Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line Review (Hands-on & Tested)

Be sure to read this review about the Snowbee Thistledown fly line. It's going to do some convincing for you!

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Versatility isn’t a word that’s often heard in the world of fly line. Companies pride themselves on creating lines that perform in very specific situations. Snowbee’s Thistledown² Fly Line defies what many other companies try to do and gives anglers a chance to use one line on three different weights of reels.

The Thistledown² line comes in 1-4 weight, 2-5 weight and 5-7 weight. The makeup of the line is versatile enough to allow anglers to carry around one reel and several different weights of rods. This isn’t common in the world of fly fishing, and it not only saves anglers money, but also time.

Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line

Snowbee Thistledown

If you like what you see in this Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line review, you can order the rod on Snowbee.


I’ve tested out numerous fly lines over the years, and despite the unique features that each offer, Snowbee’s Thistledown² line is unlike any I’ve ever used. As I’ll explain in this review, I cast this line in some tough conditions, giving it ample opportunity to prove itself.

I find myself fishing most often on small to medium size rivers and streams. The width of the water can change quite a bit on these rivers, so it’s necessary to have a versatile fly line. I’ve tried out plenty of fly lines in the past, so I had a good idea of what to expect from the performance of this Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line.

Why Trust My Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line Review?

I used the Thistledown² 2-5 Line on a small local river in some fairly heavy winds. It was a great opportunity to test the power and feel of this line. Adverse weather isn’t uncommon when you’re fishing high mountain rivers and streams, so it was a very natural feeling test.

Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line

I used the line on a 2-weight, 3-weight and 5-weight rod, switching between them on the river in order to see how the line performed on each. I used a 4-weight reel on all of the rigs.

At Into Fly Fishing, we only review gear that we’ve personally used. We see reviewing gear as a major responsibility! We want anglers to receive an honest opinion regarding the gear they’re considering purchasing.

I spent a long day out on the water, fighting against the wind as I tried to hit my spots. I landed a few decent-sized trout too, so I was able to get a really good idea of what this fly line is all about.

Check Out the Video

YouTube video

What’s in the Box?

The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight line comes packaged in a traditional fly line box. You’ll also receive a few other things that’ll help you get the best performance possible out of the line.

The Line

The Thistledown² line comes spooled on a cylinder. The cylinder has two different holes to help you properly string the line onto your reel. You’ll also see the tag end that needs to be attached to your backing. This is an added feature that gives anglers peace of mind that they’re attaching it properly. Make sure to follow these instructions.

Line Slick

Snowbee also sends along a bottle of line slick with the fly line. This line slick helps the line feel and perform even better. A small amount of this applied onto your line will ensure its smoothness. Many companies don’t send this along with their line.

I applied it before heading out that day, and I could appreciate the difference it made. The line really seemed to be flying off of the rod as I cast it, and I could notice this despite the heavy winds.


Snowbee lines have welded loops. These loops make anglers’ lives easier! You can attach the backing quite a bit faster, and your loop-to-loop leader connection will be that much easier. When it comes to fly line, the differences are in the details.

Snowbee XS Delicate Presentation Fly Line Review Features & Specs

Choosing the proper fly line can be confusing for many anglers. Where you’re fishing, what fish you’re targeting, and the water conditions all need to be considered in your decision making.

Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line

Order the Snowbee Thistledown

If you like what you see in this Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line review, you can order the rod on Snowbee.


Since those details are so easily changed, it can be expensive and a challenge to choose the best options.


The Nano Coating technology on the Thistledown² line allows it to be durable, but also quite soft. The thicker line also lets the line to sit higher on the water than many other floating lines in the industry. I could see the difference on the water when I used it that day.

This line is also quite slim. This slimmer diameter is what allows you to cast this line a long way. This minimizes the drag, so you don’t have to worry about achieving the absolute perfect cast.

I could feel the load quickly, and I was able to take it a bit easier with my casting power. The line shot out of the rod tip, and I achieved some impressive casts.

Length Distribution

The Snowbee Thistledown² line is 90 feet long, which is a fairly traditional length for a fly line. It’s important that this line lives up to that. Since it’s possible to use on 2 to 5-weight reels, you don’t want to sacrifice length.

The 90 feet will help you land fish on medium size rivers, and it also will allow you to work small pockets. The line makeup is as follows: The running line is 55ft 6 inches, the rear taper is 4 feet, the belly is 18 feet, and the compound front taper is 12 feet 6 inches. This is a really nice makeup for a floating line.

The line belly is the thickest part of the line, which ensures you’ll get the power you need as you cast. The front taper is the thinnest portion of the line. The 12 foot front taper allows you to present your flies in a very delicate way. The longer the taper, the more delicate the presentation. The shorter the taper, the less delicate the presentation.

You don’t need as much power to turn over your fly when you’re using a more delicate presentation line like the Snowbee Thistledown². You want to hit your spots and do as little as mending as possible.

Casting Power

The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight line is definitely powerful enough for small and medium size rivers. This is an extremely powerful line. Its thinner diameter allows it to shoot through the guides, but it’s not too thin that it will get hung up in the wind.

Snowbee Thistledown² fly line casting power

It casts very well through 15-25 mile per hour wind. I found that I could hit my spot across the river in a crosswind. I was making 30 to 40 foot casts with this line without much effort. Even with my 3-weight rod, I found that with a little extra effort, I was able hit those spots just fine.

If you’re using a 5-weight rod, you’ll need to get the rhythm down and use a little more effort to get the line where it needs to be, but you’ll eventually find it. If you switch out the line on your rods, give yourself some time to find this casting rhythm.

Presence on the Water

The Nano Coating technology gives the Thistledown² line a chance to sit high on the water. This is important. You need your flies to present well and you don’t want them to fall in the water column as the line takes on more water.

Since this is a soft line, it didn’t slap the water so hard and spook the fish when it hit the water. This is another underrated feature of this Snowbee line. Anglers too often ruin a hole by casting into it and having the line hit the water hard. Presenting your fly softly will make or break a fishable area.

Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line: My Personal Thoughts

  • The Thistledown Fly Line can make your life quite a bit easier. If you know you’re going to fish a body of water that varies in size, then this fly line will be your best friend. You can count on it to make longer casts and also perform well in smaller pockets.
  • The fly line lays down extremely softly. Because of this, I was able to fish all sorts of dry flies, and you could do so in very clear water. On the same day, you could also nymph in some deeper, faster moving water. Its versatility is impressive.
  • The Snowbee Thistledown really finds its sweet spot on 3 to 4-weight rods. Yes, you can use the line on 2 and 5-weight rods, but the sweet spot is right in the middle. That’s where I found the most natural feeling with the line. The loading was really smooth and I achieved some impressive distance.

The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight fly line is some of the smoothest fly line I’ve ever felt. Mending was easy, casting was easy, and so was just about everything else in between. I was quite skeptical about what would happen with this line, but by the time I left the water, I couldn’t wait to use it again.

Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line

Order the Snowbee Thistledown

If you like what you see in this Snowbee Thistledown Fly Line review, you can order the rod on Snowbee.


If you do choose to use this line on a few different rods, make sure you choose the proper reel. Balancing your reel with your rod isn’t an easy task, so if you’re using a 3 or 4-weight rod, make sure you have the line spooled on a 3/4 weight reel. It’ll ensure the best fishing experience for you.

For $74, you can’t go wrong! This fly line is absolutely a steal.


As anglers, we need to be comfortable with the gear we’re using. It was easy for me to quickly get comfortable with the Snowbee Thistledown² fly line. Something about it makes it extremely fun to cast. I was impressed with the power I got, and it was tempting to test the limits I could push.

Give this line a try! You’ll love how it fits in with your current arsenal.

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My name is Danny Mooers and I’ve been fly fishing for five years. As soon as I went to college, I dove headfirst into my obsession for fly angling. Every spare weekend or long break was dedicated to finding fish. I’ve fished all over North America in search of trout, salmon, steelhead and everything in between. I currently write articles for Guide Recommended and Reel Adventure Fishing. Fly angling is one of the most challenging yet rewarding hobbies any person can have. Don’t be afraid to give it a try.  It’s an addicting activity that tests everything from your fine motor skills to your patience, but it’s well worth your time.

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