Fly Fishing Gear photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›


We spend a lot of time talking about rods and casting performance. But last week in the Bahamas reminded me that the line you use is critically important to the total casting equation. It makes no sense if you have a fancy rod, only to string it up with a shabby fly line. In fact, the right line can add 10 feet or more to an old rod. You do the math… add $25 to a fly line purchase, or drop a few bills extra for a fast-action casting stick? Point is, you wouldn’t shoot cheap arrows with a supercharged bow, and you wouldn’t
put bad gas in a sports car. Trust me… a little extra focus on fly line selection can enhance your season.

Whenever you need to turn over heavy flies and contend with wind, choosing the right taper is important. For my money, the Clouser Taper from Rio Products hits the sweet spot at 50 feet (or longer). I like the “Tropical” taper, which is less malleable, even for lake fishing for pike and other cold water species. It loads well, shoots far, and yet doesn’t splash down with a slap on the water. It costs $75, and is worth it.

I also appreciate the way the line roll casts… the tip for great roll casting is to drag your line with a low rod tip, building resistance and load on the water surface… then lift the rod tip, and snap the roll cast forward. Don’t drop that rod tip at the end, snap it, and look through your thumbnail at the target. Try that with your trout or bass rod, and you’ll see the difference.