New Flats Fly Lines

clogrennane

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I got the Cortland liquid crystal blue in 8,9 and 10 as I'm heading to Cuba in 3 weeks time. I've tried the 8&9 on my Scott s4s's and they perfectly match the rods and my casting style. The 10 is for the Loop Cross S1 10 wt and this is also a great match. I'll let you know how they perform as the group will have all the other alternatives with them ie Rio,SA Woulffetc.
 

Hombre06

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I used the Airflo Tropical Bonefish line in Belize last week. Although I don't have a lot of experience in bone fishing the line worked great compared to the Orvis 3D line on the other rod. The Airflo was a lot quieter and pretty tough. The bones took it into the mangroves a couple times and scuffed it up some. It does have more memory but that goes away as things heat up. It also tossed size 8 flies in the wind easily. A great line for a great trip.

 

sweetandsalt

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As neither SA nor anyone else has developed scientific data on textured line in guides sound transmission into and below the waters surface, I performed my own informal experiment...not with microphones but by fishing. I fished two different islands in the Bahamas over the past two weeks and in the first destination, as described in my initial post in this thread, hissing lines are held in disregard. I fished smooth, quite and excellent RIO Permit #8 on NRX.



Don't be mislead by its Permit name, this is a first rate bonefish line which cast and fished great.

Departing this sophisticated camp, I joined a group of friends to explore less plied flats further off the beaten path on another island where our local guides had no opinions about sounds lines make or don't. I spooled off Permit and looped on the SA Textured Chard Grand Slam. Understand that the SA textured lines are far quitter and kinder to your hands than earlier Sharkskin, but still do hiss some. As far as I could determine via angling, the Grand Slam not only cast great but I caught more fish with it than I had the previous week with the smooth quit line. OK, my preference leans toward quiet and the appeal of the Chard line is its unique taper not its textured traits but in the clear and shallow Bahamian flats I observed no evidence of bonefish turning away from my striped fly due to line transmitted sound. If I performed my techniques correctly and not too near the boat, the fish ate my shrimp and sideways crab flies like they were the real crustacean.

Having determined to my satisfaction, albeit under uncontrolled angling circumstances, that texturing is not a bonefish turn-off, SA has removed Bruce Chard's name from the Grand Slam line due to an Orvis (SA's owner) policy about not naming product after an individual. Chard has now teamed up with US Airflo distributor and major inputter on taper design, Tim Rajeff of Rajeff Sports, also the designer of ECHO fly rods.



Just released Airflo Chard Tropical Punch appears to have the same taper as the SA Grand Slam with two added advantages; it employs the quite longitudinal Airflo Ridge textured technology and a braided 6% low stretch core material for more direct and positive fly control during the strip strike. Its release just missed my departure date for my recent trip so a full review will be down the road...but based on my awareness of its taper design and my first rate experience with Airflo's Tropial Ridge Bonefish line; this will be the first new line I rig for my next flats adventure.
 

oldskewl808

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Thanks Salt, that sounds like a great new line. What colors does it come in? And who carries it on-line?
 

sweetandsalt

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I believe it can be ordered directly from Rajeff Sports with a camo against the sky blue head with a tan running line. I too am excited to try it.
 

clogrennane

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I'm just back from 7 days in San Lazaro Cuba where I fished the new Cortland liquid blue lines in 8,9 & 10. The weather was mainly sunny with winds between calm to 40mph!

The lines performed excellently wading and from the boat with minimal tangles even in the strong winds. I didn't have to change lines to any other make and those that tried my set up were impressed. I used Scott S4S 8&9 weights and a Loop cross S1 10wt. The rods never needed to be over lined for the conditions and they will be my first choice again in 2015!

As for the fishing, there were plenty of double digit bonefish days the bet 18 and a good average size of 4 lbs. the bet went 9lb and bigger fish seen. We had shots at Permit each day but none hooked, with tarpon up to 20lbs taken each day. Other species caught were snook, cubera snapper to 12lbs and smaller snapper and trevally.

The fishing day was short as the travelling to and from the base at Playa Largo and the run down the canal section took almost an hour and a half! By the way the mozzies and noseeums eat us good!
 

lomoch

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S&S,
Great write. Thanks for pointing this article out to me.
I'm currious about this new Tropical Punch line, same taper as SA's Grand Slam. I see in your Bahammas trip report you have your 8 NRX loaded with the latter. How did this pairing work out? To much for the NRX, or was the rear taper stable?

For next line for my NRX 10, thinking about
- replacing rio tarpon with same
- trying the Airflo new Chard TO line
- Rios new Permit.

Loop stability and distance priority. Those 80+ tarpon and permit shots seem to be the norm for me for some reason.

Thanks.
 

sweetandsalt

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The SA GS was very good with NRX#8, with a 12+' leader ameliorating the blunt front taper somewhat. I concur on the need for loop stability via a long rear taper...a long shot for better flats fish does appear to be the norm. They feel the boat, hear the push pool, see our casting movement, whatever...a long accurate cast is our best bet.
 

GrtLksMarlin

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I'm just back from 7 days in San Lazaro Cuba where I fished the new Cortland liquid blue lines in 8,9 & 10. The weather was mainly sunny with winds between calm to 40mph!

The lines performed excellently..............
Thanks for the feedback! Personally, I've had nothing but success with Cortland lines over the years (and nothing but trouble from all others though that could just be me) and am looking for a new flats type of salt line.

More so however, I'd really like to hear more about your Cuban experience from your flight to there to back....

Thanks for your review!

B.E.F.
 

clogrennane

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BEF
We flew from Dublin to Paris and then direct to Havanna. We then headed south east to Playo Largo, a 2.5 hour bus journey. A lot of travelling in one day but worth it as we had no overnight.
The hotel and food were basic but rooms were clean and nobody got any stomach problems. Each morning we were picked up at 7.00 am and the journey through Zapatta National Park to the boat dock took a minimum 45 minutes.
Once in the boats we had a 30 minute journey down a sluiced canal to get to the edge of the mangroves.
From here it depended on whether you were on a single skiff or a double. For the singles the journey time to the lagoons and flats was close to 30 minutes while the bigger double skiffs took between 30 and 45 minutes! This was a real drag as the week progressed. In summary it was 9.am or later before we actually got fishing. Most days lines were in at at 2.30 to get back to the hotel for 4.30.
As in most bonefishing weeks there were some very good days, good days and an odd bad weather related day. The weather is the weather so we have to accept it and tackle up accordingly. For bones I used a Scott s4s 8 wt for the week withe the new Cortland Liquid Crystal line. Very few tangles while wading or from the skiff. For Permit and those who travelled to the deeper water in the double skiffs saw Permit each day. No hook ups but seeing permit in reasonable numbers. Most of the Tarpon we encountered were along the mangroves and in the lagoons were they showed on the surface and made for minor heart tremors.

Again most of these Tarpon were in the 10-20 lbs bracket and none of us encountered any of the bigger ocean fish. There were plenty of big Cudas and very few sharks compared to the Bahamas. Bonefish averaged a good 3-4 lbs with plenty of 4-5 pounders and the biggest caught was estimated at 9lbs. We caught some snook an cubera snappers to 12 lbs. fish generally were unpressurised and very few refusals to well presented casts.

Would I go back? Not unless the fishing day was extended, the travelling each day got to me. We had rain the week before we arrived and the mozzies were out in force. We all got well chewed up despite what percentage deet we had on. If anyone has any suggestions,I'm all ears!

The single skiffs were 13.5 ft long powered by 15 hp yamahas 4 stroke outboards. These were surprisingly quick but against any sort of chop on the water would rattle every bone and tooth - very uncomfortable! However they were able to get into very shallow lagoons and deep into bays to maximise wading opportunities.

We did have a double booking issue on day 1 when 4 of our group didn't get out and also a day when an engine issue stopped 2 more days lost for the group.

We enjoyed the trip and The guides were vey good. Most had enough English to be able to communicate and all had a good sense of humor which goes a long way when things get tough.

Hope this spells it out warts and all!
 

sweetandsalt

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Thank you for the report. Mosquitos, no-see-ums and sometimes Doctor flies out on the water are a less romantic fact of life in many bonefishing environments. I want to wear shorts but mostly stick to long, light nylon pants and the long sleeved fishing shirt. Less than Florida Keys boats and motor maintenance are all too often the norm in remote destinations. When researching camps in unfamiliar areas, a main interest I have is the boats and travel circumstances to the flats. While a long boat run to a high quality environment I can accept, a long truck ride to get to the boats I dislike. A rustic camp is fine with me as long as the boat dock is in front of it.

Did your Cuban guides have knowledge of fly fishing? Could they instruct a novice and tie on a fly on for them? From the snook and baby tarpon it sounds like a Keys back county type habitat with fresh water influences, was the water clear and could the guides adequately articulate what you were seeing habitat and wildlife wise?

For most Americans, it will take normalization of relations with Cuba before we can effectively travel there in numbers. By then, US financed or influenced lodges will quickly be opening if the quality of the fishing will sustain such investment. While I am in favor of that, I would love to have the opportunity to visit and fish in Cuba before it happens.
 

GrtLksMarlin

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clogrennane;

Thanks for all of the great feedback!......and S&S, there is always the option to fly out of Canada and back through there, though you don't really want to use your credit card once there in that it is called "trading with the enemy" :lol2: although I believe travel has loosened up a bit from Florida, I'm not entirely sure.

They say it is as of now the BEST chance at getting an "Inshore Grandslam".

B.E.F.
 

clogrennane

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Sweet & Salt

Yes the guides had good English and were very much in tune with their environment. They were very good at instruction and soe were very good casters. We had a 16 year old on his very first trip and didn't have a problem with their guidance / instructions. In fact he fished 4 days on his own with a guide and caught the biggest bonefish. We were a party of eight and fished fro b4 single skiffs and 2 double skiffs each day.

There is no doubt that the fishing potential in these new areas being opened up is fantastic - just the logistics in getting to these areas is difficult. A lodge on the water in Las Salinas / San Lazaro would change my opinion completely- I'd even put up with the mozzies
 

utflyfisher

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I've read through this thread a couple of times. I just bought a new Scott S4S 10 wt. for Permit, but have not picked up the line yet. I noticed that the S4S seems to like the Airflo Tropical Ridge, but I have not tried it. Any opinion on the new Airflow Tropical Punch?

Mike
 

sweetandsalt

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Good question. I would think it is worth a try but I have yet to get one myself. I did purchase the original SA version of Capt. Chard's line, the Grand Slam which I have happily fished on NRX. In the diagram, it looks like the Airflo version is the same taper but I do not know about its departure from standard AFTMA weight, the SA version is a 1/2 heavy line.
 

swflangler

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I'm considering buying some Cortland liquid crystal blue for my Sage Motive 10wt. My local fly shop said it tangled up a lot? I read that cortland made some improvements at some point. How do I know if I'm getting the improved version?
 

sweetandsalt

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Most stiff tropical lines can be prone to extra tangling, especially since, for distance casting purposes, they tend to have thinner than average running line. Liquid Crystal Blue did not tangle for me worse that most others. The exception was earlier Triangle Tapers which had especially thin running line; I am not certain about current Bermuda Triangle.

An important flats technique when fishing from a skiff; strip your estimated maximum cast length of line off the reel into the cockpit of the boat, setting your drag as you do so. Then, after asking permission from your guide to make a "practice" cast, shoot one out there. Three things are accomplished here; your guide gets to see how you cast (he won't say anything but will take note), you get a fresh feel for your outfit and, most relevantly, you get to strip your line back in with out going coils on top, reducing tangling. Stretching the line helps too. Lastly, and if you a re a nice person don't do this, ask the shop clerk when the last time he used such and such a line flats fishing and what rod was he fishing? The % of fly shops that know anything about topical flats lines this side of Islamorada are few and far between and most don't know much about trout lines for their local fishing either.
 

swflangler

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Most stiff tropical lines can be prone to extra tangling, especially since, for distance casting purposes, they tend to have thinner than average running line. Liquid Crystal Blue did not tangle for me worse that most others. The exception was earlier Triangle Tapers which had especially thin running line; I am not certain about current Bermuda Triangle.

An important flats technique when fishing from a skiff; strip your estimated maximum cast length of line off the reel into the cockpit of the boat, setting your drag as you do so. Then, after asking permission from your guide to make a "practice" cast, shoot one out there. Three things are accomplished here; your guide gets to see how you cast (he won't say anything but will take note), you get a fresh feel for your outfit and, most relevantly, you get to strip your line back in with out going coils on top, reducing tangling. Stretching the line helps too. Lastly, and if you a re a nice person don't do this, ask the shop clerk when the last time he used such and such a line flats fishing and what rod was he fishing? The % of fly shops that know anything about topical flats lines this side of Islamorada are few and far between and most don't know much about trout lines for their local fishing either.
Fortunately I own a skinny boat for the Everglades area. I found some of the cortland blue for 50 bucks and will be giving it a try. Thanks for the line review!
 

wjc

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SWFL,

I'm thinking of picking up one of those Blue's in a 9 wt. I have the Clear Crystal in 11 and 12's. It seems that both the Crystals and the Rio lines shoot better when sticky with salt than the SA's I've used, with the exception of the SA Billfish line. Don't forget to post up what you think of it.

The SA Billfish seems to have a harder and slicker coating than their other lines - more like those of the Rio's - but it could just be that the thicker, higher test mono core simply makes it stiffer, and the coating thinner. I use it in the winter and am supermeticulous about hand coiling it on a wet towel and checking it repeatedly. Geeze, it's amazing how I can talk myself out of my own point when I actually think about something while I'm typing.:D

I'm not keen on the noisy lines either. They have a pitch that irritates me even if they don't sand all my fingerprints off - though I have a very hard time imaginiing how that sound could possibly be transmitted to the fish.

I found a novel new way to ruin a perfectly good, once-used line in case any of you planned on doing it.

Here are the directions.

First, clean it thoroughly and strip in onto the rug in the spare bedroom out of the way between the bed and wall where it can't be seen and forget about it. Then during the next (in my case the annual) vacuuming, run the machine too close to the corner of the bed and suck up the unseen leader, then the forgotten line into that beater bar turning about 4,000 RPM's.

Holy Cow, what a racket ! It sounded and felt like the machine was going to blow apart, too, and I had seen absolutely none of it happening. It was like an instantaneous bad miracle of unknown origin happening right in my own hands.

And, of course, I use that thing so infrequently I can never remember how to turn it either on or off. They used to all have simple toggle switchs on the handle, but no more. It's like they feel that have to hide them in some clever, secret place well out of reach.

For what? To keep unlicensed or unauthoized vacuum cleaner operators from using them? To make you read through 100 pages of safety rules - Do Not Induce Vomitting if Swallowed!!- just to find out how to turn it on and off?

Then I smelled the smell and saw the smoke from the rubber drive belt melting, and yanked the cord out of the wall.

Everything is like that now. Today, I'm standing behind the center console after running my boat up on the trailer and waiting for Wes to pull it out, but I can vaguely see him through back window thrashing about like he dropped a cigarette down his crotch and was burning up my driver's seat.

Finally the door opens and he comes out and yells "How do you get this &&%# emergency brake off?"
So I have to yell back" I don't know, I never use it."

No way I'm getting out and stepping on that ramp to hunt for a stinking brake release - that's his job as driver. It's more greasy than a sardine being trolled by a Zamboni on an ice rink .

The last thing I want after smelling rubber in the house for 3 weeks is the lingering smell in the cab after the rusty brake cable gets stuck and burns brake shoes all the way home. Well, he did find it after crawling around on the floor and it did release all the way - but you just can't trust things to be logical and simple anymore.

I think simple has been phased out of the planet. I remember buying a new stove down at the Sphynx appliance place about 15 years ago. When I selected one, Mary said "That's a good choice, Maytag makes a good stove."

I said "Tell you the truth, I don't care about what brand it is. That's the only one in here that has clearly printed in English Only either "Front" or "Rear" above the knobs. I don't want to have to look as some cartoonish, plan view, black dot, blueprint to boil potatoes. I have to look at blueprints all day at work. Tell Maytag that's the main reason I bought their stove."

It is almost as if the prime directive for the selection of CEO's for multinational corporations is that their IQ's must not reach double digits. Second, of course, is that they never, ever actually use anything themselves that they make.

Well I guess I strayed off the point a little bit. So I can remember that from 15 years ago, but I can't find my keys, my sunglasses my other hat....

I cut the line into little pieces to get it out since it was shreaded anyhow and jammed in there so tight the beater wouldn't even budge. Then, I screwed the vacuum screws back in instead of putting them in a safe place where all the rest of my important stuff I've since re-ordered is still hiding. Next, I ordered new belts online, and they actually fit.

So it's all good now. :D
 
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