Cortland Fly Line Review and Recommendations

Cortland has been making fly lines longer than anyone. Starting out in 1915, they have been producing performance fly lines for over 100 years and each fly line Cortland comes out with is as solid as the next.
cortland fly line review

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Along with Scientific Anglers and Rio, Cortland’s fly lines are top of the range and they have a line for every occasion. Whether you want to roll cast all day long, fish from a drift boat, or send a floating line way into the distance to catch a permit on the flats, Cortland has a performance fly line for it.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest FreshwaterCortland 444 Classic Fly Line
  • Super Durable
  • Great Line Control
  • Excellent For Long Roll Casts
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest SaltwaterCortland Line Flats Taper Fly Fishing Line
  • Close To Invisible
  • Slick Coating
  • Powerful 6ft Taper
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest For TroutCortland Trout Boss HTx Fly Line
  • HTx Coating Seals
  • Low Friction Shell
  • Long Rear Taper
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But, which Cortland line is right for you? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Cortland Fly Line Review

Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line

Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line

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Best Freshwater


  • Super durable with a sealed outer shell
  • Stays supple with low memory in the coldest water
  • Great line control and perfect for mending well
  • Excellent for long roll casts
  • Turns over heavy flies with ease
  • Great for delicate presentations of small flies

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating
  • Taper: Double Taper / Weight Forward
  • Length: 90 feet
  • Color: Peach


The Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line is a favorite in the fly fishing world, and in mine too. I would happily fish this line for trout every day of the week on a creek, stream, lake, or river.

The Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line comes in either a doubler taper or weight forward front taper, depending on what you prefer. The double tapered version is excellent for roll casting when fished on a big river when swinging for steelhead, and the weight-forward floating line is great for shooting.

No matter which version of the Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line you choose, you’ll be able to make casts to that happy trout length of around 40 foot on a stream or lake, and no matter what size dry fly or streamer you fish, the line tapers off to ensure a delicate delivery every time.

The head on the Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line is 32 feet long and has a heavy enough body to load a fast action rod well and will reduce the number of false casts needed for long or quick short casts. Once moving, the loop stability of the line is also great, making for a fine smooth cast every time.

The Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line stays supple and has minimal memory when fished in cold water. This means no tangles or coiling from the fly line. The outer-shell on the Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line is also sealed for durability, so standing on when fished from a boat won’t harm it. It will float high in the water and won’t sink for an easier, quiet pick-up when trout fishing.

Cortland Line Flats Taper Fly Fishing Line

Cortland Line Flats Taper Fly Fishing Line

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Best Saltwater


  • Super durable in tropical climates
  • Close to invisible for spooky flats critters
  • Heavy head for loading fast action rods
  • Slick coating for excellent shooting distance
  • 46 ft head for making those longer casts
  • Powerful 6ft taper for delicate presentation of heavy crabs, shrimps, and baitfish imitations
  • Low stretch for excellent hook sets

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Saltwater Floating
  • Taper: Weight Forward
  • Length: 100 feet
  • Color: Blue


The Cortland Line Flats Taper Fly Fishing Line is one of the most durable lines you can use on the flats. It’s coated to ensure that tropical climates do not affect its performance so you can throw that 60 foot cast at tailing permit under pressure, knowing this line has got your back.

The body of the fly line is long and heavy so can hit the length needed in saltwater. The fly line will load fast action rod quickly and efficiently and with excellent loop stability, you would be able to push a big clouser well into the wind with minimal false casts.

This floating line also comes with a low stretch core so you can feel it in your rod more. This makes for more efficient timing when casting and ensures a great energy transfer through the line to the front tip and the leader.

The line is also coated with a slickness for minimal friction when it shoots through the guides on your rods. The color of the outer-shell also makes it easy to see on the water and is close to invisible to the fish. No matter what species you’re fishing for on the flats, this fly line is going to give you the best chance of catching them.

Cortland Trout Boss HTx Fly Line

Cortland Trout Boss HTx Fly Line

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Best For Trout


  • HTx coating seals out dirty increases durability
  • Low friction shell for maximum casting distances
  • A long rear taper on a long head for great line management
  • Great for casting long or short distances
  • Turns over every trout fly from size 22 dries to streamers

Tech. Specs

  • Type: Floating
  • Taper: Weight Forward / Double Taper
  • Length: 100 feet
  • Color: Green/Yellow


The Cortland Trout Boss HTx Fly Line is a fly line Cortland designed to be an all-around line for trout fishing, and they nailed it.

The Trout Boss line comes with a 6ft front taper that leads into a 20ft body, and a 9ft rear taper. With a total head length of 35 ft, and the gentle but aggressive rear and front taper, the Trout Boss will load your rod from the tip to the butt section, or a long or short cast, and turn over every trout fly well from a big streamer to a wide dry with ease.

These floating lines also feature an HTx sealed outer shell for maximum durability, floatation, and smooth delivery. They float high in the water and won’t sink no matter how strong the current is on the creek you’re fishing.

The extra length on the rear taper offers excellent mending performance. With one mend you can move the whole body to the tip of your leader to get the perfect drift while waiting for your nymphs or dries to get sipped.

The line is also made with a thinner core for a lighter presentation of smaller dries and it does amazingly well in the cold, not coiling up at all.

It comes in every weight from 2-8 in green camo color, so no matter whether you’re creek fishing with your 3wt or swinging big streamers, you’re covered.

Cortland best fly line


Where are Cortland lines made?

Cortland Lines are made in Cortland, New York.

Is Cortland a good fly fishing brand?

Yes, Cortland is a well-known, trusted brand for fly fishing. Their lines have been praised for their durability, strength, and low memory.

What Cortland fly line is best for trout?

Cortland’s Precision Trout fly line is a popular choice for trout fishing. It has a long head and taper design to help with distance and accuracy, and a short, heavy rear taper for stability and control.

Who makes the best fly line?

The top fly line manufacturers include Cortland, Rio, and Scientific Anglers. These companies have taken line design to the next level designing specific lines for specific rods, environments, and species so we can have the best chance of catching our intended targets every time we go out fishing.

I have fished with lines from all these manufacturers and they are all excellent, and most fishermen find their favorite by trying each one out.

Where are Cortland lines made?

Cortland lines are made in the good old USA, in Cortland, NY. The company went to a great length to keep their manufacturing in the USA, having to buy out the other partners to stop a move overseas.

Are Cortland Lines good

Are Cortland Lines good?

Yes, they are excellent. Where I guided in Seychelles, we only used Cortland and wow do they last. You can catch 20 GT’s on one line, and they keep on going even after they have been roughed up against coral.

No matter which line you go for, whether it’s a creek line or a GT line, they are made to last and perform well.

Do all Cortland lines come with welded loops?

Welded loops make life easy, don’t they? No more tieing nail knots at the tip of your line or adding a braided loop to the tip.

Every Cortland line comes with tough welded loops you can rely on except for their big fish lines like the Tuna or GT lines. This is because a welded loop isn’t strong enough for these species, so they leave the tip open for the fisherman to make a loop they trust.

Which Cortland line is the best for you

Which Cortland line is the best for you?

It totally depends on what you’re fishing for and where you’re fishing. All the Cortland lines in the review are excellent and if you want some pointers on which to pick, here is how I’d class them.

For an all-around freshwater line, the 444 Classic is your best bet. The rear and front taper combined with the body length make it a line you would fish for all freshwater species from trout to steelhead or a creek or large rivers. It floats well, won’t sink, and you can throw a long line with an overhead or rolling cast.

The Trout Boss is ideal if you fish for trout most of the time, which most of us do. The complex front and rear taper design ensure the line turns over to the tip no matter what fly is on the end. Plus the lines are heavy at the front for easy loading and the large rear taper length makes for controlled mending.

When you finally get to go on that saltwater trip, make sure the Flats Taper line is in your bag. It has tough welded loops, a heavy forward front section with enough length for big shots into the wind, and the tip is almost invisible to fish, plus it’s super durable too.

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