Fly Lines, Leaders and Tippet and Knots

Fly Lines:

Fly lines are often not given the importance they deserve. Many fly fishermen invest considerable money on a fly rod and reel and then skimp on the fly line and expect all to be good. Well, a good fly line that is properly suited for your type of fishing is very in very important. On several of the Facebook and other social media platforms I regularly watch, a common topic of discussion is fly lines. Many of the posters are looking for "cheap" fly lines. When I hear "cheap", I think low or poor quality not inexpensive. I like a good deal when I can find it but you need to consider quality when considering a fly line. A "cheap" fly line will not typically cast as well as a quality fly line...just won't. "Cheap" fly lines will not stand up to the rigors of many fishing conditions (heat/cold), they do not float as well, resist getting soiled, are not as "slick" and often the tapers do not match their intended purposes. So do your research and find a good quality fly line for the money. If you can find a good used one, a properly cared for fly line is often the way to go. Also, always keep in mind how important it is to properly match the weight of your fly line to the weight of you fly rod.

You need to keep in mind that the whole idea of fly fishing is to deliver your fly to the destination accurately and in such a way that the fly is presented to the fish in as "natural" a way as possible. To do all of this well requires the proper transfer of energy from your casting stroke through the fly line to the fly itself. That is a lot of moving pieces. If any of those pieces are not right, the result (the presentation of the fly to the fish) will not be what is should be. The right fly line for a given situation is a big part of this puzzle.

Another common question is "what kind of fly line do I need for this or that fishing situation?" Well, as Lefty Kreh often says, "That depends". It depends on what type of fishing you are planning to do and what are the water conditions. Each type of fly line has specific characteristics that are designed to help your casting under certain situations.For the most part, the "characteristics" have to do with fly line taper.

To see more detailed information on fly lines, Click here...


Leaders and tippet are vital pieces of gear for any fly fisher. Without a good leader and tippet setup, your fly presentation can be compromised, you risk spooking fish or breaking them off once they are hooked. An appropriate leader means better accuracy, turnover, and presentation. The correct tippet selection ensures it will sink (or float) and be nearly invisible to the fish. So what does this 4X, 5X, etc. stuff mean? The articles and videos below will explain...

What’s on Your Reel? Leader and Tippet Explained - article by Gear Junkie

Understanding Leaders and Tippets - article by Todd Tanner and Hatch Magazine

Basic Knowledge of Fly Fishing Leaders Cures Beginner Casting Woes - article by Backcountry Chronicles

Understanding Fly Fishing Leaders and Tippet - video by Lost Coast Outfitters