Best Fly Line for Trout (Floating Lines, Sinking Tip and Reviews from Scientific Anglers, Rio and more)

From nymphing and dry fly fishing to large streamers, we reviewed the best floating fly line for trout. Read on to know more about each of our picks and where to purchase them.
best fly line for trout

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Trout fishing is one of the most technical forms of fly fishing as there are so many different approaches required that your rods and lines have to keep up with. Some anglers compare it to saltwater fishing for bonefish but bonefish are a lot simpler than trout in my experience.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest AllrounderScientific Anglers Frequency Trout
  • Loads Fast Action Rods Nicely
  • Floats Well
  • Great For Nymphing
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest Of The BestRio Intouch Trout LT
  • Low Memory
  • Self-Lubricating Skin
  • Low Stretch
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest For DurabilityCortland 444 Trout Fly Line
  • Great For Turning Over Big Trout Flies
  • Tough Welded Loops
  • High Durability
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest For ProsRIO Avid Trout Fly Line
  • Memory Free Core
  • Slick Coating
  • Strong Welded Loops
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest Technical LineOrvis Pro Trout
  • Superslick Coating
  • Top-Quality Welded Loops
  • Low Stretch And Sheds Dirt and Oils
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One of the keys to successful trout fishing is being able to present your fly at any distance with delicacy, and the only way to do this is with the best fly line for trout.

If you’re looking for the best fly line overall then be sure to check out our post here.

Our Best Fly Lines For Trout

Scientific Anglers Frequency Trout

 

Scientific Anglers Frequency Trout

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Best Allrounder

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating Line
  • Taper: Weight Forward
  • Length: 80 ft
  • Color: Mist Green

Review

The Scientific Anglers Frequency Trout is specifically designed to handle all types of trout fishing and all weather conditions too.

This Scientific Anglers fly line is a weight-forward floating fly line with a heavy front taper head that loads fast action rods with ease and will turn over all flies whether you’re fishing a big dry fly, streamer, or multiple nymph rigs.

The forward weight taper also helps you punch into the wind and helps you increase your casting distance, even when there isn’t much room for a back cast.

This Scientific Anglers fly fishing line has a slick outer coating that promotes good flotation, mending, and low friction against the guides of your fly rod, aiding your casting distance even more.

Using this fly line you’ll have full control over your drift and it’s perfect for delicate presentations to those trophy fish that are so easily spooked when trout fishing.

Features

  • Loads fast action rods nicely
  • WF line for casting into the wind and turning over streamers and large dry flys
  • A slick line that shoots good distances
  • Floats well and provides delicate presentation
  • Great for nymphing with
  • Welded loops for quick leader attachment

See our breakdown of the best Scientific Anglers Fly Line Reviews here.

Rio Intouch Trout LT

 

Rio Intouch Trout LT

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Best Of The Best

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating Line
  • Taper: Weight Forward Or Double Taper
  • Length: 80 ft
  • Color: Yellow/green

Review

The Rio Intouch Trout LT comes in either a weight-forward floating line or a double taper fly line. The weight forward Rio Intouch Trout LT fly line is ideal for turning over larger dry flies, streamers, and heavy nymph rigs, and is ideal for getting tight loops that will punch into the wind.

The double taper Rio Intouch Trout LT fly line tapers down from the front to the belly and back up again to the rear. This type of taper makes little difference at normal trout fishing casting distances but when you’re in need of a long roll cast on big rivers, the Intouch double taper is advantageous.

Both of these Rio fly lines are well made with low memory for reduced coiling and tangles by your feet. The shell of the fly line self-lubricating to reduce friction for longer casts and it shoots beautifully when you get your cast right.

The fly lines are also designed with low stretch for more feel on the cast and a better connection to the fly, so when a fish takes you’re going to see and feel it earlier which should help your hook-up rate.

Overall this these are awesome all-around fly lines that will give you delicate presentations at a long distance no matter the weather and even if you’re fishing a multiple nymph rig.

Features

  • Comes in WF or DT depending on what you prefer
  • Low memory for reduced tangles when casting
  • Self-lubricating skin for long casts
  • Shoots well and turns over flies delicately with great loop stability
  • Low stretch for long-lasting performance, casting feel, and a direct connection

Cortland 444 Trout Fly Line

 

Cortland 444 Trout Fly Line

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Best For Durability

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating Line
  • Taper: Weight Forward Or Double Taper
  • Length: 90 ft
  • Color: Peach

Review

The Cortland 444 Trout Fly Line has been a favorite amongst every fly fisher I’ve ever met and it’s been around for years too, so a lot of fly fishermen have used it, including myself.

This is a floating fly line and is one of the best fly lines on the market when it comes to durability and low memory. You can use it for years and it will perform giving you tight loops, good floatation, and a great casting distance.

It comes as a weight forward or double taper fly line and in every line weight you could want for trout fishing. Both the fly lines glide through your rod guides with ease and will turn over any fly you’re using from big dry flies to a micro nymph with delicate accuracy.

For more selections of fly lines from Cortland, see our Cortland Fly Line Review here.

Features

  • A fly line that has been around for years and is still a favorite
  • Peach color makes it easy to see
  • Floats and slips through the guides with ease
  • Great for turning over big trout flies and casting into the wind
  • Low memory and high durability for a long-lasting fly line
  • Tough welded loops you can rely on

RIO Avid Trout Fly Line

 

RIO Avid Trout Fly Line

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Best For Pros

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating Line
  • Taper: Weight Forward Or Double Taper
  • Length: 80 ft
  • Color: Light yellow

Review

The RIO Avid Trout Fly Line is a floating fly line that comes in either weight forward or double tapered options. The taper at the front has been specifically made to ensure you can turn over any fly from a heavy nymph with a split shot to a big dry flies like hoppers.

These Rio fly lines have been designed with a memory-free core that ensures that the body and running line don’t curl at your feet and create tangles. This means that when you’re making that cast to an unsuspecting 6 lb trout, you can rely on this fly line to shoot and wrap around your reel.

The Rio fly line has a low stretch for better contact with the fly and fish that take plus it gives it more feel in the cast and is more responsive to mends so you can control the drift of your fly with ease.

It’s one of the best floating fly lines on the market for both small short accurate casts and pushing some distance with roll or overhead cast. No matter what part of the water the fish you’re targeting is holding in, these Rio floating lines will get your fly there with delicate accuracy.

Features

  • Memory free core for reduced tangles
  • Slick coating for punching long casting distances
  • Good taper for turning over large flies
  • Low stretch for long-lasting performance
  • Good for all types of trout techniques from nymphs to streamers
  • Strong welded loops you can depend on

Orvis Pro Trout

 

Orvis Pro Trout

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Best Technical Line

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating Line
  • Taper: Weight Forward
  • Length: 90 ft
  • Color: Olive

Review

The Orvis Pro Trout floating fly line is hailed as one of the best floating fly lines around thanks to its new and improved design. Orvis has put a lot of work into their floating lines and their addition of a textured coating has made all the difference.

The textured coating gives the floating fly line better floatation so it sits higher in the water. This means the fly line is easier to see and manipulate as it less drag and friction on the water. Mending your fly line and picking it up to cast will be a lot easier and give off far less water spray for a subtler approach.

The long front shooting head on these fly lines makes loading your fly rod a piece of cake. You can feel the tip of your rod start to flex as soon as you lift the line and with a single back cast, you can push the shooting head into the running line with one false cast.

This means long distances and being able to cast larger flies into the wind with ease. The longer tapers at the tip of the fly line also make it perfect for small casts and accurate soft presentations at any distance.

Features

  • Superslick coating for good shooting and floatation
  • Low stretch and sheds dirt and oils for longer-lasting performance
  • Easy for mending on the water and aerially
  • Perfect all-around trout line for nymphing, dry fly, and streamer fishing
  • Top-quality welded loops for easy leader attachment
  • Quite expensive

Types Of Trout Fly Fishing Line

Types Of Trout Fly Fishing Line

To choose the best fly line for you, you’ll need to understand the types of fly fishing lines available for trout, and you have two main choices; weight forward and double tapered.

Weight Forward (WF)

A WF fly fishing line is thick and heavy at the front and tapers into the running line, creating a shooting head for pushing long distances with ease.

The heavier front end loads your rod quickly and with more energy for shooting a long cast with minimal back casts. It’s perfect for turning over larger flies, a heavy nymph, or when you fish into the wind and are always used in saltwater for this reason.

For more selection on fly line weights see the following reviews:

Double Tapered

A double tapered line has a front taper and a back taper without much of a running line. The major benefit of this is that you can flip the line around once it’s used and pretty much have a new fly line at the front end.

These types of lines are known to be more delicate when fishing light dries but in actual fact that comes down to whoever is holding the rod.

The one thing these fly lines do help with is making longer roll casts when you’re on wide water. The back end taper helps the line flow with less energy.

Which should you choose?

There is an age-old fly fisher debate about which line is better for what and a lot of fly fishing myths that come out of it. The fact is that both types of lines perform the same when cast to 45-50 feet, which is the length you’ll be casting for trout most of the time.

If you plan on casting heavy flies further than 50ft on the water, then a WF line is best. For anyone who wants to roll as far as possible and mend at distance, a double taper will suit you best.

You can also see our post on How to Clean and Care for a Fly Line for a complete guide on how to cake care of your fly line properly.

What weight line should you have

What weight line should you have?

The line weight you choose should match your rod first, then your flies you’ll be fishing with, and have nothing to do with the fish.

To get the best casting performance out of your rod, whether you’re nymph fishing or fishing in saltwater, your line or lines have to match your rod.

Your rod weight will guide you to your line weight. As a general rule, you can fish one weight above or below or the same as your pole. So a 3 wt rod can work with a 2/3/4 wt line. You can down a weight for delicacy, up a weight for a bigger punch and distance, or when fishing into the wind.

Tapering Out

So which of our trout fly lines is the best? Well, this is technically for you to choose, as we anglers all fish differently, and prefer different lines for different rods. But, in case you want my opinion, here it is.

The best floating fly line for all types of fly fishing techniques for trout, from nymphing to large streamers, is the Orvis Pro Trout. This fly fishing line makes casting, mending, and accuracy as easy as possible so you can always guide your fly where you want it to be.

The runner-up is the Rio Intouch Trout LT. The fly line comes with a shooting head for all occasions that’ll let you drop a fly in front of a fish into a strong wind with ease. It has low memory, comes in every trout line weight, and the beautifully tapered head on these fly lines will let you drop a fly down immaculately.

Thanks for reading my article about the best fly line for trout fishing, I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful. Check out some of our other articles too, we cover everything in fly fishing from tips to destinations and all the gear you’ll need in between.

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