BUYING A FLY LINE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A LEAP OF FAITH. by | Jan 11, 2016 | The Art of Fly Fishing

click Here is a little help on getting to know more about fly line from our friends over at Fly Fishing Basics.

Fly lines are confusing. You may have browsed through your local fly shop and noticed a wall of all sorts of different lines hanging nicely in their little boxes. Weight forward, double taper, sink-tip, and so on and so forth.

What does all of that mean and which one of those fly lines will work best for you when learning the fly fishing basics and how to fly fish? I’ll try to shed some light on that topic for you.

fly line

The fly line is one of the most important pieces of gear in fly fishing. That line is where the whole concept of fly casting and presenting your fly to the fish all comes together.

Fly Line Tapers

There are fly line tapers applied to every type of line on the market today.  These will usually consist of one of three different types of tapers.  Those are weight forward, double taper.  These specific tapers to the fly line help facilitate the fly cast and help make your fly fishing life just a little bit easier.  Want to cast further?  There’s a taper for that.  Plan on casting to spooky trout in a small spring creek?  There’s a taper for that.  These tapers combine with other specific fly line characteristics to allow you to target pretty much any type of fish in any condition.  Here is a great resource from Scientific Anglers to help explain this.

Weight Forward

This fly line is probably the most common taper on a fly line today.  As mentioned earlier, imagine a piece of string that slowly tapers to a thicker portion at the end.  With a weight forward fly line, you will have the end attached to your backing.  From there the first 50′-60′ of line is pretty much a consistent diameter with no taper at all and is called your running line.  In the last 30 feet is where the taper starts and contains the bulk of the weight of the fly line, called the belly.  This will then taper back to a thin line in the last 5′-7′ feet to allow you to attach your leader more easily, called the tip.

Fly Line Tapers Weight ForwardMany different varieties and tapers of weight forward fly lines exist and fly line companies are always trying to hit the sweet spot with them.  You can have very aggressive weight-forward lines where the bulk is in the last 20 feet or even more moderate tapers that extend past further than that 30 foot mark.  Each taper design allows for different situations.  The more aggressive taper gives you more power and thus helps make further distances easier.  More moderate tapers allow more delicate presentations but less distance.

Double Taper

The Double Taper fly line is another common option you’ll find.  Take that string from the earlier example and now imagine it starting out attached to the backing as being a consistent diameter, like the weight forward taper.  However, instead of that lasting the majority of the fly line, the double taper will begin its taper after the first few feet of line.  The bulk of the weight is pretty much centered in the middle of the line.  This will then taper back to the original starting diameter to allow you to attach your leader.  The beginning taper on the end of the fly line will mirror the ending taper.

Fly Line Tapers Double TaperThere are two advantages to this type of fly line taper.  One is that you can easily reverse your line if one of the ends gets damaged.  The second, and biggest, advantage is that this taper allows for a more subtle presentation.  You won’t get the same distance from this fly line, but if you are targeting spooking fish, then this is the line for you.


Fly Line Tapers Level TaperLevel fly lines are an interesting type and not very commonly used.  Imagine that same string again.  Now attached that string to your backing.  This time you have no taper on the line and that is all.  It’s a pretty boring line in comparison.  These lines are budget fly lines and don’t provide any significant advantage other than they are usually less expensive.

So you can see the importance of the fly line. Without this, you wouldn’t be able to effectively present your fly to a fish. Try casting a fly attached to a regular piece of monofilament and you’ll see just how difficult it can be.

A typical commercial fly line that you can purchase today falls in the length range of 80′-90′. This length, in combination with your fly line backing, will cover you in any situation you find yourself.

Learning to cast your entire fly line is a feat that takes practice. Starting out, though, lean towards perfecting your casting in that sweet spot and you’ll go far. This fly line is probably the most common taper on a fly line today.

On a cast, the line unrolls toward the target in a loop form. The larger the loop, the more energy is thrown in a direction that is not at the target. When fishermen overload a fly rod with a line heavier than the manufacturer calls for, they cause the rod to flex more deeply, which creates larger loops on longer casts.

Overloading the rod wastes casting energy by not directing it at the target. If you switch to a lighter line, you may not have enough weight outside the rod tip to cause the rod to load or flex properly if you hold the normal amount of line outside the rod during casting.

fly line selection

But if you extend this lighter line about 10 feet or a little more outside the rod than you normally would for this cast under calm conditions, you can cast a greater distance into the wind.

By extending the additional amount of lighter line outside the rod, you cause it to flex as if you were false casting the normal length of the recommended line size. Since the rod is now flexing properly, it will deliver tight loops, but the lighter line is thinner. This means that there will be less air resistance encountered on the cast.

If you are forced to cast a longer distance into the wind, switch to one size lighter line and extend a little more line outside the rod tip than you normally would. This means, of course, that you need to be able to handle a longer line during false casting. But the line that is lighter than the rod calls for will let you cast farther into the breeze.

Fly lines do need to be looked after, they pick up grim over time so it’s a good idea to give them a clean every now and again in warm water with a mild soap.

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Fly Fishing in Slow Motion..

Fly Fishing in Slow Motion..

Fly Fishing requires one to slow down and focus on the task at hand.

fly fishing

The Beauty of Fly Fishing!

Fly Fishing has and will always be an art practiced and sought out by those with a adventurous spirit! Fly Fishing gives the angler the challenge of slowing down and connecting with the elements. The key in becoming a successful fly fisher is harnessed with the ability to slow down ones mind.

The truth of the matter is; most people who want to learn how to fly fish will never become successful at catching fish because they don’t take the time  to slow down. We are not being dogmatic by any means but our world is cluttered with one challenge after another. The pursuit of living a satisfying life seems to be a daunting task and doesn’t make room for meditation.

But out of the cloud caused by the giant rat race comes the few who find their strengths through fly fishing. These people have a hunger for life and it’s adventure. They seem to leave their work at work and hone in on the task at hand. The journey they are on is met with one joy after another.

It brings us great joy to see not only individuals but family’s leave their struggles behind and connect with the outdoors. We also understand that there are a lot of people who want to start fly fishing but can never find the time. With this in mind we have brought together our experience and information across the web to get you motivated  and make time to #optoutside!

Our First Fly Fishing Resource is a video by Latitude Guiding. Enjoy!

Did you notice how beautiful the day was? Perfect Fly Fishing Weather!

It’s days like these that make catching fish just that much more rewarding. A huge part of  their success was slowing down and reading the water. In the beginning it showed them tying on a couple of dry flies. This required them to focus and think about what was hatching and what the fish were eating.

Key tip to remember:

They also were very cautious and stayed a good distance away from the fish.

Our next resource is a fly casting video by Orvis. This video will help you gain confidence with your cast and motivate you to try out your new skills.


Whether your just learning how to fly fish or have been fly fishing forever, perfecting the basic cast is the foundation to your overall success on the water. Orvis has always put out great how to fly casting videos and we encourage you to read up on ways to improve your casting.

Last but not least is another amazing video put out by Todd Moen. Here we will learn about the entomology of the water through observation.

follow link Just a little bit of love!! 

Huge brown trout in Montana are an amazing fish to catch. As you may have noticed the hatch of the day were PMDs and boy oh boy were the fish hungry. The number one thing we hope you take away from this video:

Fish are selective about their food. Did you see the huge selection of different sizes and colored flies they had? Matching the hatch is crucial if you want to be successful on the water.

Today we have focused on three key elements of fly fishing:

  1. Slowing Down– Taking the time to take it all in.
  2. Fly Casting– Presenting the fly in a manner that fools the fish.
  3. Entomology– Matching the hatch means more fish.

We hope you enjoyed these videos as much as we did. As you continue to learn more about fly fishing, remember to slow down and take fly fishing one step at a time. What seems impossible will become easy if you practice a few simple disciplines on the water. If you enjoyed these videos and want to learn more please feel free to join Seamwater on the journey of fly fishing in slow motion. Fish On!