What is the Royal Wulff Monoclear Triangle Taper fly line?
While most intermediate fly lines are a solid green, brown or blue in colour, the Royal Wulff Monoclear Triangle Taper fly line is completely clear. It looks more like thick monofilament than a fly line. This makes sense because it's based on a monofilament core, instead of a braided core like most other intermediates, and the outer coating is also transparent too.
When wet, it becomes almost invisible in the water.
Why use a clear intermediate fly line?
The Royal Wulff Monoclear was originally developed for targeting notoriously skittish bonefish on tropical flats, but it's also a really useful line for chucking nymphs and lures at wary trout on clear stillwaters. It could easily improve your catch rate over a traditional intermediate on many waters, especially those pressured fisheries where the fish see a lot of flies.
What is the Triangle Taper?
The Triangle Taper is a special fly line profile developed by the late Lee Wulff. It's used in the majority of Royal Wulff fly lines, including the Monoclear. The taper has been around for years and won several awards.
Most fly lines from other makers use compound tapers, consisting of tapers within tapers, but essentially, the Triangle Taper consists of a shortish back taper and then a gradual slope down from the thickest bit of the head at the rear down to the narrowest bit at the tip. It looks a bit like a triangle - hence the name, of course.
Wulff reckoned that the continuous forward taper used in the head of the Triangle Taper design was the most efficient way of transferring energy because the heavier line at the rear was constantly turning over the thinner and lighter line in the front. It also aids presentation too.
How long is the head on the Monoclear?
The Royal Wulff Monoclear fly lines come in two flavours - those for freshwater and those for saltwater. The freshwater lines are all 90 feet in length, but the saltwater ones are 105 feet long. The head length varies according to the application, with freshwater versions having a longer head of 36-40 feet, and the saltwater ones a shorter 30-foot head to allow you to quickly shoot a cast to a tailing bonefish before it vanishes. That means the running line is anywhere from 50 to 75 feet in length.
What sink rate does the Monoclear have?
The Royal Wulff Monoclear is a standard intermediate sinking line with a claimed sink rate of 1.25" to 1.75" inches per second. Count to ten after making your cast and your fly should be about 12-18" below the surface when you start your retrieve. Count to 30 and it will be three to four feet down.
It's the perfect line to use when fish are feeding in the top couple of feet and can be used to fish a wide range of flies, from lures to nymphs. Similarly, it's also great for targeting bonefish in the shallows, too, as the sink rate is neither too fast nor too slow.
How does this line feel in the hand?
This line feels smooth and slick in the hand and, as is common with lines with a monofilament core, hangs slightly less limply than the equivalent intermediate built around a braided core. However, a mono core lines go, it's actually one of the limper ones, even though it's a fairly stiff line compared to those with a braided core. It's hard and shiny, so it shoots well and doesn't tangle as easily as softer lines do.
Like most fly lines, it will have a bit of moderate coiling when you first remove it from the reel. However, if you give it a gentle stretch between your arms when first stripping off the line these coils quickly disappear. In colder weather, the memory can be a bit worse, sometimes needing a stretch if you've wound the line back onto the reel when moving between spots.
Bite detection is good, as it's not a particularly stretchy fly line. Some other mono fly lines are often a bit springy, but this one performs similarly to some of the lines with a low stretch braided core. Backing and leader also grip onto the line nice and tightly, giving you confidence that everything is going to stay connected.
While it's not the thickest fly line in the world, it's not the thinnest either. The running line is moderately thin while the head tapers very gradually down to the tip, which means presentation is particularly impressive for an intermediate.
What sizes does this line come in?
As noted above, the freshwater versions of the Monoclear are all 90' in length, but the saltwater versions are 105' long. Head lengths on the saltwater ones are all short at 30', but the freshwater ones have heads of 36' to 40', depending on the size.
|Line weight||Length||Head length||Sink rate|
|#4||90'||36'||1.25" to 1.75" per second|
|#5||90'||1.25" to 1.75" per second|
|#6||90'||40'||1.25" to 1.75" per second|
|#7||90'||1.25" to 1.75" per second|
|#8||90'||1.25" to 1.75" per second|
What are Triangle Taper fly lines like to cast?
I'm using the Royal Wulff Monoclear clear intermediate in #6 format, which has a 40' head and 50' of thinner running line. That's a decent head length for longer casts. When I first tried the line I figured I'd just need to aerialise the head and then shoot the rest. However, while that does work, I found that the taper of the line does actually let you carry the head well outside the tip without hinging, which helps you achieve greater distances.
Obviously, as with other intermediate and sinking lines, you can't actually see where the head ends, but you can feel it when you're casting (both from the change in thickness of the line you're holding and the weight of the rod loading) and you will soon learn to judge the right time to stop carrying line and when to shoot. I reckon I was probably carrying 50-60 feet.
Like any fly line with a different taper, it will take a few casts to get used to the way it behaves, but it's great when you get the hang of it and it casts really well. I tried it on a couple of fast-actioned Loop fly rods - a Loop Cross SX #6 and a Loop Evotec #6. Both handled it really well and created nice stable loops and achieved good distances. Turnover and presentation are also decent too. The taper does seem to give you a really smooth delivery and was great to cast.
So can you chuck it a long way?
Yep! The taper seems to handle longer casts pretty well. I don't think it's actually designed to let you aerialise a ton of line in the way that a long belly intermediate line like a Barrio GT90i does, but it shoots well once the head is outside the rod tip. Even with a bulky fly on, it was still possible to cast down to the backing knot. I can see why they make the salwater one a bit longer. It's really stable and throws a lovely loop.
What did George think of it?
George was also a big fan of the Monoclear. He said: "It's amazing! It's basically effortless to cast and it goes miles. It loads the rod much more gradually than my Barrio SLXi and it looks amazing in the water because it's virtually invisible. It shoots very well when you get the head out and goes like a rocket!"
Do Triangle Taper lines feel true-to-weight?
I've read elsewhere that Triangle Taper lines are not true-to-weight, so a line rated at #6 might actually be closer to a #7. I've not weighed it to find out, so this is purely based on how it felt on my fast action rods - a Loop Evotec #6 and a Loop Cross SX #6, but to me, the line felt spot on.
I'm not sure whether the design has changed or whether this is purely down to perception, but if you've read before that these lines feel overweight I wouldn't be unduly concerned. I felt the taper gave a really smooth delivery of power and casting was excellent. It certainly didn't feel like the rod was over-lined.
How visible is the Royal Wulff Monoclear in the water?
Clear intermediates or slime lines as they're also known are great for stealthily targeting subsurface trout. The Royal Wulff Monoclear does a vanishing act once wet. If you're fishing in clear water and are concerned that your line is going to spook the fish, then you may want to treat yourself to one of these instead of a standard coloured intermediate fly line. As soon as it drops below the water surface you can't see it at all!
How much does the Monoclear fly line cost?
Royal Wulff fly lines are at the premium end of the market, so aren't cheap, but they are based on a tried and tested design and do work very well. Not only do they cast well, but they're well made with no imperfections and they perform brilliantly. A slightly limper feel would help, as the memory can be a bit annoying in cold weather, but the Monoclear remains an impressive intermediate which is particularly good to cast.
If you're in the market for a premium quality intermediate, the Monoclear is definitely worth a look. The Royal Wulff Triangle Taper Monoclear freshwater costs £69.99, while the saltwater one costs £74.99.
More information: Fordham and Wakefield