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Thread: What is the best floating fly line color?

  1. Default What is the best floating fly line color?

    There are so many floating fly line colors to choose from today. The colors include, but are certainly not limited to, fluorescent yellow, bright red, screaming orange, green, blue, olive, mango, cream, white, purple, pink, camouflage and clear. What color is best for fly fishing for trout? Are trout spooked by bright colors? Do I need a camo or clear line? This is a touchy subject that has created huge debates over the years. Almost everyone has an opinion. To be honest with you, I don’t think anyone knows the answer for sure. No one that I know has actually gone out and asked the fish.

    If you’re spooking fish, and think it may be due to your fly line, you must first ask yourself a question. Is it the fly line color or the movement of the line in the air that is causing the trouble? Could be either one or it could be a combination of both.

    Generally speaking, it stands to reason that if the line is in the air and outside the window of view of the fish it shouldn't make any difference what the color is. If it passes over their window then the fish will see it. So, it makes some sense that the line should be a light color resembling the sky. If a fish is looking up it will see a dark thing against the sky easier than a light colored one. However, most fly lines will appear darker against the sky because of the shadow on the underside of the line.

    Now if you hold a light colored fly line up against a background other than the sky, like a cliff or some trees, the result will be different. A dark line will blend in better and I can see the possibility of a fly line blending into a background and never even being noticed by a fish. I find it difficult to believe that the fish will react to a specific color floating fly line in most instances. The fish will react to shadows on the water and the fly line passing through their window of sight. Movement is movement and it won’t matter what color the line is. So, you should plan your casts carefully and not allow the fly line to fly too high or across the trout’s line of sight. Pay more attention to your casting skills and accuracy than to what color fly line to use.

    I suppose that the bottom line is to use whatever color fly line that you feel comfortable with. I am a firm believer in confidence breading success in fly fishing. If you’re confident in your gear and your skills you will catch fish.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    I am often asked this very question. I believe Fly Line color is more for the fisherman than the fish. In moving water, i.e. river fishing, I am a firm believer that color of fly line has no bearing on rates of fish caught. If the fly is presented properly, the fish should see the fly before it sees the fly line. No matter the color, the fly-line will create a shadow; this shadow is enough to make fish scatter. Also, in moving water, fish have a short window of time to decide if they are going to eat or let the fly pass. As long as the fly apprears before the fly-line on a 4-6 feet of cleat tippet, you will have no issues. My recommendation is to worry less about your line and spend more time making good deliberate, accurate casts. Fly fishers who cast deliberate but less often, will catch far more fish than a fisher blind casting all over the water. Hope this helped.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    I haven't tested out a lot of colors, but I agree with what Mike previously said. Presentation of the fly is more important. Personally, I like something bright that is easy for me to see.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    Floating line, the color doesn't make much difference because the line is seen from below, with the light above it. Because of this, the line will look dark to the fish no matter what color.

    Sinking lines, I like dark colors or clear. (I only fish sinking and intermediate lines in salt water.

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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    Quote Originally Posted by CutThroat Leaders View Post
    I believe Fly Line color is more for the fisherman than the fish.
    This is another example of where the search feature probably would have worked better than a post. This subject has been beaten to death and you never change anyones mind. The answers run from black to white and every bright and dull color between.

    White or light blue is the best color in my opinion because that is the color tha fish will see it against. Black is a great color if you don't want to be able to see the line yourself. Same with olive and other water colored lines. Nature made fish dark on top and light on the bottom for just this reason. Hard to see from underneath and above that way. Nearly 4 billion years of evolution can't be wrong. If you disagree with me, tell it to mother nature, because I'm out.

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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    We need a beaten-dead-horse emoticon.

    But to answer: color effect differs with the location (water color, depth, current, fish species).
    Anyone who has fished for Permit or Bonefish in crystal-clear water knows that a false cast over a fish will be met with an explosion of water and a lost opportunity. Your line can be white, green, pink, or yellow; won't matter.

    Fishing in glacier melt (milk), it makes no difference.

    Your experience?

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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    I'm not sure but I would say any pale natural earth tone would be good. AIm for blending into the background of where ever you fish. The mastery textured is willow, which I think is decent. It is pale enough to blend with clouds in the sky. It has some green in it which could blend with grass stocks, twigs or other vegetation washed into water. Personally, I would avoid bright flourescent colors.
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    Quote Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
    I'm not sure but I would say any pale natural earth tone would be good. AIm for blending into the background of where ever you fish. The mastery textured is willow, which I think is decent. It is pale enough to blend with clouds in the sky. It has some green in it which could blend with grass stocks, twigs or other vegetation washed into water. Personally, I would avoid bright flourescent colors.
    I agree, as long as you agree that color doesn't matter if there's a brilliant-orange strike indicator flying towards the fish!

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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    Quote Originally Posted by chechem View Post
    I agree, as long as you agree that color doesn't matter if there's a brilliant-orange strike indicator flying towards the fish!
    woo hoo! We got line color and indicators in the same thread! I think all of the above is true, except when you can't balance your rod/reel and there's no invasives on your felt soles...

    search function...where art thou?

  12. #10
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    Default Re: What is the best floating fly line color?

    Quote Originally Posted by chechem View Post
    I agree, as long as you agree that color doesn't matter if there's a brilliant-orange strike indicator flying towards the fish!
    I would avoid large bulky blaze orange indicators too. Those little sticky foam pads will do in a pinch if bouyancy is needed. They are kinda pale orange. Fish are prolly used to any manner of color or shape object falling from the sky.
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

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