Cortland Competition Braid Core Fly Line Review

July 12, 2018

Paul McCue FishUSA Ambassador Cold Water Bass Baits

If you are a fly angler, more than likely, you are always looking for the best products that will produce more fish. In the case of European style nymphing techniques, the Cortland Competition Braid Core Fly Line offers top-notch performance at a wallet-friendly price. For a great price, you will receive one of the ultimate nymphing lines available on the market today. With either a tapered or level diameter depending on your preference, this floating nymphing fly line offers a stealthy sage color and a super slick outer coating that allows for extreme sensitivity and finesse when presenting flies to wary fish.

From the time that you take it out of the package, you can tell that it is far different from other common varieties of fly lines. It is thinner, more supple, smoother, and has a softer feel than its competitors. Though this line offers amazing features, most Euro nymphing setups include a very long leader tied to this line, so in many situations, this line does not see the water. If a shorter leader is used, this line flows through the guides just like a supple monofilament would. Small heavy flies can be cast with ease when using any fly rod, but especially well when using a nymphing style rod of over 10 feet in length. This line is perfect for rods such as the Cortland Competition Nymph Fly Rod, because it is very lightweight and keeps the rod from overloading on the cast. It’s small diameter and floating characteristics allow this line to be kept off the water for perfect drifts in any speed of current. If the line does come in contact with the water, it floats high and allows for easy mends.

Fishing this line on a Euro-style setup on the Great Lakes tributaries can be a deadly combination for steelhead. Though most rods for Euro nymphing are 5 weight or lighter, this line can also be effectively fished on heavier fly rods. I personally fish a 10’6 Cortland Competition 4 weight and a 10-foot 7 weight rod. Both rods have the braid core level line and fish it exceptionally well. What most people do not realize about this line, is that it can be used for so much more than just nymphs. I enjoy throwing streamers, small and large, for aggressive fall steelhead and salmon. This line allows for precise streamer presentation and strips. The small diameter and lightweight design of this line makes for increased stealth when presenting flies, as compared to traditional floating lines.

The only downfall of this line is that you cannot roll cast without putting quite a bit of effort into your cast. You have to use the current to load the rod downstream to be able to pick up line and cast upstream. This process comes naturally after a short period of use with this line, and becomes second nature. Heavier flies are a must if not using weight or a float rig with this line, because unlike other fly lines, the line is not what is carrying the flies. The benefits of this fly line far outweigh the negatives, and one can be sure that they are fishing one of the best nymphing lines on the market today. I feel that the Cortland Competition Braid Core Fly Line has increased my catch rates in a variety of situations. Adding this line to your fly fishing arsenal will allow you to present flies in a manner that is not achievable by most other setups, and therefore, give you the edge that you need to catch more fish!