I agrew with Mojo here. I really like the sharkskin lines that I have. I like even more SA troutstalker lines. I have pretty much had orvis lines, 333, 444, 444SL, SA, Airflow, Cortland--western drifter, trout boss, rio gold and grand. I like all the top end lines that I have so I will never buy a lower line again. I like the Rio lines, trout boss and the SS and troutstalker lines. I think the upper end lines are worth the money.
I have been doing this sport for 30 years now and the better my equipment gets, the less I like to fish lower end equipment.
We have often discussed in these forums the remarkable difference in performance a rod yields when several lines are test cast with it. I have said before that, though I have a conceptual preference for an extended head, long rear tapered floating line, I find it impossible to predict what line the ROD is going to like the best. I have invested substantially in fly line resources in order to fine tune the casting performance of my rods and, as I fish both sweet and salt water, I fish a variety of line weight sizes. Top quality lines are not an option to me, they are a prerequisite to achieve the performance I seek by acquiring and being critical of the rods and reels from today's (and yesterday's) most creative designer/makers. Would a race car driver shod his ride with less than optimal tires which, as in the case of tropical vs. cold water saltwater flats lines, are formulated for thermal sensitivity. I, like everyone, enjoys getting a good deal but the notion that I might line my Sage, G.Loomis, Hardy or whatever beloved rod with any line other than he optimal match for it is not going to happen.
I was given an 8-weight line made in China to field test in the tropics by a friend in the rod business several years ago. His company was considering helping this line maker get off the ground by having an exclusive branding deal here in America. I am not saying that with extensive investment and R&D they might not have come up with a good product but that was the worst piece of %#*! line ever strung through a set of snake guides and I am pleased to report the deal was stillborn. As with rods and reels, if we want top quality, made in the USA tackle to to pursue our fly fishing quarry with, be prepared to pay for it. Only with our support will these companies survive much less thrive. Off shore suppliers are waiting in the wings to make aggressive forays into our tackle market wherever an opening exists. The Americans at SA, RIO, Cortland and the Brits at Airflo (Orvis and Wulff are private label SA products) work overtime to enhance materials, cores, manufacturing and labeling processes and tapers. I say "thank you" by fishing with lines from all four of these companies.
I've been using some $10 factory second lines (made in Ontario) for 8-10 years now. I was a fairly loyal Cortland costumer previously and I still have plenty of those but I've had some good experience with these cheap lines and see no reason to change.
Will they get as much distance as a line that cost 7 or 10 times as much?...
Probably not but I don't really care
Another interesting Thread,I've also used most of the Lines,with the exception of three mentioned,plus others not mentioned.
With Reels & especially one Brand of Gear which is Good Stuff,as mentioned some is way overpriced,after all why should The average guy who uses these products have to pay for all The Promotion Freebies etc,because if we The Buyers don't like a product it doesn't sell regardless of whose tested it,also huge mark ups greatly increase all item prices.
Like many others I have Many Many loaded Reels with Lines of all sizes etc, plus many new unused Lines,some of which I have bought at the right price,even though I will never wear them all out.
I constantly check eBay & constantly see Lines from $15 to $100+,however I haven't bought a Line for 6-9 Months & by my Standards,am I overdue???
Perhaps??? as I always Shop around for The Best Buy.
The problem is most of those "promotional freebies" go to guides and opinion makers. If they aren't talking about your product in this business it doesn't show up on shelves, much less move off the shelves. And those testers have valuable input. Guides who are on the water 200+ days a year are pretty good judges of product. They also see how the product handles in others hands and in a variety of conditions. As far as paying for testing, I've seen more than a few products that would have benefitted from a lot more testing.
Burk,I couldn't agree with you more about some products not being tested enough,also how many times have we all seen & had a good product,then for some reason it's been changed.
There are many people who fish more than most guides do,I've been with guides who only Fish when they are on vacations,incidently I'd like to have your job as a Hardy's Rep as I bet you get to use some beaut gear,I know I would.
I can cast a Hook and Hackle Hi Floater line just fine. The SA Mastery lines are okay. However, I have a thing for Rio fly lines. Are they worth 79.99? NO. No fly line is worth that. I have to buy them on sale. If they aren't on sale, I don't get them, simple as that. Yes, they are BETTER. I have not tried their mainstream lines...but all the other lines I've tried, I've liked. I really like to buy their discontinued lines. I have found some good lines that way.