About fly fishing lines

Getting the fly fishing lines and fishing gear to suit you is important, and you must look for a balanced fly fishing setup. This means that the rod, the reel and the lines are compatible

This is started with the correct type of fly line for the intended fishing, then you match it up with the right fly fishing rod and lastly the right fly fishing reel.

About fly fishing lines

Fly fishing line have weights which have a ranking and this is numbered from 1 to 15. The lightest fishing-line weights start at Number 1 through to Number 15 which is the heaviest weight.

You have to match up your fly fishing lines weight to that of rod and reel to achieve a balanced rig, and this will give you optimum casting accuracy. Remember match a 6 weight line with a 6 weight reel and a 6 weight fishing-rod.

Try to resist the salesman pitching either up 1 or down 1 weight for the desired rod.

1. Use lighter weight fly fishing lines for casting light weight flies and where you need the presentation to be nice and light such as that favorite small stream. 5 weight line is a popular choice

2. Use heavier weight fly fishing lines those heavy weight flies and where you have to overcome a lot of wind

When selecting your fly fishing-lines weights make sure you base this decision on the target fish species. If you are angling for trout and something to throw in the pan the look at weights in the range 5-7 lbs. If you are after bass then you need to move up a division to large trout, salmon, and big bass then select a range of 7 to 9 lbs. If you are after really big freshwater and saltwater-fish then select fishing-line weights of 8 to 15 lbs.

More About fly fishing lines

Fly fishing lines are tapered to allow more accurate and efficient casting. The line taper has a variation in the diameter, weight and thickness over its’ entire length. There are 5 principal fiber types available and all have a specific use. Line manufacturers use a code or abbreviation to allow easy identification when purchasing

1. Weight Forward (WF) Taper

The WF taper is by far the most popular and is ideal for those beginning fly fishing or even intermediate skills. Weight forward means that approximately the first 30 feet is heavier due to the tapered front end of the line. The remainder of the line is of a thinner section and this is termed the running line. The WF line allows longer casts and increased accuracy up to moderately windy conditions

2. Bass Bug/Saltwater (BBT) Taper

The BBT taper is similar to the WF taper with a reduced front lien section that does not run as long. This suits bass with attitude and larger saltwater fish

3. Double Taper (DT)

The DT taper where the thickest section is at the center and it tapers out to either end. They have reduced performance in wind conditions and also reduced casting ability. Many serious and experienced anglers choose this type of fly line. The DT suits fishing where very precise presentations are required on small waterways. You can switch the ends around if you wear one end out which makes things a lot more cost effective.

4. Shooting Taper (ST)

The ST taper front line section is thick and short and this creates a casting loop. gives the best casting range and are ideal for rapidly flowing high current waterways and high wind conditions. Many fly fishermen attach a shooting line on the running line using a braided line, monofilament, or very fine diameter fly fishing-line to achieve the same effect.

5. Level (L) Taper

The L taper has the same diameter throughout the entire line length. They are not easy to cast with and usually suit the high end ability fly fisherman

More about fly fishing lines

Fly fishing lines are also classified in terms of their density. This ranges from low density floating lines to heavy sinking lines. The density of fly fishing lines affects the buoyancy of the line. There are four different categories and each has a code or abbreviation.

1. Floating (F) Lines

As the name implies these fly fishing lines will float when on the surface of the water. These types of fishing-lines are relatively easy to cast. The primary use is where dry flies are used, and find uses when wet flies such as streamers and nymphs are used that require s few feet of water depth

2. Intermediate (I) Lines

These fishing lines have a density a little more than water and they tend to sink very slowly so that the fly is presented just below the water surface. They are ideally suited to fishing shallows and lakes with lots of weeds

3. Sinking (S) Lines

These lines tend to sink rather rapidly and find ideal use in deep waterways or those with fast currents Some line manufacturers also use a Roman numeral following the code S to indicate the sinking rate. Example is and S III means a line that sinks at 3 inches per second. These lines are ideal for wet flies, streamers and nymphs that are required to present at a constant depth

4. Floating/Sinking (F/S) Lines

These line types are a combination of both characteristics. The characteristic is that the front 5 – 20 foot line section sinks and the remainder of the line floats. Some manufacturers indicate the rate of speed and depth that the line sinks. It ideally suits salmon and steelhead

About fly fishing lines


There are a variety of fishing-line colors to choose from.  The advantage of highly visible colors such as yellow, orange, lime green and some shades of brown and tan are they easy to see on the water and this aids identifying casting errors. Sinking lines require a low visibility line color such as olive green brown, dark green and black


When you mount your fly line a thin, high-visibility line is tied between the fishing-reel spool and back end of the fly fishing-line. Typically this is a 20-pound test for fly fishing-line weights that are under 8, with a 30-pound test for 8-weight line or greater. The purpose of backing is to add length to the fly fishing-line, it keeps the reel spool full which aids quicker line retrieval and aids also in reeling in larger and stronger fish that run out significantly with the line. The quantity of backing is generally 100 yards and as much as 200 yards for large fish and saltwater fish that do long runs


The leader is the tapered section of line that connects the fly line to the fly. The fly is fastened to the thinnest section of the line and is called the tippet. This is done to minimize any fish spooking splash as the fly and line hits the water. Most experienced fishermen have several different leader lengths and sizes to suit changing conditions. The leaders are available to suit the tippet sizes and fly weights. The tippets have an an "X-rating" that is based on the diameter that ranges from 0X to 8X. The size 0X is the thickest and the strongest while size 8X is the thinnest and lowest strength. Most experienced fishermen have a spool of spare tippet material. When a fly is tied the leader length gets reduced. After several fly changes the leader reduces so that a new length of tippet must be fastened on.

Selecting Flies for the Pacific Steelhead

Popular flies for Steelhead vary greatly whether you are fishing in the Pacific region or in the Great Lakes. The fisheries have developed separately and so have the preferences anglers have for flies cast to their intended prey. We will primarily concentrate on Steelhead flies on the West Coast in this article and concentrate on flies of the Great Lakes region in a future article. There are some common patterns used in both regions as well, and we will point those out as we go along.

Fly fishing for Steelhead can be traced back to the Eel River, in Northern California, during the late 1800’s. And many of the first Steelhead pattern’s roots can be traced back to the same era as well. There were a few problems during this time, and none more crucial than lack of material with which to tie flies. Standard featherwing trout patterns became the foundation of many steelhead patterns. Other patterns were adopted from English trout patterns and Atlantic Salmon patterns. Many of today’s most popular Steelhead patterns can be traced back to these beginnings. Green Butt Skunk, Skykomish Sunrise, Purple Peril, to name just a few all hail back to these early beginnings. About fly fishing lines and more

I keep several fly boxes stocked just for steelhead, I always think I’ll leave a few home, before I head out, but rarely do. How many flies you decide to carry is up to you, but there a few things to consider when selecting an assortment of flies. The most popular colors for Steelhead flies are as follows: black, orange, purple, red, and chartreuse. The key is to have a variety of colors in the fly box before heading out. Although the old adage “bright days, bright flies, dark days, dark flies,” is a decent starting place. One also remember the time of day one will be fishing. Summer steelheading is done mostly in the darker hours, and therefore dark flies are popular like the aforementioned Green Butt Skunk, and its variations.

As fall begins and water becomes murky and bright marabou patterns are often the ticket. And in the winter I use lots of egg-sucking leeches, bunny leeches, and bright egg patterns like the Sucker Spawn. As water becomes more murky, the brighter the pattern one can get away with. About fly fishing-lines

Nymphing becomes more and more popular every year for steelhead, which ignites the old argument whether or not steelhead eat once they enter the river. It seems more certain in the Great Lakes region that they are thought to, while the Pacific steelhead is thought not to. The extra space taken up with roe or sperm production results in a very shrunken stomach. Nevertheless more and more angler’s are using stonefly nymphs, hare’s ear, and caddis larva to catch steelhead in the west. Matching the hatch is not as crucial as it is in trout fishing, nevertheless fishing a pattern that represents a common food source in the river being fished is necessary. Nymphing for Steelhead is more successful further inland, as it is thought Steelhead become interested in feeding after having been in the river system for awhile. Great information on fly fishing gear.  More great information from fishing and boats.