I’m told Spring is here, but as I look out the windows at Stillwater Fly Shop, I see a mix of snow, sleet, and rain. The thermometer reads 36 degrees, and I wonder if it will ever get warm again. This winter season seems to have lasted forever this year. Late snowfalls and cold temperatures have kept me in the house. But brighter days will come, and we will all be out on the water again, having a great time.
I am going down my mental checklist of what I need for this season. What did I break last season and never bothered to get fixed? What was I out of? One thing for sure is new fly lines. Like most people, I squeeze all I can out of my gear before getting new stuff. Every time I get a (new fly line), I’m reminded how much of a difference they make. They slip through my guides, float high on the water, and work so much better than the old line that I kept telling myself, “Oh, it still works fine.” Turns out it didn’t work so fine.
If this year is not the year for a new rod or reel, let it be the year of new lines. If your current line is still good, try a new taper. Scientific Anglers Rio and Airflo put in a ton of research on taper designs to help anglers deliver the fly. There is no perfect line that can do everything great. Different tapers make different styles of fishing easier. Short, powerful heads for the streamer gang, long front tapers for the dry fly crowd, and significant belly sections for the nymphing posse.
There is an entire buffet of lines out there; try something new. Some classic tapers have been like the Rio Elite Gold, Scientific Anger MPX, or Infinity Line. But there is no reason to have a more specialized taper in your arsenal. If, in the Spring, you are forced to nymph, why not switch to a Rio Elite Indicator line? If you toss terrestrials with a dropper in the Summer, the new Rio Bank Robber is for you. Fall brings out the streamer box, and why not a Scientific Angler Sonar Titan taper?
Another benefit of a different line is it will change the personality of your rod. It is incredible how different a rod you have been casting for years will feel with another line. Switching lines out in the living room while watching the game using a SA Regulator Spool or Rio Cranky. Make 2023 the year you try one or many new tapers. At around $100, there is no better bang for your buck in fly fishing than a new fly line this season.
Working at Stillwater, I have sat through hours of lessons about lines, and as part of my duties, I am forced to step away from the computer and go out and cast these lines. Give Stillwater a call; we would be happy to help you wade through the options and get you a new and different line for this season.