Spending time on the ground (and /or in the water, sand, wind, rain, salt, sun as the case maybe) will over years reveal the strengths and weaknesses of fishing tackle. Time spent in a saltwater environment is no doubt a place where many items not up to the mark will find themselves in serious trouble.
After ten seasons of saltwater guiding and fishing on the Irish coast I have seen many rods and reels that claim to be suited to the Irish saltwater fishing environment – I will over the next few weeks take a look at some of these items and their performances over time. Looking first at saltwater fly reels then at some saltwater fly rods , I will now take a look at some fly lines that I have found to be excellent when fishing. These are categorised under four headings tactical, functional, practical and optional!
The testing mix consisted of – the environment where we fish, the type of fish, the type of fly to cast, price, functionality, longevity, personal experience over time, style and suitable application in a world where practicality is very important!
Tactical consider as a good recommendation, not necessarily the most expensive or indeed complete solution but offering something truly special
Functional consider as an item that works very well, lasts and is not too expensive, and whilst it may not be to every ones taste gets the job done well and better than most
Practical is a category that an item will fall under when it simply works, is very reasonably priced, will last but may not be the best looking or performing item on the beach!
Optional looking for something different that works and lasts and is immediately recognisable through design and function then this is it – a perfect alternative at times to tactical!
Saltwater Fly Lines
- Tactical Guideline coastal series
- The Guideline Coastal series provides the bass and sea trout angler with an ‘integrated shooting head type’ solution that is something special. Some real benefits that can be realised are the longish front taper that turns over very smoothly for super presentations, availability in a range of densities – Available HERE
- Functional Rio outbound
- The Rio Outbounds both long and short - if you are looking to cast large flies with ease and simplicity then the outbound is for you – short heads, aggressive tapers and outside the AFTMA specs these lines load and shoot big fish meals all day – not for the faint hearted
- Airflo Sniper – A dual purpose line that will help beginners and advanced casters both in their saltwater excursions. Similar to the outbound short this can turn over large flies at distance with ease and also help build confidence when fishing in a tough environment.
- Optional Bruce Chard bonefish line from Jim Teeny
- Captain Bruce Chard, a full time Florida Keys flats guide designed this series of fly lines to deal with circumstances needed to cast, present, and fish a large fly hard into the wind. If you need a long cast and a delicate, accurate presentation when you have calm conditions OR when you need shorter casts with a powerful tight loop that will carry a longer leader with a bass fly hard into the wind – This is the floating line to do it. May no longer be easily available
- If Only – Rio Striped bass intermediate
- I’m sneaking in this line here as its nearly always loaded on at least one of my reels (#8’s) and it probably has caught me more bass than any other fly line. The #8 has a 41 foot head so it takes a bit to get it going – 4’-0” longer and 30 grains lighter than the equivalent #8 outbound. Available HERE