box or hang it on a nail in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.


How Do You Whip a Loop at the End of a Fly Line?


Assemble all the tools you need to whip the loop at the end of the fly line.

Bring a UV cure resin, a small amount of thread for pulling the whip finish through, scissors, a bobbin holder, and fine thread.

You can get spider web, ghost thread, or something similar.

Fold a small loop at the end of the fly line between the thumb and finger.

Make several turns of thread to hold the initial loop.

Cut off the excess tag of the fly line to about 5mm.

It is recommended to do it at an oblique angle for a more gradual step down than a sudden step from cutting it off in a square.

Keep wrapping the thread and build a good compact whipping.

Once satisfied with the thread wraps, it is time to catch in a small looped piece of the tying thread.

It is the exact thread you are using for the wraps.

You will use it to pull on the tag end of your tying thread under the whippings for a nice finish.

Cut free the bobbin holder and allow it to drop but still hold the whipping thread.

Poke softly the tag end to pass through your loop thread.

Pull the loop back for it to drag the tag back again under the previous thread turns.

Trim off all the waste.

Apply a small drop of the resin and spread it evenly and thinly with a fine dubbing needle.

Spread it on the entire whipping surface before setting it using a UV torch.


How Long Do Fly Lines Last?


Overall, a fly line lasts 250 uses but there are tons of determining factors.

This can be a year of usage for decades.

It might sound weird but I can explain.

Guides and fly fishing enthusiasts who love chasing a specific species often using a specific line will agree that a fly line can last them less than a year.

There are buddies with such obsessions and that is alright.

On the other side, there are the busy chaps and fly fishers who step out once in a while.

It could be once or twice a week and some could pass without them casting a line.

Their fly lines last longer than regular anglers.

Then we have the collectors who own tens of fly lines.

These use an Orvis today, a Scientific Anglers tomorrow and before they return to the Orvis, it is probably two seasons later.

Such buddies hardly have to replace their fly lines as they aren’t in use often.

Continuous exposure of the line to sunlight, debris abrasion, and algae reduce its longevity.

Normal wear and tear is also a key player in how long your fly line will last.

Proper care and storage of fly lines can increase their durability and performance.


How Long Should Your Fly Line Be?


Overall, a fly line should be about 100 feet long.

Fly line length is a primary consideration when choosing one to complete your combo.

The 100 feet length is a give or take, depending on the manufacturer.

Experienced traditional anglers are used to longer fly lines than the standard ones.

100 feet could appear very short for them.

They are right but there are some considerations too.

Besides factoring in the length of the fly line, there should be considerations for the leader and backing.

The backing is 100 feet or longer in most cases but it depends on the reel size of the rod you intend to use.

Leaders come in 7 to 15 feet.

A fly angler will need to combine the three lengths of the line, leader, and backing to get more than 200 feet.

Fly fishers generally will never be over 50 feet of their flies.

They will be closer than this length.

Fly fishing is more about delicate fly presentations on the water and accuracy but not distance.

So the line length in this case shouldn’t hinder you from throwing a fly to catch your favorite species.


Rio Premier Gold Fly Line, Easy to Cast Flies from Size 2 to 22, Ultimate All-Around Fly Line with Ultra-Slick Performance, Melon/Gray Dun, 90ft, WF5F
94 Reviews
Rio Premier Gold Fly Line, Easy to Cast Flies from Size 2 to 22, Ultimate All-Around Fly Line with Ultra-Slick Performance, Melon/Gray Dun, 90ft, WF5F
  • PREMIER GOLD: The RIO Premier Gold has been the go-to Trout line around the world for many years, and for a multitude of fly fishers. The line has a long head and back taper that give casters total line control and stability at range - whether casting or mending.The unique profile is designed to load a fly rod at close range, and has a front taper that delivers perfect presentation of flies between sizes #22 and #2.
  • FEATURES: RIO’s Dualtone marks the sweet spot of a fly line by providing an obvious color change in the line at the sweet spot, while RIO’s Easyrid printed line marking system allows anglers to quickly and easily identify each line. Front & Back Welded Loops, a streamlined, bulletproof loop welded at the front of the fly line for fast and easy rigging and another at the end of the fly line for fast rigging to backing.
  • TECHNOLOGIES: RIO’s MaxFloat tip technology is a high float coating that floats more than twice as high as regular fly line tips, without any increase in diameter, while SlickCast creates the slickest, most durable coating on the market, producing the least amount of friction ever measured on a fly line.
  • FRESHWATER FLY LINES: We have a fantastic selection of the highest quality freshwater fly lines, designed to optimize your time on the water. All of our freshwater fly lines are designed to excel at required casting and fishing needs and feature cutting-edge technology for maximum versatility and performance. Make the cast of your dreams with RIO's freshwater fly lines.
  • PASSION & INNOVATION: For more than 20 years, RIO has demonstrated passion, innovation and a pure love for the sport through its development of the industry's highest performance fly lines. And the great news is, we will continue to research, design and refine our products to ensure they are your preferred line of choice for years to come.

How Much Tippet Should I Use?


You will need to use 2 to 4’’ tippet lengths depending on the situations you are fishing in.

Tippets are specific gauge mono lines anglers attach to the ends of their leaders to which they tie their flies.

These are the tiniest gauge lines on any rig and boast virtual invisibility to most fish.

A tippet is one of the most flexible parts of a fly fishing combo that allows the fly to swim and float more naturally.

Two to four feet in length should match or be smaller than the total diameter of the tip of the leader.

The primary advantage of using a tippet is its ability to extend the leader’s life.

Good quality leaders are expensive.

You can’t afford to keep replacing them like flies.

Anglers who change flies frequently can agree that the leader’s taper cuts away slowly by slowly.

Tying on a tippet prevents you from losing the leader’s taper.

You tie the fly to the tippet’s end.

The type of species you are chasing determines the size and type of the fly.

Flies are available in various sizes and shapes starting from the smallest size 28 to the largest size 2.

There are other bigger flies but these are categorized differently.

Check the leader chart in the packaging to know the tippet to use for a certain size of fly.


How Often Should I Replace Fly Line?


Replace your fly line as soon as you realize it is underperforming unlike before.

You can try cleaning and dressing the fly line to improve its functionality.

But, once the fly line is damaged, there isn’t much you can do even after cleaning.

Pro anglers and guides advise changing lines after their usage is over.

However, some factors can force you to replace the fly line before its usage is even a quarter way.

Frayed edges are a common phenomenon on fly lines that aren’t well cared for.

The edges catch on the fly rod guides leading to bad casts.

Dump the rubbish or use it for some fun DIY stuff with the kids.

Check for rotting spots from algae and moisture accumulation.

There isn’t much a rotten fly line can do for you on the water.

Weak points on the line are a warning sign that you need to start planning a trip to the local fly shop.

If you spot several of them on one stretch of fly line, replace it, friend!

Get your sunscreen and bug spray.

These are crucial for any water man because prevention is better than cure.

While at it, keep your palms free from these two products when handling fly lines.

Both cause line damage by deteriorating the PVC coating.

Once you notice such damages, it is as good as saying goodbye to the line.


Is Fly Line Dressing Necessary?


Fly line dressing is necessary for anyone who wants their lines to last their maximum usage and perform as great as a brand new one even when on its last leg.

It is a crucial product for anglers who often use floating lines or specialty lines with floating portions.

All fly line brands have their fly line dressing solutions.

There isn’t a doubt that the dressing offered by the manufacturer does a good job.

But anglers are very experimental like innovators and scientists.

They test to find products with significant differences and whose applications are versatile.

It means that you don’t need to ground yourself to one fly line and its dressing from the same manufacturer.

Some manufacturers don’t produce fly lines and focus on fly line cleaners and other dressing.

Good examples are Loon Outdoors and Umpqua.

Angler forums have discussions on other random products that they use for dressing their lines.

Take the suggestions with some grains of salt.

Some products are excellent at creating slicker surfaces and water repulsion on certain materials but fly lines were built for specific purposes.

Mucilin is great for lines made from horse hair and silk ONLY.

Avoid using it on modern PVC lines as it can break these additives leading to hard and cracked lines.


Is Heavier Fly Line Easier to Cast?


Using a 5-weight fly line on a 5-weight fly rod means you have matched the two weights.

But, there is something like over-lining and under-lining in fly fishing.

Using heavier fly lines is called over-lining.

It has its pros and cons.

Using a heavier fly line means putting more bend on the fly rod.

This makes it easier to feel every bit of the loading leading to the angler throwing more accurate casts.

Most rods anglers use nowadays have fast actions.

The backbones are stiff and don’t bend that much.

Fast action rods are excellent for launching the fly line but can be extremely difficult to feel among novices.

For you to cast properly, it is crucial to know when your fly rod is loaded.

There is an option to keep a keen eye on it throughout.

But who does this when there is beautiful scenery to be admired or fellow anglers to chat with on the water?

The best thing is being able to feel when the fly rod is fully bent while it throws the fly line back.

Experienced anglers have a Ph.D. in this but starters will need some learning to do before they can master the art.


Should Fly Line Come Off the Top or Bottom of the Reel?


The rigging of the fly line should be from bottom to top.

Most fly fishing lines have some amount of memory that comes from the manufacturing process.

It is vital to rig in a way that the line winds off of the spool’s underside and onto the reel’s underside.

Doing this makes you wind the line in the direction of its memory.

This is the direction in which the manufacturer originally wound it on the spool.

Unless you want to create a line twist, then you can rig from top to bottom.

It is the opposite of the above method.

In this way, an angler rigs the line to allow it to pass from the spool’s underside to the top section of the spool or it could be vice versa.

This style makes the fly line fight its natural memory while it is on the reel.

It causes the line to twist up.

Anglers should stop passing the line around the spool’s outside.

The fly fisher loops or knots the line to the backing, places the spool on the floor, and winds the line onto the fly line by doing it around the outer side of the spool.

It causes more twists on the line than all other methods and takes more time to get it out.


Should I Stretch My Fly Line?


You should stretch your fly line if you haven’t been fishing for a while.

Dormant lines sitting tightly on their reels in a series of coils collect a lot of memory.

When you unwind the line off the reel, the memory makes it coil as it falls on the ground.

The coating and core characteristics of the fly line and air temperatures are huge determinants of the amount of memory exhibited by a fly line.

A line with minimal to no memory travels through the rod guides in a straight line as you cast.

One with memory does the contrary because the coils rub against the guides causing friction that forces you to use more effort to get the fly line out.

This hinders the ability to shoot the line effortlessly.

When the line is on the water’s surface, it doesn’t lay straight.

You will notice slack between you and the fly and it makes setting your hook difficult.

It is vital to have straight lines when casting from a boat as coiled fly lines tangle more.

Hence, you need to straighten all your lines by stretching them.

There are several ways to stretch these lines.

Choose the most straightforward and effective for you.


What Are the Different Types of Fly Lines?


Fishing lines have various categorizations.

There are three standard types of fly lines – floating, sinking, and sink-tip lines.

The three types come in weight forward, double taper, and lever taper.

Floating fly lines are the commonest among anglers and they do as in their name – float on the water.

Their floatation occurs from the backing to the leader.

Learners of fly fishing will need this line to sharpen their skills before advancing to the remaining two.

Sinking lines are slightly advanced and the rate at which these sink is indicated by a number.

Intermediate sinking lines have a sink rate of 0.5-1.5 inches per second and are marked by the number 1.

Slow sinking lines vary from 2 to 4 with fast taking the 5 to 7 bracket.

Very fast sinking lines are marked by the numbers 8, 9, and 10.

Anglers use sinking lines when fish are feeding at a certain depth below the surface of the water.

Deeper feeding depths mean using faster lines.

Their applications are mostly in lakes or ponds.

Sink-tip lines offer a blend of both worlds but a bigger portion of the line floats with the last 10 feet or more sinking.

You need these lines in deeper waters but their advantages are seen during recasting.


What Color Fly Line Is Best for Trout?


The color of fly line to use for trout fishing depends on so many factors.

If fishing in areas like New Zealand where the waters are famously known for their clarity and absence of debris, logs, sticks, and floating weeds, drab olive lines will be the best.

These prevent it from spooking trout.

You want to avoid fluorescent lines or any bright colors in such waters for more success.

Anglers use brightly colored lines for catching trout in areas with weeds, logs, and unclear waters so that they can easily see their lines.

Guides advise novice trout anglers to do this too because the easier you can see the line, the faster you will improve your presentation and casting skills.

Bright lines can help you see your flies, detect any strikes and know if the fly is dragging.

Trout see color but most times, the color isn’t as crucial as the shadows from moving lines or heavy splashdowns.

This is true for most waters in America because of imperfect clarity and various flotsam in water.

Some lines with mono cores have a clear coating which might seem to be the best to prevent spooking fish.

But all clear lines serve little purpose because in most scenarios trout will only see your leader.


What Does DT Mean on Fly Line?


All fly lines are made up of specific tapered components to help with transferring energy and the turnover to flies.

A double-tapered fly line has a taper on both ends and is often level in between.

The average length of these lines is about 90 feet.

With the same taper on both ends which is usually below 8 feet and an even diameter in the center means a long turnover time.

Fly lines dating decades back when our folks enjoyed their angling time were double-tapered.

Years before this, anglers used level lines that had no tapers.

Can you imagine a fly line without a taper?

It has almost no changes in energy and doesn’t present the fly well.

Tapered segments are the front and rear taper and the belly that make the line’s head.

Each section has its function and you can modify each for a certain purpose.


What Does WF Mean in Fly Line?


The development of fly lines advanced and manufacturers started producing weight forward lines.

Weight forward lines have shorter head lengths and more aggressive taper profiles that lead to more rapid changes in energy.

A counterintuitive aspect is that the lines are lighter than double-tapered ones.

The first 30 feet of all lines have a standard weight regardless of whether they are floating, sinking, weight forward, or double taper.

For instance, the first 30 feet in all 6-weight fly lines need to weigh the same regardless of the differences in taper and densities.

The shorter length of the head and the weight forward line’s taper profile make it seem heavier when it isn’t.

From the 1950s, the first weight forward lines were built with shorter heads for easy turning over of big bugs.

But the tapers have changed.

Lines with longer head lengths have full heads near 80 feet while most shorter head length lines are almost 30 feet or less.

Longer head-length weight forward lines have longer front tapers with long bellies and rear tapers.

For instance, a trout line can have a total head length of 68’ in a 5-weight.

The front taper measures 8’, 30′ for the belly, and 30′ for the rear taper.

So, the evolution of fly lines started from the level lines to the double taper then weight forward lines before further advancing to more variations of the WF.

The evolution of WF saw tapers going from short to more extreme.


What Is a Good Fly Fishing Line Weight?


A good fly line weight is that which matches your fly rod correctly to the species you want to chase.

But, some anglers opt to over-line or underline their fishing lines depending on the situation.

For trout angling, novices should get 4 to 6 weight fly lines for more success to make the learning curve less stressful.

Some prefer 4-weight lines with matching fly reels and rods because the lighter the angling combo, the more fun you have catching small fish.

It is also the best for anglers who prefer casting in small to mid-sized rivers because you will hardly find the need to make casts of 30 yards.

Lighter fly lines work exceptionally for those lazy days when going after whitefish, panfish, or small to medium size bass.

Four-weight fly lines work well for most anglers.

However, it might fail for others depending on the fish species they intend to catch and whether they will need to throw longer casts.

Heavy lines cast further when you pair them with the right rods and reels.

But, if you don’t hope to catch trophy trout, salmon, or large bass or need to throw long casts, 4 or 5-weight lines will do a great job for starters.


How Long Does Fly Line Last?


On average, fly lines are said to last 100 to 250 uses but some could go below or past this estimated duration.

Pro anglers and guides term this as the time at which the line faces enough wear and tear to greatly reduce the performance.

But, three primary aspects determine the lifespan of a fly line.

The quality, care and maintenance, and types of fly angling situations a fisher uses the line.

Fly lines need to be replaced like you would luffas, tires, and lightbulbs.

Some signs that anglers need to check for to know that it is time to replace their lines are the line sinking when it should float, reduction in the line shooting smoothness, wear and tear on loops, and noticeable cracks on the last 30 to 50 feet of the line.

Cracking is the first noticeable sign.

Here are some causes of fly line damage that you should know:


  • Casting the line on rough or hard surfaces
  • Leaving the line wound on the reel for a very long time
  • Abrasion from brush, sand, and rocks
  • Contact with sunscreen, bug spray, or hand sanitizer
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light for a long time

What Is the Best Fly Fishing Line for a Beginner?


The best fly line for beginners should be light, match the rod and reel combo and be the right one for the species they are going to catch.

There are so many entry-level fly lines on the market (not on the price basis but skill level).

Orvis Clearwater takes the crown for versatility and beginner friendliness.

Advanced anglers can agree that they at some point used this line in their journeys.

You can get this as an individual line, but a pre-spooled Clearwater fly reel or the entire fly rod and reel combo.

Novice anglers can fish this line across most if not all fly rod weights whether they are adventuring fresh or saltwater.

Clearwater Fly Line/Only Fly Line
32 Reviews
Clearwater Fly Line/Only Fly Line
  • Orvis Clearwater Fly Line Moss - WF8

Rio Mainstream is another banger.

The fly line powers up the fly rod effortlessly and turns over all flies.

You can keep this as you advance your skill since it is built with a slick coating and boasts low memory.

That shouldn’t limit you to the two fly lines.

There is a plethora of them in the market depending on your budget.

As a starter, you don’t want to spend a fortune on a fly line if you are only testing to see if your interest in the sport grows.

An entry-level to the mid-priced line will do.

Orvis, Scientific Anglers, and Rio will be your best bets for fly lines for your skill level.


What Is the Best Fly Line for Lake Fishing?


The best fly line for lake fishing is a sinking line but the situations and anglers’ preferences are great determinants.

You can have a floating line to fish on the water’s surface or several feet into the water.

For instance, fishing nymphs like midge pupas under strike indicators will have you going as deep as 20 feet.

But a sinking line comes in handy when fishing flies, you need to retrieve it to impart action.

These lines are also ideal when fishing from a vessel towards shallow water near the shore.

Use a retrieve speed that allows the fly to descend deeper into the water as it comes near you.

Some anglers specializing in lake fishing prefer to use a multi-fly line system.

The second line is often a clear camo line with an intermediate density slightly weightier than the water.

The sink rate is 1 to 2 inches per second.

Retrieves from these lines mimic the natural insects.

You will want to add a faster sinking fly line if you are always finding fish at 15-20 feet deep.

There is no need to wait for five minutes for your fly to be in the right zone.

You can keep building a complete lake fly line system if you intend to focus on casting in these waters.


What Is the Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Fly Line?


The tapers of freshwater and saltwater fly lines differ across most manufacturers.

Freshwater lines have various designs each with its different advantages.

There are tapers for distance, general performance, finesse, and power.

Saltwater lines are built for quick and accurate casts and greater distances while at it.

Freshwater lines have cores meant to perform excellently in any condition you can think of.

Even the stiffer ones for warm waters and those with minimal stiffness for fishing in cold springs.

Lines for saline areas have cores with low or moderate stiffness but most are stiffer for optimal functionality in hot tropical times.

Saltwater is denser than freshwater thus freshwater lines have bigger diameters with low line densities to boost floatation.

These lines also need special tapers to improve casting.

Densities of saline water lines allow manufacturers to make lines with small diameters and greater densities.

But, this doesn’t affect the floatation capabilities of the line.

Smaller diameters in saltwater lines allow for easy casting in windy conditions.

Some manufacturers design special and versatile options that allow anglers to use in both fresh and saltwater areas but with proper care and maintenance for durability and consistent performance.


What Size Fly Line Do I Need?


You need a fly line that matches the fly rod and that is the best size you can get, especially if you are new at fly fishing.

If fishing a 5-weight fly rod, you will need to get a 5-weight fly line.

The same applies to the other fly rod and line weights.

Aim at compatibility before you can experiment with over-lining and under-lining.

Fly lines are rated to help you understand their sizes and choose the best one for your needs.

The inner braided core of the fly line is what gives it its strength.

The outer coating is from PVC for protection and a determinant for floatation or sinking.

The line’s size allows you to cast it.

The evolution of fly lines has been steady since the olden days with anglers inventing means of maximizing their performance.

Pro anglers can play with fly line sizes and still get the best catches while having a good time of their lives on the water.

This might not be the case for beginner anglers who are trying their luck at the sport.

You want to stick to the rules of the fly rod, reel, and line matching to get footing first.

Later, you can advance to techniques that need you to pick heavier lines for the current rod you are using.


What Weight Fly Line Do I Need?


A 5-weight WF fly line is the best for any new angler in the game and amateurs who are beginning to explore other options.

Pro anglers can go with any they choose depending on their needs because their level of skill allows for it.

This is a fantastic weight to use when fishing for panfish, small bass, and trout.

It might not be the lightest on the measuring scale but it strikes a beautiful blend.

Usually, bigger numbers mean heavier lines.

Most anglers use fly lines from 3 to 10 weights.

You want to use lighter lines when making delicate fly presentations.

Light lines don’t disturb the water’s surface or scare fish.

Heavy fly lines have bigger numbers and are ideal for chasing larger and more powerful species in massive water bodies or saline areas.

You want to use these weights with bigger flies and when making longer casts.

Each fly line weight has its compatible species.

4-weight lines are for small trout and panfish in small to medium size streams and rivers.

5 and 6-weight lines are for small bass and average-size trout and will work well in fast-moving waters.

7, 8-weight lines, and anything heavier than this are for salmon, large bass, and saltwater species.


Which Floating Fly Line Is the Best?


The best floating line is one that maintains its floatability for a long time without needing frequent dressing.

Dressing is part of the care and maintenance of floating lines but a good line should perform without it for 30+ uses before thinking of the first dressing.

The best fly lines are catch-all.

These allow you to use nymphs, throw dry flies, and cast streamers without an issue.

You don’t need to break the bank to get the most expensive floating line on the market.

There are a few budget-friendly options you can choose from.

Also, get these lines from reputable brands to avoid quality problems.

The cheapest and poorest quality ones don’t float.

These are mostly counterfeits or flimsy lines.

Ask regular anglers and they will agree to have encountered this severally.

Never buy last-minute cheap floating fly lines because you will watch them sink and there is nothing else you can do than to get a good one.

You don’t want to ruin your presentations because you can’t catch a fish on your dry fly with a sinking line.

Rio has some of the best ones you will use for seasons before replacing them.


Why Do Floating Fly Lines Sink?


Most floating lines sink because they have lost their buoyancy or are heavier than the water.

Water can get into the fly line’s core.

Water migration into a fly line is a common occurrence on cheap flimsy lines.

Manufacturers of good quality lines submerge these lines in water severally and only find a small amount at the end of the line’s core.

There is a little bit of physics to explain how water displaces the air in the line’s core until it sinks.

If this isn’t the case, whatever enters the core of the line has greater gravity than that of water.

Since the substance is heavier than water, it can make your lines float lower.

Fly lines can crack to allow water to get into them.

It all goes down to how and where you store your fly lines.

Grime and dirt on the line coating can sink it.

That is why it is advisable to clean your fly lines regularly.

Floating lines have a hydrophobic coating and this can wear out causing them to sink.

You want to dress your lines and reapply a new coating to improve floatation before each session.


How Do I Know if My Fly Line Is Floating or Sinking?


You will know if your fly line is floating if it remains on the water’s surface throughout.

A sinking line will sink and there isn’t any rocket science about this.

Floating lines do as they say …. Float!

The fly line’s core is built from soft material and around it is the coating.

The coating is a special type of plastic containing small air bubbles to help with buoyancy.

One that begins to sink will mean that it has lost its hydrophobic coating or has become heavier than the water.

You need to see the fly line to the point where it hits the water and suspends the fly.

You will know when a line is sinking if it goes beneath the water’s surface.

These exist and are used to catch fish in large still waters where fish are feeding deeper in the water column.

Full sinking lines mean the entire line is sinking and is perfect for keeping your flies extremely deep.

Your vision should work for you in this case.


There is so much to learn about fly fishing lines just like there is on rods, reels, backing, and all fly angling gear and tackle.

So much goes into them from the anatomy and categories to application and maintenance.

It takes a lot of knowledge to know the ones that work best for you.

You can check at your local fly shop for assistance with lines you want or engage us in the comments if you need help.

Get the right good quality fly line and you will see why this piece of gear is vital for your success on the water.

Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

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