If you had to by one fly line and one fly line only, let it be a floating line

One of the most common questions we get asked is, ‘what line should I get?’

The answer, of course, will depend on various factors, and the ideal is to have a variety of lines to cover every situation. What we’ve found though is that when you get used to one good line, you often tend to stick with it and just make it work. If that is your plan, let that be a floating line. It’s the one line – in our opinion – that will rule them all.

Here’s why:


  • It’s possible to fish every type of fly on a floating i.e. dry, wet or nymph. We’ve all been in that situation when you’re busy fishing with a sinking line, don’t have your floating on hand and the fish start rising like crazy, and its frustrating to be limited by your tackle.


  • We almost always recommend getting a floating line if you’re getting into the sport, for a couple reasons:
  • Floating lines are easy to see which aids you with your casting.
  • A floating is easier to cast because of its diameter and physical weight.
  • If you’ve been fly fishing for a while and want to upgrade your floating, consider the following:

Dry fly – if you tend to fish dry more often than not, we recommend the Lee Wulff Triangular Taper. This line is unique in its taper, and therefore its super soft presentation. It performs best at mid to long distances, and its best suited for experienced casters.

All purpose – the Rio Gold or Rio Perception are our favorite all round lines. The Gold is super easy to cast regardless of experience, and the Perception is great if you like nymphing because of the ultra low-stretch core. Either way, these lines are our choice if you want something versatile.


  • The versatility of a floating isn’t just limited to a stillwater, it is the more versatile line for rivers too, be it the Vaal for Largies, or the Smallblaar for 12 inch trout. Better still, it is the best line if you want to sight fish, which is something our guides have seen countless times on the lower Orange. You can’t sight fish to a school of largies holding in 3ft of crystal clear water with a Di5 sinking, its impractical. On the flip side, you can fish to those same fish at 2 meters with a floating, even though the sinking would be better.

One doesn’t quite appreciate how invaluable a floating is until you’ve been in a situation that called for it, but let’s look at how you can adapt to various situations when fishing a stillwater for trout.

Stay tuned for a blog on how to fish your floater for trout. – Nathan Pahl