Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair:
A Product Update©
Scientific Anglers Latest Line …
The Streamer Express
I suppose I will never cease to be amazed at the numbers of fishers of flies who waste their time fishing their flies where the fish are not … Catching a fish with a fly requires an understanding that to catch a fish the angler must place the fly in the water column where the fish happens to be … Wrong place plus right fish equals no fish on the fly.
Typically, these fishers of flies fish their flies on or near the surface while the fish watches from far below -- laughing, I might add. This is, of course, is part of the Grand Conspiracy of the Ancient Fish Gods who delight in deluding Man’s mind. Fortunately for all of us, I was with Lamont Cranston, in lo, those many years ago when, in the Orient, he learned the secret of clouding Man’s mind. Perhaps, you knew Lamont best as the Shadow. In truth, not only does the Shadow know, but so do I…
My hat’s off to Scientific Anglers for their continuing efforts to blow away the cloud that hangs over the mind of the average fly fisher and reveal to him the truth: Fish beneath the surface and catch fish. This time enlightenment comes in a new line called the Streamer Express. There are ever so many waters where this line will make its mark that I simply suggest that from the ocean flats to the fast tumbling waters of the high country, this line deserves your attention.
For this review, I selected a Streamer Express suited for rods of weights 7-9 … This version is a combo of a 30-foot, 250 grain rapidly sinking clear-tip head, followed on by a full sinking AST intermediate/Type I running line. The overall length of the line is 100-feet.
So what’s the big deal? Lots! As this chart suggests, you can have this line tailored for fly rods with weights 5-6 all the way up to the heavyweights of 10-13. While I cannot attest to the line’s performance at either extreme, I have no reason to doubt the performance, given what I learned during this review. The advantage of this combo is simple: the intermediate running line gets below the wave/weed level while the full sinking head gets the fly down deep – quickly!
Did you ever want to throw an entire line? Well, you can do it to it with the Streamer Express – that’s right – show off and throw the entire line. And if you were from doubtful from past experience with the so-called “hinge” effect of many sink-tips, forget it! This baby is a caster’s dream.
The Streamer Express is a bullet line -- no hinge effect. The fact is it fires just a bullet, straight to the target. Wherever you aim, be assured this is a line gets there fast and in a very tight loop. I would suppose friend fish will come to call it “unfair” in the ongoing competition between Man & Fish … and it is!
Now, for all you doubting Thomas’s who fear casting intermediate and sinking lines, let me reassure you that you will come to cast the Streamer Express with all of the ease of your favorite weight-forward floater. You see, Scientific Anglers has been kind in adding 2-feet of handling line to transition the full sinking head from the intermediate running line. I suggest you mark this transition point with one of the many inks with hi-color visibility to assist you in identifying it during the retrieve. The “handling line” represents the point you should begin the roll cast. Re-surfacing is the only way to lift the head into the standard backcast.
Don’t forget … since the Streamer Express has a clear head, your leader need not be more than 3 to 4-feet. For purposes of this test, I fashioned a leader of 4-feet with only 2-sections, each 2-feet in length: the butt of .023” diameter Mono, and the mid-section of .017” diameter Mono. This setup worked well for me and might for you. For those of you who might not know, the short leader will help in making the cast … (Note: Any time you can fish a short leader and still catch fish, by all means do so. Short leaders are a fly fisher’s delight when conditions or the fish say it’s alright.)
Since this line is AST-formulated, it’s fair for you to expect it to roll cast extremely well. I promise … a few practice sessions and you will be a believer in this line. I am so certain of this, feel free to contact me with your casting problems. Airbaby6@sbcglobal.net
What more could you ask?
For more information regarding the Mastery Series Streamer Express, contact:
3M Scientific Anglers, 3M Center, Bldg. 223-4NE-05, St. Paul, MN 55144-1000. Telephone: 1-(800) 430-5000.
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© Copyright: Douglas G. Macnair, 2004-2005.