Cabela's Prestige Plus Fly Line Double Tapered 2wt- A Review
What Is A Double Tapered Fly Line?
As the name implies, a double tapered fly line is tapered at both ends of the line. Typically the first seven feet of the line is tapered before meeting the body of the line. The body of the line retains the same thickness until meeting the back of the line where it is again tapered in the same dimensions as the front.
Why Fish A Tapered Line?
A tapered line emphasizes a quiet presentation. Since the body of the line is heavier, it propels the fly line forward while the tapered end, being lighter, trails behind the body in a loop. As the line extends and straightens out, the tapered line gently plies across the water and places the fly delicately on the surface of the water. Fly fishers fishing in clear, placid water with spooky fish typically rely on the tapered fly line because this line minimizes surface disturbance. Television commercials often feature a fly fisher casting a double tapered line because the line is so graceful. The tapered line is also traditional. The first fly lines were made of braided horsehair and tapered near the front as they approached and tied on to the fly. Izaac Walton, in The Complete Angler goes into fair detail on constructing/braiding a horse hairline. The Complete Angler was written in 1653! Modern tapered lines are tapered at both ends (hence the name double tapered). The thought behind this design is that if you damage or wear out one end, you can place the worn end on the fly reel's spool and fish the other end of the line.
Why A Two Weight Line?
A two weight fly rod is not common. It is a small rod designed for small fish. I currently have a weight forward line on my 2wt fly rod. I've noticed eddies in the water from fleeing fish when I cast on windstill days and the surface of the lake is like a mirror. Clearly, the line is spooking the fish. I though perhaps a tapered line would help the presentation.
Why Cabela's Prestige Plus?
Selection of 2wt fly lines from manufacturers is limited. I went with Cabela's Prestige Plus for the following reasons:
- The line is half a weight heavier than the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturer's Association (AFTMA) rating for a 2wt. I typically like to fish one line heavier than the fly rod; however, wanting to keep the fly presentation delicate, I was hesitant to go with a larger, 3wt line. This line at half a weight heavier seemed like a good compromise.
- The line is a common color in an aquatic environment - green. I am in the camp that believes that bright, unnatural line colors spook the fish.
- The line was inexpensive at $40.00. Actually, Cabela's sells a similar line, the Prestige, for $30.00. I would have purchased it, but it was only available in orange.
Inside The Box
The line tips are very narrow. As listed in the specifications, after the first foot the taper begins and eventually meets the body of the line. The front of the line has a welded loop. Generally, I don't like welded loops and cut them off. My first inclination was to tie the welded loop onto the reel backing and use the back end of the fly line as the front end. It is, after all, a double tapered line and should allow this. However, the loop was really small so for now I've opted to keep it and fish the line the way the manufacturer intended.
The line length is 70 feet. Tapered lines are not designed for distance casting and since you can use both ends of the line, 70 feet is more than adequate for a 2wt fly rod.
The color is a mint green. This seems like a good color in terms of aquatic vegetation and visibility for the fly fisher.
Okay, I must confess that the last time I cast a doubled tapered line was in 1985. I was curious to experience the results. The first time out was a bit windy and resulted in more waves than I wanted (see video). Despite the waves, the presentation was very subtle. Loading was easy and the line shot through the eyelets well. Granted, I could not get the distance as a weight forward line and casting on a windy day can be difficult to determine typical distance, but I would say 35 feet was a reasonable expectation. The line cast poorly against the wind and in a crosswind. I tried several flies to include a brass bead-headed size 14 nymph and a foam popper on a size 10 hook. Both really did not hinder the performance of the line. The line was remarkably straight after the cast - very impressive. Flotation was excellent. I suspect that because the line is tapered at the front, it disturbed less of the water's surface during the retrieve. At least for this rod - which was a full flex rod, the half weight higher line resulted in just the right weight to have a balanced system.
I can see keeping this line on a spare spool when fishing lakes. My preference would to use a weight forward line to get better distance. However, during calm weather, the double tapered line would be a good option in terms of being less intrusive.
Cabela's Prestige Plus double tapered fly line is worth consideration for purchase if you are in the market. The casting performance is acceptable. The lack of memory in the line is most impressive and flotation good. I would probably match the line weight with the rod size, at least on a rod size five or less, to achieve a balanced system.
Granted, this analysis was after only one outing. I plan to give the line another six months of use to determine its performance and hopefully capture some video casting on smooth water for an updated review.