Striped Bass Fly Lines

You need two types of striper fly lines, period.

One fly line won't do it; it simply won't cover all fishing situations.

Conversely you may end up with lots of different lines, but you really only need two flylines to be an effective striped bass fisherman.

I sometimes even carry spare lines of the same type depending on where I'm fishing; being over prepared is much better than under prepared.

You WILL need to switch flylines when you fish sometimes, so it better be quick and simple to do.

For example, a spare spool or spare reel or a different flyline will do. From a boat I much prefer having two rods with different lines on them for rapid switching, but for a shorebound angler carrying two different rods is often just not convenient.

So, what types of lines do you need?

A Floating or Intermediate Line

An intermediate flyline, also known as a slow sinking flyline, is my workhorse for stripers from the beaches and rocks.

It basically floats just under the surface of the water, under the ripples and to some extent the waves, and allows fishing the surface to a few feet deep with ease. With little or no current you can even fish deeper by letting it sink for a little while before retrieving.

Some striped bass flyfishermen prefer a floating line to an intermediate, and I have no problem with that, but I prefer the intermediate line. A floating line can be more convenient for skinny water, for example flats, but I do just fine with my intermediate.

I recommend a weight forward (WF) line, which means the front of the fly line is thicker and heavier than the rest of the flyline. Sometimes this might be called a "Striper Taper" or "Saltwater Taper" or similar. This makes casting easier, especially in the nearly ever present wind, although since the line is heavier it plops down onto to water with more force. This matters a lot with some fish, for example trout in a small stream, but in the typically bigger water conditions we fish for striped bass is much less of an issue.

The Scientific Anglers™ Mastery Saltwater Taper Floating Fly Line is a good choice in a floating fly line is that is your preference.

As I slightly prefer an intermediate line, I like the Scientific Anglers™ Mastery Saltwater Intermediate Striped Bass Taper Fly Line. It suits me pretty well!

A Fast Sinking Line

If the stripers aren't shallow then they are deep! You NEED a super fast sinking flyline.

I don't care what it is. It could be a very fast shooting head, a "Teeny" line which is similar, or a regular old fast sinking line (weight forward please).

You'll find this line casts better in the wind as it's thinner -- it has less wind resistance.

However it's less forgiving as you can't just pick it up from the water, for example from a bad cast, and cast again.

This is line is the workhorse at river and stream mouths, which are often hotspots. Often without a fast sinking line river and stream mouths, you won't have a prayer of catching a striped bass even though they may be feeding actively.

I also prefer a fast sinker most of the time from a boat, and occasionally from rocks when shore fishing, although you'll certainly need to retrieve quickly on all but super short casts to prevent getting caught on the bottom.

The Scientific Anglers™ Mastery Saltwater Fast Sinking Striped Bass Taper Fly Line is a great fast sinking line. Of course there are plenty of other good brands of flyline as well.

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