Fly Line Tapers

Mar 15, 2019

... and the questions you won't ask in a fly shop.  

"Yeah gimme aaaaaaa any bonefish taper you got." - Too many people 

For reasons unbeknownst to me, there seem to be certain questions about fly fishing that aspiring anglers refuse to ask in a fly shop. So lets take a minute and first say we need to end this bullshit train of thinking. Salt water fly anglers already have to battle a sustained 20 mph breeze in their face on their one day off just for the right to get an attempt to lie to a fish. And if you haven't noticed those fish are quick to sniff out the bullshit of those feathers you're trying to pass of as food. So really, we shouldn't also be battling our egos. In this little snippet, I'd like to explain, VERY SIMPLY, the difference between a bonefish taper fly line and a redfish taper fly line along with my thoughts of who and where you should be using them.

Simply put, there are two parts to a fly line. You have "The Head," which is the weighted part you cast, and you have the "The Running Line," which is attached to the head and gives you length. Now that we've covered that, lets explain the difference between a bonefish taper and a redfish taper. Your typical bonefish taper has a head length of between 45-50 feet. This means the portion of the line thats weighted, is nearly half the length of the line. So lets think about this for a second, if the part of the line thats designed to be cast is 50 feet, that would mean we have to carry 50 feet or more of it in the air. If you're new to fishing, or struggling to learn the timing of a double haul, ask yourself if you can do that in the first place. Carrying 50 plus feet of line in the air is as big ask of someone who doesn't have a lot of practice doing it. Bonefish tapers do a great job of keeping a lot of line in the air though. If you're fishing on foot or need to send bombs down range, and more importantly you can do that, then hell yeah send it. If you're fishing the trees or targets inside of 50-60 feet, or frankly your false casting until your arm is tired and getting 45 feet down wind, lets swap out that line sunshine. 

So conversely, the redfish taper fly line has a head length of somewhere in the ball park of 30 feet. Meaning this sucker is front loaded. It'll allow you to make much easier and accurate short shots. If you're new to fly fishing, it would definitely be the taper we recommend you start with. Not that redfish tapers are only for novice, that's not at all what I'm saying, but they will offer much more forgiveness and reduce your amount of false casts. You'll also need to carry less line in the air to be able to feel the rod load which will in turn help develop your cast and confidence. I believe redfish tapers are also the best taper for fishing the mangroves. You slide down a shoreline at a comfortable 40 feet, recasting with ease with one haul. You can do this with no false casting with a little practice. Think of all the shoreline you can cover when you're fly is hardly out of the water. 

And one final thing to add, If you're looking to dramatically improve your cast, please check out the Echo MPR. It's a practice tool that is a lot of fun to use. We screw around with them at the shop daily and they really do make you a better fly caster. The best way to enjoy fly fishing is to be fly fishing on the water...and not working on your cast.

If you have any questions on what to spool up your reel with next, please feel free to message us. We're here to help. 

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