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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Product Review: Fly Lines for Fishing Streamers

Rio Outbound Short with Int. Tip - $79.99
After chatting with us behind the counter, you may get the idea that the staff at the Avid Angler has "problems" with streamers. Addiction might be a better choice of words. Start talking about swinging and stripping streamers, and our eyes glaze over with a crazed, far off look. Weird names of flies like "Zoo Cougar" and "Butt Monkey" are spoken. Behind the vice, normal-sized flies become monstrous aberrations of marabou and rabbit fur with beaded eyes and articulated shanks. Hands shake on the water after an encounter with a big, meat-eating trout. There is just something about that grab.

One of our favs for all around use is the Rio Outbound Short with an intermediate tip. It's a super heavy weight forward line with a ton of mass in the 30 ft. head. A #5 line is weighs in at 200 grains, so you better believe this line will turn over a big streamer and drop it in the zone. The last 15 ft. of this line is a clear, intermediate sink head (intermediate sink rate means it sinks at 1.5 - 2 inches per second), which strikes a nice balance between fishing and casting. An intermediate head is all you need to put your fly in the strike zone all day in 90% of the conditions you're going to fish in Washington. An it offers a nice feel that's easy to pull out of the water after the presentation and cast all day. We love this line for fishing in streams, lakes, and even in Puget Sound.  The guides in Montana swear by this line and it is a must-have during our yearly trip to the "Mo" in the spring.

Airflo Streamer Max - $79.99 MSRP
For the other 10% of conditions, it's worth having a heavy sink tip. A great, if not well-known choice, is the Airflo Streamer Max. A quick trip to the Yakima last fall offered great test conditions for this line. The river had just bumped up, but was on the drop. Water was cold and off-color. A standard sink rate wasn't going to cut the mustard on this trip, and it was time to break out the big guns. Weighted heavily, a #6 Streamer Max is 200 grains. The bullet shaped head is an intermediate sink, and then there is a sinking tip built into the front half with one small difference – it’s meant to be chopped off and fine tuned to your streamer rod of choice. That feature combined with a monstrous front taper and the previously mentioned tendency to throw on big, ugly flies, and you have an effortless line for presenting streamers in heavy flows.

Streamer Max Meets Solid Yak Bow

Want to learn more about fishing streamers? Check out our upcoming trout classes here.