To help better explain the types of fly lines to use we must first explain the different conditions you might run into. Every year the water levels in the Amazon rise and fall anywhere from 5 to 20 feet in elevation. Our operation is set up to have our anglers fish in ideal conditions but it is best to be prepared for anything. If you are there and the water is low, you will be spending a lot of your time fishing in pretty shallow water near points, inlets or around structure that appears as the water levels drop below the jungle line. There are still areas that have steep banks or river channels that will require a deeper presentation. So having a couple of rods rigged up with different fly lines puts you in position to cover most situations.
Having the correct fly line is important on any fly fishing trip. Fly lines are built with a core and a coating. In warm climates that have warm water it is much better to use a line that has Tropical attributes in the core and coating. This keeps the line from getting soft and hard to cast. When this happens the line can also pick up more dirt from the deck of the boat and even start to get tacky.
Note: Most major fly line companies offer fly lines with a Tropical Coating.
There are three main types of fly lines that are a must on a Peacock Bass fishing trip.
A floating line is the obvious choice for casting poppers and topwater flies. It is also possible that you will need to fish unweighted streamers with a floating line in very shallow water around tree stumps and other types of structure that will make it necessary to stay right on the surface.
Note: Scientific Anglers Mastery Jungle Titan WF-F and Rio Tropical Outbound Short Floating lines are the two to look at.
An intermediate sink line or better yet an intermediate tip with a floating running line should be your go-to fly line. An intermediate line sinks very slow and should allow you to fish in 1-6 feet of water very effectively with an unweighted fly. You can still get into deeper water with this line using flies that are weighted with something like dumbbell eyes although not as easy to cast. If your intermediate line has a floating running line it will make it way easier to re-cast half way in, if necessary. Scenario – you have made a 60 foot cast up against the bank and you are about half way back to the boat with your line. A huge explosion occurs back up against the shore and you can see a monster Peacock chasing bait in shallow water. A floating running line should allow you to immediately pick up your line and re-cast. If the entire intermediate line sinks you will not be able to do this nearly as quick which could result in a missed opportunity.
Note: Rio’s Tropical Outbound Short F/I is the best casting line for this situation. It has a 15 foot intermediate clear shooting head and a Blue intermediate running line with a Tropical core. Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan Jungle Clear Tip is also a good line but I like the way the Rio Line Sinks much better. The Sonar Saltwater Intermediate sink more like the Rio line but over line it by one rod weight if you purchase this one.
A fast Sinking line also can be important. There will ultimately be situations where it will be necessary to get your flies into deeper water. There are two distinct ways to get your flies into deeper water. You can use your intermediate line and a fast sinking or weighted fly or you can use a fast sinking line and an unweighted fly which is much easier to cast. If you use this set-up you can cast your unweighted fly into shallow water say up against a steep bank. Your fly line should sink faster than your fly. The end result is your line will form a belly and allow you to retrieve your fly down into the deeper water away from the bank. This is a great way to approach deeper lagoons or water with some current. It can also be effective in the middle of the day when the sun is high.
Note: Rio’s new Tropical Outbound Short Fast Sinking Line and Scientific Anglers Sonar Jungle Custom Tip are both great choices.