DT & WF What The Fly Line?

Thursday, 10 February 2022  |  Sarah
Fly Line Lowdown:
 
WF & DT
Colour
Life Expectancy
Recommendations
 
 
Weight Forward & Double Taper
Generally speaking, modern day floating fly lines are available in two profiles: Weight Forward (WF) and Double Taper (DT).  As the description suggests, a weight forward taper has the front taper, belly and rear tapered concentrated at the head of the fly line with the remainder of the line being a level running line.  This concentration of weight makes double hauling easier as well as shooting line, which all helps when it comes to coping with breezy conditions.
Double Taper lines have the bulk of their weight right through the middle section of the line with a taper at each end, hence why they’re labeled double tapers.  With a much thicker section of line they take up more space on a reel.  And whilst the thicker mid section might seem bulky, it does make for more stable loops when casting.  That said, shooting line is more difficult with such a heavy mid section (belly).  With a taper at either end however, in effect, you have two fly lines for the price of one, as the line can be reversed once you’ve worn out the initial front taper.
Not so long ago, rightly, many recommended WF lines for reservoir/stillwater use, reserving double tapers for rivers where distance wasn’t necessary.  However, such has been the development of tapers that most seasoned rods lean towards WF fly lines for all their fishing these days as they have the necessary delicacy when it comes to turn over and presentation.
 
Fly Line Colour
Fly lines come in every colour of the rainbow these days, making this an agonizing choice for those starting out.  In many respects, a good old fashioned white fly line is all you’ll need.  Being pale, firstly it blends into the sky when casting, yet is clearly visible when at rest on water to help you locate the whereabouts of your fly. 
Understandably, those fishing large sheets of water often select a vivid shade of line like fluorescent orange, green, or yellow.  The main reason being such colours stand out in the vastness, which helps no end with take detection.
Whilst it’s difficult to put up an argument that brightly coloured lines spook trout when false casting those fishing rivers and streams tend to prefer more sombre shades of fly line, like pale grey, or olive. 

It might be that when cast under the shady boughs of overhanging trees, such lines are less intrusive.  Nevertheless, many successful river fishers do use more vivid lines too.
Two tone lines are ever popular these days and with good reason as the colour change usually prompts the optimum length of line to be aerialized before it’s time to shoot/release line.  This has the advantage of preventing too many false casts and of course carrying excessive running line (in the case of WF lines) outside the rod tip, which has the inherent problem of causing cracks in a fly line’s coating.
 
Fly Line Life Expectancy

In many respects, fly lines should be viewed as a consumable item of tackle, in that they eventually wear out.  Many anglers deliberate on how long a fly line should last, often counting this is seasons rather than hours fished.


Furthermore the life of a line can be prolonged by cleaning them in lukewarm soapy water every six weeks or so.  Simply soak the line in a shallow bowl of weak soapy solution for 15 minutes then run the line through a dry cotton cloth.
Rio Products Wonder Cloth is a micro abrasive fly line cleaning pad that strips out the deeplying dirt without roughing the fly line.
Apply a thin coat of AgentX line dressing after use for maximum benefit.
AgentX Line Dressing is specifically formulated to enhance the performance of all modern fly lines.
Treated lines will cast farther, remain clean longer and float higher than untreated lines
 
Our Recommendations
How much you spend of a fly line is very much a personal thing as they vary widely in price from approx £20 to well over £100.  There are many good brands however that fall in the mid price bracket of £40-£70 that will delivery in every way without breaking the bank.

Stillwater / Reservoir Fly Lines

Note: We’ve listed #6 lines here for Stillwater / reservoir anglers although all lines are available in a range of line ratings.
Cortland 333 Floating Fly Line is a all purpose line for Trout fishing. A highly durable, high-floating all rounder fly line with a weight forward taper.
Cortland 444 SL is the original fast shooting distance fly line on the market. 333’s big brother and a firm favourite with stillwater anglers who require distance.
Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Classic Fly Line in Orange is an incredible floating designed for efficient energy transfer and to cast well. A line that copes well with headwinds and where distance is the name of the game in confined spaces.
Wychwood's Feather Floater is the ideal fly line for tricky situations where optimum stealth is required. The presentation taper allows for pin-point accuracy. Ideal for those a budget looking for ideal presentation.

River Fly Lines

Note: We’ve listed #4 lines for river fishers though all lines are available in a range of line ratings.
Classic 444 fly line has been adapted to have an extra long supple tip which enables the line to land delicately on the water. However the energy transfer is so efficient it turns over the longest finest leader with simple control and authority.

Specifically designed tapers for those fishing rivers or streams.

Rio Products GOLD Fly Line has a revolutionary taper design that gives incredible loop stability at distance, a unique profile that allows a rod to load at close range and a front taper that delivers perfect presentation of flies between sizes #22 and #2.

The ultimate all-round, floating line for the trout fly fisher and is built with "MaxFloat Tip"  and "SlickCast" technology.
Refined tapers make this popular with dry fly enthusiasts.

The Cortland 444 fly line is an all time classic. The line has set a standard for durability and performance
Wychwood's Feather Floater a perfect line where stealth is the order of the day. Ideal for presentation on a budget.
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The Essential Fly Fishing Shop
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