Even the best fly rod in the world ain’t worth a crap if you don’t have it lined correctly. With so many different fly line companies with their different line tapers, coatings, construction, textures, additives, and other super secret things, there is more than one line to any given rod. That’s good and bad.
The good is that because everyone casts a little different they can find what best suits them. The bad is that there are now so many choices that it can be overwhelming. I’m just hitting on single-handers. Let’s not get into two-handers.
Good thing there are friendly neighborhood fly shops around. I’m not sure if many folks do this but fly shops typically have an assortment of lines to try out. They are mostly there to throw on fly rods you are test driving before you buy. Next time you should bring in your rod and test a few lines out on it. Think of it as a matchmaking service.
I hear it a lot but “try before you buy” seems to be the way to go.
Here are some that I like.
Scientific Anglers Steelhead Taper – By far the best line for nymphing long distances. I know most of you considering nymphing as a high-sticking affair with or without an indicator. Mostly working in close so you can get that sweet dead-drift. Not on the big waters in Southcentral. Often times the big cast gets the big fish. The line is perfect for bombing casts and mending from further away than you thought possible. Carrying a ton of line, an indicator, split shot or two, and a fly is child’s play for the Steelhead.
Scientific Anglers Nymph Taper – This used to be my “go to” beading line. It works great if you are nymphing in close with an indicator. I like to use yarn indicators when working smaller water and the Nymph has no problem turning over a fuzzy afro puffball of yarn. Very specific fly line and not great at much else. If all you are doing is nymphing this is a good one to have spooled up.
As for a general purpose fly line, I like the RIO Grand, Scientific Anglers GPX, and the Sage Performance Taper. The general purpose [or all around] is the line I use the most. It has essentially replaced the Nymph Taper for nymphing. Does just as good a job as the specialty taper and you can throw dries with it too. Good for when the day is mixed with a little of this, a little of that, and some of this.
I’m sure you have your favorites. Please feel free to share if you want. I’m always tinkering and eager to learn a trick or two from others.
Rumor has it that Scientific Anglers is getting ready to debut a few more lines in their Sharkskin Series soon. The one I’m most interested in is the Sharkskin Steelhead Taper. Taking what is a personal favorite to a whole new level. Looking forward to throwing that one soon.