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Bass Bug Line
Post 22 Aug 2022, 19:53 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 07/31/22
Posts: 31
Location: North Alabama
I’m currently looking at floating line options for my Shakespeare Wonderglass FY-200. I primarily use this rod stream fishing for spotted and smallmouth bass. Right now I’m using a 7wt (185 grain) AirCel line and am looking at the 210 grain Scientific Angler Bass Bug line and a 185 grain Cortland Hi-Vis Flip. I mostly throw poppers and Game Changers and the longest cast I usually have is less than 50 with most of my casting being less than 40. I also may add a longer 6wt to the quiver for fishing out of my canoe in the future and this line will be used on this rod also. Does anyone have any experience with these lines or have another suggestion?


[I edited out the inaccurate line weights. A 6 weight line weighs between 152 and 168 grains. It doesn't matter what the manufacturer states on the box. A 210 grain line is an 8 weight. A 185 grain line is a 7 weight. Please, if the manufacturer mislabeled the line, just list the grain weight. Tom]


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 22 Aug 2022, 22:03 • #2 
Guide
Joined: 07/21/21
Posts: 326
Location: Florida
I like that line a lot in 8wt on my FF85 (7-8-9). Throws big deer hair bugs like the Umpqua Fruit Cocktail with authority. Also roll casts really well.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 22 Aug 2022, 22:09 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2438
Location: Georgia
I have an SA Mastery bass bug 6wt and like it. Really, the only drawback I’d mention is that on flowing water, when I might want to let the fly go downstream, I seem to get behind the taper quicker than expected and loose mend control. Casts, 40-50 ft, it handles poppers well, and responds nicely to aerial mends.
Mostly wading, for whatever that’s worth.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 06:49 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18347
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
lines get harder to figure out every year.
Between the two, I would pick the Cortland for one main reason, though I like the color of the double-belly SA line better.
The double belly and extra grain weight may overload the rod tip.
I fish this rod with a T-130, and it shoots the lighter line really well.
I had better edit and add, the rod also does nicely with the heavier T-200.

When I went through the exercise of picking a line for CGR 7/8, 3-stroke cast sitting in a kayak, Cortland Salt Guide taper 7-wt pretty much duplicates that SA double-belly taper, including the same grain weight in a one-size-heavier line.

If you want to test how the SA line would load on your rod, take a short leader (or just a short piece of mono) on your 7-wt Air Cel and add a 1/16 oz jig to it.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 23 Aug 2022, 08:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 07:05 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 02/27/12
Posts: 206
Location: US-AR
Here lately the fly line alphabet soup has been hard to decipher. A bass bug line is one of the main lines in my kit. I have been using the Rio Smallmouth bass fly line, and have been very happy with it. It is a half line size heavier but seems to have a lively feel to it. I tend to favor SA lines, but after looking at a number of SA lines that are rated for bass bug or payload style fishing I realized, many of them are almost two lines sizes heavier in grain weight than the weight class printed on the box. This tends to dissuade me from purchasing. I am aware that most folks are not fishing glass and rods that require the line weight designated on the rod, but a 6wt line with the grain weight of an 8wt is a bit extreme for me. Isn't that just an 8wt?


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 07:31 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2154
Location: US-IL
I agree Mike.I have been trying to get a 6wt rod to throw slightly smaller bass bugs but to no avail.The line has to be able to not only carry the payload but push the wind resistant bug.It just ain't happening Smaller bugs or bigger rods are my only choice .All my shorter 6wts Phillipson GC Browning Silaflex etc just get overloaded by the supposedly 6wt Bass bug lines .
..


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 08:57 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/16/08
Posts: 3470
Location: Upstate-NY
I use a Cortland 333 for Bass/warmwater.
Woks fine, tapered/weighted "traditionally", and isnt very expensive.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 08:59 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2438
Location: Georgia
Good points raised about the rod used. I don’t have any experience with that Wonderglass, and have happily used the SA 6wt with rods having a “recommended rating” of both 6 & 7 wt. Fast graphite 6, ********* 897, FF80-4, Phillipson blank 8’ 6/7, and FF807 come to mind.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 11:14 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/05/06
Posts: 1873
Location: US-PA
Matt:

I have NO experience with either line you mentioned however…

…my favorite “bass bug” line of all time is the long discontinued Cortland 333 Bass Line. I still have one that I use occasionally. That being said you might want to look at the new Cortland “Bass” line.

Another option is the Rio “Smallmouth” line. I use it on my primary 6wt smallmouth rod that isn’t glass or slow. I chose it after long discussions with the folks at Rio & Sci Anglers about how I planned to fish with it and the size flies I use for smallmouth (smaller poppers and not heavily weighted streamers).

I absolutely love it!!

Both of these line choices are two toned, not something I wasn't particularly fond of at first, but it really helps me to dial in the loading point for certain flies so it is just pick-up, load and let it fly.

Another option if you don’t want something overly aggressive is a Rio Gold.

Good luck!


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 11:38 • #10 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18347
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
The old 333 Salt Rocket taper, I have in a 9-wt, and it's an excellent line.
Might even be worth checking Cortland Factory Store for their closeouts.
Another place I always check before buying a line is MRFC closeouts.
My favorite Rio Redfish taper for wade-fishing came from there.
Sierra Trading Post might also be worth a check.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 13:20 • #11 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/05/14
Posts: 675
Location: North Alabama
I use the bass bug line on my glass 6,7, and 8wts. But I also have a few other 6wts that prefer the mpx taper. And normally I'm throwing hairbugs or craws.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 14:50 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2154
Location: US-IL
I think I have a Cortland Bass Bug line 8/9 weight that I fish on a GC Bass Bug rod.It is a late GC rod as it has a glass sleeved ferrule .It too is rated as 8\9.Really the best looking GC rod I have.It is truly a bass big rod.The only rod I can throw almost the whole line even with a really big popper but wears me out after a while.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 17:23 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2204
Location: South of Joplin
Level lines work best for me, #6 is most often used. but uplining is always an option, Any front taper seems to me to defeat the need for force at the fly, as do tapered leaders or long leaders. I have used rocket tapers and have an old #9 "Gary Borger Bass" line that that I've used on a dozen different rods, about twice that many times in 30? years, it works fine but I don't need it and the added mass is just added work.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 18:27 • #14 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18347
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Except when you're sitting in a kayak and you expect the 3rd stroke to put the fly out 70'


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 20:27 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2204
Location: South of Joplin
How does the reduction in mass (taper) near the tip help with that, Ron? I've always thought reducing the mass through taper dissipated the energy/line speed/force available at the leader and was used to accomplish soft landings for dry flies? Wouldn't increasing the mass of the line in use near the leader work better in the kayak scenario?
Or do I misunderstand your post/


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 22:05 • #16 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18347
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
A 3' front taper is completely insignificant, versus a line like my Rio Redfish with a 9' front taper. If it's a problem, don't use a leader.
(Where I use my Rio Redfish line, the 9' front taper is a presentation advantage - noteworthy, Rio Redfish simply doesn't work on CGR 7/8, but neither that line nor CGR 7/8 are the thread topic).
What matters is getting the full belly out of the rod on the 2nd stroke, then shooting running line on the 3rd stroke.
A level line doesn't have running line.

You like turning over line. The topic of this thread is shooting line.
All the lines he's asking about have a belly under 30'


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 23 Aug 2022, 23:08 • #17 
New Member
Joined: 03/02/18
Posts: 20
Location: US-IL
I fish a lot for smallies and largemouth and really like SA Frequency lines, a good value for the dollar. Both the Frequency Magnum and Boost lines are sized one half step up and will toss any of my poppers or articulated streamers with no problem.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 24 Aug 2022, 11:25 • #18 
Sport
Joined: 07/31/22
Posts: 31
Location: North Alabama
bulldog1935 wrote:
The old 333 Salt Rocket taper, I have in a 9-wt, and it's an excellent line.
Might even be worth checking Cortland Factory Store for their closeouts.
Another place I always check before buying a line is MRFC closeouts.
My favorite Rio Redfish taper for wade-fishing came from there.
Sierra Trading Post might also be worth a check.


Thanks for tip on MRFC and Sierra. Does the Cortland Factory Store have a website? I didn’t see anything when I looked them up.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 24 Aug 2022, 11:48 • #19 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18347
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
you're right, it doesn't link through their website any more.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 25 Aug 2022, 07:34 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2944
Location: Orygun
Just to throw another option your way....I've been using the Airflo Streamer Float for bass bugs this year and it has been working better than anything else I've ever used. I'm fishing the 7wt on my BAG 7wt, Fisher 6/7 and Gowdy 6/7 and it even works great on my Steffen 7/8 (I normally like shooting heads for that rod to be 250-300gr). It's 220gr at 30'. YMMV.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 25 Aug 2022, 11:26 • #21 
New Member
Joined: 04/18/20
Posts: 18
One option that seemed to pair well with my Barclay 777 was the SA Mastery Grand Slam 7wt, is not way over-weighted and the Tropi-Core gives the line a little extra stiffness that really turns the flies over well. It also helps with the Texas heat during the summer. This line is becoming my favorite Bass Bug line.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 25 Aug 2022, 14:46 • #22 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4796
Location: US-MT
I have a couple of Bass Bug" lines. They have never been my favorites. Thinking about it, I did have an Orvis 9wt BB line I wore out using it on a FF98 years ago.

Ron, unless I missed it, I don't see anything about "shooting line" in the op's post. Does mention something about "most of my casting being less than 40ft


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 26 Aug 2022, 04:13 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2204
Location: South of Joplin
Thanks for that explanation, Ron.
My reading is getting bad with age. I guess I thought the question was about lines used for stream smallmouth at less than 40', kinda what I do a lot. I should have said that no WF, BB, or Rocket line has ever made that as easy for me as a level line.
You are right though, I never thought about shooting line at that distance.
@Matt, just disregard anything I've said here, sorry for jacking your thread.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 26 Aug 2022, 12:35 • #24 
Sport
Joined: 07/31/22
Posts: 31
Location: North Alabama
SanGabe wrote:
One option that seemed to pair well with my Barclay 777 was the SA Mastery Grand Slam 7wt, is not way over-weighted and the Tropi-Core gives the line a little extra stiffness that really turns the flies over well. It also helps with the Texas heat during the summer. This line is becoming my favorite Bass Bug line.


I like the idea of a line suited for warmer weather. I’ve got a stiffer line on my 8wt that I really like, but it’s bought it from the closeout bin and I can’t remember what kind it is lol.


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Re: Bass Bug Line
Post 26 Aug 2022, 12:55 • #25 
Guide
Joined: 07/21/21
Posts: 326
Location: Florida
Take a look at the Cortland 444 Tropical in 6WT , loads my FF856 nicely and has handled size 4 poppers well. Good price also usually you can find it around $40.


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