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What Stillwater Fly Lines Do You Need?

Category: Fly Fishing Tackle | Author: Dan Svrček

Easy guide and recommendation of the fly lines you need for successful fishing on trout still waters in all conditions!

Fly Line Intermediate Cortland 444 INTERMEDIATE Classic


It is not necessary to have in own equipment a whole set of fly lines, especially in the case of a fly fisherman who does not specialize in still water fly fishing and sets out on still waters occasionally. Actually, the good choice of fly lines offers the opportunity to use them universally for fly fishing not only on lakes and reservoirs, but also on rivers.

The following fly line selection is based on my personal long experience and is sequentially set from universal use with the minimum number of fly lines in the equipment of the fisherman, to the specialized set for still water fly fishing (still with universal use for river fishing). The selection and description does not contain AFTMA of the lines, which the angler chooses according to his fly rods.

My personal good experience is the versatile use of finer lines (AFTMA 5 - 5/6), which can be used with both river fly rods (the same AFTMA) and can be used for casting with still water rods designed for heavier fly lines . Perhaps the only drawback may be the more demanding casting when windy and the greater effort for longer casts on the still waters.

Fly Line Sinking Cortland COMPETITION SERIES Type 5 Level Sink

1) Basic Fly Line Set (Two Fly Lines)

- Floating Fly Line (Floating WF = Weight Forvard), universally suitable for dry fly fishing on both the still water and the river. In addition, it is well suited to use on the river for fly fishing with the wet flies and classic short nymphing (Czech Nymphing). On the still water floating line is suitable for precise and gentle presentation of flies (e.g. midges and nymphs) and keeping the flies the desired depth, which we regulate by the length of the leader.

- Fast Intermediate Fly Line, a versatile line for still water fishing. Suitable for precision fly control under the surface at varying depths, which we regulate by the time we allow the fly line to sink down the water after the casting and by the speed of retrieve. In addition, it is well-suited fly line for wet fly fishing on rivers, as well as for fine streamer fishing with small flies, or streamer fishing in shallow currents. I prefer this fly line in clear – transparent color.

Note: to the basic set is possible to add Fast Sinking Fly Line

- Fast Sinking Fly Line (DI 5 sinking WF), a fast sinking line when fishing on deep still waters makes it easier to present the flies to the required depth, moreover, it is well-suited for fly fishing with effective Booby patterns or simmilar flies just above the bottom. For river fishing, the fast sinking fly line is ideal for streamer fishing in deep waters or very fast currents.

2) Extended Fly Line set (Four Fly Lines)

A detailed description is given only for fly lines not mentioned above.

- Floating Fly Line (Floating WF = weight forward)

- Fast Intermediate Fly Line

- Fast Sinking Fly Line (DI Sinking WF 5)

- Slow Intermediate Fly Line, this fly line was purposefully designed for still water fly fishing. It is suitable for precise presentation of flies in shallow depths below the surface, keeping the flies in the main column underwater (up to 3m) regardless the speed of retrieve. It is an indispensable and most frequently used fly line for a specialized still water fly fishers. Compared to Floating Fly Line it is less disturbing for the fish and also ensures a more accurate strikes as we keep better contact with the flies.

Fly Line Floating Cortland 444 SL Classic

3) A complete set of fly lines (all the fly lines that the advanced Still Water Fly Fisher will use frequently enough).

Again the detailed description is given only for fly lines not mentioned above.

- Floating Fly Line (Floating WF = Weight Forward)

- Hover Fly Line, another specialized still water fly line that keeps stable depth (in the entire length) just a few centimeters below the surface and does not sink further. It is perfect for precise fly control in certain depths below the surface (midges, nymphs or light lures) . In comparison with a floating fly line is has the advantage that it is not influenced by surface flow and wind. Flies can be retrieved very sensitively and the strike is quite accurate. It is also suitable for fishing the shallow waters and for shy and careful fish.

- Slow Intermediate Fly Line

- Fast Intermediate Fly Line

- Sinking Fly Line (DI 3 sinking WF), a fly line that usually complements fast intermediate fly line. When fishing from the bank, it is needed when the fish are active in greater depth. Well suited fly line for river streamer fishing.

- Fast sinking Fly Line (DI Sinking WF 5)

- Very fast sinking Fly Line (DI 7 sinking WF), an almost indispensable fly line for fishing from drifting boat. Suitable for catching fish in deep depths, also for very fast retrieve of flies (so called speeding) especially from boats. In the case of very strong winds, it can be used well for casting against the wind.

Note: The set can be completed with a Floating Fly Line with sinking tip

- Floating Fly Line with Sink Tip, a fly line that, when fishing on deep still water, offers a different way of presenting the flies and making it easier to strike. The sinking tip helps to deliver flies quickly to the required depth, the floating part of the fly line does not form slack when falling through. It is significantly more accurate at slow retrieve (mainly from  boats). When Casting out from the boat to the shore it follows well the bottom relief and vice versa, while fishing from the shore partially eliminates the snags of the fly line to the bottom. And it is easy to cast with those fly lines as well.

Note editorial: All fly lines described are available from most major fly line manufacturers. In our eShop we have all types of fly lines mentioned above from the traditional American manufacturer Cortland.

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