FLY LINE COMPANIES have had a couple of big years in a row in the way of product introductions; with scores of new SKUs for retailers to keep track of, it may not be possible for you to find the specific model you are looking for at your local fly shop (so call in advance and have them order the line for you).
Scientific Anglers had so many new lines that it would be impossible to name them all here. Suffice it to say that the Sharkskin lineup has been greatly expanded, now includingMagnum Tropic, Streamer Express, Saltwater Clear Tip, and Tarpon tapers, plus several more. The two new non-Sharkskin lines that most caught our attention were the Kelly Galloup-inspired Streamer Express Long Sinking series, and the separate Streamer Express Clear Tipline (which is self-explanatory). The Galloup lines are highly innovative; available in 150-400 grain weights, the front thirty feet of each line sinks rapidly, while the next twenty feet is an intermediate sink, and finally the back end of the line floats. The idea is to keep a streamer on a level plane as the angler quickly yanks it out of thick structure near the bank—a very effective bank-bashing technique that Galloup has perfected.
RIO Products‘ new Indicator Line builds on the ideas behind the Nymph series: it has a thick tip for throwing big nymphs, a long bright orange section at the tip for visibility, and stair-stepped rear taper to give you better control of your mends. The idea is to let you dispense with the indicator float altogether and just use the line (watch for the orange tip to straighten to detect a strike). Meanwhile, the new Trout LT takes the color change technology from the popular Rio Grand and applies it to a lightline, presentation taper.
Cortland also had several new lines at the show, but the two most intriguing to us were the 444 Classic Whisper Taper and the Precision SubSurface Ghost Tip. The Whisper Taper essentially takes the famous—and beloved—444 “peach” line and tweaks it to make an even better delivery system for small dry flies and long leaders. It will be available in 3- through 9-weight sizes. Spring creek fishermen should love this line, especially as it is formulated to stay supple in very cold water. Meanwhile, meat-chucking anglers on the other end of the spectrum will like the Subsurface Ghost Tip (5-weight through 7-weight), which is available with both 5-foot and 10-foot clear sinking tips This line should be great for streamers, especially on a moonlit night.
Loop is not especially well-known in the States for their lines, but they do offer a full slate of them, especially for the arena of two-handed Scandinavian casting (as you’d expect). Two of the most interesting at the show were the MULTi Long Distance and MULTi X-Slow. The distance line, in 5-weight through 9-weight, has a color change at the head help casters see how much line is in the air and an extended rear taper. Meanwhile, the X-Slow lines come in WF5 through WF9 and have an extra-slow sink for stillwater wet flies or spooky streamer presentations.