Best Fly Line for Trout: Top 6 Reviews and Buying Guide

August 13, 2021

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Fly fishing is one of the most interesting techniques to catch trout. Despite being a highly customizable experience, nothing will have a true impact on your performance as much as the fly line, even with the most premium fly fishing outfit, rod, and reel! So what is the best fly line for trout?

This is because the fly line is like the pacemaker for the whole technique, providing the needed weight to cast bait fly while trying to catch trout. If you’re looking for the best fly line for trout fishing, you’ve come to the right place! 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through brief reviews of the best fly lines out there on the market, so you can pick the one that suits you the most. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Top 6 Trout Fly Lines Available on the Market

1. Rio Elite Gold Slick Cast Fly Line

Kicking off the list with one of the best overall options that you can find on the market. The Rio Elite Gold fly line is specifically optimized for trout fishing.

The fly line is remarkably slick thanks to its incredible coating that makes your casting remarkably easy. The weight-forward design of the Rio Elite Gold fly line allows you to cast the line as far as possible 

Moreover, the line has little to no stretch or memory, which guarantees seamless performance without bites or misses. The line has multiple colors that indicate the distance of casting, which helps you keep track of your performance and improve your consistency on every throw!

All in all, this one is the kind of fly line you’d get if you don’t mind spending a little more in order to land the best quality and performance. 

What We Like

  • Unmatched quality and performance that makes it incredibly easy to cast and control
  • Durable construction
  • Color-coded for a consistent cast every single time

What We Don’t Like

  • Premium price tag

2. Orvis Hydros Trout Fly Line

If you want a fly line that will adapt to different kinds of techniques and floats extremely well over the water, you might want to consider the Orvis Hydros.

What we like about this fly line is that it suits a wide variety of fly fishing techniques because it gives you excellent control over the floating line.

Additionally, the Orvis Hydros comes with a heavy head that allows the tip to sink quickly, allowing you to lure in trout that lurk near the surface.

The line has an olive peach color with a 5 weight construction. This makes it suitable for most beginners. However, it doesn’t come in options that suit heavier rods.

What We Like

  • Highly versatile and works with various techniques
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Sinks quickly

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited line weight options

3. Scientific Anglers Air Cel Floating Trout Fly Lines

If you’re looking for a fly line that gives you all the basic necessities without costing you an arm and a leg, you should look no further than the Air Cel floating fly line from Scientific Anglers.

Despite being one of the most affordable options on the market, this fly line still pulls off a near-perfect performance with trout.

The secret behind that is the weight-forward design of the fly line, which allows anyone to cast the line as far as possible.

The line also works with a wide variety of line weight options, ranging from 4 weight to 9 weight, so you can match it with your rod weight.

What We Like

  • Ideal for beginners as well as buyers on a strict budget
  • Comes in a wide variety of line weight options
  • The weight-forward design maximizes the casting distance effortlessly

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come with a leader loop

4. Rio Avid Series Trout Fly Line

Another product from Rio, which shows the level of quality and variety that this company offers in its products.

The Rio Avid Series fly line is ideal for anyone who is a huge fan of the Rio Elite Gold fly line but finds it a little too pricey. Instead, this one is fairly affordable without compromising on performance!

It comes in a wide range of weight options, ranging from 3 to 8 weight, so it’s more suited for first-timers who use a relatively lightweight rod.

The line comes with a welded loop and features a memory-free core and slick coating. However, unlike Rio’s Elite Gold, it doesn’t have a multicolored line.

What We Like

  • Affordable yet premium quality product
  • Easy to cast
  • Available in a variety of line weights

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks a multicolored line

5. Angler Dream Trout Gold Fly Line

There are many fly lines on the market that are extremely cheap. However, this trout fly line from Angler Dream is the most inexpensive option that still packs some decent quality and value for money.

The line is available in two colors, including moss green/fluorescent yellow and orange/grey, which allows you to see the line well in water for enhanced control.

The line is made of nylon with PVC coating, which is incredibly durable and handles rough use pretty well. The tapered design guarantees a stable loop at a large distance.

What We Like

  • Great value for its price
  • Available in a variety of color options and line weights
  • Durable nylon construction with PVC coating

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t provide consistent performance for everyone

6. Orvis Pro Trout Textured Fly Line 

As one of the biggest competitors to Rio, Orvis also has another series of lines that are specifically made for trout.

The Orvis Pro has a textured fly line, which increases the surface area of the line and allows it to float completely above the water, making it remarkably easy to control and also facilitates casting and retracting the line when a trout bites.

Thanks to this design, the Orvis pro has become a golden standard for any angler who prefers dry fly fishing. 

Similar to the top-line options available from Rio, this one also has a gradient color pattern that will help you indicate the distance of the line and enhance your level of consistency on every cast.

What We Like

  • The textured surface improves the line’s buoyancy for maximum floating on the water.
  • The fly line has a tapered style to improve the performance of the line
  • The welded loop makes it incredibly easy to attach a leader to the line

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit pricey for beginners

Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping for a Fly Line for Trout

Buying the right fly line is always a bit tricky because you don’t know what exactly to look for, let alone buying a suitable one for trout.

To help you with this confusing task, we’ll briefly explain all the essential aspects that you should keep in mind while shopping for fly lines.

Line Weight

One of the simplest yet most important aspects of a fly line is the weight of the line. However, the weight of the line describes the size and thickness of the line more than it describes its actual weight.

This measurement is extremely important because if you get a line that is too light, it may not cast well or not cast at all. On the other hand, a heavy line weight might overstress or even break your rod.

Ideally, the market of fly lines offers various weights that range from 1 weight to 12 weight. However, the easiest and most reliable way to get the right size for you is to match the fly line weight with your rod.

To do that, all you have to do is check the bottom of the rod. There, you should find a number that indicates the weight of the rod. 

For example, if you have a 6 weight rod, a good rule of thumb here is to get a 6 weight fly line, and so on.

However, you should keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily the case for all rods, as some of them are designed to work with a huge variety of line weights.

Line Type

In addition to weight, fly lines also come in various types. Each one of these types depends on the type of fly you’re going to use.

It’s important to pick a suitable line type for you because some of them are more suitable for specific varieties of trout than others. These types include:

Sinking Line

In this type, the entire fly line will sink underwater. This type is great for fly fishing in deep water, making it one of the best for trout that hang deep in lakes and ponds.

Floating Line

These ones float entirely at surface level, this one is great for fishing with streamers and nymphs in shallow water. This one is great for beginners because it’s quite easy to control.

Sink-Tip Line

A good combination of both where the tip sinks and the rest of the line floats. This one is great for fly fishing in rivers where you might need a little more control while getting relatively deeper than floating lines.

Tip Style

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that the tip of the fly line also comes in a wide range of styles that will have a huge impact on your performance.

For that reason, you have to understand what each one of these types has got to offer in order to pick the ideal one for you. Let’s have a quick look at each one of them:

Weight Forward Lines

These types of lines come with a tapered tip at the front part of the line. The main purpose of distributing the weight towards the front is to push the line’s center of gravity forward, and therefore, increase the speed of the line after casting so that it can travel further with less effort.

This makes it ideal for beginners and those who fish in wide bodies of water that require casting at a long distance.

Double Taper Line

These lines are pretty similar to a standard line in most properties except that they have two tapers at each end of the line instead of one. 

In addition to giving you more value for money, these lines are quite stable at a medium distance and can be a more suitable alternative for those who find it difficult to control weight forward lines.

Memory

In fishing lines, high memory means that the line has a very high tendency to revert back to how it was kept on a reel. This means that it’ll start to curl up while fishing, which limits your control over the line 

For that reason, you always need to avoid fly lines with memory problems because they’ll needlessly require a lot more effort to control in the water.

Color

The color of a fly line is more valuable than just being an element of aesthetics. Of course, the color itself can vary according to your personal preference. 

However, many fly lines these days use colors to indicate distance, which allows you to figure out the distance that you can cast.

Finish

Fly lines are made from different materials, and therefore, they have different styles of finishes.

One of the most common materials used is Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which offers a slick finish that protects the line from snapping.

In addition to PVC, polyurethane (PU) is also used, which is also slick but more durable and abrasion-resistant.

FAQs

How long should the leader be when I’m fishing for trout?

In addition to the fly line, you should also consider your leader and its length while fishing for trout. Ideally, the length of a leader relies on two aspects.

The first one is the depth of the trout in the water. For instance, if you’re fishing for the trout in deep water, you need a pretty long leader to reach the fish. 

However, if the fish is feeding in a relatively shallow stream, you should keep the lead at a limited length. In most cases, the leader length should exceed the rod’s length.

In addition to the depth of the fish, your experience plays a huge role in choosing the length of the leader. 

This is because the longer your leader, the more difficult it will be to cast the line. If you’re a beginner, a 5 ft leader is a good starting point that you can work your way up from.

How do you properly cast a line while fly fishing for trout?

Fly fishing is all about the casting technique, so here’s a simple guide that will help you cast your line properly to catch trout:

  1. Hold the rod with a solid grip by placing your thumb over the rod while wrapping the rest of your fingers beneath the rod to support it.
  2. Initiate your backcast by extending your rod in front of you then pulling the rod backward with enough force to get your casting line behind you. Make sure that you start at a slow and steady pace and increase your speed as the rod travels further back.
  3. Once your line picks up the speed, you should stop exerting more pulling force and let the line’s momentum pull it further back. This also gives you a necessary fraction of a second to prepare for your forward cast.
  4. Keep your eyes and body oriented toward the area where you want the line to land, then stroke the rod in this direction in a quick motion that aligns with the line’s speed.
  5. Once the line picks up the forward pace, stop your hands and let the momentum of the line take it where you want it to land.

Such a technique requires a lot of training as well as trial and error in order to learn to transfer your energy into the line, so it’s perfectly okay if you can’t master it from the first try. 

However, with time, you’ll know the right time to let the line’s momentum carry on exactly where you want it to land.

Final Verdict

This wraps it up for today’s guide about the best fly line for trout fishing. As you can see, the market offers a wide variety of options that might seem pretty overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. 

However, with this guide, you should be able to put your hand on the most suitable fly line for your needs. 

While there are some incredible options to choose from, we believe that the Rio Elite Gold Slick Cast Fly Line is the best overall option for anyone who’s looking for the maximum level of quality and performance while trout fly fishing.

However, if you’re on a strict budget and looking for a more affordable alternative that still works, we recommend the Scientific Anglers Air Cel Floating Trout Fly Lines.

In addition to being one of the most inexpensive options out there, the fly line will also do the trick for most anglers out there who don’t mind looping the line on their own.

Happy Hunting!

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