I have voiced this opinion a few times to different people, might even have put it out there on t-internet at one point, but I was always told to keep quiet and not to rock the boat, its bad for business. But I am genuinely of the opinion that tackle companies are purposely trying to mislead us when it comes to rods and lines, matching fly rods to fly lines that is!
Fly lines, the grass always seems greener!
I have personally spent a small fortune on fly lines (don’t tell Karen!), buying lines and trialing them only to realise they were nothing like the advert made them out to be or that the were completely out of the weight spectrum. The crux of the problem is that there is a serious lack of information for the masses and also at the same time, to a degree, misinformation or simply not willing to put their name on the line to giving a definitive answer that, yes, this works with this 100% perfectly. Im sure it wouldn’t be hard for you to go on to a forum or social media group right now to see someone selling a fly line that ‘didn’t work’ or wasn’t right for the rod, you know they are out there without me having to copy and paste links in here. For some fly fishing fanatics the next line will be ‘the one’ because that’s the one with the …….…. fill in the blank with an appropriate marketing slogan. Anyway, getting back to the point, are we being misled with information to keep us buying fly lines? I will share with you a problem that I see happening over and over again.
I will give you an example straight out of the store on this site, let’s take a look at the Greys GR70 13’ #8 Double handed rod. Single line rating which is good, I personally would have liked to have seen grams and grains listed on the rod as well but if you get in touch with greys they do help you out with this.
Heres where I begin to get annoyed, there is no #8 line available to buy with that rod! Greys provide a very good product, a multi tip, shooting head system, but here’s the catch (no pun intended). It is only available as a #7/8 or a #8/9! There is no #8 line! Now come on folks, how is any consumer of this product meant to make an informed decision on buying that line, especially when so much shopping is done online these days. This is the kind of thing really makes me feel sorry for the customer, they have to make a decision that could potentially be an £80 mistake in this case. Even if they do go ahead and proceed with the purchase there is always that doubt in their head that maybe they should have bought the other weight, so eventually they end up buying the other and thus the big wheel keeps on turning and another line ends up on the pages of used tackle, ‘‘used once but in good condition.’’ Going back to that mention of doubt, you can never let doubt creep into your salmon fishing it drains you and the salmon can sense it, but again thats another topic all in its own.
Please do not take this at a bash at Greys, it most certainly is not! In fact I am happy to say that I use a range of their products, but here’s the point. I had to go out and do the research, I went out with lines of all sizes to see what worked best on them, I had to try the #7/8, then I tried the #8/9 then I tried other lines, yes for my own use but also so that I could help customers make the correct decision. This information should be provided straight out of the packaging, so a user with zero experience can create a balanced outfit the first time round without wasting money and more importantly without wasting their time, time to fish is hard to come by and you do not want to waste it, hoping you have a line that works and please, please, please do not use the attitude of “it will do rightly.’’
This really is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fly line industry in my opinion, I am into my sixth paragraph and I havnt’t even mentioned the infuriating mess that is lines for switch rods. Take a switch rod and ask for line recommendations for it on the internet and sit back and wait for the answers, you will have everything thrown at you from 650 grain skagits, #7/8 rocket bound plus tapers and im sure some smart arse would suggest a 28 gram toby. I don’t quite have an emoji that could sum up my feelings or beliefs on that subject. We will leave that one for another time.
So. In summary, be very, very careful when buying your fly lines, as I said in the beginning I have got to the stage where I believe the current way the industry labels its products is very misleading, almost to the point where its done on purpose to make sure you end up buying more tackle. Over the next few weeks you are going to see the products on this site completely change. I am currently going over every product, writing my own description, giving my own feedback and giving an honest opinion. For the rods I am listing ALL the information that is necessary, you will find line recommendations with each rod model, that I have personally tried and that I have signed off on, you will be able to shop with 100% confidence that you can make an informed decision on what matches it, regardless of what price point you want to buy at.