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.

XS-Plus Thistledown #2-5 WeightSnowbee 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. 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.

Snowbee Fly Line Reviews

Why Trust My Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line Review?

I tested 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 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. 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.

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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 will 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. Be sure to use it. It makes a difference.


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.

XS-Plus Thistledown #2-5 WeightOrder 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.

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. You’ll feel the load quickly and you’ll likely have to take it a bit easier with your casting power. The line shoots out of the rod tip, and you can achieve 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. You’ll find that you can hit your spot across the river in a crosswind. You can make 30 to 40 foot casts with this line without much effort. Even with a 3-weight rod, you’ll find that with the effort, you’ll 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 won’t slap the water so hard and spook the fish when it hits the water. This is another underrated feature of this Snowbee line. Anglers too often ruin a hole by casting into it and having the water hit the line. 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, you’ll be able to fish all sorts of dry flies, and you can do so in very clear water. On the same day, you can 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, and by the time I left the water, I couldn’t wait to use it again.

XS-Plus Thistledown #2-5 WeightOrder 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’s easy to quickly get comfortable with the Snowbee Thistledown² fly line. Something about it makes it extremely fun to cast. You’ll be impressed with the power you get, and it’s tempting to test the limits you can push.

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