When selecting a fly line, it can be a daunting task to sift through all the fly line manufactures, line types, for casting a fly rod. The purpose of this review is to help you select the best fly line for your rod, casting ability & fishing situations you commonly encounter.
Also See our video featuring: Tim Rajeff recommendations for selecting fly line
If you are new to fly fishing, we often recommend a medium action rod which is easier to load without a lot of line out of the guides. So in this situation, you want to demo a line where up to a 35 ft cast you can feel a flex in the rod in the forward and backcast. If you can’t feel this, we recommend over-weighting the line a rod size. Our favorite line for those new to fly fishing is the Scientific Angler GPX Taper. This line is half a line size heavier and has a short head where even a novice caster can begin to shoot the head and pull the running line.
If you feel comfortable loading the rod, then you can begin to select lines based on the conditions you will be fishing. If you desire an all round versatile line, we love the Rio Gold. If you find yourself throwing a lot of streamers, big dries, or throwing into wind (situations where presentation isn’t the foremost) try the Rio Grand. If you are fishing small dries on a 2-5wt rod, and need presentation Rio Trout LT. If day in and day out you find yourself tying on an indicator give the Rio Nymph line a shot.
Rio Fly Lines Recommendations
RIO has so many different trout lines and tapers. Which one should I use?
There are many factors that influence how well a fly line is cast; the wind, the fly choice, type of rod, distance cast, to name a few. To overcome some of these differences RIO has designed their fly lines with specific tapers. Here is a very simple summary of which RIO fly line performs best for typical applications:
RIO Gold Fly Line – Very stable line, long head and mid length front taper makes this the best general purpose weight forward line on offer from RIO
RIO Grand Fly Line– Fast action rods, great line for novices and casters that like a little extra load.
Rio Trout LT Fly Line– Long front and rear tapers ensure this line gives the softest of presentation. Use this line for wary fish and for when fishing small flies – generally size 10 and smaller. It is also the perfect line on softer rods.
Rio Indicator Fly Line – A short front taper and front loaded weight distribution makes this line a “no brainer” choice for casting heavy nymphs or indicators. The built in indicator on the front tip also is a great boon to the more subtle nymphing approaches.
Rio Clouser Fly Line– The heavy front end and short front taper ensures this line is perfect for casting big flie. It is also a half a line size heavier to aid the turnover of big nasties.
Rio Smallmouth Bass Line – Big or air resistance flies. Warmer conditions
Rio Steelhead/Salmon Fly Line– Superb roll casting and mending. Great with heavy flies and nymphs.
Rio OutBound Fly Line– Simply the longest distance casting line ever made.
Rio OutBound Short – Short head version of the popular OutBound – great for throwing the largest of flies and for getting easy, one-shot” distance.
Rio Avid Fly Line – Good multi-use fly line, priced at a midprice point.
Rio MainStream Fly Lines- Economy fly lines