February 16th, 1998
The New Fly Lines For Saltwater
"New and improved." How many times have you read that?
Too many, I'm sure. The 'believability factor' of the print media
and the advertisers has slipped some over the years. Several
decades ago I could trust what I read in the magazines about
products. The information about sporting goods in the catalogs and
the pamphlets from the manufacturers was pretty close to the
truth. But, alas, over time in the search for 'bigger and better,'
they don't always hit the mark in that area.
Till next week, remember ...
So, what would you do if you actually had made an
improvement in, let's say, a fly line? How would you get the word
out and have anyone believe it? Good question — tough job. One
way would be to get someone like me to take the lines out and
'field-test' them. Well, so far I have not found it necessary, or
desirable to stretch the truth about fly-fishing products; hope I
never will. If you think these manufacturers need me to tell them
how to make, or improve the stuff they make you are mistaken.
They know all about it. By the time I get anything they have a darn
good idea of what it is. They sure don't want me to 'test' it and
give a bad report.
It is a fact that I do report directly back to the manufacturer on
the products I 'test.' I have had some ideas that were
incorporated. Then again, those ideas were — usually — already
incorporated before I got the report back to them. Not always
though. I started 'testing' fly-fishing products in the early 1960's,
and have kept at it since then.
Now, how do I get you to believe me when I say there have
been some improvements in fly lines? Again, good question; tough
job. WELL, THERE HAVE BEEN! There, hope that works.
I have just had an opportunity to try out some fly lines
designed for warm water and warm air fly fishing in the Bahamas.
Due to cold, crummy weather, I did not have time to test all I had
with me, but I can tell you this. If you fish for saltwater fish with a
floating fly line and have not yet PURCHASED any of the latest
lines from the major manufacturers, you are not using the best of
what is out there.
There is a difference. The advances in the finish, the coatings,
the taper designs, and the over-all performance are indeed 'new
and improved.' The line speed and general handling were as good
as they ever need to be. They can quit improving. They're good
enough now, really. If they never get any better, I am happy.
Don't be the last kid on your block to get one. They are better!