by Guide Blog


Best Entry Level Fly Line – Affordable

RIO is one of the top ‘ globally recognized’ brand names in our sport. Famous for developing & manufacturing high-end specialist lines to deliver a fly in various challenging conditions. Rio has used this incredible manufacturing knowledge to produce the best entry level fly lines. They offer superb performance, build quality and exceptional value for money!

The Mainstream Fly Line range has been produced to suit all our needs and at an exceptional & very affordable £39.99! These workhorses are all-encompassing fly lines typical of RIO. Where investment, development, and testing have been paramount to get the type of product that the company can put its name to.

With a fly line being the vehicle needed to get your fly or flies where you want them to go, you must make the correct choice. Get the line choice wrong, and the rod doesn’t load, and you can’t get the flies out. Worse it can go the other way, the line overloads the rod and to such an extent that your casting becomes near impossible!

Best Entry Level Fly Line – High-Performance 

These Mainstream Fly Lines are incredible, technically fly lines offering exceptional performance characteristics and superior production techniques, as you’d expect from RIO. Add the affordability of the range into the equation, and it’s easy to see why they are a guaranteed hit with the fly fishing fraternity!

What’s pretty awesome with these lines is that they are marginally heavier (apart from the Double Tapers’s) they also feature a short, punchy, front taper. This combination of characteristics allows anglers of all abilities to load the rod quickly. And, more importantly, get the line out and deliver the fly exactly where it needs to go. It also enables the caster to achieve better distance, massively aids turnover and helps power your offering into the wind.

A picture of the box of RIO Mainstream Best Entry Level Fly Line

Best Entry Level Fly Line – Mainstream Floating Lines

RIO Mainstream Floating lines are slick and cast exceptionally well, shooting through the rod ring with ease. They feature a subtle, self-lubricating system that ensures that they perform on every occasion. They are also constructed in a way that makes them pretty much memory-free, even in cold water. There’s nothing worse than a line with memory hampering the whole fishing process.

Distance is easily achieved, and the presentation offered is superior to most fly lines. They lie straight and true, high up on the surface for you to present your flies the way you want to. I love them for nymphing, dries, and also the bung.

Best Entry Level Fly Line – Mainstream Sink-Tip & Intermediate

The Sink Tip is a neat addition to this series, allowing anglers to anchor their flies in windy conditions while retaining the exact control you’d achieve with a floating line. This line is excellent for nymphs on any venue, allowing that subsurface presentation and bedding in that lets us fish our flies so much more effectively.

Intermediates are smooth and great to work with; I’d be using this clear fly line as my go-to for most of my smaller stillwater fishing, great for single fly use or fishing a team of flies later on in the year a little higher in the water. I also love the fact that I can keep my flies travelling in a level plain with a fast retrieve, great when the trout want to chase.

Best Entry Level Fly Line – Mainstream Sinkers

The sinkers are superb, proper workhorse lines that get the fly down where you want them fast and without any fuss. I also find them relatively tangle-free. This is a real bonus, especially for any competition angler, no tangles mean more fishing time.

They come in two densities, sink 3, which is your medium sinker, probably the favourite of many boat anglers, as this line sees more use than any other through the year. It allows a good spread of depth coverage. Depending on the speed of retrieve, ideal for lures, but also the washing line. Using a booby on the point, and smaller, more nymphy patterns on the droppers. It’s an excellent line for bigger flies, things like Snakes, Humungus and Minkies.

The Sink 6 is a rarity that provides the option for deep water work when casting a full line and allowing it to sink. Making it ideal for early spring and late summer. I’d be looking to pull lures on this line, Blob on the dropper, Booby on the point covering different depths. It also works very well when fishing flies high up in the water on windy days. Cast short, as you would with wet flies, and lift the rod tip pulling the flies just under the surface. To me, this is one of the most underrated boat fishing techniques out there. Certainly one of the most effective in a big wind! If you fish a lot of sinking lines, then have a read at our RIO Fathom Sinking line review here.

Best Entry Level Fly Line – Mainstream Double Taper Floaters

I find the Double Taper floating lines to be an absolute joy to use. I often seek them out when I need a more delicate approach. They come into their own when nymphing at close quarters, something I tend to do a lot of when targeting deep water close in. But of course, it’s the dry fly fishing where these lines excel. They are accurate and land on the water with the minimum fuss. Allowing us to get closer to fool tricky fish in flat calm conditions!

Being a double taper, they offer us more longevity too. When one end starts to underperform, take off and re-spool, so the good end is at the front, nice and easy!

Best Entry Level Fly Line – Conclusion

All the Rio Mainstream fly lines are 80ft long, an ideal length for boat and bank fishing situations. 

The floating line comes with a neat, bulletproof, welded loop on the business end so you can change leaders quick and efficiently; it’s also a little additional buoyancy at the tip, where you need it. The super-smooth loop also enables easier line travel through the air and the water.

For sinking lines, you are required to attach your own loop to the front end. A nice touch, as most of us like a coloured sleeve on our braided loop. Used as an indicator if you like to track the end of the line up through the water. You can choose the colour of the sleeve that suits, red for me. This is a great visual aid, especially when lifting those sinkers to fish your flies on the hang. Watch for any movement on that coloured sleeve, if it moves, it’s a trout…deadly!

Nice one RIO!

Steve Cullen Fly Fishing

Steve Cullen YouTube Channel

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