Best Fly Line For Roll Casting

Last Updated: November 18th, 2019

When you’re fly fishing, you don’t always have enough space behind you to manage an overhead cast. There is often a tree or bushes behind you that will result in a tangle if you start with a back cast. This is where roll casting comes into play. Roll casting is a special technique that allows you to shoot line and achieve a good distance without making a back cast. To maximize your distance when roll casting, you’ll need the right fly line. There’s a lot of lines on the market today and it’s hard to know which ones are designed for roll casting. Here I have put together a guide of the best fly line for roll casting to make your choice a little easier.

OUR TOP PICKS

RIO Products Fly Line Rio Gold Wf5F, Orange
Rio Gold Fly Line
  • Nice feel
  • Loads well
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RIO Products Fly Line Intouch Single Hand Spey #5, Peach-Camo
Rio Single Hand Spey Fly Line
  • Great distance roll casting
  • All-rounder
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Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line Olive
Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line
  • Smooth
  • Casts well
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KastKing Propel Fly Fishing Line,Evergreen,WF5 F 90FT, Backing 20LB,80Yds
KastKing Propel Fly Fishing Line
  • Good value
  • Good for short casts
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AventikTouch Double Taper Fly Fishing Line Long Taped Delicate Presentation Fly Floating Line (DT5F)
Aventik Double Tapered Fly Fishing Line
  • Great value
  • Casts well
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Airflo Super-Dri Distance Pro Fly Line Weight:WF6F
Airflo Super-Dri Distance Pro
  • Tight, stable loops
  • Great distance
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Cortland Trout Boss HTx WF Floating Line (WF4)
Cortland Trout Boss HTx
  • Good for roll-casting
  • Top all-around line
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Scientific Anglers Mastery Series SBT (Short Belly Taper) Floating Fly Fishing Line (Willow/Orange/Willow, WF7F)
Scientific Anglers Mastery SBT
  • Loads quickly
  • Casts very far roll casting
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Rio Gold Fly Line

RIO Products Fly Line Rio Gold Wf5F, Orange

This line from Rio is made with a special taper that makes it easy to load your rod in a tight situation. This means you can get a good distance on your cast even if you don’t have much space behind you.

The taper has also been designed with presentation in mind and allows you to drop flies between size 2-22 without any disturbance. This makes this line very useful in all situations.

The line is smooth giving you a great casting distance without minimum effort and a quick, easy retrieve. It’s 90ft in length which is enough for any fishing situation and comes in a variety of colors to match any freshwater you’ll find yourself in.

Overall its a great line with awesome loop stability. It’s a little expensive but worth the investment.

Pros

  • Nice feel
  • Loads well
  • Casts well
  • Smooth
  • Good distance

Cons

  • Expensive
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Rio Single Hand Spey Fly Line

RIO Products Fly Line Intouch Single Hand Spey #5, Peach-Camo

The Rio Single Hand Spey Fly Line is made with a heavy rear weight distribution which allows you to load your rod when you have some obstacles behind you. It’s perfect for roll casting, overhead casting and is a great all-rounder line.

The lines thick section expands out at the end to give you more control and stability. This helps with your casting accuracy, presentation and gives you control when mending.

The line comes in a dual-tone color system to help you identify where the taper starts so you know when to start casting. It has great loop stability, again, helping your casting distance and low stretch, to help you feel all the little bites and put more pressure on a fish.

The line is a little heavy and expensive but once you’re used to the weight, it’ll be a valued addition to your fly fishing kit.

Pros

  • Great distance roll casting
  • All-rounder
  • Durable
  • Smooth
  • Accurate

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
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Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line

Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line Olive

The Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line is unique thanks to its triangle taper. The special taper features a continuous forward taper to increase your casting distance in a tight spot. The triangle taper means the heavier line is always turning over the lighter section of the line. This means you retain all your casting energy and gives you maximum load. This makes it ideal for roll and overhead casting.

The unique design means the weight of the line is away from the fly which aids with your presentation. When the fly line lands, the thin section at the front will land with little disturbance, helping you catch those spooky trout.

The line comes in a variety of colors and is 90ft in length, both perfect for any fishing situation. The head of the line can also be trimmed so you can adjust it to your needs.

Pros

  • Smooth
  • Casts well
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Presents well

Cons

  • Expensive
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KastKing Propel Fly Fishing Line

KastKing Propel Fly Fishing Line,Evergreen,WF5 F 90FT, Backing 20LB,80Yds

This line from KastKing is a lot less expensive than most of the other lines in the review and you are compromising on quality for the price here. Though you can buy 3 lines fo the price of one of the others.

It’s made with a heavy weight-forward taper that is made to load your rod quickly to give you a great casting distance in a tight situation. It’s a good roll casting line with loop stability, comes in 3 different colors and is 90ft in length. It’ll work in most fishing situations. The head is thinner than most lines and this reduction in surface area means it cuts through the wind nicely. It’s not the best line for long casts though and seems to collapse when you try to cast the full line.

The line comes with backing, very handy and has a special coating that helps it to float in turbulent situations. This really helps when fishing in shallow water. The coating does come off after a while though.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Good for short casts
  • The thin head is good in the wind
  • Floats well
  • Comes with backing

Cons

  • Not the best quality
  • Not good for long casts
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Aventik Double Tapered Fly Fishing Line

AventikTouch Double Taper Fly Fishing Line Long Taped Delicate Presentation Fly Floating Line (DT5F)

This is an excellent line and it has the best price in the review. Suspicious? I was too, so let’s get into the detail.

The line has been made specially for use when roll or overhead casting. It comes in a tri-tone color system that marks the front taper, middle and running line. This helps you to identify the loading and casting points to make life a little easier.

The front taper has been so well made that it helps you cast any fly at any distance, even you’ve no space behind you and have to go for a roll cast. The line has a very ow stretch to help with your casting distance as it will retain energy. This also makes the line sensitive so you’ll feel every bite, no matter how slight.

It can be used in both fresh and saltwater but it isn’t very durable or smooth. Something that is easy to ger over when you can buy 6 of the lines for the price of one expensive one.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Casts well
  • Good roll caster
  • Low stretch
  • Sensitive

Cons

  • Not durable
  • Not so smooth
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Airflo Super-Dri Distance Pro

Airflo Super-Dri Distance Pro Fly Line Weight:WF6F

This line has been designed for distance in all fishing situations. It has not been made specifically for roll casting but thanks to the heavy forward taper, it’ll punch a good distance in a tight spot. It’s an Airflo Pro-staff favorite, so its got to be doing something right.

Overall is a great line but it is a little different than others. It features and long front taper, long rear taper, and a long belly. It has one of the longest shooting heads around, making it ideal for long casts when roll casting but it may not give a good presentation. The long belly gives you a lot of control when mending and casting plus the line holds tight stable loops.

The line is a bit expensive and way too long. It has a total length of 120ft and will not fit on your fly reel. Your best bet is to cut off 30ft at the rear and you’ll have a great fly line.

Pros

  • Tight, stable loops
  • Great distance
  • Loads well
  • Accurate
  • Easy to control

Cons

  • Too long
  • Expensive
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Cortland Trout Boss HTx

Cortland Trout Boss HTx WF Floating Line (WF4)

Cortland has been around longer than most fly line manufactures and this line does not disappoint. It hs been made quite heavy with a long forward taper to help load a rod quickly and efficiently in a tight situation. It performs exceptionally well when you roll cast or single-handed Spey cast.

Due to it’s increased weight it’s made for fast action rods and will make a slow action feel very sluggish and tiring to cast.

It’s a very smooth line with low memory and won’t coil up when you strip line off the reel. This will reduce tangling when you’re trying to cast. The line is durable but it does tend to sink a bit which is not ideal when fishing for smart, spooky fish.

Overall a great line for a fast action rod but it is a little expensive.

Pros

  • Good for roll-casting
  • Top all-around line
  • Smooth
  • Low memory
  • Durable

Cons

  • Too heavy for slower rods
  • Sinks
  • Expensive
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Scientific Anglers Mastery SBT

Scientific Anglers Mastery Series SBT (Short Belly Taper) Floating Fly Fishing Line (Willow/Orange/Willow, WF7F)

This is a new type of line in the market and comes with a very long heavy front taper and a short belly. This means most of the weight is moved to the front of the line, to make sure everything turns over when roll casting.

The line does not cast like a normal line and will need some getting used to. The heavy head loads the rod so fast that you won’t need many false casts at all and once you have cast, mending is going to be difficult due to the weight. The heaviness also compromises the presentation and will land with a splash.

Despite the lack of presentation and mend control, this line will push 60ft on a roll cast. That’s some distance. It also shoots very well, so if you’re a beginner, this line will help you achieve some greater distances. It’s the perfect streamer line for stripping and swinging.

Overall this is a technical line for certain conditions. If you need a long roll cast or fish streamers, then it’s awesome. But if you’re presenting to spooky fish, there are better ones out there.

Pros

  • Loads quickly
  • Casts very far roll casting
  • Excellent for streamers
  • Durable
  • Smooth

Cons

  • Hard to control
  • Poor presentation
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
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What To Look For & Tips

Here are the factors you need to consider when buying a fly line.

Loop Stability

This is one of the most important aspects of a fly line. Loop stability is the ease with which a line folds out and you want it to be consistent, or stable, to ensure you don’t lose any energy in the line. A line with good loop stability will fold out with ease and quickly.

Distance

We all want to be able to cast far and you’ll want a line that will help you with this. Distance is achieved in the forward taper of the line. The top section of the fly line is thicker than the sections behind it which helps load the road and takes the remaining line with it when you cast. When roll casting a thick forward taper is important.

Presentation

If you can’t present your fly delicately, you’ll struggle to catch the trophy trout we are all after. This means you’ll want a line that’ll let you drop a fly on the water with minimum disturbance. The way a line achieves this is by thinning out a little between the forward taper and the connection to the leader. This means when the front of the fly line lands, it will be with less weight and fall on the water softly.

Shooting

Shooting line put simply is the amount of line that comes out the tip of the rod when the line is released from your hand.  The forward tape will again assist you with this and some lines are made heavier at the front to increase your shooting ability. Shooting is not about overall distance, some lines with shoot well but overall casting distance may be low as they can’t hold enough line in the air.

Stretch

Some fly lines are stretchier than others. The less a fly line stretches, the more it will retain its energy instead of losing it in the stretch. This makes casting more efficient and will help you to maximize your distance. A low stretch line will also be more sensitive to bites and let you put more pressure on a fish.

Floatation

Most freshwater fishing needs a floating line. If your line doesn’t stay afloat it’ll spook fish when it sinks. It’s hard to know if a line floats well until you use it, so try and read reviews about it if they are there.

Our Favorites

The all-rounder of the group is the Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line. This line is perfect for every fishing situation, present well, casts a great distance and overall is just awesome. You’ll love using this line.

Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Fly Line Olive
  • Available in floating, 90’ length with a 36’-40’ taper and a 54’–50’ running line with welded loop for easy leader attachment. Floating line features J3 coating Colors: Olive, Ivory, or Orange Sizes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

The best on the budget has to be the Aventik Double Tapered Fly Fishing Line. This line is great value and it actually performs very well. The only drawback is its durability but you can buy 6 of these for the price of a Rio. It’s not very environmental but if we’re talking about value for money, six Aventiks with probably outlast one Rio.

Aventik Double Tapered Fly Fishing Line Sure Cast Tri-Tone Gentle Touch Double Taper Long Taped Delicate Presentation Floating Trout Line Welded Loops Line 85FT
  • Aventik Sure cast tri-tone ultra low stretch “Gentle Touch” double taper fly line.
  • Perfect for pressured or easily spooked fish. 

My favorite from the line up is the Rio Single Handed Spey Line. It’s made specifically for roll casting but does not compromise on anything while doing so. Not only can you punch a serious distance with a roll but you can also overhead cast, present well and retain control.