Versatility is not a word that’s often heard in the world of fly line. Companies pride themselves in 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 unique enough to allow anglers to carry around one reel and several different weights of rods. This is not common in the world of fly fishing and it not only saves anglers money, but it also saves time.
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 have ever used. I find myself fishing most often on small to medium size rivers and streams. The width of the water can often change quite a bit on these rivers so the need for a diverse fly line is necessary.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Why Trust My Snowbee Thistledown² Fly Line Review?
I tested the Thistledown² 2-5 Line on a local small 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.
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 have 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.
Check Out The Video
What’s in the Box?
The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight line comes packaged in a traditional fly line box and you’ll also receive a few other things that will help you get the best performance possible out of 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 they’re attaching it properly. Make sure to follow these directions.
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 is 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 weighed in your decision making.
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 for it to be durable, but also quite soft. That thicker line also allows the line to sit higher on the water than many of the 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 on your casting power. The line shoots out of your rod tip and you can achieve some impressive casts.
The Snowbee Thistledown² line is 90 feet long. 90 feet is a fairly traditional length for a fly line and it’s important this line lives up to that. Since it’s possible to use 2 to 5-weight reels, you don’t want to sacrifice length.
The 90 feet is going to help you land fish on some of those medium size rivers, but also allows you to work those 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 to ensure you can 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.
The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight line is definitely powerful enough for small and medium size rivers. This is an extremely powerful line. The thinner diameter allows it to shoot through your guides, but it’s not too thin that it gets hung up in the winds.
It casts very well through 15-25 mile per hour winds. You’ll find that you can hit your spot across the river with a cross wind. 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’re going to hit those spots just fine.
If you’re using a 5-weight rod, you’re going to need to get the rhythm down and use a little more effort to get that line where it needs, but you’ll eventually find it. If you switch out the line on your rods, give yourself some time to find the 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’s not going to slap the water as hard and spook the fish as 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 is going to make or break that 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 is going to be your best friend. You can count on it to make those longer casts, but also perform well in those smaller pockets.
- The fly line lays down extremely softly. Since that’s the case, you’re going to be able to fish all sorts of dry flies and you can do so in that very clear water. On the same day, you can nymph in some of that deeper, faster moving water. The 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 you could achieve some impressive distance.
The Snowbee Thistledown² 2-5 weight fly line was some of the smoothest fly line I have ever felt. Mending was easy, casting was easy and so was about everything else in between. I was quite skeptical about what was going to happen with this line and by the time I left the water, I couldn’t wait to use it again.
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’s going to make the best fishing experience for you.
For $74 you can’t go wrong! This fly line is absolutely a steal.
As anglers, it’s important we’re comfortable with the gear we’re using. The Snowbee Thistledown² fly line is hard to not quickly get comfortable with. Something about it is extremely fun to cast. You’re impressed with the power you get and it’s so tempting to try and see the limits you can push.
Give this line a try! You’ll love how it fits in with your current arsenal.