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All four taper designs: Level, Weight Forward, Double Taper, and Shooting Heads are found within Floating lines. The Weight Forward taper is by far the most common. The lines vary depending upon what type of fishing conditions and rod actions you are utilizing. The following table shows a sample of floating lines from Scientific Angler, Cortland, Rio, and Airflo. There are plenty more that are not listed as there are many floating lines specific for certain uses. These selections are based upon needs for All-Purpose, Spring Creeks, and Distance Casting situations.
The "weight" classification is one that has been established by the manufacturers. For instance a WF3F is Weight Forward, 3 weight, Floating line. This line would be used with a 3 weight rod. By examining the lengths of the various head components and the running line, you can get a good idea how these components will affect the line performance. For instance, a distance casting head will be much longer than one designed for Spring Creeks.

Floating Lines

Model Weight Color Front Taper Body Rear Taper Head Length Run Length Application
S.A. GPX WF2-WF9 Lt. Green or Willow 5.0' to 8.5' 23.0' to 30.0' 4.0' to 7.5' 32.0' to 46.0' 49.0' to 58.0' All-Purpose
S.A. GPX DT2-DT6 Lt. Green or Willow 5.0' to 7.0' 76.0' to 80.0' 5.0' to 7.0' 90.0' None All-Purpose
S.A. XPS WF2-WF6 Gray or Sunset 7.3' to 9.3' 16.7' to 18.7' 4.0' to 8.0' 28.0' to 36.0' 54.0' to 62.0' Spring Creeks
S.A. XPS DT2-DT6 Gray or Sunset 5.0' to 7.0' 76.0' to 80.0' 5.0' to 7.0' 90.0' None Spring Creeks
S.A. Ex Dist WF4-WF9 Mist Grn 8.0' to 11.3' 27.0' to 38.7' 25.0' 60.0' to 75.0' 25.0' to 30.0' Distance Casts
S.A. Headstart WF4-WF10 Yellow 4.3' to 6.4' 24.3' to 28.4' 2.3' to 4.3' 35.0' 45.0' All-Purpose
S.A. Nymph WF4-WF8 Lt. Green or Camo 3.1' 21.5' to 23.5' 10.5' to 12.0' 46.1' to 51.0' 42.0' to 51.0' All-Purpose
Cortland 555 WF4-WF8 Sage or Gold 8.0' to 10.0' 25.0' to 32.0' 6.0' 39.0' to 48.0' 56.0' to 65.0' All-Purpose
Cortland 555 DT4-DT8 Gold 8.0' 73.0' 8.0' 89.0' None All-Purpose
Cortland 444SL WF2-WF10 Mint Grn 8.0' to 10.0' 25.0' to 32.0' 6.0' 39.0' to 48.0' 56.0' to 65.0' Distance Casts
Cortland 444SL DT2- DT10 Mint Grn 8.0' 73.0' 8.0' 89.0' None Distance Casts
Cortland 444 Sylk WF2-WF8 Yellow 10.0' 24.0' 3.0' 39.0' 51.0' Spring Creeks-Bamboo Rods
Cortland 333 DT3-DT10 Yellow 8.0'-9.0' 71.0'-73.0' 6.0'-8.0' 89.0' N/A All-Purpose
Rio Classic WF3-WF8 Yellow, Camo Green 4.7' to 8.0' 25.8 to 30.0' 3.0' to 5.5' 34.0' to 44.0' 52.0' to 60.0' All-Purpose
Rio Classic DT3-DT7 Yellow 7.0' to 9.0' 61.0' to 67.0' 7.0' to 9.0' 82.0' None All-Purpose
Rio Nymph WF4-WF9 Yellow 7.0' to 9.0' 61.0' to 67.0' 7.0' to 9.0' 82.0' None All-Purpose
Rio Selective Trout WF1-WF7 Chartruese & Camo Green 5.0' to 7.5' 26.0' to 31.5' 9.0' 40.0' to 48.0' 38.5' to 44.0' Spring Creeks
Rio Selective Trout DT1-DT6 Chartruese & Camo Green 6.5' to 9.0' 66.0' to 72.0' 6.5' to 9.0' 80.0' to 90.0' None Spring Creeks
Rio Windcutter WF3-WF8 Yellow/Sage 2.5' to 4.5' 24.0' 6.0' to 8.0' 35.0' to 42.0' 48.0' to 58.0' All-Purpose
Rio Accelerator WF3-WF9 Lt. Green 5.5' to 7.5' 25.5' to 31.0' 7.0' to 12.0' 38.5' to 54.0' 42.0 to 51.5' Distance Casts
Airflo Ridge Tactical Trout WF3-WF6 Peach w/ Pale peach Tip 6.0' 24.0' 8.0' 39.0' 51.0' All-Purpose
Airflo Ridge Distance WF4-WF9 Sunrise Yellow 7.0' 30.0' 10.0' 48.0' 57.0' Distance
Airflo Ridge Presentation DT3-DT6 Lichen Green 6.0' 76.0' 6.0' 90.0' 1.0' All-Purpose
Airflo Ridge Presentation WF3-WF6 Sunrise Yellow & Lichen Green 10.0' 25.0' 6.5' 25.0' 47.5'


Airflo Forty Plus WF5-WF9 Flo. Green 17.0' 17.0' 1.0' 36.0' 87.0'


Airflo Sixth Sense WF2/3-WF8/9 Pale Peach 19.0' 16.0' 10.0' 54.0' 59.0'



Links to Floating Line Manufacturers

S.A. Logo
SALine GPX SALine XPS SALine XXD SALine Headstart SALine Nymph
GPX XPS Expert Distance Headstart Nymph
The GPX is a General Purpose line in both WF or DT with a moderate delivery and low stiffness. It has a taper design to handle a wide assortment of flies. The XPS line is good for short, exact presentations with a very low stiffness, in WF and DT types. The Expert Distance line holds the U.S. record for 5 wts. It features a long rear taper and head length that delay turnover necessary for long casts.The Headstart line is a beginners line with a short head length. It has a a small telecast bump in the line just behind the head to indicate that the head is just beyond the rod tip. The Nymph line has a long front taper for turning over heavy flies, split-shot, and indicators. Also good for single-handed Spey casts. Great Reviews by Sexyloops on some SA lines including Headstart and Expert Distance (XXD): Sexyloop Review
airflo logo
AirFloTactical Trout AirFlo Ridge Distance AirFlo Forty Plus AirFlo  Presentation AirFlo Sixth Sense
Ridge Tactical Trout Ridge Distance Forty Plus Ridge Presentation Sixth Sense
Airflo came out with a new product in 2006, the Ridge Series. These are high floating lines with a ridged XT coating that minimizes the contact with the line guides on the rod. It also utilizes a TDC variable density technology that increases the floatability of the line tip. The Tactical line has a special taper for improved control and accuracy. The Distance line has a taper designed for distance and control at long range. The Presentation line has a long front taper for precise deliveries. Forty Plus is a line designed for distance with a short 36' head. It has a long front taper to delay turnover. The Sixth Sense line is developed with a very low stretch ability. This gives you smoother casting performance, positive hook sets, mproved lift off and mending control.
rio logo
Rio Classic Rio Trout LT Rio Windcutter Rio Gold Rio Grand
Classic Indicator Trout LT Windcutter Gold Grand
The Rio Classic is an all-purpose line in WF and DT. The Rio Indicator can be used for nymphing with indicators, high sticking, and dead drifts. It has a long back taper for rollcasting and spey casts. The Duo-tone tip acts as an indicator when High sticking or Czech Nymphing. Trout LT lines are designed for Bamboo and Medium Action Rods with long front tapers for delicate presentations, particularly for dry flies. Rio Windcutter is designed to make delicate presentations in heavily winded conditions. The line also has a super floation tip that acts as an indicator. The Gold line is for long distance casting. It has a unique taper that allows a rod to load at close range and a positive front taper that delivers perfect presentation of flies between sizes #22 and #2 . Rio Grand is for fast action rods with more weight distributed to the front of the line.
Cortland Logo
Cortland 555 Float Cortland 333 Plus Cortland 444 Float Cortland Precision Trout Cortland 333 Float
555 Float 333 Plus 444SL Float Precision Trout 333 Float
The 555 series comes in both WF and DT. It is unique in the way the mono core of the line is designed with chambers for increased floatablility. The line also uses a bonded coating for increased slickness. The 555 Float has a "Rocket" taper designed for multiple use or all-purpose fishing. The 333 Plus is a General purpose long belly, floating fly line with a beefed up rear taper for greater line control. The 444SL series has a little more stiffness than Cortlands other lines for increased distance. The Floating line comes in WF and DT. The Precision Trout line has a number of lines designed for trout within Springs Creeks to Big Rivers. The 333 Float has the "Rocket" taper on WF and DT lines. It is somewhat stiffer and overweighted for better use with fast action rods.

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