Tale of the Taper

One reason for the plethora of fly lines that are on the market today is the high number of specialized tapers within each line weight. The following table offers examples of just a portion of the tapers available in the 8-weight saltwater market. Remember: In general the longer the taper, the more line you can control in the air, the shorter the taper, the easier it is to cast quickly at close targets.Manufacturer Front Taper1 Belly Rear Taper Total Head
Airflo Cold Saltwater 7.0 28.0 4.0 39.0
Airflo Bonefish 7.0 26.0 4.0 37.0
Airflo Tarpon 7.0 27.0 4.0 38.0
Cortland Tropic Plus LAZERLine 7.0 27.0 7.0 41.0
Cortland 444SL Saltwater 6.0 20.0 6.0 32.0
Monic Tropical Clear 5.0 20.0 5.0 30.0
Monic All-Weather Floating 5.0 20.0 5.0 30.0
Orvis Bonefish Wonderline 5.5 26.5 10.0 42.0
Orvis Redfish Wonderline 4.0 23.0 3.0 30.0
Orvis Striper Wonderline 5.5 26.5 10.0 42.0
RIO Saltwater3
RIO Powerflex Bonefish 7.0 28.5 9.0 45.0
RIO Bonefish 7.0 28.5 9.0 45.0
RIO Powerflex QuickShooter 4.5 23.0 3.0 31.0
RIO QuickShooter 4.5 23.0 3.0 3.0
SA Mastery Saltwater 5.5 26.5 10.0 42.0
SA Mastery Bonefish 5.5 26.5 10.0 42.0
SA Mastery WindMaster 5.0 5.0 35.0 45.0
SA Ultra 3 Bass/Saltwater 4.0 23.0 3.0 30.0
SA Ultra 3 Bonefish 4.0 23.0 3.0 30.0
Teeny Flip Pallot 4.0 23.0 3.0 30.0
         
Manufacturer Running Line Core Type Preferred Climate
Airflo Cold Saltwater 65.0 Monofilament Cool to temperate
Airflo Bonefish 52.0 Monofilament Tropic
Airflo Tarpon 66.0 Monofilament Tropic
Cortland Tropic Plus LAZERLine 63.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic
Cortland 444SL Saltwater 72.5 Braided Monofilament Tropic to temperate
Monic Tropical Clear 60.0 Monofilament Tropic/Completely clear
Monic All-Weather Floating 70.0 Gel spun polyethylene All weather/no stretch
Orvis Bonefish Wonderline 62.5 Braided Monofilament Tropic
Orvis Redfish Wonderline 74.5 Braided Monofilament Tropic to temperate
Orvis Striper Wonderline 62.5 Braided Monofilament Temperate
RIO Saltwater3 Monofilament or Braided Monofilament Monocore for tropic; Multifiament core for temperate
RIO Powerflex Bonefish 55.0 Hard Monofilament Tropic
RIO Bonefish 55.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic
RIO Powerflex QuickShooter 69.0 Hard Monofilament Tropic
RIO QuickShooter 69.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic
SA Mastery Saltwater 58.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic to temperate
SA Mastery Bonefish 58.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic
SA Mastery WindMaster 45.0 Braided Multifilament Tropic to temperate
SA Ultra 3 Bass/Saltwater 65.0 Braided Multifilament Tropic to temperate
SA Ultra 3 Bonefish 69.5 Braided Monofilament Tropic
Teeny Flip Pallot 45.0 Braided Monofilament Tropic

1 Tip lengths, which typically vary from 4 to 12 inches, were not included in the table. The relative power of the front end of the line - its ability to turn over larger flies - is a function of not only the length of the front taper, but also the line's tip diameter (and thus mass). Within the SA lines, for instance, the WindMaster's front end is the most powerful (i.e., best suited to turning over bulky flies), the two Ultra 3 lines are intermediate, and the Mastery Saltwater and Bonefish lines' front ends are least powerful (i.e., more suited to presenting moderate-sized flies).
2 The overall head length is indicative of the casting range the line will work best in - generally, a longer head is designed for aerializing and casting greater line lengths.
3 The RIO Saltwater Line has a compound taper consisting of a 4.7-foot bullet taper, a 19-foot body, a 7-foot (larger diameter) rear body, a 4-foot rear taper and 64.5 feet of running line.