Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Assembling Your Combo - Part 3

Here's Hunter's low-down on fly lines!

Did you know fly lines can make or break your setup? It is very important to find a fly line that matches your setup and style of fishing to get the most out of your gear. Let’s talk about a few of the things to keep an eye out for when choosing a fly line.

The first aspect to look at is pretty straightforward, the weight and style of the line. Fly lines come in different weights, and you want to match this weight to your rod. Choosing the correct weight line for your rod is important as this determines how well the rod will load when casting so you can get the maximum energy from the rod throughout your cast. There are floating lines and sinking lines.  Most trout fishing calls for floating line, however, you can use a sink tip or intermediate line for throwing streamers on the larger rivers. Warmwater fishing may call for either depending on the species you are targeting and the situation you are targeting them in.

The second aspect to look at is the taper or shape of the fly line. The most common category of taper is “weight forward”. This means the head or front of the line is heavier than the rear section. This is the most common among floating and sinking lines. Some prefer a taper style called “double taper” meaning that the line is tapered in the very front and rear, while the body of the line is the same diameter throughout. This is common on small creek setups as it can be beneficial for the short technical casts seen on small streams. Double tapers can also be reversed.  When the front of the line wears out, turn it around and use the rear. When looking at tapers, they can be considered a soft taper, moderate, or aggressive. This refers to the rate at which the diameter tapers down in the front of the line. A soft taper is best for delicate presentations such as dry flies. Moderate tapers are good for all-around purposes, from dries, to nymphing, to small streamers. Aggressive tapers are found on lines designed for throwing large streamers or poppers to help turn over the weight of the heavier flies.

The third component is the materials in the line. Many lines nowadays are made with additives to help the line perform better. These can help the line last longer and cast better among other benefits. Our favorite, Scientific Anglers, uses an additive called AST or AST+ depending on the level you choose which we really like.

These are just a few of the things to look for, and the applications they can be used in. We could talk all day about different lines and what is best for you, so come by the shop, and let us help you find the perfect line for your perfect setup. We hope this helps narrow down all the options when looking to put together your perfect setup, and as always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about anything!

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