Taper Design Fundamentals
Innovations that you can feel with every cast
How a fly line is shaped determines its performance through the air, with the line's taper affecting how energy is transmitted and dissipated. Varying the lengths and diameters of the various parts of the fly line (shown at right) allows us to control this energy, resulting in accentuated performance characteristics for specific types of fly fishing. It's a system that Scientific Anglers has both pioneered and perfected.
Fly Line Front Taper
Tip diameter and front taper length determine how a fly is delivered
Longer front tapers dissipate energy for more delicate presentations
Shorter front tapers transfer more energy from the belly to the tip for powerful turnover
Fly Line Belly
The section with the greatest diameter, the belly also carries the majority of the casting energy.
- Longer bellies increase casting distance and accuracy
- Shorter bellies shoot better and cast faster, but sacrifice accuracy
Fly Line Rear Taper
Rear taper length determines how smoothly you can cast.
- Longer rear tapers transmit energy smoothly to the belly for increased distance and control
- Shorter rear tapers put the running line in the guides more quickly for faster casts
Fly Line Tip
The level front end section of line, typically six inches long.
- The tip allows you to change leaders without shortening the front taper and thus altering the way the line casts
Fly Line Head
The head – formed by the front taper, belly, and rear taper – dictates the effective casting and control range of a line.
- Short heads cast quickly, but can sacrifice distance
- Long heads offer more long-range control, but can require more false casting to clear the head from the rod
This section helps make distance casting easier.
- Running lines are lightweight, which permits the energy stored in the line's head to pull the running line through the guides during casting
- The smaller diameter of the running line also creates less friction in the guides, which promotes longer casts