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This comprehensive guide was provided to us from Cortland, and shows which type of Fly Line is best suited to each fishing situation, along with some information on how to take care of your fly line.

Float on the Surface, or Sink under the Water?

Many anglers, and most beginners, simply use a fly line which floats on the surface and then use their leader to get down deeper if they want to fish underwater. However there are lots of varients of Sinking Fly lines - which are detailed in the table below.

All Cortland lines have a core of braided nylon, braided monofilament or extruded monofilament. The core is coated with a PVC in which we impart the taper design. Within the PVC we add hollow glass microspheres (floating) or various density compensating additives (sinking). Variations in the amount of additives used account for some of the differences in the characteristics of our lines.


Floating They Float!
NeutralSuper Slow0.50 - 0.75 IPS
IntermediateSlow1.25 - 1.75 IPS
ClearSlow1.75 - 2.50 IPS
Type 2Medium2.50 - 3.00 IPS
Type 3Fast3.50 - 4.00 IPS
Type 4Super Sinker4.25 - 5.00 IPS
Type 5Super Fast5.25 - 6.00 IPS
Type 6Extra Super Sinker6.25 - 7.00 IPS
Type 7Outrageous7.50 - 8.00 IPS
All sink rates measured in inches per second (IPS)

The following image simply highlights the information in the table:

What Line Do You Need?

Level LineNo tapers or belly, delicate presentation for short casting situations.
Double TaperA reversible flyline with identical taper at both ends. Easy to mend.
Rocket TaperWeight forward taper with long front taper for delicate presentation and long distance casting.
Pike TaperA short and heavy front forward taper for turning over big flies.
SaltwaterA weight forward line for casting big flies and windy conditions. Usually for warm water applications.
Wind TaperWeight forward design with a compound taper allowing easier casts into the wind.
Shooting HeadSpecialized for long casting. A 30-40ft head with a spliced-in factory loop.


But What do these Lines look like?

Okay, so you've read the bit above and decided which speciality of Fly Line you need. But what will the actual line look like when I get it?


Caring for your Fly Line

Fly lines always benefit from a few moments of care that will not only improve their longevity but increase their performance too.

  • Always clean your line with conditioner - every trip
  • Always stretch your line before use
  • Always examine your rod guides for cracks
  • Always match your rod to your line AFTMA (weight rating)
  • Always store your line in loose coils
  • Always store your line away from heat and light



Reproduced with kind permission of Masterline International © Tacklebargains.co.uk This document, and its content, may be reproduced in its entirety only if kept to its original format with no emissions, changes, or additions, for free redistribution in any electronic format. Any other use of this document will be in breach of Copyright

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