Barrio GT90 fly line review

The Barrio GT90 fly line has a really long, gradual taper which creates a really stable loop allowing you to achieve great distances.

Barrio GT90 fly line review
© Fly and Lure
Barrio GT90 fly line review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Barrio GT90 fly line review
Estimated reading time 4 - 6 minutes

What is the Barrio GT90 fly line designed for?

The Barrio GT90 fly line is suitable for fishing rivers or stillwaters (from the bank or a boat) and excels at distance situations. It's a weight forward floating line and comes in line weights from #3 to #8.

What is the taper like?

The line has a fairly short belly and front taper with an extended rear taper, giving a massive 73 foot head section. This makes the line very stable in the air, allowing you to achieve greater distance. Effectively, the change from thicker head section to thinner running line is very, very gradual, giving you a really stable loop when casting.

What's the difference between the GT90 and the GT125?

The Barrio GT90 and Barrio GT125 are nearly identical in overall design. The GT125 is effectively an extra long orange version of the GT90, with extra running line at the rear, to allow it to be used in distance fly casting events where a mere 90 feet of fly line would prove a hindrance.

The GT90 and GT125 are George's favourite lines. He can cast the full 90 feet. Not bad for a nine year old.

Is the GT90 a good line?

I've never used a bad Barrio fly line and the GT90 is no exception. It's one of the best lines around if you want to fish longer distances, as the long belly design means that your loop will be much more stable in the area, allowing you to carry more line and achieve greater distance.

What is it like to use?

These lines have a nice slick feel to them. They're fairly thin and nice and supple and, after a quick pull when you remove the line from the reel, will lie straight on the water for the rest of your trip. They're also resilient things and stand up well to regular usage.

Can you chuck them a long way?

Oh, yes. This line, and the GT125 is one of a handful of lines used in competition fly casting events. With the correct technique it's fairly straightforward to cast the entire 90 feet of this line. I've seen people cast the GT125 down to the backing.

What colours are available?

While the GT125 is aimed at competition distance casting, and is therefore only available in high visibility orange, the GT90 is aimed at the fly fisher, so comes in an attractive pale olive colour.

The Barrio GT90 is a great line for fishing stillwaters.

Should I buy a Barrio GT90 or Barrio Mallard?

The GT90 has been one on my main lines for a couple of years and it works very well. However, as the more gradual taper of the GT90 means you need more line outside the tip to load the rod, the Barrio Mallard is arguably a better line for everyday use.

If you have a very fast rod and want to use it at close range, you'll almost certainly prefer the action of the Mallard over the GT90. If you're new to fly fishing, or just want a decent everyday line, I'd also just opt for the Mallard. There are few better lines for the money.

Is there an intermediate or sinking version?

There's no sinking version, but there is an intermediate known as the Barrio GT90i, which sinks at a rate of 1.5" to 2" per seconds.

How much are they?

As Barrio fly lines can only be purchased directly from the maker, Mike Barrio, they're available at a fraction of the price of most big brands - yet their quality and performance, in my opinion, is at least as good or better.

You'd undoubtedly pay more for the same line from a major retail brand. The asking price of £27.60 including delivery makes these a bit of a steal.

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