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Old 09-01-2012, 02:22 PM
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Default Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

I've been using Rio Gold and Rio Grand WF5F but these retail for $75 which is far from cheap. I have gotten better deals by shopping around and using eBay but I'm wondering if they are worth the extra expense. Aside from the braided loops, is there really a perfomance edge over entry level Orvis Clearwater, Rio Mainstream, or even Cabelas Prestige?

Assuming the better fly lines are worth it, is there perhaps a good line that doesn't sport the $75 price tag?
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Hi Mike,

I've used a whole lot of Scientific Anglers Mastery lines selling around 45 - 50 dollars. These were always my idea of high end lines. I've also caught plenty of trout with Cortland 333 & 444 lines. In todays market there are lines that claim to be so specific that the next generation might just claim to be for certain size fish. If you were to perhaps buy the 'Lunker Line' then who knows............

I openly admit to being a curmudgeon when it comes to modern fly lines.

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Old 09-01-2012, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Unfortunatly there are several 'middle men' who need their take. No problem with that as a line box could sit on the retailers shelf for a very long time.

What gets me 'off' is the thousand dollar rods/reels out there. Same idea as above, but other than you want/"need" the latest and greatest .. why would you go there.

For context, a very high end reel maker just posted up their newest/greatest lever controlled drag action reel. For heavy salt this this is probably the 'Bee's Knees.' ($1200 USD)

For a Spey rod I purchased the 'baby brother' (not the same manufacturer) of this 'thing' for $164.00 (postage included) out of the UK.

Different applications, better/worse builds? Yup, but in the main, a reel is a place to store a fly line. Think me wrong? What would you pay for a Hardy (made in China for the most part) that doesn't even have a drag system?

From the numbers I've run this thing can't cost forty bucks to produce in reel cost. And sells/asking for what? I'll spare all my thoughts on some the newest/greatest/you neeeeeeed rods, et. al.

Just a thought here, but if you cut the cost by 40-50 percent, how many more would you sell if you took the 'want out of the need?'

Honestly have no idea.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

I am a firm believer in getting the right line for the rod (that is assuming you already have the right rod for indended use)
I used to purchase premium lines more freely but when they passed a certain price point they lost me. Line manufacturers MUST know that they'll reach a point of diminishing returns with their price hikes... don't they?
I still buy premium lines but only if they fall within the price I'm willing to pay. Sad but true. For me this means last years best or sale items like the Orvis Hydro's I just bought with a gift certificate I got and later, because Orvis dropped the price within my range on certain models.
I like premium lines for their usually well-crafted tapers and the built-in slickness that most of them have. The right line makes all the difference in the world in my fly fishing and casting enjoyment.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Some I think are a gimmick, however I just got an Airflo Forty Plus sniper fast intermediate line and this thing is AWESOME. It is a lot more aggressive than the traditional lines I have used and it took a little getting used to but this line is amazing. I shoot line twice as far and it takes less line to load the rod. This was my first Airflo line and I wont think twice about spending $80 on more of them in the future. This line is ribbed too so there is less surface contact so less friction on the guides. It litterally flows like air.

I am not trying to talk you in to this line or anything, just pointing out that I do think SOME are worth the money. Compared to the RIO striper line (also a great line) I shoot line further with less effort so that just shows that even at $80, depending on your style a certain line may or may not be worth the money to you. All you can do is try out a line and if you like it, it was worth the money. If you don't like it, it wasn't worth it.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Woodriver; I was just told about the Airflo sniper lines and want to give them a try. Everyone I know that has used says it's the best integrated shooting line they've cast.

I think it depends on the type of fishing your going to be doing and what matters to you when your fishing. I feel like high end fly lines for nymphing, swinging, and tossing dry's is a waste of money. But when I'm throwing heavy shooting heads, huge top waters, or big heavy Clousers I want a line that has the taper to punch my fly out there. I tried to get away with it the cheap way and just up line, but ended up with all my rods rigged up with Rio Outbound and S/A Streamer Express lines. So as far as I'm concerned i'll go cheap on my small rods(what few I have left) and spend the dough on my what matters to me.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

I agree with Ard that lines seem to be getting very specific. It seems they almost want us to switch lines between holes!

I do not pay that much attention to cost of lines because a difference of $20 or $30 is really not that much in the big picture of all of my fishing and tying stuff and even fuel to get to my fishing spots. I suggest trying as many lines as you can and see what works best for you, and if it is one of the high end lines then ask yourself is it worth the extra $$ over a more economical line? I have several lines in the major weights I fish and will swap them around on a rod until I find the one that works best for me. A good shop will also let you try several lines. It happens to be a mid-priced SA DT line on my favorite 4 weight, but a Rio selective trout on a second 4wt I use. I built a 5wt Zaxis a couple of years ago and the local fly shop suggested Rio Grand, but I tried it and ended up with a 444 at a cheaper price and it worked better for me than the Grand. I have a custom 5wt that is my new baby and the builder suggested the SA DT, but I like the Rio Gold so went with that.

BTW, I just picked up a Rio Gold 4wt line for $40. I have a lot of trust in my local fly shop, and the owner told me Rio was changing the box but not the line, but the lines are going on sale because some people will want the latest version. My attitude is always "what is it worth to me," but I also jump on good items when on sale!
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
I have a lot of trust in my local fly shop, and the owner told me Rio was changing the box but not the line, but the lines are going on sale because some people will want the latest version. My attitude is always "what is it worth to me," but I also jump on good items when on sale!
It looks as though Rio really has made a few changes, one of which I'm glad they finally ackowledge, that many floating lines don't float! Gimmicks or not... only time and use will tell.

Rio - Max Cast, Max Float Tip and Connect Core... let us hope!
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

Still asking. What does it cost to make a tapered fly line?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Are high end fly lines worth the expense?

How much has changed in PVC fly lines since 1962?

The lines still use the SA encapsulated micro-balloon approach, which means tip diameters still are >0.031" and yet tips still sink.

Many attempts have been made to introduce hydrophobic compounds to improve flotation, but these chemicals are leeched away fairly quickly, so the makers still rely on increasing the diameter of the lines to increase the apparent buoyancy.

Planned obsolescence is built in - some makers suggest replacing lines every two years.

For those who fish with dries and cast <60', most of the difference between the lines is sizzle not steak. Silk lines, for those who like them, still are a good investment with a usable life of > 20 years with proper care.

Personally, I like the old SA Aircel Supreme (in white) or the Cortland 444 (in Peach) when I can get them because they tend to be thinner than more modern lines. I am using at present a $12 SA Concept line from Walmart on my 4wt Leonard. Not the best line, but not the worst.

IMO, whatever line feels best on the rod with the way you cast to the average distance you need... is the line you should buy, regardless of price.
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