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Affordable fly lines
Post 03 Oct 2020, 17:06 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/28/07
Posts: 943
Location: US-TX
It has been a long time since I had to buy a new line. I’m replacing an airflo super dri. It was a great line that shot well, but the tip was less buoyant than advertised.

My last purchase was under $50, so the new $100 standard is hard to swallow. What lines do you recommend in the sub $60 range? I prefer lines that are true to weight that shoot well.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 03 Oct 2020, 17:48 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 496
Location: US-CA
I really like the SA Frequency trout lines. I have used a 4 and 5 wt the last two seasons and have no complaints. The lines work well on glass and have been durable.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 03 Oct 2020, 17:50 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/25/09
Posts: 2318
Location: Livingston, MT
Ditto on the frequency Trout but the 406 Lines aren’t significantly more.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 03 Oct 2020, 18:14 • #4 
Guide
Joined: 02/18/19
Posts: 146
Location: US-ID
Hook and Hackle but their stock is low.
Barrio is great as well.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 03 Oct 2020, 19:13 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 05/02/12
Posts: 85
Location: US-CT
Spend a few dollars more and get the 406 from Tom and you won't be sorry. Well worth the 69.00 and free shipping.
tt


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 04 Oct 2020, 15:57 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/10/09
Posts: 1497
Location: US-OH
SA Frequency and Frequency Boost are available on ebay for around $35 which is considerably less than the 406. I've even found them for less than $30 at times. The 406 is a nice line, but the F and FB are very good too.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 05 Oct 2020, 10:32 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 09/21/13
Posts: 37
Location: US-VT
+1 for

SA Frequency & Orvis Clearwater
Hook & Hackle
Barrio
(Cortland has some lower priced lines as well)

Two more good options:

--Purchase second hand here or one of the other forums. You can often find brand new or barely used lines for less than 1/2 price.

--Just like clothing, buy your lines just before or after the season from big retailers like Orvis or discounters like Sierra Trading. Often some great deals to be had.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 05 Oct 2020, 15:53 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 11/16/08
Posts: 87
Location: US-NJ
I think Cortland 444 lines retail at $59.99 . To my mind they are still the best all around lines. Cortland 333 lines are also very good, I think they sell for around $40.00. SA basic Aircell lines are also good and sell, again, for around $40.00. Do a eBay search and sometimes you can find these lines for less.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 05 Oct 2020, 16:51 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5034
Location: Washington DC Region
FWIW, Bario Lines are in short supply. He is running out of a lot of his lines as he gets them in.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 07 Oct 2020, 13:59 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 188
Location: Eastern Wa
If you want a very supple WF floating line that comes in several colors and works as well as many more expensive lines go to the biggest online shopping website and type Kastking Exergy.

The line is usually $20

I have purchased 20 or more spools of this line in the last several years. I have the expensive lines too but for $20 its not a waste of money. Just give it a try and see.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 08 Oct 2020, 17:02 • #11 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17230
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
will have to say I've never fished any other floating line that shoots like Airflo since they made their change to ridge.
There are many good line tapers and coatings that cast well, but Airflo reinvented the fly line with that change.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 08 Oct 2020, 18:31 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 387
Location: US-NY
Hard to go wrong with cortland or sa. I personally have never fished a Rio line i liked. I tried airflo ridge and I'll agree it is excellent at shooting line. I fish mostly dry flies and the airflo doesn't float as high as I would like.

I bit the bullet and bought sa amplitude dt line this winter. Its the best line I ever used but right now it's dirty to the point I dont know if I could clean it. I dont think it's cracked. It actually looks dirtier on the half of the line closer to the backing which maybe makes sense because I'm more careful about cleaning the half closest to the leader.

I believe with lines you do get what you pay for but the lower cost lines are fine. A more expensive line won't make me a better caster. It will last a little longer and float a little higher though. For where and how I fish I'm willing to pay a premium for those edges.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 09 Oct 2020, 21:55 • #13 
Guide
Joined: 09/20/09
Posts: 299
Location: US-MN
Thanks all...I just ordered 2 WF 406 lines.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 11 Oct 2020, 02:42 • #14 
Sport
Joined: 04/24/18
Posts: 40
Location: Pennsylvania
I haven't seen the 406 lines in any shops. Sounds like they get good reviews. I'll have to order a couple and give them a try.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 11 Oct 2020, 08:42 • #15 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/28/07
Posts: 943
Location: US-TX
I’m curious how the 406 lines differ from the SA frequency trout lines. Both are made by SA with the same AST coating and grain weight.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 11 Oct 2020, 13:27 • #16 
Guide
Joined: 02/22/16
Posts: 205
Location: Livingston MT
Bassackwards and Penn,

Full disclosure - I'm the owner of 406 Fly Lines.

I think the main difference between SA Frequency and 406 lines is that the 406 has a longer front taper that is adjusted for the different line weights. We played with the taper lengths and this seems to be the best approach. Also the 406 has a longer tip, 20" to 24", adjusted for the different line weights.The longer tip length allows for a more gentle presentation with dries but still allows for nymphs and small streamers.

Penn - You could check our dealer list for dealers who carry 406 lines. Granted there's not a lot of them but unlike the big guys we don't take out full page ads in the fly fishing mags. We rely primarily on word of mouth to sell lines and it's hard for a small shop to take on a new company these days. We also will work with a customer to get the right line for them. If you order a WF and it doesn't work for you we can swap it for a DT or another line size or whatever we can do to make you happy. Being a small company we can be a lot more flexible and since, as you said, there's not a lot of dealers.

All that being said everyone has their own preference for lines and I'm the last one to disparage another companie's fly lines. SA and the big boys all make fine lines, it's just what works for you. I started 406 Fly Lines to find a line for the medium action glass and bamboo rods I found so appealing after becoming frustrated with the "faster is better" rods on the market.

Tom


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 11 Oct 2020, 14:15 • #17 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/12/16
Posts: 3956
Location: USA-CO
...and excellent lines they are. I have three, and highly recommend them.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 11 Oct 2020, 21:19 • #18 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/28/07
Posts: 943
Location: US-TX
Tom, thanks so much for explaining that. A lot of companies wouldn’t go into that much detail.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 12 Oct 2020, 19:41 • #19 
Guide
Joined: 11/08/05
Posts: 112
Location: BZN
I cannot say enough good things about 406 fly lines. Super happy with all aspects of performance, and I'm very picky when it comes to fly lines. I fish primarily walk and wade SW MT streams, and have used both wf and dt, from 3 thru' 5, to my great satisfaction. I'm eagerly awaiting a 406 wf6f via Dusty, to swing for runners.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 13 Oct 2020, 11:54 • #20 
Master Guide
Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 496
Location: US-CA
Tom, your lines are excellent I fish a 406 WF 4 WF 5 and they load my glass rods perfectly. They work exceptionally well on Livingston, Orvis and North Fork Composite rods.

Lanny


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 13 Oct 2020, 12:51 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2140
Location: Georgia
I agree on the 406 lines. The intention to match our glass rods has been well executed.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 26 Jan 2021, 20:34 • #22 
New Member
Joined: 12/16/12
Posts: 17
Location: US-VA
I just picked up an SA Aircell for $20, pretty decent line especially for the cost.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 27 Jan 2021, 07:24 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 3136
Location: US-MN
Burns, I picked up a couple of Aircel lines during the past year and fished them a lot. I'm still trying to figure out why I shouldn't like them as much as my more expensive lines, but then I'm not too picky. Maybe they won't stand the test of time, but after one season, I was very happy.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 27 Jan 2021, 08:55 • #24 
New Member
Joined: 12/16/12
Posts: 17
Location: US-VA
That’s great to hear. I haven’t fished mine much so I don’t have a final verdict, but I can at least say that’s it seems like a good quality line.


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Re: Affordable fly lines
Post 27 Jan 2021, 17:46 • #25 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/14
Posts: 819
Location: central AR
I am a fan of aircel lines. They were premium lines when most of my rods were new, and made for glass rods. They work great and can be found fairly cheap. What’s not to love :) :)


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