If you enjoy fly fishing, you must have the right fishing line. Without the right one, you can’t cast out or catch the fish. There are a variety of options available to you, which can make it hard to choose the best one.
We created this guide to help you find the best fly fishing line. With this, you’ll learn what you’re buying before you make that purchase. The helpful buyer’s guide and FAQs section can help you find out more about fly fishing lines.
Best Fly Fishing Line Reviews
1. Piscifun Braided Fly Line
Piscifun has only been around for five short years, but it has taken the fishing line world by storm. The founders, Ben and Peter, were always passionate about family and fishing. This passion led them to provide high-quality and affordable fishing gear to enthusiasts.
You can find these products in many retail locations. However, most people enjoy going to third-party websites where they can purchase the products online.
The Piscifun Braided Fly Line comes in four colors: orange, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent yellow and black, and white. However, the color you choose doesn’t change the quality of the product at all. Therefore, you can select the one that is easier for you to see while fishing.
You’ll find a variety of sizes available, including 20 pounds and 100 yards, 20 pounds and 300 yards, 30 pounds and 300 yards, and 30 pounds and 100 yards. Regardless of the size you select, you can always experience a decent compromise between the thinness of the line and its ability to make appropriate blind splice loops.
One concern many people have is that the fly lines stretch, which can cause problems while fishing. However, this product is designed to be abrasion-resistant, which means that there is virtually no stretching. As such, it won’t lose its strength while it is in the water.
Another concern is that the fly rod guides will be damaged with the friction that is bound to happen. This line features a low friction coefficient, designed not to hurt the guides. Plus, you can easily knot this product because it’s not too thin and doesn’t have a tight weave.
What We Like
There are many things to like about this product, but we were surprised by how little the backing stretches. You can always create the most efficient cast. This is ideal for beginners or those who want to relax and enjoy their time without fearing the line.
What We Don’t Like
Though the packaging claims it is thin, the product is quite thick for what it is. As such, the 100-yard and the fly line might not fit on a 9/10 weight saltwater reel.
- Can make blind splice loops
- Comes in a variety of sizes
- Low friction to prevent fly rod guide damage
- Easy to use
- Retains strength in water
- Frays when cut; singeing can help
- Might tangle
- Breakage possible
2. Rio Fly Fishing Tying Equipment
RIO Products has been around for over 20 years. It demonstrates innovation, passion, and pure love of the sport as it continues to develop high-performing products. The company doesn’t stop there but continues to refine, design, and research the latest advancements to ensure that you get the right line each time.
Since this brand is so well-known, it is sold in shops throughout the nation. However, you can also shop directly on the company’s website and third-party sites. This gives you plenty of ways to get what you need in the most convenient way.
The Rio Fly Fishing Tying Equipment comes in the color orange, so you can always see it. It features a smooth braid that is designed to be reliable each time you need it. The braided backing doesn’t stretch and has a high strength feature.
Whether you’re making a blind splice loop or want the thinness to go through the fly rod guides, this product does it all. This means that it will work for whatever you require, allowing you to make knots or use it for fishing.
This product is quite easy to knot. It might work better than other brands because it isn’t quite as thin, but it’s not too thick, either. You’ll get a tight weave for your blind splice loop knots.
What We Like
We like the brightness of the orange color. You never seem to know where you’ll end up when you’re fly fishing; with this, it is always possible to find my line.
What We Don’t Like
The one issue we found with braided line is that it might not work well if you have a larger fish on the hook. It could get cut if you aren’t careful. However, braided line backing is quite popular, so it is something to consider and learn about.
- Bright orange color
- High quality
- Gives more than enough to fit on the reel
- Easy to use
- Braided backing; might cause problems in some situations
- Orange color is hard to see in some conditions
3. SF Braided Fly Fishing Backing Line
SF (Sunshine Fishing) was established in 2014, so it isn’t a very old company. Nevertheless, it has focused on developing and producing high-quality fishing gear and tackle. With their products, you’ll find maximum value for an affordable price.
This business has taken the world by storm. Though it’s quite young, you can find it in a variety of retail stores. If you’d like more convenience, consider shopping at third-party e-commerce sites.
The SF Braided Fly Fishing Backing Line is available in five colors: yellow, yellow and black, orange, white, and white and black. It also comes in a variety of sizes, which consist of 20 pounds at 108 yards, 20 pounds at 328 yards, and 30 pounds at 108 yards.
This fishing backing line is made of polyester (dracon), which means that it is rot-proof, slim, and UV-resistant. You’ll be able to fit a lot of this product on your reel, but it won’t be overfull. As such, it is a complement to any fly lines.
Consider this: The eight-strand backing line is hollow-braided, which makes it sturdy and strong. Because of this, it’s abrasion-resistant, which means that it won’t get snagged on rocks and other obstacles. You’ll also find that this product won’t fray after it is cut, allowing you to attach it to another line.
Primarily, you want a backing line that is easy to knot and has a good curl degree. In that way, you can use it in a variety of situations. This product has that, but it’s also soft, which means that it has a lower friction coefficient, as well.
What We Like
We like that there are so many colors available. While we don’t see why you’d want white or the white and black combo, it’s nice to have these options. If you are fishing at dusk, the white might be more helpful than yellow or orange.
What We Don’t Like
It’s a little challenging to determine which size you need. The 30-pound version is designed for fish weighing more than that. However, the reel itself might hold a lot of line, so you may need a thicker weight. You have to consider both to find the right product for your needs.
- Holds its color
- Easy to wind onto a reel
- Frays when cut; use lighter to singe end for prevention
- Challenging to thread at times (depending on color)
- Might not be suitable for large fish
4. Color Scissor Fishing Line
Not much can be said about Color Scissor, only that it’s a new company, and it doesn’t appear to have a website as of yet. As far as we could tell, this business focuses on e-commerce as a means of operation.
The Color Scissor Fishing Line comes in a clear nylon color and is 100 meters/110 yards long. The material is high-density, so the fishing line doesn’t stretch and is stronger than its counterparts.
Primarily, this product passes the 35-pound test. Therefore, you can get increased depth with your diving baits and get more reel capacity at the same time.
This fishing line is designed to be smooth. It has been wound by a computer, which means that it is satiny to the touch regardless of what you’re doing. As such, it won’t bunch up when you wind it on the reel or rewind it on its spool.
Once you are finished with the fishing line, it is best to wipe it with a dry cloth. Then, wind it around the line plate for storage. It is imperative to maintain your fly lines so that they last longer.
What We Like
The clearness of the fishing line calls some points into consideration, which we mention in the next section. What we did like about it was that it could be used for many other things. What do we mean? Consider hanging pictures and decorations, and much more.
What We Don’t Like
It’s a clear fishing line backing. Unless you are a professional who rarely ever goes into the backing, you aren’t going to be able to see it when you use it. You might spend more time searching for the line than you do fishing, which isn’t the fun part of the sport.
- High-density nylon
- Doesn’t stretch
- Passes the 35-pound test
- Won’t bunch up when winding
- Too hard to see
- Not made in America
- Very thin
5. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Braided Fly Line
MaxCatch was founded in 2005, so it is considered a rather young company. Its story is similar to those of other startups, where a man had a dream where everyone could enjoy the fly fishing sport with the right materials. While it started with fly boxes, it quickly expanded to fly reels, lines, rods, and apparel.
The factory is based in Qingdao, China. As such, it is possible to purchase the fly line from retailers in this area. However, e-commerce sites have made it easy to get this product regardless of where you live (or fish).
This M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Braided Fly Line comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Options include blue, green, orange, pink, purple, white, white and black, yellow, and yellow and black. Classifications include 20 pounds or 30 pounds with 100 or 300 yards. Of course, the vibrant colors make it easier to see, regardless of the situation.
The thinness of the material allows you to load more onto the reel. The product features a braid, which ensures that it will not stretch. If you’re reeling in a large fish, you don’t have to worry that the line will elongate, making it more difficult to reel in.
Along with such, it won’t break easily. Therefore, you’ll be impressed with the low friction coefficient. This minimizes wear and tear on your reel guides. Plus, it is designed to reduce tangle, allowing you to retrieve the line more quickly.
What We Like
Primarily, we liked how great this product looks on the reel. Of course, looks aren’t everything. We also appreciate that it doesn’t bunch up, and it’s inexpensive.
What We Don’t Like
The one caveat we found with this product is that, when you order 300 yards, you don’t get one spool. Instead, you get three different ones, each with 100 yards of backing. This will then require you to tie the ends together.
- Looks great
- Vibrant colors
- Won’t stain fly lines
- Seems slightly too thick
- Must tie backing together to create 300 yards if desired
If you’re a beginner fly fisher, you probably have a lot of questions. For one, it’s challenging to know when and if you need backing. Hence, it’s even harder to find the best fly fishing line.
To help you out, we came up with a buyer’s guide to give you the information you need. You’ll feel more confident about buying backing and using it appropriately.
1. Line Weight
To cast better, you need a fly line that works with your rod and with you. Of course, it also takes practice to get it right each time. However, you should match the line to the rod by purchasing it with the same weight classifications as the rod itself. Therefore, if you have a five-weight rod, you should get a five-weight backing.
Of course, this isn’t definite. It’s a challenge to find anything other than 20 and 30 pounds. If you’re throwing short distances, heavier lines are easier to load; when throwing long distances, a lighter one might work better.
2. Types of Lines
You’ll find different line types. It’s important to pick the right one based on what fly you’re using and what kind of fish you’re seeking.
- Floating line
The whole line floats, which is ideal for dry-fly fishing. However, it also works well for streamers and nymphs in shallow water. You can control it better because it floats.
- Sinking Line
Primarily, the whole line sinks. This option works well when fishing deeper into the water, such as in a pond or lake.
- Sink-tip Line
With this option, the tip sinks. It’s ideal when you’re fishing for streamers in rivers. The fly goes deep, but it’s easier to get the right swing or drift because the rest of the line floats.
With the weight-forward taper, the heaviest part of the line is toward the front. This works well for shooting long distances and for general casting. The tip tapers downward to deliver more precision.
You’ve also got double-taper lines. This features identical tapers at both ends. It will hold the loop more steadily, but it works best for shorter distances and won’t shoot as well as the WF line.
The shooting tip is similar to the weight-forward taper, though it doesn’t have a running line on its back. Usually, this line is 30 feet long. Therefore, it attaches to the smaller-diameter shooting line and works well for extreme-distance casting.
Lastly, you’ve got the integrated shooting taper, which is similar to the shooting tip version. However, the shooting line here is attached permanently to the shooting head. It’s convenient, though you cannot change the leaders to match a variety of conditions.
Generally, fly lines are constructed by using a plastic cover over the core. The core gives the stiffness and strength that the line needs. On the other hand, the plastic can affect slickness, buoyancy, density, and weight.
Most cores are made of braided multifilament or braided monofilament. The multifilament version works well in cold and moderate temperature and is more buoyant. As such, the braided monofilament is stiffer to stand up in the heat, though it doesn’t float as well.
Usually, fly-line coverings are made from three materials. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) allows more chemical enhancements and slicker lines, while polyurethane is durable and resistant to solvents. Polyethylene isn’t used often, though it is abrasion-resistant and slick.
Textured coating is a new technology, which helps with buoyancy and reduces friction. The only trouble is that it is noisy as it passes through your guides. As a result, it can be abrasive to your hands, especially if it is an aggressive texture.
1. What is the difference between 20 and 30 pound line backing?
Primarily, the poundage is based on yardage, as well. However, to answer the question, the pound range is based on the weight of the fish you plan to catch. The amount it takes depends on a variety of factors, including reel size, line, and design.
2. What’s the best knot for attaching the backing?
When you attach the backing to your spool, it is ideal to use an arbor or uni knot. Make sure that you spin it on using a line winder. Generally, it’s best to add the backing mechanically to ensure that it is laid evenly and spooled tightly.
If you choose to add the backing by hand, make sure to have someone hold the spool so that you can reel it on with greater resistance. This keeps the backing from cutting itself or sinking into the fish.
Once you’ve placed the backing, it’s time to tie a loop toward the end where it attaches to the line. Most people like the double surgeon’s loop to achieve a smoother transition between the line and the backing.
The smoothest connections happen with the blind splice loop and the needle nail knot. However, these require the right tools. Modern fly lines tend to have welded loops on the ends to make it easier to connect the leaders and backing, though you might have to do it manually.
3. How to choose a fly line?
When it comes time to shop for your fly line, you need to know where you’ll fish. Is the water going to be cold or warm? Will it be freshwater or saltwater? Warm saltwater lines tend to be stiffer in cold weather while cold water lines go limp in tropical settings. If you match the backing to the climate, the line will likely transfer energy correctly.
You also have to consider line weight, as well as the heft of the reel and rod you use. Typically, it’s ideal to match the line weight to the rod.
Graphite rods are usually designed with a half-size line in mind. This ensures that the line will load faster. It’s smoother and more accurate when you’re casting at shorter distances, such as 15 to 35 feet. Therefore, it might be best to buy extra spools and switch them when needed if you plan to fish multiple climates.
4. Does the color matter?
Primarily, the answer is no. You can use any color. However, you need to be able to see the line as it’s cast to ensure that it was done right and reached far enough.
Most people prefer bright, vibrant colors to help them see what’s going on. As such, you also have to ensure that the line backing doesn’t stain your regular fishing line.
While most people would say that line backing is what it is, we feel that there is a clear winner here. The best fly fishing line for us is the Rio Fly Fishing Backing Tying Equipment. Though it only comes in a 20-pound option, this is ideal for most applications.
We liked the bold color and the fact that it doesn’t stretch. Plus, it’s a name brand option without the high price you’d find in its counterparts. This means that it is bound to do what you require without costing too much.