In this post, I’m going to list the best 8wt fly line on the market today as well as some key features to look out for when purchasing in the 8 weight range.

An 8wt line is often an underutilized size. It also seems like people would prefer to throw a 7wt or a 9wt. Which in unfortunate because the best 8wt fly line can be used for many different types of fishing.

This can be a great line for use in freshwater or saltwater. The strength will allow you to get bigger flies out to where fish and are feeding as well as bring in those big fish to the boat.

So, below we cover some different 8wt lines as well as go into depth on what the best fly line for an 8 weight.

Looking for an 8-weight set-up?

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When to use an 8wt Fly Line

The best 8wt fly line is going to be very versatile. You could just as easily take it out on a river and target smallmouth, or pike. If you prefer saltwater then you can chase tarpon, redfish, or snook.

Tarpon Fly Fishing in Costa Rica
An enormous Tarpon. You’ll have a hard time reeling this size fish in on an 8wt!

As long as you’re not throwing delicate flies to trout or small fish then an 8wt can be used for just about anything you want.

Understanding 8wt Fly Line Tapers

There are many different types of taper for fly lines. Each of them plays a role in how your fly can be cast and is presented to a fish. So it’s important to know what you’re getting. Below, we cover the four basic tapers.

Weight Forward Fly Line (WF)

The WF taper is the best fly fishing line for an 8 weight if you want to throw larger flies to fish. The heavier front end all rows for easy fly and leader turnover which lets you put the fly exactly where you want it to be.

Double Taper (DT)

The double taper allowed for a lighter touch when casting. So if you need to delicately place a popper on top of the water then the DT will be ideal for you. Otherwise, it’s not that great as casting int the wind.

Fly Fishing Technique Casting

Level Taper (LT)

The level taper should only be used in very specific circumstances. It’s not an ideal line for someone who needs to use it in a bunch of different circumstances.

Shooting Taper (ST)

A shooting taper is ideal when fishing in big water or in water that you’ve never been before. You’ll be able to cast further and get your fly moving to try and locate fish.

Length of 8 Weight Fly Line

Most spools of fl line will be around 100 feet. This is long enough to bring in most fish so no need to add more line than comes with the spool.

If you’re really concerned just get another 100 feet of backing put on your reel. That was if something does spool you you’ll have the ability to keep fighting.

Features of the Best 8 Weight Fly Fishing Lines

The best 8wt fly fishing line is going to all you to fish however you want. This is where you have to look at the features of the line to see which one is going to throw the flies you like best.

Madison River Fly Fishing

Below, we cover four different features that you should consider when purchasing 8wt line. Each has its own pros and cons so think carefully before purchasing.

Saltwater Vs. Freshwater

You can technically use freshwater line in saltwater, but they’re both made to perform best in their home water. A freshwater line will have a larger diameter which helps improve flotation.

Saltwater line is made with a smaller diameter. This helps to cast in the wind. On top of this many saltwater, line cores are very stiff to hold up to tropical weather.

Floating, Sinking, Sink Tip

The best floating 8 weight fly line is great for throwing poppers, large topwater bug flies, or shallow streamers. They can even work when throwing shallow crab flies, or crawfish flies.

If you want to get down deep though then you need to get the best sinking 8 weight fly line or the best sinking tip 8 weight fly line. These will pull your line down to the strike zone where the fish are feeding.

Temperature Control

When fishing in cold rivers or in hot tropical weather you’ll need a line that can hold up to the extreme temperatures.

That’s where temperature control comes into play. A line made for warm weather will not work as well in cold water situations. It will not cast as well and lead to breaks in the line.

Specialty Lines

Once you get up top 8wt lines you’ll notice that there is a lot of different types. Not everything is WF, DT, or ST. You’ll see lines made specifically for bonefish, bass, redfish, or tarpon.

Different Types of Fly Fishing Lines on Reels

That’s because these being fish need big flies, and those lines are made to throw those flies that attract those fish. So if you plan on only fishing for bass or redfish, then look for a specialty line for those types of species.

Best 8wt Fly Line in 2020

Now you know all the basics of what to look for in the perfect 8wt fly line, so now it’s time to list the best ones on the market.

The below fly lines are based on all of the criteria above, as well as my personal preference.

Rio Gold

The Rio Gold WF8F has a great tapered design that gives the angler good loop stability as well as being able to cast long distances.  Have the confidence to throw just about any fly you think of with this line.

This is a great all-around fly line. Use this to throw streamers to trout and smallmouth, or topwater poppers to largemouth.  This line is ideal for anglers at every level of fishing experience.

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Croch WF Line

The Croch WF8F Line is a great fly line for the angler who happens to be on a budget. Coming in at only thirteen dollars you’ll be able to afford a fly line and some more gear that you need.

This line is meant to cover all the aspects needed for trout fishing as well as other freshwater fish. Throw big streamers, or bottom feeders effectively.

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Piscifun Sword

The Piscifun Sword WF-8F line also comes in sizes 1-10. So if it turns out you really like this brand don’t hesitate in outfitting your other reels with it.

This is a well-designed line and is great for trout use, but can also be used effectively when chasing other freshwater species.

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Conclusion

8wt fly line is very versatile. You would be surprised at how many different techniques and fish can be caught using it.

With the information above you hopefully now have a better understanding on what an 8wt line is and how to use it. So there’s only one thing left to do. Head on out to your local fly shop and pick some up!

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The Best 8 Weight Fly LineGuide To The Best 8 Weight Fly Line