Best Fly Fishing Lines in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Fly Fishing is a complex pastime. It is mainly practiced to simulate some of the food that the fish eats in nature so as to encourage the fish to go for your bait. However, the variety of fly fishing lines, which we will be discussing today, can be a bit deterring to some people.

There are floating lines, sinking lines, and amongst these two subtypes, there are different categories of tapering for them.

Thankfully, we are here to introduce you to our top picks for the best fly fishing lines and to break down a guide that will help you with your research.

List of the Best Fly Fishing Lines:

  • Croch Weight Forward Fly Fishing Line – Best Overall
  • Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Line – Runner Up
  • Piscifun Braided Fly Line – Best Line Length
  • SF Weight Forward Floating Fly Fishing Line – Best Beginners’ Fly Fishing Line
  • Maxcatch Best Price Trout Fly Fishing Line – Best Value for Money
  • Bozeman FlyWorks Floating Fly Line – Best for Roll Casting
  • Sougayilang Fly Line – Best Casting

Comparison Table:

Fly Fishing LineTaperTypeWeight Length  
Croch Weight Forward Fly Fishing LineWFFloating3-8 grains 50-100 Yds 
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing LineWFFloating1-10 grains90-100 ft 
Piscifun Braided Fly LineWFFloating20-30 lbs.100-300 Yds 
SF Weight Forward Floating Fly Fishing LineWFFloating3-8 grains90-100 ft 
Maxcatch Best Price Trout Fly Fishing LineWFFloating2-9 grains100 ft 
Bozeman FlyWorks Floating Fly LineWFFloating3-8 grains100 ft 
Sougayilang Fly LineWFFloating4-8 grains100 ft 

The 7 Best Fly Fishing Lines in 2021

1. Croch Weight Forward Fly Fishing Line – Best Floating Fly Line

Croch Weight Forward Fly Fishing Line

This forward floating fly fishing line by Croch comes in a variety of weights, starting at 3 grains and ending at 8 grains. It comes in four different colors in the lengths 50 and 100 yards. 

Furthermore, it is designed with a low stretch braided multifilament core which allows for sturdiness and strength while maintaining the element of elasticity. 

The coating is a special surface skin that is treated in order to easily tolerate high temperatures while keeping a low friction cast in order to maximize smoothness and accuracy.

All of these features make this line an excellent choice for both salt and freshwater. Another advantage of this line is that it comes in a package, which includes a backing line and a 9 ft. leader so you don’t have to worry yourself with these two purchases.

The only downside here is that the spool that it comes on is low quality to the extent that it sometimes affects the line itself.

Pros:

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Low-quality spool

Final Verdict

You really cannot go wrong with this line. There have hardly been any complaints about the line itself; everyone who has purchased it is quite happy with their investment. Also, the package deal is a great plus.

Read more about: Best Braided Fishing Line

https://www.outdoorskilled.com/best-braided-fishing-line

2. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Line – Runner Up

Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Line

This weight-forward floating fly fishing line by Piscifun is the second on our list for a lot of reasons, mainly the versatility that it offers anglers. 

It comes in different weights starting at 1 and ending at 10, has six different highly visible candy-colors, and comes in a 90 ft. long and a 100 ft. length. Hence, you will undoubtedly find something that will suit you.

It has been designed with a longer head and a diameter that’s slightly wider than the norm. In addition, it features a welded loop at the front, allowing for easy leader attachment. All of this allows the energy to flow freely, which leads to smoother casts and, therefore, higher gain. 

The line itself is coated with PVC which eliminates friction due to its integrated slickness and therefore expands the lifespan of the line and improves its casts. Lastly, the spool that the line comes on is made out of heated wood.

The only defect in the design of this line is that it runs a little bit lighter, so you might want to go a size or two up when purchasing it just to make sure that it will withstand windy situations.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Accurate 
  • Frond welded loop 
  • PVC coated 
  • Far cast 
  • Versatile 
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Runs light

Final Verdict

Again, there’s hardly anything that you can hold against this line. It’s versatile, and it will stand firm in your fishing gearbox for a significant length of time.

3. Piscifun Braided Fly Line – Best Line Length

Piscifun Braided Fly Line

This braided weight front floating fly fishing line is our next choice also made by Piscifun. And they have focused on several aspects when creating this line; the two most important ones being its strength and length.

It is incredibly abrasion resistant as it does not break, stretch, or scratch. The same goes for when the line is inside the water, it retains 100% of its strength and does not fray.

As for its length, it comes in varieties from 100 to 300 yards giving you unprecedented freedom of casting. Additionally, it comes in a variety of weights from 20 to 30 lbs and in four different, very visible colors.

The line is adequately thin, yet it is not hard to knot. It is designed in a way as to make it too tight for a Blind Splice Loop. Lastly, this line has very minimal friction, which helps a lot with the durability aspect. 

There are two defects with this line. The first being is that it is made out of nylon, which soaks up water. The second problem is that it is prone to tangles.

Pros:

  • 100-300 Yds
  • Strong
  • Low friction
  • Versatile
  • Visible

Cons:

  • Tangles
  • Nylon soaks-up water

Final Verdict

This line is an excellent choice for casting in an open space. It offers you an impressive package of features for an affordable price. Hence, if you are experienced enough to deal with the tangles and the nylon, then we would recommend it.

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4. SF Weight Forward Floating Fly Fishing Line – Best Beginners’ Fly Fishing Line

SF Weight Forward Floating Fly Fishing Line

This floating forward weight fly fishing line by SF is simple yet potent. It has everything that you might need without the complexity that other companies sprinkle on their products, which makes it the perfect choice for beginners. 

Firstly, it comes in different weights from 3 to 8, different lengths of 90 and 100 ft, and five different colors. So, you can easily find a combination that will work for you and your other fishing gear.

The thing about this line is that the taper is designed in a particular way. And along with the core cover formulation, they both create strength, stability, durability, and accuracy with your casts no matter what the surrounding conditions are. It is a comfortable trustworthy line to work with.

The downside here is quality control problems. People have received their lines tangled; they have received them where the spool has fallen apart, and the packaging was entirely collapsed.

Pros:

  • Affordable 
  • Durable
  • Tolerates bad conditions 
  • Basic
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Quality control problems

Final Verdict

This is the best fly fishing line for beginners. There’s no learning curve and certainly no overwhelming number of options. It will not confuse an amateur.

5. Maxcatch Best Price Trout Fly Fishing Line – Best Value for Money

Maxcatch Best Price Trout Fly Fishing Line

The Maxcatch here is also a forward weight floating fly fishing line. A lot of thought has gone into the creation of this line. It is not just an optimal fly fishing line for the anglers; it is also environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

The company has eliminated any disposable parts such as packaging, the spool that you receive the line on, and the box, which is a huge plus.

Now, onto the technicalities of the line itself. It has a variety of sizes from 2 to 9 grains, comes in one length, which is 100 ft, and in five different visible colors.

Just like our runner up the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Line, this line has been designed with a long head that allows the energy to travel freely and strongly onto the leader. This energy creates sharp, precise, and stable casts that can weather any conditions, no matter how hard they are.

The core of the line itself is braided which helps in eliminating memory and stretch, thus boosting the line’s precision a few notches.

Lastly, the line is coated with high tech PVC which allows for extra buoyancy underwater. One more thing is that just like the SF weight forward fly fishing line; it is quite basic and suitable for all levels of expertise.

The one defect that has been reported by several customers is that the line is prone to tangles.

Read more about: Best Ice Fishing Line

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Pros:

  • Strong
  • Accurate
  • Long head
  • High-tech. PVC coating
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Prone to tangles

Final Verdict

This line brings an impressive package to the table. It is an informed decision that works best for both you and the environment. It is undoubtedly a solid line that will not cost you an arm and a leg and will not harm the environment. So it is definitely an excellent choice for anyone.

6. Bozeman FlyWorks Floating Fly Line – Best for Roll Casting

Bozeman FlyWorks Floating Fly Line

This line here is designed to balance out premium quality materials at an affordable price. It is a floating weight forward line with weights ranging from 3 to 8 grains, a length of 100 ft, and a free fly box as its packaging.

This line is highly sensitive for dry flies and rising fish. It’s also a great choice if you’re going for large saltwater species. Moreover, it is welded on both sides, which facilitates switching up the line and the leaders significantly.

Although this line does not cost even half of what some top-notch lines cost, it is often put in comparison with them, and it emerges victorious.

The only complaint that has arrived regarding this line is that, sometimes, the line comes tangled.

Pros:

  • Sensitive
  • Suitable for large fish
  • Welded on both sides
  • Durable
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Line arrives tangled

Final Verdict

This line gives you a lot for very little money. It is incredibly sensitive and, therefore, will significantly maximize your gain. It casts easily and smoothly. There’s hardly anything to complain about.

7. Sougayilang Fly Line – Best Casting

Sougayilang Fly Line

This line is designed to be the ultimate fly fishing line. The company wants anglers to be always reaching for it no matter the type or length of the cast that they wish to achieve.

It is a floating weight forward fly fishing line with weights starting from 4 to 8 grains, a length of 100 ft, and four different colors. It doesn’t not only cast short, medium, and long casts efficiently, but accurately as well. That is due to various tweaks the company has applied such as the long head, bigger diameter, and the small diameter loops.

Plus, it has a braided core that works on diminishing memory and stretch and therefore increases the durability and stability of the line.

It is also known to be an easily managed line as it floats exceptionally high on any waterfront.

The only downside to this line is that it is prone to tangles and birds nests

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Accurate casts
  • Great buoyancy 

Cons:

  • Tangles and birdsnest

Final Verdict

This line is designed to be the epitome of precision. It offers you several varieties in order for you to be completely comfortable in your choice. Once you achieve that, you’ll be able to cast however you want with significant ease.

Which Line Variety Would Best Suit Fly Fishing

A floating fly fishing line is certainly the most common variety amongst anglers. It’s easy to use and has a broad spectrum of target species. 

Nonetheless, if you are fishing in a particularly weedy area, then you might want to think about the sinking line. It will give you a better chance of scoring as it won’t get stuck in the weeds.

How to Pick a Fly Fishing Line

Now, we will walk you through the basics of any fly fishing line.

1. Types

Each one of these lines is used for different species and different fishing environments. Always make sure to check the kind of fly fishing line before deciding on one.

Floating 

This is the most common type. It can be used by beginners and experienced anglers no trouble whatsoever. It is coated by certain materials to give it a level of buoyancy and lightness. More often than not, it will be used for dry flies. However, some models have been tweaked to be used with wet flies, streamers, and nymphs.

Sinking

Sinking fly fishing lines are also coated. However, they come in varieties of different coating materials, which allows them to sink at different rates. And just like floating lines, each line is suited for specific environments and target fish. 

Still, the rule of the thumb for sinking fishing lines would be that they work best for deep lakes, weedy waterfronts, and fast-flowing rivers.

Intermediate

An intermediate line is a middle ground between floating and sinking fly fishing lines. It is denser than floating fly fishing lines; however, they do not sink all the way down. They are perfect for shallow lakes as they stay below the surface of the water.

2. Taper

This is what creates the momentum of fly fishing lines. However the line is tapered will determine how it casts.

Weight Forward (WF)

WF means that the front ten yards of the line have been designed with extra weight. This is the most common type of fly fishing lines and the one that is most used by beginners. It allows for long smooth casting; however, it takes time to reach a level of accuracy. It is also great in windy situations as it stands its ground.

Double Taper (DT)

This is a double-sided line, which is a great advantage. Why? The first 15 yards of the line gradually increases in width, then the middle part of the line, which is around 60 yards, will remain at a constant thickness. The last 15 yards of the line will start losing weight gradually,  just like the first have gained them. 

Consequently, when one end of the line is at its end, you can simply flip the line around and use the other end, which is economically great. Another merit of this line is the delicate presentation that it offers. 

If you’re going for finicky fish that’s easily spooked, then this line will suit you perfectly. The only downside here is that it does not hold itself as well as you would want in windy weather.

Shooting Taper (ST)

ST is essentially an advanced weight forward line. It is mainly designed for tournaments where anglers need to cast exceptionally far distances. The first 20 feet of this line are heavily weighted while the rest of it is narrow. 

Bottom line here is that this line is way too complicated for regular use. It takes a lot of practice to handle it with relative ease. Hence, unless you are planning on joining a tournament or you just wish to challenge yourself, this line won’t be particularly necessary.

Level Taper (L)

Lastly, a level taper line is the fly fishing line without taper. Its weight and diameter are consistent throughout the line. This fly fishing line is not that common; it is the hardest to control and cast. Yet, one advantage that it holds proudly would be its superior buoyancy.

Read more about: Best Monofilament Lines

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3. Weight

The weight of fly fishing lines ranges from 1 to 14 grains, with 14 being the heaviest. Your choice of weight depends on three factors; your target fish, your fishing spot and what your fishing rod can handle.

As for your target fish, we will give you some examples of the complementary weights of some fish. 

  • Panfish, Crappies, and Small Trout need 1-3 grains.
  • Large Trout needs 4 grains.
  • Large Trout, Small Bass, and Small Pike need 5 grains.
  • Bass, Steelhead and Pike need 7 grains.
  • Saltwater and Salmon Species, Musky and Large Pike will need 8-12 grains.

You want to know your target spot because the condition of the elements there might make you go up or down a weight or two. Plus, knowing the boundaries of your rod will prevent damage.

4. Casting

Every species requires a specific casting method. And, each method works best with certain lines.

Shooting

Shooting is the length of line that comes out of the tip of your rod after you have removed your bottom hand. Although some people might confuse this for casting distance, they are not the same due to the factor of loop stability.

Roll Casting

Roll casting is what you do when you are in a particularly narrow bushy area that does not afford you a lot of space to cast freely. It is pretty simple as it requires just one forward stroke to send your line deep into your waterfront. A double taper fly line would be perfect for roll casting.

Nymphing

Nymphing requires a lot of experience. It is the act of trying to simulate the natural food of the fish. You need to convince the fish that when it bites, it is only eating and not having a death sentence. 

A 4-6 weight line is perfect for nymphing as you can maneuver it quite easily while still maintaining some stability. Moreover, it is a varied technique as you’ll find that each angler does it differently. 

One last thing is that this technique can tell you a lot about the efficiency of your line in casting a dropper, a two-dry rag, or anything that’s just not a traditional dry fly or a steamer.

5. Loop Stability

We cannot possibly stress enough on the essentiality of loop stability. It is one of the very first things that you should look for and invest in when searching for the best fly fishing line. 

Simply, loop stability means the smoothness, sleekness, and ease in which your fly fishing line will unfurl when you cast. In addition, loop stability lets the line hold its momentum and speed to ward off elements such as wind and gravity. 

Casting is the main event of fishing, and this feature controls how accurate your cast will be.

Frequently Asked Questions:

We’ve gone through our best fly fishing lines down to the very last detail and discussed the essential features that you should look for in any fly fishing line. So now, we will go through some logical questions that might very well pop into your mind and try to answer them as efficiently as possible.

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What is “WF”?

WF means that this line is a weight forward tapered one. Weight forward fly fishing lines are the most common variety. They are designed so that the front 10 yards are heavier than the rest of the line. The idea behind this design is to allow wider, smoother, and more secure casts,  especially in windy situations.

What’s the Lifespan of a Fly Fishing Line?

The answer here depends on two variables, the first being the type of coating that was applied by the manufacturer, and the second is the regularity of your maintenance. 

Speaking of the first variable, most companies use PVC, which is durable yet flexible and easy to use. Other companies go the extra mile and use polyurethane which is a lot sturdier. 

As for the maintenance aspect, you must always tend to your line regularly by cleaning it thoroughly, storing it in a dark, cool place, and tending to any signs of breakage immediately.

Ultimately, your fly fishing line ought to last about 250 days.

Should a Fly Fishing Line Be Colored or Clear?

If you are going to be using a sinking line that will be more visible to the fish, you want to go for a more subdued color. In other words, go for a color that can blend in with the surroundings such as dark green and brown, or just go for a clear one.

On the other hand, floating lines are not that visible to the fish. Hence a bright color that will be visible to you will be a great choice.

Which Fly Fishing Line Weight Would Best Suit Trout?

1-3 weight for small trout.

4-5 weight for large trout.

Read more about: Best Trout Fishing Lines

https://www.outdoorskilled.com/best-trout-fishing-lines-buyers-guide

Final Thoughts

Fly fishing is an exciting hobby, yet the key to achieving full excitement on a fly fishing trip is to have the right gear with you. Otherwise, you’ll just be caught in a hassle of mismatched parts. 

Today, we have spoken about fly fishing lines, discussed with you our top picks for the best fly fishing lines on the market, why we have chosen them, and based upon which characteristics.

To wrap up, if you wish to go for a fly fishing line that will give you everything, then the Croch Weight Forward Fly Fishing Line is perfect for you.

If you want to go for something that’s a little bit lighter and smaller, then our runner-up, the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Line, is an excellent choice.

If you’re all about how accurate your casts are and you wish to use the same line for long, medium and short casts, then the Sougayilang Fly Line would suit you well.