Sunray Distance Intermediate fly line review

The Sunray Distance Intermediate fly line is thin, supple and casts well. It's a good line to use when fish are holding deeper.

Sunray Distance Intermediate fly line review
© Fly and Lure
Sunray Distance Intermediate fly line review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Sunray Distance Intermediate fly line review
Sunray Fly lines Estimated reading time 4 - 7 minutes

What is the Sunray Distance Intermediate?

As the name suggests, Sunray markets that as an intermediate fly line aimed at distance casting. It has a sink rate of around 1.5 inches per second, so lets you fish your flies in the top few feet of water. Intermediate lines like this are great for fishing nymphs and lures and work well all year round.

Count to ten and your line will be 15" or 38cm below the surface, count to 30 and your line will be 45" or 1.1m down. You can then pull or twiddle it back and it will remain on a relatively level plane, keeping your flies in the feeding zone for longer than a floating line counted-down to depth could.

Intermediates are great for lures and nymphs.

What profile does this line have?

The Sunray website doesn't provide much information on this line, other than to say it's designed for "extreme distance". There are no head measurements provided, but I reckon it's somewhere around the 33-foot mark on my #6 line. It's a twin-colour fly line and comes in two colours; mine has a blue head and a white running line, but the #7 version has a blue head and yellow running line.

With most twin-colour fly lines, you tend to find that the head is a different colour to the running line to help you find the load point so you can prevent having too much overhang in your cast. The basic idea is that you get the coloured portion to the tip and then shoot the rest because if you aerialise the thin running line it won't be able to support the head and your loop will go all floppy...

Oddly, for a twin-coloured line, the colour doesn't extend the full length of the head. On mine, only the first 18 feet of the head is blue, with a further 15-18 feet of thicker white line before it joins the thin running line. While the twin-colour approach isn't essential in a fly line, I thought it was a bit odd to break the convention. Maybe I'm missing something, though.

The Sunray intermediate has a minty blue head and a white running line.

How does it feel in the hand?

Like Sunray's other lines, this feels smooth, fairly soft and very slick in the hand. It's relatively limp and has little or no coiling. There will be a bit of memory when you first spool-up the line, but that goes after a gentle stretch. As is the norm with lines of this nature, any coiling will also tend to be at its worst on freezing cold days and they'll generally be much softer and suppler in warmer conditions.

This line stayed limp, even in subzero conditions.

What's it like to use?

This line is lovely to cast. The lack of a fully-coloured head section does make it a little bit tricky to judge when the head is out. We found we were slipping a bit of line into our back-casts to try and get the head in the right spot and were often feeding out a bit too much line. It would make it easier if the whole of the head were a solid colour, we thought.

That said, you can still feel the right spot and once you get the hang of it, it's fairly easy to get decent distances. To us, this felt more similar in casting feel to the Sunray Marsden Hi-Vis Shooting Head than to the Sunray El Guapo. The head felt a bit longer than the El Guapo's, it's a bit more delicate but also doesn't shoot quite as far.

It turned over flies OK, but isn't the ideal taper for really big patterns, we felt. The tip is relatively slim - compared to the El Guapo - so it copes OK with standard flies, but less well with really chunky perch patterns and the like. Distance wise, we were chucking it 60-75 feet fairly effortlessly, but it wasn't as good at distance as the El Guapo.

Casts well and helps you reach fish holding in deeper water.

How much does this line cost?

This line retails for £65. At full price, that's under-cutting premium lines from the likes of Rio but is more than you'll pay from most other brands. I still find £65 rather a lot to pay for a fly line, even if it is a good one. I picked mine up for £28 in the Sunray sale, which I think is great value.

About the author



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

Magnet-ique MagTrap Kit review The Magnet-ique MagTrap Kit is a clever and versatile magnetic fly patch that can be...

Stonfo Safety Cord review The Stonfo Safety Cord is a strong and springy coiled plastic retractor which is ideal...

Stonfo Leader Straightener review The Stonfo Leader Straightener is ergonomically designed and has two grip positions to...

Stonfo Fly Line Cleaner review The Stonfo Fly Line Cleaner is a gadget you can attach to your vest or lanyard to help...

Stonfo Realistic Eggs review Purists, look away now. Stonfo Realistic Eggs are a fly tying material for creating...

Stonfo Single Retractor review The Stonfo Single Retractor is a coiled fly fishing retractor that lets you pin or...

Sunray El Guapo streamer fly line review The Sunray El Guapo streamer fly line is an integrated shooting head style line that is...

Stonfo Fishing Neck Lanyard review The Stonfo Fishing Neck Lanyard is a heavy duty rubber fishing lanyard with attachment...

Stonfo Nippers review Stonfo Nippers have a comfy rubberised grip, razor-sharp blades and a recessed needle...

Get fly fishing updates

You may unsubscribe at any time. Check our privacy policy for details on how we use and protect your data.