What Is the Difference Between Fly Fishing Lines?

Fly fishing is a popular sport that has been around for centuries. It is a type of angling where a lightweight lure, called a ‘fly’, is cast with a fly rod and reel to catch fish in freshwater or saltwater.

The type of line used for fly fishing can make all the difference when it comes to catching fish. Different types of lines are available to suit different angling techniques and conditions.

Types of Fly Fishing Lines

Fly fishing lines come in many different sizes, shapes and materials. The most common types are floating, sinking, weight forward (WF) and double-taper (DT). Floating lines are the most versatile and are best suited for shallow water fishing.

Sinking lines are designed to sink below the surface of the water and are used for fishing at deeper depths or in fast-moving currents. Weight forward lines have a heavier portion of line at the front which helps to cast heavier flies further distances. Double-taper lines have two tapered ends which make them ideal for delicate presentations and more accurate casting.

Line Strength

Fly fishing lines also differ in their strength or ‘breaking strain’ which determines how much weight they can carry when casting lures or fighting fish on the line. Most fly fishing lines are made from nylon monofilament material, although some more advanced lines can be made from fluorocarbon or braided materials. Heavier breaking strains offer more strength but can be bulky and difficult to cast long distances whereas lighter breaking strains offer less strength but better casting performance with delicate presentations required for certain species of fish such as trout or bass.

Line Colors

The color of fly fishing line also plays an important role in successful angling techniques. Clear and translucent colored lines blend into the background making them invisible to fish whereas brightly colored lines may be visible to fish but help anglers see where their casts land on the water.


Fly Fishing Lines come in various types, strengths, and colors that all affect how they perform while out on the water. Understanding these differences will help you chose the right line depending on your technique, location, Target species, etc., ensuring you have a successful day out on the water!

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Daniel Bennet