What are the new develpments in fly fishing? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What are the new develpments in fly fishing?

12-12-2005, 05:53 PM
Here's a question for you all: What truly new developments occurred in flies, lines, rods, reels and flies say since 1850? This gives a little more than 150 years of fly fishing equipment and fly development, which I assume will give us plenty of new developments to come up with.

Note, the "truly new developments" in the question. Thus, things like changing dubbing from natural fur to synthetic dubbing, while keeping the same color, would not constitute a new fly. Nor does using black hair on an established black-winged featherwing fly make it a new fly. Likewise, splicing mono running line to a shooting head does not make it any less a shooting head system, which is also nothing new, as Mr. Pauli so succinctly pointed out.

So let's have a go at it and see what has truly been new developments, as opposed to re-invention of something that has been around through substitution of materials, splicing, etc.

Since I brought it up, I'll go first. My pick is the tip-over-butt ferrule first used on Fenwick fiberglass glass rods, which replaced the metal ferrules used prior to its development. Most carbon fiber (or graphite on this side of the pond) rods now built utilize this simple, but elegant solution for joining multipiece rods.

But then again perhaps this top-over-butt ferrule was not a new thing. Perhaps it was only an extension of the old UK rod makers method of joining multi-piece rods by wrapping the spliced area designed into the rod blank with leather to hold it together.

12-12-2005, 06:23 PM
plastics: lines and rods. I think that these new materials took alot of the maintenance out of the sport. Put wet rods and lines away and forget it.

12-12-2005, 07:31 PM
Bobbin thread holders, rotory vises, and knotless tapered leaders.

John Desjardins
12-12-2005, 07:59 PM
Tough question, one possibility is the rotary vise.

12-12-2005, 09:37 PM
Without a doubt, it has to be this product from Orvis. For the bargain price of $149, you can't go wrong!
Orvis Fly Tester

A completely new invention reveals to you the swimming of your fly patterns from all angles. Works for sinking flies, salmon flies, and streamers. See how your patterns’s movement and action changes with the use of different materials. Adjust speeds to imitate different currents. Experiment with your own patterns to create the motion you desire. 17¼"L x 9"H x 5½"W.


In case you can't tell, I'M JOKING!!! :hihi:

12-13-2005, 01:14 AM
Love the Orvis fly tester. Don't know how we ever got along without it! :D

The rotary vise might simply be a way to do what was possible in days gone by with pin vises that had the nice long rear section on them that allowed you to very easily rotate a fly, including spin it if you so desired.

I recall seeing somewhere that there were graduated, braided gut leaders available in the 1800's, which were in effect knotless tapered leaders. Perhaps the knotless taped leader is not so new after all.

Again, just food for thought.

John Desjardins
12-13-2005, 06:24 AM
Heres another one, chemically sharpened hooks.

12-13-2005, 08:10 AM
A few I can think of since those times - Gore tex and neoprene waders, monofilament line, extruded fly lines for that matter, polarized sunglasses, hand-held GPS and cell phones for safety, fiber based (glass, carbon) rod manufacturing.

Of course some things are timeless like the Hardy Perfect and cane despite their quirks, but more recent modern marvels are exemplified by the reels machined by the Danielsson family (evotec LW/HD etc).

12-13-2005, 08:23 AM
Not flyfishing exclusive, but I would say that the biggest improvement has to be modern outdoors clothing. Breathable waders and poly materials are so much more comfortable that rubber waders and wool/cotton. They are lighter, cooler/warmer. I would'nt trade goretex for graphite.

Also, I may be wrong, but heavily weighted lines and flys have really changed how we fish.
FT, how about heavily weighted flys? Prior to 150 years ago, did they weight flys with anything other than a big hook? Lead eyes (weighted) significantly changed the way we fish (boss, clousers, whistlers and crazy charly's). We are now fishing 30' underwater. We have flies swimming upside down. Flys now can swim up and down as well as laterally. Like a .....jig :eek:

Dble Haul
12-13-2005, 08:24 AM
I'll third the rotary vise, and add the improvement in flylines.

12-13-2005, 08:33 AM
Epoxy and resins now included in our fly tying.

12-13-2005, 09:48 AM
Juro already said it but...........


And not really FF but related in a way...........

All the progress that has led us to the nearly limitless possiblilities of getting to our FF destinations which are not our home waters. In other words, affordable air travel.

12-13-2005, 10:21 AM
Books, DVDs and the internet provide a plethora of info on flyfishing unknown until recent times. As that database became available, it spawned a larger population of flyfishers with the concomitant creativity from the minority.

Some of those modern day innovators include Lefty, BobPop,& Jerry Siem (Sage). That is not to minimize the contributions made by the earlier innovators to the sport; but when you view the database available to today's flyfishermen, it is truly amazing.

12-13-2005, 10:33 AM
I would suggest the waterproof glues (like Resorcsinol) that were incorprated into fly rob building in the 40's replacing the old "Hide glue" with a modern method. That would certainly qualify as an event that changed things but compared with the explosion of marketable crap that has come out in the last 15 years it probably will be forgotten soon enough. (By the way I purchase way to much Marketable Crap" but the kid at the local fly shop seems to be prospering in my wake! :D

12-13-2005, 12:31 PM
Books, DVDs and the internet provide a plethora of info on flyfishing unknown until recent times. As that database became available, it spawned a larger population of flyfishers with the concomitant creativity from the minority.
I'd have to agree with you on this one, in particular the internet. It's certainly enhanced my fly fishing greatly! Google satellite maps alone have gotten me to more new bodies of water than any other source.

12-13-2005, 01:53 PM

That's right, 150 years ago folks simply used much heavier wire and larger hooks when they wanted heavier flies. And I wouldn't trade Gortex waders and rain jackets for graphite rods either.


Not just affordable air travel. I'd put the invention of the automobile and its ready availability right up there with any other innovation since it provides us with the ability to go out and fish both nearby (within a few miles) to serveral hours away and still be home for dinner.


Defintely, water-proof glues have been a major revolution in rod building.

Bob Pauli
12-13-2005, 04:59 PM
For spring creek fishermen, the electric motor is the stealth invention of the century.