There are 4 main components to fly line. When they are put together they are designed for a specific type of fishing. There are many brands such as Cortland and Rio to choose from that will carry most of the available varieties.

Having the right equipment is very important. You will need to make sure that the weight of your line matches the weight of your fly rod and fly reel. Now that you have your fly rod all set up you are still going to need waders wading boots artificial flies fishing vests and other gear. You will also need a pair of polarized sunglasses and apparel

Working with I have assembled some of their best selling items in my Fly Shop. You should be able to find everything that you need at affordable prices. Check it out and look around.


There are 4 main components to fly line, they are the core, coating, taper and weight.


The core is what defines the strength and stiffness of the line and how well it stretches. All of these factors will also contribute to the durability of the product.


The coating is what determines whether the line will sink or float. The manufactures either add material in the coating that makes it lighter than water causing it to float, or heavier than water causing it to sink.

Sinking lines are used when you are fishing below the water surface. When you are nymph fishing you need to get your fly to the depth you want it quickly, this is where sinking lines are used. A good sinking line will have a fast rate of sinking, typically 1½ ” –6” per second depending on the weight. If you are looking for a good sinking line be sure to identify what your manufacturer's recommended line weight is first, and then see which line performs best at that weight.

Floating lines are used when you fish mostly with dry flies. This type is designed to float on top of the water, which is where you want your dry fly to remain. Using a sinking line with a dry fly will only pull the dry fly below the water surface.


The taper of the line is what determines how the energy is passed through the line during casting. By changing the taper design manufactures have found a way to change casting characteristics. Here are some of the types of taper and how they cause the line to perform.

Level, this type of taper has very low performance and casting is very erratic.

Weight forward, this type of taper allows for longer casts (25’-75’). This is a versatile taper and is widely used. It works well for both floating and sinking line.

Double taper, this type of line is best on moving waters as it is easy to roll cast and mend. This taper works good for medium range casts (20’-50’) and works well with floating line.

Shooting taper, is designed to reduce friction in the rod guides and in the water.

In summary, the weight forward or double taper are the best types of tapers to use for beginning fisherman since they are the most versatile.


Most manufacturers of fly rods will indicate the fly line weight on the shaft that is recommended for the fly rod, example is #6 Line. This is just a suggestion. It would be ok to move up or down in weight by one or two sizes to match conditions; however, most people will purchase one fly line and use it regardless of conditions.

The best time to use a lighter weight would be when you are fishing a calm stretch of water such as a pond, lake or slow area of a river. Since it is the splash of the fly line that spooks the fish in calm waters, using one that is lighter in those conditions would allow for a softer landing on the water surface. The problem with lighter line is that it can be more difficult to cast at times.

The best time to switch to a heavier line would be when you are fishing a stream that requires a short cast. When you cast less than 20’, including your leader, the additional weight will make casting much easier. If you find yourself fishing in both types of water you are probably best served to use the manufacturers recommended weight and adjust your casting accordingly.

Regardless of taper or weight a quality product will cost between $40 and $80.


In addition to the fly line you will still need leader and tippet. The leader is what you attach to the fly line and to the fly itself. Leaders are tapered. They start out very thin where you attach the fly, and get thicker at the spot where you tie it to the fly line.

The purpose of the leader is that it releases the energy from the fly line allowing you to make a perfect fly presentation with this finer line. It allows the fly to look and act normal to the fish.

Monofilament is the most common material used in making leaders. Leaders come in many sizes, and the stiffness also varies. Leaders are not very expensive, about $3.50 each for a name brand. I would not try to save a few pennies on leader as it may cost you a nice trophy fish.

Tippet is a line used to extend your leader. As you change out your flies you continue to trim the length of your leader. Since the leader tapers from thin at the fly end and thick at the “butt” end the leader will get thicker at the end as you keep trimming. Once you have removed 24” – 30” of leader you need to add some tippet to the leader. By adding the tippet, using the same weight as your leader, you will be able to keep the line thin where it connects to the fly.


There are very many knots you will use when fly fishing that you need to know. Since I am not that good at drawing them I looked and found a great website that is animated and it will show you exactly how to tie the various fishing knots and others. Here is that site link.

Animated Fishing Knots by Grog

If you would rather see a video aboout how to tie knots then go to the fly fishing knots page.

Where to purchase

My Fly Shop is a great place to start. There is a large selection to choose from.

Cabela's Buyer's Guides is a complete on-line store that you can purchase any fishing supplies, apparel and things for the cabin. Click on the picture below to see Cabela's many options for this and other fly fishing gear. This Cortland 444SL Fly Line retails for $59.00. Click the picture to see what else is available from Cabela's on-line.

Sierra Trading Post: Save 35-70% on Outdoor Gear and Apparel. This is an on line store that has some fly fishing equipment and apparel but there is limited selection. If you were on a limited budget this would be a good place to look.

Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters This is a complete on-line store as well like Cabela's and is well known in the fly fishing industry. Click on their link to see what equipment is available from them. Their pricing will be comparable to Cabela's.

Various Fly Shops and Bait Shops listed on the fly-fishing by state pages. This would be a great place to go to talk to someone face to face that is knowledgeable of the area and can make recommendations that would fit your budget.

Big Fly Co. is another great source for fly line, tippet, leader and of course flies. Premium fishing flies from 45 cents each.

Where to fish

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