Barrio Mallard fly line review

The Barrio Mallard fly line is one of the best fly lines for regular fly fishing on still waters and rivers and is excellent value.

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

What is the Barrio Mallard designed for?

The Barrio Mallard is as close as you'll get to a standard fly line. It comes in two forms - a weight forward or WF and a double taper or DT. Both of them are ideal for 99% of fly fishing done in the UK, whether it's on rivers or stillwaters.

What is the taper like on the WF?

The Barrio Mallard WF has a conventional weight forward profile. As the name suggests, this means that the majority of the weight is further forward in the line, so you don't need lots of line outside the tip to load the rod and make a cast.

On the WF, the line starts with a thin tip to aid presentation and includes a thicker front taper measuring about 10' in total. That's followed by a slightly thinner belly about 15' long, then a slightly thinner 8' rear taper, before ending in 57' of much finer running line. This gives you a line of 90', which is plenty for most people. You'd need to be a decent distance caster to run out.

How does the Mallard DT differ?

A double taper fly line is the same at both ends, hence the name. One benefit of this design is that when the fly line is starting to wear at one end, you can remove it and turn it around and get some additional use out of the line before it requires replacement.

It's also a 90' fly line and has the same thin tip and 10' front taper as the WF version, but there's a continuous 62' belly which serves as the running line, before finally ending in another front taper and tip.

I use a Barrio Mallard DT4 on my Orvis Superfine Touch.

Which version should I choose?

Most people will choose the WF version of the Mallard. DT lines aren't that heavily used in the UK. Some people reckon that the double taper fly lines aid presentation, but I'm not convinced that's really true. However, they can be more stable in the air when casting longer distances than a weight forward line.

I use the 4# Barrio Mallard fly line on my Orvis Superfine Touch fly rod and it's beautiful to cast. It loads the rod really well so I can make close range casts, but it's equally good if I want to chuck a fly a bit further - which isn't really what the rod is designed for.

Most people would probably be better off with the weight forward version of the Mallard though.

What are they like to cast?

Both the DT and the WF Mallard cast beautifully. I personally prefer the weight forward one and it is the best line I've found to match my Orvis Helios or Loop Evotec rods.

The running line is nice and thin, so you can feel when the head is in the right place to make a cast. You can cast a good distance with it and it's easy to make a nice tight loop if you need one. It shoots well, too.

Like other fly lines with very fine running line, you can sometimes get the odd knot in the running line, but these pick out quickly.

Do they have much line memory?

No, these are very supple lines and don't coil that much (especially compared to some Airflo lines I've used). There will be a bit of memory when you first take the line off the reel, though.

The best way to get rid of this is to give the line a gentle stretch between your arms a metre or so at a time as you start your session. You won't need to do it again until your next trip.

What sizes and colours does the Mallard come in?

The Barrio Mallard only comes in one colour, which is a sort of creamy white. The weight forward is available in sizes from 3# to 8#, but the double taper is also available in a 2#.

Both are great on the river.

How much are they?

You can only buy Barrio fly lines direct from the manufacturer, so they're very fairly priced as there's no additional markup in there to give the retailer a profit. They'd undoubtedly sell for a lot more if they did.

They cost just £25.20 including delivery, which really is excellent value for such a well-made line. If you're looking to buy a new fly line you're highly unlikely to be disappointed with a Mallard.

Available from:

About the author



No comments yet. Go on, be the first to comment...

Wychwood Hook Hold fly boxes review Wychwood Hook Hold fly boxes use a special kind of silicone insert which provides...

Wychwood Connect Series Distance Rocket Floater fly line review The new Wychwood Connect Series Distance Rocket Floater fly line is a shooting head...

Snowbee XS Plus XStra Distance fly line review The Snowbee XS Plus XStra Distance fly line is a premium integrated shooting head style...

Snowbee Spectre fly rod review The Snowbee Spectre fly rod combines subtle, modern styling and great casting action...

Barrio Instructor fly line review The Barrio Instructor fly line might be designed for fly casting instructors but it...

Greys Greylon Copolymer Knotless Tapered Leader review Greys Greylon Copolymer Knotless Tapered Leaders come in a wide range of sizes and are...

Airflo Covert Adventurer Chest and Backpack review The Airflo Covert Adventurer kit includes a backpack, chest pack and rod tube with all...

Patagonia Wading Boot Stud Kit review The Patagonia Wading Boot Stud Kit includes 23 very chunky wader studs to screw into...

Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon review Fulling Mill Masterclass Fluorocarbon is pretty much the poshest fluorocarbon money can...