floating line recommendation [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: floating line recommendation

01-06-2007, 09:45 AM
This year at the Cape in addition to the usual intermediate line, I want to set up a reel with a floating line for some top water work. I am looking for recommendations on a floating line for a 9 wt. rod.

Here on the West Coast of Calif. the leading striper guru prefers a floating shooting head with floating or intermediate running line. I am not a fan of shooting heads only because I do not have lots of experience with heads.

My question specifically is what does the brain trust on this board suggest for the best floating line, brand etc. to use at the Cape in early spring (May-June)? I will be wade fishing mainly.

Thank you all and looking forward to seeing most of you in May....Tom

01-06-2007, 10:44 AM
I prefer a short headed full line so I would go with a Rio Outbound 9 wt. or a SA 10wt.

01-06-2007, 10:45 AM
1. Most of the guys skip the floater for topside presentations and use their intermediate. With the exception of long pauses with gurglers and crease flies, it works just fine.
2. Rio has a saltwater floater with a short front taper to turnover big bugs. Its a mutlifilament core, supple in cold water conditions. It also has welded loops on both ends.

01-06-2007, 12:40 PM
I like to fish floating lines for poppers and the best one I have used is the Wulff Saltwater Triangle Taper. Jim at Lower Forty turned me on to it. It has a short head/thin running line. Kind of like a 1pc shooting head. Great for big wind resistant bugs.

01-06-2007, 05:16 PM
I ditto the Wullf line...well behaved in any temp, casts well...great for those times from 5 to 8 pm over the grasses on Morris Island after getting off the shuttle. I agree with Jim....the intermediate works well unlesss using long pauses...to compensate try doubling the layers on top of the gurgler...tie in one layer the full length of the shank, then tie in a second layer (triangle point) just before the bend and flip both layers to just before the eye and tie off......very bouyant even with an intermediate line.

01-06-2007, 06:20 PM
I pretty much stick with SA lines these days. They have never disappointed me!

01-06-2007, 08:17 PM
Another vote for Rio. Either the Outbound or the Clouser.

01-07-2007, 05:11 AM
A floating line has more purpose than use with poppers and Gurglers. A wet fly swing can be deadly with two or three flies on your leader. Dead drifting patterns that look alive in the water will often catch bass when nothing else seems to work. It's much like fishing scuds on a Montana trout stream. Just make sure the flyrod you are using has the proper line weight for mending line. Often an 11 weight line will mend better on a nine weight if the blank has a fast taper. It will load the rod much faster and be easier to mend over breaking surf.

Just my 2 cents.


01-07-2007, 08:26 AM
Forget the floater and use a sinking line you'll get more fish. I use a 400 grain Airflo on my T&T Horizion II. Try it you'll like it. FishHawk :smokin:

01-07-2007, 08:07 PM
I've got 444SL and Wulff floaters. The SL is a nice casting line but needs frequent cleaning and dressing. The Wulff is a nice casting line and doesnt grit up like the SL and has become my goto line. I have come to prefer the floater to the intermediate for the shallow water fishing I do most of the time.

01-07-2007, 11:02 PM
Forget the floater and use a sinking line you'll get more fish.


The wulff line is nice as is the rio outbound. Once you go floater you never go back :)


Dble Haul
01-08-2007, 09:20 AM
Forget the floater and use a sinking line you'll get more fish.

Not when you're sight fishing in only a few feet of water.

I'm another fan of the Rio lines. They work very well in salt water.

01-08-2007, 09:35 AM
Forget the floater and use a sinking line you'll get more fish. I use a 400 grain Airflo on my T&T Horizion II. Try it you'll like it. FishHawk :smokin:


The wulff line is nice as is the rio outbound. Once you go floater you never go back :)


In my opinion you are both off base. Golfers carry 14 clubs in their bag to handle different situations. Why as an angler would you short change yourself by only using one tool? Use the line/rod/reel/fly/leader etc... that best matches the situation at any given moment.

I am also a big fan of the SA Lines. The tarpon floater is not just for the tropics.


01-08-2007, 10:02 AM
Of course you should have multiple lines if you can afford them. Would be stupid not to. A floater is kind of a mid range club that gets a lot of use while I see the sinking lines as special situation clubs.

IMHO far and away the most versatile line you can have is a floating line. It will cover you in most any situation better than a full sinking line. I do make use of sinktip lines when extreme depth is needed and even full sink but rarely. Just have never understood why an intermediate or full sink line is THE line everyone says you must have for NE striper fishing. It is a one trick pony line and mending and fishing the fly become very hard once a full sink line is in the water. A lot of times all you need is that one trick but I like options and a floater gives you that. Something ingrained in me during my steelhead days that has transferred well to the east coast. So far it is working fine for me and in the end whatever works for you and makes you happy is what you should use


01-08-2007, 12:39 PM

I know we talked about getting out together last year and never did. We'll have to make sure that happens this season. I am sure I can free up a Tuesday night :smile: . I also really like fishing the floater for many different reasons but would never say it is always the right tool for the job. Like you mentioned an angler can fish the same situation using different lines and I do think a lot of it has to do with having confidence in what you are doing. With that said there are situations where only one will work. I think (correct me if I am wrong) that you are fishing alot of moving water where mending is key like rivers, breachways etc...I think one of the reasons most say a clear intermediate is THE line is for flats, estuaries etc...where while there is current you are not swinging the fly in the traditional sense. I would like to see more written about choosing the right tool for the job. Not sure that it is discussed as often as it could be in the mags.


01-08-2007, 03:35 PM
Sean & Sean... a great discussion and you're both correct

FYI, I seldom use a floater, but that's because of the locations that I primarily fish. Most of my fishing is confined to flats and channels nearby. On the flats an intermediate is my preferred line; although, if the current is ripping, I may change to a sinktip to get the fly down. In rips and on the beach, a sinktip is "my go" to setup to not only get down, but also to keep in contact with the fly. My experience tells me that most of the larger fish are normally in the lower portion of the water column.

I guess I need to spend some time with Kenny A. and his disciples to effectively use the potential of floaters.


01-08-2007, 05:46 PM
I know we talked about getting out together last year and never did. We'll have to make sure that happens this season.

Defintely. That was my only regret this season. Schedules just did not work out. Maybe we can start out right this year and both get to the spring clave or harass some fish in the upper bay.

I do fish a lot of moving water and actively search out current. Whether in estuaries or on the beach. I just feel I have more control with the floater and from messing around with fishing plugs this year and watching the canal guys I know big fish can be caught in the top of the water column. Kenney is a good friend and taught me a lot this year. One important thing was not to abandon my knowledge of steelhead and trout fishing and use them to my advantage. So far so good but I am still a neophyte in all things east coast striper fishing with lots to learn. I still keep my sinking lines and sinktips close and probably always will.

I think that is also part of the preference thing , most folks end up fishing the water they know best which in the end lends itself to their preferred technique. It is a tastes great less filling argument that has no real answer. Like you alluded to if an angler can be aware of changing conditions and adapt to them with the correct presentation choice they have the best shot at getting that 40 pounder on the fly.


01-08-2007, 06:25 PM
Don't forget the Ghost-tip lines, which are a great compromise, as you get the mending quality of a floter, yet still get the fly down on a clear, glass, 15 ft tip (if you use the 444SL - 9.5 on a Rio stealth tip)

01-08-2007, 06:38 PM
My largest striper on a fly was caught using a Cortland Ghost Tip. In the surf, where the beach meets the rock...A Tuesday Night fish:biggrin:

01-09-2007, 10:01 AM
ahhhhh - a Tuesday night fish:smokin:

Pounding surf, bruised knuckles, salt spray in the hair, a fit feisty fish and, oh yeah, a floating line :lildevl:


01-10-2007, 07:58 PM
I'll confess. Tuesday nights have not only taught me how to fish a floating line. I've approched the casting situation with more emphasis on fishing the cast. I do not fish from a boat so the floating lines tend to be more versitile. I also use a mini sink tip with a floating WF running line when the fish are not appearing on top in daylight conditions in deeper water along rocky shorelines. The mini tip keeps the fly down at the business end for the resistance needed for the mend.

Apples....oranges........whatever floats your boat.

A point to ponder. Stripping an intermediate line in after every cast often entices a strike and will catch many fish but the guy who keeps the fly in the water the longest with the most lifelike presentation usually wins. He'll have a less worn rotator cuff to boot! I've been outfished by quite a few people that cast like sh#!
How? By simply fishing the fly better. Fly casting doesn't catch the fish. Flyfishing does.