Anatomy of a Fly Fishing Line

Anatomy of a Fly Fishing Line
Fly fishing lines use advanced technology to meet the high standards of modern fly fisherman. Fly line companies use secret formulas to create a coating that is formed around the core of the line. Each line is labeled with the weight and taper of the line which indicates the weight of the core and coating and the specific taper of the line.


The core of the fly line is commonly built from braided nylon or braided monofilament. Some lines will also use a single strand of monofilament. Lead is also used in the core for sinking lines. The size of the core is adjusted based on the size of the fly line.


The fly line coatings use a PVC material formed around the core of the line. The diameter of the coating determines the taper of the line.

Floating Lines

Floating lines have hollow glass bubbles that increase the buoyancy of the line. The core and coating combined must have the ability to resist water and float on the surface.

Sinking Lines

Sinking lines use a dense coating to penetrate the water. The density of the line determines the sink rate and lines are rated to notify the angler of the exact sink rate. The label varies by manufacturer and is measured in feet per second.


The taper of the line determines how the line acts during casting. The common tapers are weight forward and double taper. Weight forward lines have a thicker coating on the front that tapers into the even running section of the line. The weight forward is ideal for beginning casters and making powerful casts in the wind. The double taper is even throughout the line with a tip on each end. It is ideal for delicate casting. Specialty tapers are also manufactured with specific casting purposes.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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