What kind of fishing are you most likely do? It may be that one line is not going to cover all your needs.
If fishing constantly at short range on smaller rivers and streams DT profile is hard to beat. They load the rod easily and are easy to mend and roll cast. They are also great when fishing a short line from a drifting boat.
On the other hand WF lines, as long as the head is inside the tip ring, cast and manage in a very similar way. Some say that for practical purposes there is no real difference at all and they do have the advantage of being able to shoot more effectively and for longer distances if you are required to do that occasionally.
There are lots of new line profiles constantly come onto the market. WF Lines with long bellies, or long rear tapers that allow the caster to aerialize longer, more stable lengths of line under ideal conditions but which require much more clearance behind to get near to the running line to shoot effectively. Great in tournaments on a casting field or at a manicured reservoir, but perhaps not so good on a wild lake or river with high banks and thick undergrowth.
For versatility a good old WF line is pretty hard to beat; they shoot efficiently with minimum back clearance.
Getting it all on the reel.
Another often neglected question is will the line fit the reel and will there be enough room for some backing? Thicker lines take up much more space, therefore a DT or a long belly WF will require much more space on the reel. Do you want to use a bigger reel? Watch the line length too! Again this is where standard head WF lines win. They take up less space and if need be a lot of the running line can be cut off without affecting the line performance in the slightest.
Choosing the correct line weight for both your rod and for the types of fishing you do is probably the stickiest of all sticky wickets!
Assuming your rod is rated correctly (they occasionally are) and you are casting at distances of 30 feet or more, then it’s probably safe enough to choose a matching line. That is if your rod is rated #5 choose a #5 line. If it’s a #4 choose a #4 line etc.
If intending to also cast longer distances, a WF line beats a DT.
Now imagine you are fishing a small river or stream and all these very spooky fish are 30 feet or less away. You are fishing a 15 foot leader (it may often be much longer than that in fact). If casting to a fish 30 feet away you will only be casting 15 feet of fly line. See the problem? You may have some difficulty loading (bending) the rod effectively when you cast. It won’t ‘feel’ right. For situations like this you may want to use a heavier line. If your rod is rated #4 you may be better choosing a #5 line.
In short it may be better to buy and carry more than one fly line; one rated for the rod and one rated a notch higher. In other words if your rod is a #4 you may need both a #4 and a #5 line.
Some fly fishers reckon line colour is very important and that garish coloured fly lines spook fish. It’s not so much that they are visible to fish from below when floating on the surface, more that they might be visible to fish when travelling through the air. It probably makes sense to us that a bright white or orange line is more visible against a dark background of trees than one of a more subdued colour.
It’s really all down to personal choice, but have you ever seen an orange heron?
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