Fly Fishers' Republic

Cortland Dyna-tip

February 18, 2006



Cortland’s Dyna-Tip arrived at FFR’s door in spring ’06, when rather than put it through its paces on the casting pool, the editor decided to take it fishing and make this a field test report. And here it is… finally!

I got the 555 Dyna-Tip from Cortland’s UK distributor just before making a trip to Wisconsin. So, considering the options, it seemed like a good idea to skip the casting pool and put the line through some real testing. Now, nine months later, I’ve fished theWF 5wt in just about every situation in which it might reasonably be expected to perform. On narrow streams, broad rivers, small lakes, and large reservoirs, I’ve gotten to know the Dyna-Tip pretty well.

First off, while one or two products in the 555 series may be aimed at distance casting, the Dyna-Tip is designed primarily for stealthy presentation. So, if distance is your main bag, consider one of the Precision 444 series with Rocket2 taper. Maybe try the Trout Hi-Vis, or the Stillwater Trout Floating. That said, the 555 Dyna-Tip can be cast considerable distances – when occasion demands, a bit of timely hauling can shoot the whole line! But my point is, this line really performs at its best in short to medium distance casting and is perfect for dry fly and nymph fishing. The line’s weight is distributed through a gentle front taper and relatively long belly. For short range casting the line fishes best on a medium, or better still, a slow action rod. For greater distances the line will fish well on any rod that suits your casting style. Mostly I’ve fished the Dyna-Tip on a Greys Missionary for close range scenarios, and a Sage XP for greater distances.

This line is “built on a super supple braided nylon core and coated with advanced plastics and active lubricants,” a construction aimed at a cool water environment. In the time I’ve fished it, I’ve found the line to consistently show low memory, having a good balance of suppleness and shootability. To this point I’ve found no signs of cracking even after cruel abuse including a few unplanned pike fishing escapades, and some serious bushwhacking. Of course, even though Cortland have gone to great lengths to develop special “Barrier Technology” and unique line coatings, like any fly line, the Dyna-Tip performs best when plied with a little TLC. Maybe it could withstand total neglect, but I’m afraid I care too much for my rod guides to test that possibility!

If you were wondering about the name of this line, Cortland explain: “With water at a specific gravity of 1.0 and the majority of floating lines at .9, the 555 Dyna-Tip tip section floats at .6…” In fact, the manufacturer dynamically adjusts the specific gravity of the line at the tip to compensate for ‘tip sink’. This design feature works well so long as you employ a slim leader connection and ensure the tip is sealed with a spot of Aquasure. Using a heavy braid loop leader connection impairs the tip’s high floating property.

Overall I’ve found the Dyna-Tip’s performance second to none. It has sufficient belly to roll cast and mend, and a front taper that is long and fine enough to make quiet and delicate presentations. At the same time, it has a complete profile and weight distribution that allows the line to deliver your fly to distant targets when required.

While I can’t necessarily say I’ve caught more fish with this line than with others, I can say I’ve always felt confident fishing it. The version I’ve been using is avocado with a light sage tip. It has a dull and very lightly textured finish that more or less eliminates ‘flash’ during the cast, making it ideal for easily spooked fish. I’ve taken advantage of these stealth qualities targeting wild brownies, rainbows, and chub.

Cortland’s 555 Dyna-Tip is ideal for river & stream fishing, and medium range still-water applications and I am confident in recommending it.


Model: Cortland 555 Dyna-Tip
Taper: WF
Weights: 4-9
Length: 30 yards
Core: Braid
Colour: Mango with 4 foot white tip or avacado with 4 foot light sage tip


£52.50 ($59/€89)


What others said:

"Body - Cortland Line's "Barrier Technology" gives you a line that needs no dressing, requires minimal cleaning, repels dirt and is hydrophobic shedding water easily."

"Coating - multiple slickening agents and bonded coatings are actually mixed into the line body coming to the surface with use and creating a virtually friction-free cast."

"Durability - long-chain polymer additives provide extreme durability and unparalleled crack resistance - far and away more durable than any of the fly lines we've tested!"