Steelhead line.

Just about to buy my first 8wt reel for steelheading (never been). What sort of line should I get for it? Intermediate sink? Just starting out, so I won't have an additional spool for a while, I'm just looking suggestions on the best type of line to start out on, the most universally accepted steelhead line...

Thanks guys,



Active Member
I am by no means an expert but what I have been learning is obviously it all depends on the circumstances and the fishing situations. Kind of a general trend I have seen is that the so called "a run" use a floating line. The "b run" use a sink tip and get down as fast as you can. The "b run" generally runs winter time and the "a run" in late summer sometimes up to late fall. I have not caught a steelie yet but have learned a ton just being out there fishing for them, reading posts, and asking questions on this website.

BTW: I just bought 3 reddington rs2 7/8 reels for 45.00 each and love it so far. They are a little heavy but I dont notice when Im fishing. Watch ebay for good deals on them. I also picked up a reddington 8 wt rod for 100.00. It retailed for 280.00 and was brand new. Also I got a buddy who picked a ton of different scientific angler mastery series line that he is selling for $25.00. If you want I can give you his email and phone number.



New Member

No expert myself having only started, but if you are going to make the investment in a line, a multitip system would be a good bet. Getting the fly near the bottom is important, but sometimes to much sink is a problem. I believe airflo and rio make excellent multi tip systems. I use a custom made multi tip system and it sure is nice to be able to go lighter or heavier depending on the day, run etc.
I'd consider a RIO versatip system - It will make your life easier and less costly in the long run - then you can swap easily to meet the conditions presented. My $.02

Jim W

o mykiss

Active Member
Unless you're planning to fish Bill McMillan-style (he apparently only ever uses a floater, even for winter fishing), one line won't do it. One option is to get one of the multi-tip systems. (I have used Rio Versatips on my 6 and 10 wts. and like them. I have 3 separate reel spools for my 8 wt. which are loaded with a floater, a Type III sinktip of 15 feet and a Type V sinktip of 15 feet.) These are about twice the price of a standard line, but will allow a lot of flexibility depending on the conditions.
I would go with the multi-tip fly line. You should consider the Yancy multi which is sold by Dennis Dickson who is in Arlington. His son is on this site with Streamside Look at the bottom of the Home Page on this site. It is designed for the 8-9 wt rods and a line ahead of it's time. And it is a little cheaper than the Rio multi. Just my .02 worth.
Bob Studen :DUNNO
I really like my rio versitip on my 8 wt, all I really use on my singlehander in the winter. Rio has added a type 8 tip this year to the versitip lines which should come in handy in higher flows and deeper runs. I have also heard really good things about the yancy line.
First off, thanks for the info guys!

Secondly, there seems to be a definite consensus on this. Sadly it's a troubling consensus for me. I'm a poor bastard, gonna blow my play money on a new rod and reel for the bigger fish. These expenses don't leave me a lot of wiggle room, and spending $100 for line wouldn't be possible right now. Sadly again, I work at a university so my sorry butt gets paid only once a month... Multi-tip would require me to wait until the end of Nov. to even get my line wet!