Fly Fishing for Beginners – How to Choose Fishing Line

It might be hard to believe but your fly fishing line is the most important part of your fishing gear. A good quality fly line will cast great on either an expensive or cheap quality rod. So what ever you do, don’t buy cheap line. If you really need to save money, its better to by a less expensive rod or reel, but make sure you buy a good quality line.

Fishing from a kayak makes your choice of line all the more important. Here is a guide on the best inflatable kayaks that make effective fly fishing easier.

Fishing line manufacturers all use the same designation for fly lines based on the taper of the line. Taper is how much the diameter of the line line

Lines are classified as: double taper, weight forward, level, and triangle taper. Line is designated by weight and designed to work with the appropriate weight rod and reel.

Recommended Lines:

Orvis – Wonderline Generation 3 Trout Weight Forward Fly Line

Airflo Ridge Tactical Trout Hi Float Fly Line

Even though the designation of fly line may be the same between brands, there are still some differences between lines. Manufacturers use different types of materials and different structural features for flotation. They many also use different coatings to make the fishing line stiffer or softer. Most fly lines are of the floating type, however manufacturers also make sinking lines for fishing nymphs in deep rivers or lakes.

Double Taper Line

A Double taper line is tapered on both ends of the line. It is possible to reverse the line on the reel when one end begins to crack or is worn and you will have all intents a brand new line. Double taper lines also have a more gradual taper than weight forward lines do. This particular design will increase the precision of your cast and gently lies down on the water. Because of this feature, double taper line is a good choice for beginning fishermen.

Weight Forward Line

Weight forward line has a section of the largest taper at the end of the fly line. This feature puts most of the weight toward the end of the fly line and allows fishermen to more easily load the rod for more casting distance. This translates into better casts. But, the fly presentation is not as gentle as a double taper line tends to be.

Important: Be sure to match your line weight with the type of fishing you are going to be doing and to the rod and reel size. Keep in mind that weight forward lines can be matched to the action of your fishing rod and are made for slow, medium, and fast action rods.

Level Lines

Level fishing line has the same diameter thickness throughout the entire line. This is the most cheapest line and can be hard to cast and tends to not be as accurate as double taper or weight forward lines.

Triangle Taper

Triangle taper line has a gradual taper that increases in diameter from the tip to about 20 to 45 feet. The line then necks down to being a level line. Triangle taper provides the weight for long and accurate casts, but will also give a gentle presentation because the majority of the weight is away from the fly.


Backing is another cheap cord like material that is wound on the spool of the reel before putting the line on. The fly fishing line is then attached to the backing. The backing provides several functions. It fills the spool to capacity and makes it easier to reel in the line. It also functions as backup line in the event a large fish runs and takes all your line off the spool. Reel manufacturers will usually recommend the best type and length of backing needed to fill the spool.

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