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Old 03-18-2011, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: SA Mastery Textured GPX

Comparison between the SS and the GPX textured is in the works. My good friend has a SharkSkin on his new 3wt and the next time we are together I will do a head to head noise comparison. Up until now I have just handled the SS when I had to strip all the line/backing from a reel to convert it from LH to RH retrieve. This certainly gave me the experience needed to feel the abrasiveness of line but I'll cast it to get a feel on the noise. Without a doubt though the GPX Textured is noisy and there is a profound difference when you switch back to a non textured line or vice versa.

Heck, swing by Hargove's I'd bet he has a couple of his custom Winstons lined up for a comparison.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: SA Mastery Textured GPX

Well, with all the flooding in the rivers, I finally got a chance to get out and spend a few days using the SA Mastery Textured GPX line in a WF4F.

It is definitely louder than a smooth line when casting, but I also had a chance to try out a friend's rod with the Sharkskin line on it, and the new textured is less than half the noise of the Sharksklin. The new textured is also quite a bit easier on the fingers when they have been softened in the water for many hours. I had no issues with finger abrasions, but the noise definitely takes a little getting used to.

The best part is that it definitely casts further when throwing full casts (drys or wet flies). I would guess that I picked up 10-15 feet on most casts. I did see some improvement when doing some one-handed speycasts but not as much difference as the normal overhead cast, and actually saw negligible difference in distance with a standard rollcast.

Bottom line - is it worth the extra buck$ ? Personally, I will probably not buy anothe one - it is fun to try out, but unless you are fishing right at the maximum of your casting range most of the time, the extra distance does not appear to come into play enough to warrant the expense, and I like the lack of noise that a smooth line has when casting - just my humble opinion.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: SA Mastery Textured GPX

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Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
Frank, Thanks for the query - I prefer the 1/2 heavy line on a fast rod as it allows better rod loading when the casting distance is shorter, vs. overlining and impacting the rod performance characteristics that strongly across the entire casting distance.

I spoke to a very knowledgeable fly shop owner, and his recommendation was that the Rio Gold (and apparently the Grand) line coatings are currently just a bit too soft for use on a fast rod, and he recommends other lines for fast rods. However, he still recommends the Rio Gold as one of the best overall lines on any medium or slower rods, and depending on the rod sometimes even a medium-fast rod. It is just a matter of matching the line to the rod.

Thanks,

---------- Post added at 03:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 AM ----------



Russell - Thanks for the fast review. A couple of questions - the textured GPX line has golfball-like dimples inset down into the line, vs. the sharkskin line which has raised ridges - correct? can you compare the noise to the sharkskin? is it just as loud as sharkskin or possibly somewhere between the sharkskin and a smooth line? Thanks for your input,
Interesting comment about Rio Gold being a good line for slower to medium action fly rods. I know Winston rates the BIIX as fast action, but being predominately a Sage guy, I find them to be medium action. Granted I haven't spent enough time with my 486 BIIX YET, but I've got it paired with Gold and in my limited experience, I think that's the line for it.

Maybe I'll give the the SA textured a shot when I need to replace my Grand on the Z Axis. I too have heard my share of anglers who have had problems with Rio cracking. I've had problems on a line or two but not enough to make me switch to something else...yet.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: SA Mastery Textured GPX

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Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post
Interesting comment about Rio Gold being a good line for slower to medium action fly rods. I know Winston rates the BIIX as fast action, but being predominately a Sage guy, I find them to be medium action. Granted I haven't spent enough time with my 486 BIIX YET, but I've got it paired with Gold and in my limited experience, I think that's the line for it.

Maybe I'll give the the SA textured a shot when I need to replace my Grand on the Z Axis. I too have heard my share of anglers who have had problems with Rio cracking. I've had problems on a line or two but not enough to make me switch to something else...yet.
Hi Jaybo,

I have had several of the Rio Gold lines break down within a few weeks to even a few days after being loaded new onto a reel (a couple cracked right behind the welded loop, one line cracked down to the core 6" behind the loop, had a 2" long piece piece of the outer line break off one fly line, and even had a Gold flyline completely break while fighting a fish). During one of several phone calls I had with Rio customer service, they readily stated that they were having issues with the outer coating on the Gold, and that it was a manufacturing issue. The issue was bad enough that they put a hold on the manufacturing process, such that I had to wait several weeks to even get a replacement line for one that I returned. I do not know if they have resolved their issue, but I will not put a Rio Gold line back on any rod that is rated faster than a medium - they just cost too much for very poor service life! I have now had 2 different fly shop owners who both have said that the Rio Gold lines are great on medium rods, but should be used with caution on any rod faster than Medium, depending on your casting style and fishing methods. They are just seeing too many lines being returned for replacement due to breakage in the outer plastic coating.

As far as the Rio Grand lines are concerned, I put 2 Rio Grands on a pair of fast 4wt and 5wt rods. The 4wt line lasted a grand total (pun intended) of less than 3 months before it also cracked all the way down to the core right behind the welded loop, and then after I cut off the loop and installed a perfection loop of Amnesia line it cracked again a few inches up the line - this is the line that I replaced earlier this year with the SA Textured GPX mentioned in this posting. FYI - the 2nd Rio Grand on the 5wt managed to last a bit over 6 months, and then the line also cracked down to the core behind the welded loop while I was fishing it a couple of weeks ago. I simply cut off the welded loop and attached a perfection loop of Amnesia line, but I have already noticed another crack forming about 4" above where I nailed the perfection loop onto the line. So my impression is that Rio is apparently still having the same issue that I saw with the Gold lines, where the outer coatings of their Grand lines are simply too soft for Fast rods.

On the other hand, I have an SA GPX on a Med-Fast 6wt that I have been using since 2007 with no problems at all. Granted it gets used only about half as much as the 5wt, but that is still the equivalent of 2 years of fishing - and it still looks as good as the day I loaded it. I can guarantee I am not a Rio hater (I have purchased more than a dozen Rio lines), nor an SA lover (the 6wt SA GPX was actually the first SA line I had purchased in several years prior to buying/testing the 4wt Textured GPX); but I think I will be buying another SA GPX (non-textured) to replace the broken Rio Grand sometime in the near future!
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: SA Mastery Textured GPX

Brew,

I don't blame you one bit for trying something else if your line was cracking as described. Chi has reported some good experiences with the Airflo and SA lines, maybe I'll have to give them a look when the current ones on my gear are shot.
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