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How to choose a line weight for flyfishing.

How to choose a line weight for flyfishing.

As an analogy, there is no one golf club that will get you through a full round easily... and flyfishing isn't dissimilar. So, we select an appropriate line weight that will suit the majority of situations we're likely to fish.

In choosing a line weight, you might think it would come down to the size of fish we want to catch; but it doesn't at all. You can catch just as big a fish on a 6 weight as you can on a 3 weight. The most important thing to consider is the weight of the fly (or rig) you want to cast. For example, if you're fishing a big river in New Zealand, you might have a large indicator with two bead head nymphs on the end. That's considered a substantial amount of weight (and air resistance) to cast on a 3, 4 or even 5 weight line. So for that, we'd opt for a 6 weight as the ideal line weight. What follows is a summary to divide the common line weights for trout and help you choose.

4 Weight Outfit

If all you fished was Aussie rivers and you wanted one rod that could do pretty much all of it, this is it. The 4 weight is light enough that you can fish a tiny dry fly with delicacy, but if you wish to throw a hopper, or a bushy dry fly with a nymph underneath, you can. What it can't do is cast a big streamer, or cope with a lot of wind in exposed valleys or lakes... and so for that you'd ideally bump up a line size or two...

5 Weight Outfit

The most popular line weight the world over, a 5 weight has the power to make learning to cast easy, and allows you to fish bigger rivers and lakes. If you're just starting out, this would be the minimum weight we'd suggest starting with. With a 5, you'll be able to get the fly where it needs to be to catch fish, sooner than if you start with something lighter. A 5 weight is ideal for casting a bit of weight or an air resistant indicator and it can cope well in wind. It's not the ideal choice, but it can be used for the majority of lake fishing as well. A true all-rounder.

6 Weight Outfit

We recommend a 6 for quick, accurate casting on lakes, fishing streamers, for bigger rivers where we might be fishing heavy nymphs, and for fishing in windy places like Tassie or New Zealand. A 6 weight is also perfect for fishing from a boat if that's your jam. If you could pick one line weight to learn to cast with, the 6 weight is the one... but equally it's a rod that will see a lot of fishing, as trout seem to love windy places...!

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