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Thread: Need a line for steel head

  1. #1

    Default Need a line for steel head

    Totally new to steel head fishing. What is the bread and butter steal head line for river fishing? BTW, its for a 6 weight.
    The best laid plans of mice and men...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Need a line for steel head

    Hi Cool Hand,

    If you are looking for a Steelhead line the two made by Rio or SA work great. A long head with a long back taper. Makes for good mending. The SA Sharkskin Steelhead may be a very good choice for a floating line.

    Then if it was me I would also have an integrated sink tip line. There are times the sink tip is needed. If you don't mind 24' of sinking line, the Jim Tenny lines are well liked in the North West. I always preferred the shorter sing tips. Don't buy a short piece of sink line and add it to you floating line. That is the worse casting contraption they ever came up with.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Need a line for steel head


    Frank offers good advise on this. I tend to simplify with a DT floating line and weight the fly if needed. If you are going to be fishing deep slow water then consider Franks' suggestion of the sinking line. If fishing more shallow (2 - 4') depths then a DT will get it done they mend well and you can heave a 3/0 salmon fly on them if you want.

    Someday I hope to come into the 21'st century regarding lines but I find that by the time I am using enough weight to get the fly to the fish it doesnt matter what the heck I'm using, Sharkskin or Bargain Bin. But then that's me. There will be other responses that will more critically examine the fine points of your question. My answer is simply to give you a fail-safe in case you are still confused after all the votes are in.


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Need a line for steel head

    Frank's information is spot on. Long belly floating lines are mandatory when fishing the top with skating flies or nymphing down deep. Sink tips become necessary when swing flies through deeper runs. Sinking leaders make for a quick fix, but they can be funky to cast.

    Here are some product notes for 2010.
    Rio discontinued the Atlantic Salmon/Steelhead line in the WF6F.
    Rio discontinued its Nymph Taper line.
    Rio has a new nymph line called the Indicator line. It is uplined up to a full line weight to help flip over hardware (nymphs, weight, indos).

    Enjoy your Steelhead season!


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