For many, the most confusing aspect of fly fishing is choosing the proper fly line. The fish, fishing conditions and your preferred type of fishing all need to be considered when you’re purchasing a fly line. As a result, this process can become overwhelming.
While there are several companies that are well-known for their fly lines, Snowbee has found a place within the market by providing anglers with quality lines for a lower price. Depending on your line preference, Snowbee has an option available for you.
Table of Contents
I’ve found myself confused on several occasions when choosing a fly line. Since I target many types of fish, I’ve had to do my research to truly learn what’s best for me. The market starts to make sense once you spend enough time learning, but Snowbee has made it simple enough for even me to understand.
With that in mind, I made it my mission to test a variety of Snowbee fly lines. I’ve used them in fresh water, salt water, still water, and moving water. I’ve used them on cold windy days, scorching hot days, and everything in between. I can happily say that I’ve landed quite a lot of fish on them too.
In this article, I’ll tell you all about my personal experience with Snowbee fly lines, their features, and the scenarios each of them work best in.
Disclaimer: IntoFlyFishing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Privacy Page for more information.
Who Is Snowbee?
Snowbee is a fly fishing company that started in England and has begun to make their products known in the United States. They’re best known for their waders, but anglers can purchase everything from rods and reels to apparel and fly line.
They’re a one-stop shop for everything fly angling. I’ve been a fan of their waders for years, and I’ve since become an enthusiastic user of their rods and, of course, fly lines.
Types of Snowbee Fly Lines
Snowbee provides anglers with a vast array of fly line options. Depending on your fishing conditions, you’ll have access to exactly what you need for a full day on the water.
The XS-Plus Thistledown line is perfect for anglers needing accuracy, finesse and some stealth. It has nano coating technology to allow the line to not only last longer, but float higher. It’s their most recently released fly line.
I’m a finesse angler at heart, so I appreciate this line in some of the delicate situations I find myself in. It performs extremely well in tight places, such as small mountain streams in Montana, where I most recently fished with the line. I was able to hit my spots just how I wanted to.
See also: Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line Review
XS-Plus Distance Spectre
The XS-Plus Distance Spectre is a great option for anglers looking to maximize the length of their casts. The power that you’re able to amass with this fly line is quite impressive. With this option, the load point is much longer than normal fly lines.
I use this fly line when I need distance. I’ve had it perform extremely well on large rivers and lakes, and I’ve hooked into more than my fair share of hefty trout while using this line. It works well in a variety of other situations too, so it’s gradually become my general go-to line.
The XS-Plus versions of fly line are the most widely available to anglers. There are a variety of sizes and sink rates within the XS-Plus version. These lines can get extremely specific depending on your needs.
I’ve used the dedicated XS-Plus lines for nymphing, roll casting, and when I’m fishing with wet flies. I could tell how each line was especially suited to each scenario, and now I always keep an extra spool on hand with these lines when I know I might get into one of those situations.
See also: Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line Review
The Tropics option is made for saltwater anglers. Whether you’re chasing tarpon or sea bass, you can find a fly line from Snowbee that will meet your needs. Saltwater specific fly lines are necessary if you spend any time on the coasts.
I most recently used one of the Tropics lines down in Florida, and it worked just as well as their freshwater lines do. I found that it has the strength to handle the big flies you need for salt water, along with the precision to get them where you want them to go.
Features of Snowbee Fly Lines
Snowbee has created their fly lines with several revolutionary products and details. These set their lines apart from several other providers.
Nano Coating Technology
The Nano Coating Technology that Snowbee uses to create their fly lines allows for a more delicate presentation and longer casts. It’s soft and well-built, so you don’t have to worry about how long your fly line is going to last.
Snowbee chooses to put micro loops on both ends of their fly line. This makes attaching leaders and backing to the fly line quite easy. You don’t have to worry as much about nail knots or other knots that might be challenging to tie.
History of Snowbee
Snowbee was founded in 1984 solely as a wader company. Their brand quickly grew and they eventually decided to enter the rod, reel, line and apparel game. Since then, they’ve expanded to over 30 countries and continue to grow.
All of their products are designed by die-hard fly anglers who spend a lot of time out on the water.
Snowbee Fly Lines
Within the three main categories of Snowbee fly line, anglers have several options to fit their needs. I’ve tried them all in a variety of situations, and I’ll tell you about them below.
Versatile and very specific fly lines are available for anglers to purchase.
The Thistledown Line was created to be versatile and give anglers peace of mind that it’s going to fit whatever they need.
XS-Plus Thistledown #2-5 Weight
- Best for: Anglers looking to spend time finesse fishing on small mountain streams or medium size rivers. It’s also great for anglers looking to have one size of fly line fit several of their outfits.
- Sink rate: The Thistledown line is actually a floating line. I use it for throwing dries or letting my leader drop the fly into the perfect place.
The Thistledown fly line from Snowbee is quite unique. The option to use one set of lines on anything from your 2 to 5-weight isn’t something you can usually find on the market. If you’re fishing small pocket water and turn a corner to find a wide portion of the river that you need to roll cast to, then you’ve found a great spot for the Thistledown.
It’s created with Nano Coating technology and is an ideal option for the finesse angler. I’m able to pick my spots and not worry about the line feeling heavy or getting caught in my guides. I enjoy its weight and impressive load rate.
The XS-Plus Thistledown #2-5 Weight line will float high on the water column, so you don’t have to worry about it dropping as it takes on water throughout the day. It’s built to last, so don’t worry about the longevity of this line. To top it all off, Snowbee sends a bottle of line slick to use. I put some of this on my line and it performed even better. You can find this line from size 1-4-weight.
XS-Thistledown #5-7 Weight
- Best for: Anglers fishing medium sized rivers with some decent sized fish. Also, if you still need some delicacy with your casts even on your heavier rods, the Thistledown will do the trick.
- Sink rate: The Thistledown #5-7-weight is floating line, so you can still throw those dries!
If you’re an angler who takes their 5 to 7-weight rod everywhere and needs it to perform, then the Thistledown is a great option for you. It’s rarely overmatched on big water and can still help you pick those spots when you’re fishing smaller streams and rivers.
It can fit reels ranging from 5 to 7-weight. Again, the versatility that the XS-Thistledown #5-7-weight line provides is quite impressive. I’m an angler who switches outfits quite a bit, so with this line all I need to do is bring one reel to the water and I’m good to go.
I first noticed the lack of drag I had with the Thistledown line. I didn’t have to worry about what it would do even on those windier days. I’ve found that it has the necessary amount of power to hit my spots regardless of the conditions.
It’s a floating line, so keep that in mind before you purchase. You’ll also receive a bottle of line slick when you buy the Thistledown line.
XS-Plus Spectre Distance
The Spectre Distance is built for the angler that doesn’t want to feel held back on the water. If you need to hit some spots that are quite far away, the XS-Plus Spectre is an ideal choice.
XS-Plus Spectre Distance Floating
- Best for: The angler looking to cast dry flies an extended distance. If you see a rise in the middle of the river, the Spectre Distance will get you there.
- Sink rate: This is a floating line, so you don’t have to worry about the line falling in the water column.
The XS-Plus Spectre Distance works great on those larger rivers when I find myself having to make longer and longer casts. If you spend much of your time fishing from a drift boat, this is a great option. You can extend your range quite a bit.
You’ll get the extra 30 feet of line as well as the longer rear taper to ensure that you can make it out to wherever you need.
XS-Plus Spectre Distance Intermediate
- Best for: The intermediate option is great for anglers looking to fish just below the surface. It’ll fall below the surface as it gets wetter and give you almost direct contact with your flies.
- Sink rate: The intermediate line sinks at a rate of 2 ips. It won’t fall quickly, but it’ll get to where you need over time.
The Spectre Distance is a bit slimmer than what you’d find on a traditional fly line. The line itself is actually 30 feet longer than traditional fly lines, so keep that in mind for the reel you purchase. The rear taper is almost 40 feet longer than normal XS lines.
The load point is quite manageable, so don’t worry about that. When I’ve had room to back cast, I’ve found that this line gets out quickly and it doesn’t take long to hit that spot. You can purchase it from size 5 to 8.
XS-Plus Spectre Distance Fast Sink
- Best for: Anglers who need to fish along the bottom of lakes or rivers. Perfect for those warm summer days on the water!
- Sink rate: The fast sink line falls at a rate of 5 ips, so it doesn’t take long for you to reach the bottom.
The Spectre Distance Fast Sink is an impressive line. Although it falls quickly, it doesn’t feel too heavy and it’s a team effort on the sink. The running line will fall first and pull the rest of the line along with it.
I find that this line also cuts through the wind well. When I’ve been out on the water during some more difficult conditions, I’ve quickly seen that it’s not fazed by what Mother Nature throws at it.
Most fly lines from Spectre fall under the XS-Plus category. There’s everything from high floating to spey lines.
XS-Plus Twin Color
- Best for: Anglers looking to perfect their technique on the water. The twin colors allow for you to keep close track of exactly what your line is doing.
- Sink rate: The Twin Color line is a floating presentation, so you can use those dry flies in your box while seeing how accurate you are with your casts.
The XS-Plus Twin Color line was first used by casting instructors and other demonstrators. If you find yourself in situations where you need to show new anglers the ropes, then this is a great option.
Otherwise, it’s a floating line that will cast those dry patterns extremely well. You can purchase this line anywhere from a 3 to 8-weight. Be aggressive when you’re using this line! It’s equipped to handle quite a bit of use.
- Best for: Anglers looking to fish dry flies in some choppier water. It’s ultra-buoyant, so you can expect it to stay high on the surface where you can see it.
- Sink rate: Well, it doesn’t have one! You’re going to have to attach some serious weight to your leader to get this line to drop.
If you find yourself fishing reservoirs or high mountain lakes and need some delicate presentations, then the XS-Plus Hi-Float will fit all of your needs. It’s strong and easy to see even on some of those more difficult days.
I’ve received an impressive amount of power when I’ve used this fly line. It gives me the confidence to go ahead and throw those heavier dries or even nymphs to see how the line performs. It’ll stay on the surface regardless of what I do. You can purchase it in 2 to 8-weight.
XS-Plus Nymph Line
- Best for: Anglers looking to nymph fish on rivers with a floating line. It only has a short 6-foot front taper that gets extremely slim. It’s perfect for detecting those small takes.
- Sink rate: This is a floating line, so you don’t have to worry as much about that.
The ends of this fly line are made with a high visibility orange color to allow you to see all the strikes that you might find. This line is great if you’re light nymphing or even Czech nymphing. It’s built for anglers who do finesse angling and can’t have anything go wrong.
Finesse fishing is already difficult enough, so you don’t need your fly line causing any extra issues. The XS-Plus Nymph will give you peace of mind that it’ll keep up with you no matter how skilled you are.
XS-Plus ED Roll-Cast
- Best for: Anglers looking to fish still water that has little room for back casting. It has a spey style head with a long front taper.
- Sink rate: You can purchase a floating or intermediate sink option. The intermediate falls at a rate of 1.5-2 ips.
The XS-Plus ED Roll-Cast line from Snowbee is truly a specialist line. If you fish lakes surrounded by trees or other cover, then this is a great option for you. It has a steep rear taper, long front taper, and around 60 feet of running line.
I can get all 60 feet out with a simple roll cast or single-hand spey cast. This line is best cast off the surface of the water, so don’t worry as much about back casting even if you have the room. This is one of those lines you don’t know you need until you use it!
You can purchase a line in 6 to 8-weight.
- Best for: Anglers looking for a sink tip line that doesn’t fall too quickly. It’s an extremely slow moving fly line!
- Sink rate: You can purchase this line in a variety of sink rates ranging from 1.5 to 4 ips.
The XS-Plus Countdown is ideal for the angler who needs a slow fall. Whether I’m targeting bass in the spring or fishing some still water for trout, the Countdown performs very well.
Snowbee offers these lines in a variety of types. You can purchase these with a 7-foot clear sink tip all the way to a 12-foot sink tip. The sinks tips on these lines are clear, so you won’t spook the fish nearly as easily.
Again, you have options with how fast you want these lines to sink, so make sure you’re aware of what’s necessary before you make your decision. This is where fly lines can become confusing, so do some research. You can purchase these lines anywhere from 6 to 8-weight.
The Tropics fly lines from Snowbee are a great option for fly anglers.
- Best for: Anglers looking to throw smaller saltwater flies and need some precise presentation. Great for sight fishing!
- Sink rate: This is a floating line.
If you find yourself sight fishing for bonefish, jacks and permits, the Tropics Presentation is a smart choice for you. It’s soft and very quiet! You can purchase this line in 7-to 10-weight, depending on what you need.
Tropics “Big Fly”
- Best for: Anglers needing to use big flies and horse them around in some tighter spaces.
- Sink rate: This is a floating line.
The Tropics Big Fly line is awesome for fishing mangroves or other areas where you need to use those heavier flies, but don’t have a lot of room to work with. Many tarpon anglers use this fly line.
Purchase this line anywhere from size 8 to 12-weight.
- Best for: Delicate presentations just below the surface of the water.
- Sink rate: This line will fall around two inches per second.
When I know that I need to get below the surface but I don’t want to spook my target, the Tropics Spectre is what I reach for. It has a 12-foot clear intermediate tip. You can find this line anywhere from 7 to 12-weight.
Tropics Depth Charge
- Best for: Anglers who need to get down deep and get down fast.
- Sink rate: This line falls at five or six inches per second.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re fishing deep and need to get there quickly, then the Tropics Depth-Charge line is a great option for you. Also, it comes with two colors to show you the ideal shoot point. Purchase this line from size 8 to 12.
Snowbee has a variety of other fly lines within their collection that are perfect for specific types of angling.
- Best for: If you’re fishing with buzzers either from the boat or a bank.
- Sink rate: This line will fall at about 1.5 to 2 ips.
If you buzzer fish, then this fly line is going to be your best friend! I found it to be plenty sensitive enough for this type of fishing. The front 3 or 4 feet are an olive color to show what part of the line will sink. You can find the XS-Buzzer line in 5 to 8-weight.
XS-Intermediate Sink Tip
- Best for: Subsurface fishing for trout and sea trout.
- Sink rate: This line falls at 1.2 to 1.8 ips.
If you’re looking to target trout that are feeding below the surface, the XS-Intermediate Sink Tip line is a great option. You can also purchase this line in a clear version if you need an ultra-stealthy presentation.
You can find this line in 5 to 8-weight.
- Best for: Anglers who need to fish just below the surface and don’t want their line to fall.
- Sink rate: 1.14 to 1.86 ips
The XS-Neutral Density line is another very specific option for anglers. It will fall below the surface, but just barely. You won’t find any other lines on the market similar to this one! They took time to make sure it’s extremely delicate. You can find this line anywhere from size 5 to 8-weight.
- Best for: Anglers who need a delicate presentation on both moving and still water. It’s somewhat similar to the Thistledown.
- Sink rate: This is a floating line.
The XS-Delicate line is ideal for anglers looking to finesse their way around a body of water. It has a continuous rear taper profile that’s great for dry fly fishing. You can find this line anywhere from 0 to 5-weight.
Fly fishing companies owe it to anglers to be clear with what they need from fly lines and how their products will meet those needs. Snowbee does a great job of this and makes life much easier for anglers of all skill levels.
Do your research, but you can trust that Snowbee fly lines are going to perform exactly how you need them too in those required situations.