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Selling fly tackle through our world renowned ebay store maximizes consignee returns and ultimately puts more money in your pocket. That's where Leland Fly Tackle Consignment comes into play. Sometimes you don't need new gear... maybe you have acquired a family members collection of tackle, you no longer fly fish, or you just need cash. Leland's here to help turn this tackle into cash.
What makes Leland Fly Tackle Consignment different than other consignment programs out there?
The beauty of our program is that each item is sold as a 7 day auction on ebay... after only 7 days it's sold. No more waiting months for a shop to sell your tackle in the back corner or other websites that list items at a set price who receive little or no traffic. Ebay is a worldwide marketplace and Leland has mastered the art of selling here. From our 5 high resolution studio photos, to compelling item descriptions and accurate condition assessments we are a trusted source for those looking to purchase quality tackle. What does that mean for you the consignee? More $$$, our sale prices are consistently 15% higher than other selling methods and you won't even get your hands dirty. We do all of the work, from cleaning to minor repairs because our goal is to make you more money!
What are your consignment fee's?
Leland Fly Tackle Consignment takes a commission of 30% after ebay and PayPal fees are deducted (10% of the sale price). Remember, you would pay these same fees if you sold the item yourself. Example: If an item sells for $100, $10 goes to ebay and PayPal, and you keep $63.
What form does the money come in?
All you need is a PayPal account to receive your cash return. PayPal is a secure form of money transferring and it allows you to use the money for other online purchases or simply transfer to a debit card or linked bank account. If you have more questions about PayPal just ask.
How long does it take?
From the day we receive your gear, it generally takes 2-3 weeks for all items to sell and for Leland to issue a one time PayPal money transfer. Leland Upgrade credit is updated each week while Leland Consignment transfers are done once all your items sell.
Can I get some money in cash and some in store credit, maybe I want a new fly rod outfit?
Of course you can. Please let us know first, but we can split any of your proceeds into a gift card and the remainder into cash via PayPal. Many have sold their tackle after leaving the sport and decided to gift new gear to the younger generation, son's, daughter's and grandchildren. Don't give them your old worn out gear, get them something new they'll enjoy for many years to come.
Turn your fly tackle into cash with the world's most trusted trade-in program
When we first met John and Danny of Hatch Outdoors several years back, we thought they were truly on to something
good. Hatch engineering was right on the money, but our biggest issue
was that they just didn’t have a full suite of fly reels in their
lineup, (as in “bigger” reels). We went ahead and brought in the 3 Plus,
5 Plus and the 7 Plus with the anticipation that a 9 to 12 weight reel
would some be on the way. Well, enter the Hatch 9 Plus and, now, we
can’t get enough! These reels have all proven to be wonderful reels with
powerful, smooth drags and we wouldn’t expect anything different from
the 9 Plus. From the initial stripping of fly line from the 9 Plus, I
was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be disappointed. The big question;
could this drag hold up against big fish?
Cutting edge design, impeccable machining and powerful drag is
how I would describe the Hatch 9 Plus fly reel. Alternating stacks of
stainless steel and Rulon® discs are the foundation for this reel drag
and along with stainless one-way bearing, gives you big fish stopping
power and protection.
When you decide to enter the flooded fly reel arena, you better know
what you’re doing. And when you enter the field of fly reel
manufacturing, you better have something different, and better, that
works, but without varying too far off the path. Welcome to Hatch Fly
Fishing Reels. These reels are truly stylish looking without pushing
over the edge, and with innovative ideas like an integrated reel foot
that is machined as part of the frame,( no oxidizing foot screws here!)
and a truly, fully sealed drag and bearing system, these Hatch reels are
taking names and kicking fanny.
To reach this level of design with minimal weight, Hatch engineers
applied a dimensional type spoke frame instead of the traditional flat,
thick spokes. This allowed them to reduce the number of spokes, while
increasing the look (“coolness”) of the reel, and increasing frame
The reel handle and counterbalance are perfectly trued, so the
reel spins cavitation free, preventing uneven force distribution during
a wild run. Hatch employs Type II anodization and polishes only the
areas of the reel that come in contact with the fly line, thus providing
protection while eliminating reel bright “flash” that can alert
The 9 Plus is designed with two spools of different arbors depths, a mid
arbor for 11 and 12 weight lines and a large arbor for 9 and 10 weight
To top it all off the reels come with a neoprene pouch in a really cool, collectible tin.
Aluminum, what else? No, just kidding, but yes, the Hatch reels
are machined from the highest grade bar stock aluminum. This means that
each and every aluminum piece of this fly reel is cut from a solid block
of aerospace grade metal.. There is no casting or pressing to create
anything on these fly reels. This adds to the reel’s integrity and
The sealed drag system contains a precisely calculated size and number
of Rulon® and stainless steel discs. This sizing and numbering has to do
engineering for the Effective Braking Surface area. Basically, the
correct number and size of discs is dictated by the amount of drag
needed for each size fly reel; the 9 Plus has eleven discs, 6 Rulon® and
5 stainless. That gives you 10 effective interactive drag surfaces, and
a larger contact surface area than most single, large flat surfaces.
The one-way roller bearings are stainless steel and even though they
never see any water, are non-corrosive and do not need lubrication.
The 9 Plus has a stylishly raked spoke frame which gives the fly
reel its cutting edge looks while adding strength and integrity. Each
reel has a clear, unpolished anodized finish providing the reel a dull
aluminum color, although black is also available. All Hatch reels are
accented with a matching color logo, model and size names, thin striping
on the handle and counterbalance, and as a final touch, the drag cap is
colored to match, too.
Sealed drag of 11 stacked Rulon® and stainless steel disc washers
Fully Machined and Type II anodized aluminum
Stainless steel roller bearings
Made in USA
Relatively new to the fly fishing industry, Hatch fly reels are
quickly becoming one our most popular brands. Their design and
engineering is second to none and this is evident by the lack of
returned reels. There have been very few reels brought back , with the
largest issue being adjustment range of the Hatch drag. Some customers
like a reel that locks down completely, where as the Hatch reels have a
slight amount give when tightened all the way down. The guys at Hatch
can easily adjust the drag, so it will lock down for you, if you so
Hatch stands behind every reel they manufacture and offer a warranty
against any manufacturer’s defects in materials or craftsmanship for the
life of the product. Hatch publishes all telephone and email contacts
and is available on the web. John and Danny were once outsiders in the
fly fishing industry, and were told a whole bunch of “you can’t do
that”, so they did it anyway. Anyone that bucks the system better make a
good product, because that’s what it all comes down to. Hatch makes a
Move over, boys at the top, Hatch Outdoors with the 9 Plus is
moving in. This fly reel looks good and it fishes good. I used the 9
Plus on an eleven weight and the reel performed quite well. The
mid-arbor spool provided ample backing capacity at over 200 yds of 30#
Dacron, the pickup ratio was excellent, and the drag, while performing
without a hitch, could have tightened down a tad more for the eighty
plus pound tarpon I fought . Several fish were runners, not jumpers, so
it was gut check time. However, a quick palm and the fish were stopped!
If you’re looking for a change from the traditional, but want a strong
fly reel, grab a Hatch 9 Plus. I think you’ll be impressed as I am.
I have been fly fishing the saltwater environs now for more than
15years and grew up with a fishing rod of one type or another in my
hands. I have been in the fly fishing industry for more than 10 years
and have been lucky enough to be exposed to most of the major
manufacturers of fly rods, reels, waders, clothing…I hope this review
helps you decide on which products to purchase.
PROS –A thing of beauty strapped to any fly rod. But beauty is
only design-deep, as this is one brute of a fly reel. A series of
eleven, alternating, stacked Rulon® and stainless washers is the
centerpiece of this big fish, tough fly reel. Two different arbor size
spools are available for the frame of the 9 Plus.
CONS – The reel looks so good you may not want to fish with it,
but please do. Some people may feel the drag range doesn’t tighten
enough. Some anglers like to lock it up, but the 9 Plus is designed to
apply just the right amount of pressure to control any big fish.
BOTTOM LINE - The Hatch fly reel is a great looking fly reel that
provides a powerful, fully sealed disc drag system. Designed by fly
anglers that thought there something missing in the fly industry and set
out to fill the void. The result is one fine fly reel.
Check out our selection of Hatch Fly Reels.
Where will your Red Truck take you?
Did you know that California has more trout-filled river miles than Montana? It's true, and like a trusted truck or a fishing buddy, your Red Truck fly
rod will dare you to get out there and explore. So, live richly; wake up to the amazing vistas, fish with friends, camp, explore, eat well, and above
all take it all in.
• Balanced solutions
• Efficient action
• Same-stroke selection
• Rod caps that open beers
• Precision-fit ferrules
• The fastest lifetime warranty in the business
From ease of cast to ease of ownership, efficiency is what it's all about!
At Red Truck Fly Rods we have two goals:
1. Design the best-balanced, most-efficient casting fly fishing outfits available.
2. Create an easy and efficient path to ownership.
• Get actual market price for your underused fly fishing rods and reels.
• Swap your old gear toward a balanced Red Truck Fly Fishing Outfit.
For more information on our balanced outfits, Swap program or just need some solid advice on where to fish...contact your friends at Red Truck Fly Rods. firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to visit our fly line solutions.
Specifications • 3-layer GORE-TEX® Performance Shell fabric technology with 5-layer front leg panel for additional durability • Patented front and back leg seam design for exceptional comfort and articulation • Adjustable elastic 1.5" suspender with YKK® non-locking buckles • Exterior chest pocket with Velcro® closure • Fleece-lined hand warmer pocket with DWR treatment keeps hands warm & dry • Flip-out, zippered chest pocket • Upper features women-specific cut with higher chest • Patented built-in Guide Model Gravel Guards • Includes nylon wading belt with unique pattern and repair kit • Offered in a broad range of 13 sizes - including short & tall - to accommodate diverse shapes and sizes • Every pair manufactured in Bozeman, Montana • Approximate weight: 33 ounces • Color: Gray-blue • Price: $329.95
Most experienced fly fishermen, and fly fishing guides, would acknowledge that Simms makes the highest quality waterproof/breathable fly fishing waders that you can buy. Simms is the only manufacturer of waders located within the United States; in fact, right in the heart of trout country, in Bozeman, Montana. Most folks are surprised, as I was, when they hear that all of the other 30 or so wader brands on the market are made in the same two factories in China. Simms not only has the best designs, the latest materials, the best fit and the highest quality control, in my opinion, it’s the ONLY maker, to my knowledge, that water tests every single pair of waders that leaves it’s factory, so that you don’t have to ‘test’ them yourself the first time you enter the water. There’s no reason a woman can’t love her fly fishing as equally (or more) as a man loves his, and, as such, she demand as much (or more) from her equipment. But historically, women have sorta gotten a bum rap, often having to endure ill fitting men’s waders in pursuit of their passion. Even Simms has admitted that by making multiple versions of women’s waders in the past, at different price points, they were unable to fully address a comprehensive women’s size range due to the simple economics of supply and demand for the women-specific segment of the fly fishing market. That’s changed, for 2008, with the introduction of the new Simms Women’s Gore-Tex Stockingfoot Wader. This is now the only woman-specific designed wader that Simms makes, but it’s loaded with features for comfort and function, and offered in 13 stock sizes that are designed to fit a wide range of women’s body shapes and sizes. Since it IS Bozeman, there are more than a few serious women’s fly anglers working at the Simms factory, the lead Simms designer and, as always, Simms relied heavily on the input and testing of this product from some of the most accomplished professional women fly fishing guides in the world. These are waders designed by women anglers, for women anglers.
Although we fish in a variety of aquatic habitats, fly fishers most often work their magic in cold, fast moving rivers and streams fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead. This can be a very harsh and demanding environment on the human body, regardless of the time of the year. In summer, you may be wading waist deep in 50 degree water one minute, then hiking in 90 degree weather the next, and then, back in the cold water again. Or, in winter, you may be exposed to freezing conditions all day, and you can only remain out there for as long as you stay warm and dry. In essence, by keeping you comfortable, your waders become the most important piece of fly fishing equipment you can own, so it makes sense to put your money where it counts. “Stockingfoot” is, by far, the most popular design in fly fishing waders, whereby a separately purchased pair of felt or studded sole wading boots are worn over the soft waterproof neoprene socks of the wader. This system is much lighter and more agile than the heavier, attached “bootfoot” waders one might see in dad’s or granddad’s fishing photos. Waders have to be waterproof, of course, to keep that cold water out. Years ago, we fished in stretchy, solid rubber waders called Seal-Dris, and, then, when better seam sealing techniques evolved, synthetic neoprene rubber,( the same as used in SCUBA wetsuits), became the standard material for fly fishing waders. Neoprene was relatively durable, and its ability to stretch and compress allowed for tighter, form fitting waders that had a low drag profile in fast moving water and very good freedom of movement. The only problem was that most of the perspiration produced by your body remained inside these snug waders, eventually soaking socks and whatever other insulation, causing discomfort and greatly increasing conductive heat loss. Waders that were cozy in the water could become sauna baths when walking on dry land. And if you were unfortunate to take a spill, your waders were going to stay wet inside all day, unless you stripped them off and dried them out. Today, thankfully, almost all fishing waders are made from multi-layer, laminated fabrics that are both waterproof AND breathable (wp/b). These fabrics, by allowing perspiration to pass to the outside through micro-pores, keep you much drier and comfortable than in years past, and extend the comfort range of the waders in both warmer and colder weather, but particularly in hot conditions. The type of waterproof/breathable fabric plays an important role in a wader’s performance, and there are two basic categories of laminate fabrics that are currently used in making modern waders. Newer polyurethane laminates are by far the most popular in waders, due to their much lower costs. Higher quality polyurethane laminates are waterproof, relatively durable, and have a reasonable rate of breathability. Gore-Tex, on the other hand, has a membrane composed of PTFE, the same stuff as Teflon, and needs little introduction to those who spend a lot of time outdoors. Gore-Tex revolutionized the outdoor equipment industry with the introduction of the first wp/b fabrics in 1978, and many improvements have been made since then. Gore-Tex fabrics cost about four times as much as most polyurethanes, but, in general, are capable of breathing at higher rates, keeping you drier and more comfortable. Simms uses higher performance Gore-Tex in its top-of the line waders, including the Women’s Wader, and polyurethane Quadralam fabrics in their less-expensive waders. The 3-layer Gore-Tex Performance Shell of the Simms Women’s Wader has a 100% polyester face fabric which is light, and highly abrasion and puncture resistant. Reinforced front leg panels add strength where it counts, yet, at an average weight of only 33 ounces, these waders won’t tire you out. The 1.5” crossed-back elastic suspenders support the wader very comfortably and have nifty YKK buckles that don’t allow you to buckle the wrong buckle when you flip the suspenders over your shoulder. These waders easily convert to waist high waders for better comfort in hot weather or for wading shallow. The sculpted wader booties are constructed of the finest, high density neoprene from Japan and the patented built-in Gravel Guards keep sand, rocks and other debris out of your wading boots. There's a guy in the Simms factory that has been hand-crafting these booties for over fourteen years. Very functional features include a fleece lined hand warmer pocket for chilly weather, a flip-out zippered chest pocket for accessories, and no-seam heat applied belt loops. The nylon wading belt and a small repair kit are included.
Even if Simms used second-best materials, I’d probably still buy and recommend their waders, based on their superior quality of workmanship, and without a doubt, the best fit in the industry. The intention of Simms, from the very beginning of this project, was to make the Simms Women’s Gore-Tex Stockingfoot Wader the best fitting women’s wader available, and, as mentioned previously, professional women fly fishing guides had a lot to say on that subject. The upper of this wader features a women-specific cut with a higher chest design and the wader is contoured at the hips, as well. Patented front and back leg seams significantly reduce wear and are noticeably articulated for greater freedom of movement on-stream. It’s important to note that modern fabric wader materials don’t stretch like the rubber or neoprene waders of old, so it’s critical that extra fabric is put where it’s needed, so that you can move unrestricted in all fishing situations, whether it’s sitting, kneeling, crawling, hiking, or climbing (but, hopefully, not swimming!) Other brands of waders I’ve used don’t even come close to this fit, and I’ve usually had to buy a size larger just to make them work. When trying on waders, one of the best tests for this freedom of movement, while standing, is to see if you can lift your leg and place your foot on, say, a chair seat. This would duplicate stepping up on a rock. It should be effortless. If the fabric tightens up behind your leg or across your butt to restrict movement, these waders do not fit and will not perform properly on-stream. Someone’s going to say, “Hey, you’re a guy. How can you evaluate women’s waders?” Fair enough. Yes, I’m a male, and, no, I haven’t personally tried on the Women’s Wader. But in my favor, I've fitted fly fishers of both sexes in waders for over 30 years and have helped design waders for major manufacturers. I've gone through the process of fitting numerous women into these Simms waders and have gotten their direct feedback and I’ve spent countless hours fishing in Simms waders with near identical properties. I’ve also had the privilege to work for the very first outdoor equipment companies to use Gore-Tex laminates, as well as breathable polyurethanes. The 13 stock sizes do, indeed, fit a wide range of women’s body shapes. We’re all different, so there’s no there’s no guarantee that every woman will find the perfect fit within this scope. The good news is that some women still find the Simms men’s waders, with a huge size selection in its own right, to fit them better. In addition, since their waders are made in the U.S., Simms is the only wader manufacturer to offer a practical custom fit program. In the Women's Wader, you can order custom size booties, or custom Short or Tall sizes for an additional $50 charge.Every fabric wader, on average, has about 2000 needle holes, and many seams, and each constitutes a potential point for water to enter. Seam-sealing technology is absolutely critical to ensure that water can’t find its way through. The Simms factory in Bozeman, Montana has the most advanced seam sealing machinery for waders in the world; many of these machines were designed in conjunction with the Engineering Department of Montana State University and are exclusive and proprietary to Simms. The Simms factory recalibrates its machinery to adjust for temperature, atmospheric pressure, and humidity every hour. And once Simms completes the wader, they are the only company that water tests every wader to ensure that they haven’t missed anything. You simply won’t find this level of sophistication and quality control in the Chinese factories employed by their competitors.
As Simms says, experienced fly fisherman know that there are "two types of waders; those that leak, and those that are going to leak". Basically, all waders eventually wear out and fail. So, if you think that by spending extra money, you’re never going to have to deal with wader repairs, think again. Durability must be considered in relative terms; an occassional angler may get eight or ten years use out of a wader fishing, say, a couple weeks out of the year, whereas a professional working guide's wader might last a season, or two at most. Building waders with extra-heavy fabrics to increase durability tends to make them ungainly, less breathable, and tiring to wear. In my experience, Simms waders outlast others, and are more comfortable in the process, due to superior design, materials and construction methods. Yet, abrasion from sharp rocks, sticks, and micro-punctures from blackberries, gorse, and, heaven forbid, barbed wire will eventually take their toll on any wader.Simms stands behind everything they make. Here’s a breakdown of their warranty: Simms warranties all their products, for the life of the product, against defects in materials and workmanship. Waders that fail for these reasons will be repaired, or replaced, at no charge. This warranty does not cover damages caused by improper care, accidents or the natural breakdown of materials over extended use and time. If, within 30 days of the purchase date, you are unhappy with a Simms wader, bring it back to the dealer you bought it from. Present your sales receipt, and they will replace it, no questions asked. If you accidentally damage your Simms wader during the first year that you own it, the first repair is on Simms. Simply ship Simms the wader, along with a copy of your receipt, and they will repair it and ship it back to you. Further, they will only charge you their actual costs for any additional repairs that you may need during the life of your wader. Simply bring the wader to your dealer, or contact Simms’ Customer Service for a Return Authorization. Then, ship the wader to them with a note describing the problem and someone from their Customer Service Team will promptly contact you with a repair estimate. Once they receive your approval, they will repair your waders and ship them back to you. Simms even maintains a sophisticated on-line service that allows their customers to register warranties, print repair shipping labels and track their repair status and return shipping status from the convenience of their home computers. My suggestion? Unless your Simms wader has a major problem, like a rip (moderately rare), I’d recommend fixing the wader yourself. I don’t have time during the fishing season to send my waders back for minor pin-hole leaks, which are the main culprit for most anglers as their waders age. It’s usually very easy. Simply turn your waders inside out and lay them on a flat surface, with the suspected leak area facing up. Get a small plastic spray bottle from a convenience or hardware store and fill it with 91% rubbing alcohol from any pharmacy (70% will work, but 91% is better). Now, spray a little alcohol on the suspect area, and low and behold, any punctures clearly show up as dark grey dots against the light fabric Gore-Tex background. Now, take the little tube of Aqua-Seal that’s included with the wader repair kit, and simply put on a small, thin dollop (yes, over the wet alcohol!) that covers the grey spot. The alcohol will dry and the Aqua-Seal will harden overnight – repair complete! I carry these items on any overnight fishing trip and I can affect almost any repair in the field as needed. Simms was the pioneer in the fly fishing world, creating the first waterproof/ breathable Gore-Tex waders in 1993. Since then, they have successfully grown to become the largest domestic supplier of waders, boots, and fly fishing clothing in the industry. Simms is one of only three manufacturers worldwide licensed to make Gore-Tex waders. Based on this success, I would guess these guys will be around, backing their warranties, for a long time.
Designed with input from professional women guides, for women fly fishers. Patented front and back articulated leg seam design and Gore-Tex Performance Shell Technology enhance maximum breathability, fit, comfort and performance. 13 sizes available to fit a wide range of body shapes. Easily converts to waist-high waders for warm weather use. Custom sizing modifications available at an additional charge and a convenient warranty service from the only manufacturer in the U.S.
More expensive than other women’s waders; at a cost of $329, you can certainly find some serviceable, albeit, lesser-performing models from Simms, or other manufacturers, at about half this price. This is the only women-specific wader choice from Simms.
Specifications • Fly Line Density: Floating • Fly Line Taper: Long belly, weight forward with welded front loop • Total Head Length: 51 feet (for 5 weight line - varies by line weight) • Running Line Length: 49 feet (for 5 weight line- varies by line weight) • Total Line Length: 100 feet • Core: Braided multifilament for cold water use • Coating: Sharkskin Micro-textured surface on 3M PVC • Line Weights: 3 through 8 weight • Colors: Blue Heron (gray) or Chartreuse PROS- Technological breakthrough greatly improves overall fly line and fly fishing performance; less friction, greater casting distance, higher floatation, easier mending, better presentation, more stealth, less line memory, improved potential durability, with less effort from the caster. CONS- $100 price is about $40 more than other premium fly lines. Creates much more noise going through fly rod guides than smooth fly lines. BOTTOM LINE – One of our basic fly fishing tools has experienced significant improvement! If the durability claims hold up, there’s no reason not to buy this line if you dry fly or nymph fish in moving water. The Sharkskin should be economical to use in the long run.
Fly Fishing, as popular as it may seem from its prominence in television ads, is still a very, very tiny industry. The total money spent on our several hundred year old art form pales in comparison to even recent phenomena like Pilates, for example. Yet, because fly fishing holds a fascination for a dedicated following, there are intelligent people in our world who devote themselves to finding ways to improve the fly fishing tackle that we all use. Almost all of these improvements are small ones. As manufacturers learn technologies from one another, product categories are slowly refined; Rods get lighter, faster, and more powerful. Reels become smoother, more rigid, with better drag performance. But rarely does a piece of new equipment come along with multiple attributes that clearly sets it apart from others. Well, that’s just what’s happened with the introduction of the new Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Fly Fishing Line. And I’m going to tell you why you’ll probably want to spend $100 to get a Sharkskin, if you can find one. Even if you’ve just bought a new fly line.
The new Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Floating Fly Line features a remarkable, patented micro-replication embossed surface that greatly improves overall fly line performance in virtually every category; higher flotation, less friction, less line flash, less line spray, less line coil and, purportedly, greater durability. The result is enhanced fishing performance with increased casting distance, easier mending, easier line pick up, greater stealth and better drifts. • Patented, micro-textured fly line surface greatly enhances overall fly line performance • Superior shoot-ability with greatly reduced friction through the guides for easier casting and greater distance • Higher flotation reduces drag and greatly increases line mend-ability • Greater pliability significantly reduces fly line drag component in moving water • Fly line surface sheds water more effectively – less line spray • Line is purported by manufacturer to be up to 3 times more durable than other fly lines. • Textured surface eliminates line glare or flash—more stealth • Line lifts off water and roll casts with ease
The Sharkskin Fly Line made its official debut at the recent 2008 American Fly Fishing Trade Association Show in Denver, CO, where retailers gather every year to see the new gear and decide on their inventory for the following season. Of all the new products, the conversational buzz I most often overheard in the aisles was, “Have you cast the new Sharkskin Line from S.A.!?”, or, “It makes a lot of noise when you haul, but I’ve never cast that far!”, or, “I swear it was floating above the water!” I didn’t get to cast one at the Show ponds; I was too busy trying to see all the other new stuff, and besides, I’d heard sales hype so often in the past that my expectations, honestly, weren’t that great. But I was handed a new Sharkskin line at the Scientific Anglers booth, as were hundreds of other trades people, and I put it in my bag as I left. I took the line out in my hotel room that night, as I read the information on the 3M box cover. My floating 6 weight Sharkskin line was called “Blue Heron” but appeared a very dull gray with a texture similar to cloth. The line was very supple in my hand and felt like dry snakeskin. The box explained that the surface of the Sharkskin Line was modified with “micro-repeating structures” that “achieve surface interface properties that mimic nature, such as the ability of insects to walk on water, the shedding and self-cleaning ability of Lotus leaves, or the adhesion that allows a gecko to walk up vertical surfaces.” Wow! That sure sounded impressive. I made a mental note to read up on Lotus leaves later. Although I didn’t have a magnifying glass handy, the close-up photo of the line surface looked like fuzzy fish scales. The performance claims were equally grand, but, like rods or reels, you never really know until you fish them hard.
A couple of weeks later, I was on one of my favorite Northern California freestone streams. The nymphing was outstanding after a recent rain. I could see big Rainbow trout in exposed positions, feeding comfortably in the stained current. My relatively new long belly floating fly line, however, felt a little sticky, and was causing me to labor as I forced it through the guides. The front eight feet of the line was sinking. Even after I polished it to remove accumulated dirt and algae, I still felt I was working too hard. That night in camp I remembered I had the Sharkskin Line with me, and I mounted it on a spare reel to use the next day. In the morning, my first cast sailed ten feet past the fish I had spotted! In fact, the Sharkskin Line had so little friction going through the guides, I had to adjust my casting and mending over the next couple of hours to accommodate this phenomena. I was used to using far more power to accomplish these tasks with other fly lines. Now, it seemed I needed only half the energy to extend or shoot line. Single and double hauling was easier with fewer false casts. Texturing a fly line surface to reduce friction is not a new concept. Original silk fly lines were naturally uneven. The old Chancellor Chalkstream lines from England, and to a lesser degree, the old Sunset lines, had a dimpled surface, not unlike a golf ball, to reduce the amount of surface area making contact with the guides. Airflo, England’s premier fly line maker, recently introduced their bumpy surfaced Ridge fly line series in 2006. Scientific Anglers claims the patterning of the Sharkskin process reduces the contact surface area of the line up to 70%. Whatever it is, the Sharkskin, at least when new, has far less friction than any fly line I’ve ever used. I should mention that casting textured fly lines through fly rod guides creates more of a rasping noise than smooth lines, and with the Sharkskin, quite a bit more noise. It doesn’t bother me at all, any more than my click-pawl reel drag. So is the Sharkskin the ultimate distance full-length floating line? Well, that’s hard to say at the moment. Aside from texturing, fly lines in the past have either been stiffer and/or smaller in diameter to increase casting distance. The Sharkskin is much more flexible and softer, than other lines, bending more like a bicycle chain. Fly line taper comes into play for distance as well. The Sharkskin currently is offered in only one taper configuration, called the “Ultimate Trout Taper” in line weights 3 to 8. (note: after this review was published, SA has since introduced several new Sharkskin fly lines; Ultimate Trout Double Taper, GPX, Magnum indicator line, Steelhead Taper, Shooting Line for heads, and an ideal general purpose Saltwater Line - DS 4/09) This long belly, weight forward profile has a head length of about 45 for the 3 weight, ranging to 55 feet for the 8 weight, with a thinner, running line adding to the 100 foot overall length. This taper in a 6 weight performed extremely well for me, fishing at short to fairly long distances (70+ feet), both roll casting and overhead casting. I didn’t test the Sharkskin in a raw distance competition with my other high performance lines as I was mainly interested in assessing the Sharkskin’s fish-ability. The Sharkskin technology, either in the current Ultimate Trout Taper, or a future configuration, may very well prove to cast further than any other line. However, what I can tell you, from a practical standpoint, is that the Sharkskin Ultimate Trout will probably cast further, with less effort, than any other fly line for most casters in typical trout fishing situations. Note: This line is designed for mainly cold water use. Tropical saltwater fly lines typically have stiffer cores, so if that’s what you need, wait until S.A. comes out with a Sharkskin model suitable for that purpose (they have - see note above).
The most impressive, and important feature, by my reckoning, of 3M’s micro-replication process is its awesome flotation properties. I couldn’t believe how high my new Sharkskin line floated on the water, even the line tip! Fly line manufacturers have been struggling to improve line floatability for decades with decidedly mixed results. There’s only so much that you can do with a given mass of PVC with internal micro spheres to reduce specific gravity. Not many years ago, one could expect the best distance floating lines to start sinking immediately, and even most recently, the first six to eight feet of my dry lines will sink unless they were cleaned that morning, and they’ll still sink by the end of the day. Sinking fly lines increase drag and make line mending much more difficult and far less effective. The coatings on most floating fly line tips are barely capable of keeping them on the surface at all. According to Scientific Anglers, the micro-texturing of the Sharkskin Fly Line “Greatly increases the upward meniscus force (surface tension) through a combination of the water’s interaction with the new surface and the trapping of air into the valleys of the texture. The result is an over 200% improvement in resistance of the line to be forced into the water….effectively improving “floatation” of the line significantly beyond anything that can be achieved through the addition of glass bubbles or surface chemistries.” The incredible flotation of the Sharkskin had a profound effect on my ability to make drag free presentations. Firstly, the high floating fly line better supported the floating portion of my leader, keeping it up near the surface in rougher water. Secondly, the Sharkskin lifted so damned easily off the water that mending, stack mending, and roll casting could be accomplished with a fraction of the energy of my other lines, particularly at distance across disparate currents. Thirdly, the Sharkskin line itself has less drag in moving water due to its high flotation, but it also has less drag due to its suppleness, compared to other fly lines. Softer material, be it line, leader or tippet, will create less drag in current. Most trout anglers stake their fish catching success on their ability to present dry flies or nymphs in the most natural manner, which usually means as close to dead-drift as possible. Veteran anglers will understand the import of what I’m saying here, but let me re-emphasize for the less experienced; the new Sharkskin line does everything so much better that it will improve your fly fishing, improve your casting and strengthen your learning curve. The fly fishing line is, arguably, the most important functional piece of tackle you own, so we’re talking about something approaching the Holy Grail of desirability here. With this technology, fly lines won’t have to be so closely matched to rods, guide sizes on rods could conceivably be smaller and lighter, improving rod performance, sinking lines (when available) fished under tension would have greater tactile sensitivity. Not only that, the Sharkskin’s dull surface has virtually no line flash to scare wary fish, making it the most stealthy line available and a no-brainer for fishing spring creeks and hunting New Zealand brown trout. I’d strongly recommend the Blue Heron (gray) color for subtlety in most trout fishing situations. The alternative color, Chartreuse, while having low flash, is day-glo bright, suitable for anglers who have difficulty seeing their line or for fishing in very low-light conditions.
Scientific Anglers was founded in 1945 by fellow anglers Leon Martuch, Clare Harris, and Paul Rottiers in Midland, Michigan. They developed the first modern, plastic coated fly line in 1952, replacing silk fly lines which had been in use for well over 100 years. In 1954, SA introduced the Air Cel, widely considered the first modern floating fly lines. The development of 3M Microballoons in 1959 revolutionized the way that fly lines float and is the standard technology by which all manufacturers float their lines today. 3M, then known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, acquired Scientific Anglers in 1973. Today, 3M is one of 30 companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is ranked about 100 in the Fortune 500 listing with over $23 billion in annual sales, operating in over 60 countries with 29 international companies and 35 laboratories. It’s probably the largest company in the world directly involved in the fly fishing industry. No wonder these guys can make fly lines float! They obviously wrote the book on early modern fly line development and it’s not surprising that they have research and development resources way beyond the means of the handful of other major fly line makers that we usually see on the shelves, which include Rio and Cortland in the U.S. and Airflo in the U.K. Most other brands you buy are actually made by one of these few companies or in Asia. Machines to build modern fly lines are very sophisticated, very expensive, and take up a lot of space, to satisfy a very small potential market. Hence the dearth of players. So, why hasn’t Scientific Anglers simply rolled over their competition? Well, the other companies may be small by comparison, but they too, have been innovative at times, particularly in coming up with specialized tapers for different fishing situations. These tapers are designed by knowledgeable fishermen, not scientists, so sometimes the little guy gets the jump on the big guy. Rio Products, recently purchased by the Sage rod company, has been particularly active, and successful, pioneering whole new categories of Spey and single handed fly lines. I’m not a patent lawyer, but I’m guessing that the 3M micro-replication process might pose a difficult challenge for all other fly line companies seeking to mimic the advantageous properties of the new Scientific Anglers technology. Certainly expect S.A. to capitalize on Sharkskin with an expansion of the product line in the near future.
Frankly, we won’t really know the true durability of Sharkskin until enough of us go out and thrash the water for a while. Lines that last a year for a fishing guide might last ten years for a casual angler. My feeling is, even in the worst case scenario (that being Sharkskin isn’t any more durable than other modern fly lines), the $100 price would still be a bargain based simply on its performance advantages. When you think about the money that you spend on rods, reels, other tackle, and the gas just to get to where you fish, forty extra bucks is a small price to pay.
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