What's New? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What's New?

12-12-2005, 07:40 PM
What is really new? Recently there is a thread regarding a "new" line system, then someone clarifies that shooting heads were "invented" years ago and provides some documentation to the time frame. Other times we hear of new flies that look something like the same old flies we have all seen before with a slight change in color combination. Yet they are called something completely new. These "new" patterns are often described as " well it looks like a "Coneheadwakerbeewhateveryoucalltheclassicpattern" except it has a copper cone vs a tungsten cone, and it totally kills them on the Rogue and Chetco!

How much of this stuff is being recycled/rebranded/reinvented remarketed? The marketing engines are running wild, I understand the business end of it. I just wonder what is the next thing to be recycled? (IMO, it will be full sinking lines) perhaps with multiple color changes for the various densities ie. 70ft head rear 25' is a yellow floater, 15' clear intermediate, 15' type 3 looped, your choice of 15' "tip section". I would bet its been done?

What constitutes new vs improved vs seen it before?

What has been improved or recycled?

12-13-2005, 11:58 AM
Hey A,

Marketing is a funny thing. Everybody's an inventor - all you have to do is tweak an existing design. I can design a line right now and call it the new Ultimate Winter Steelhead shooting head. 10' of 14wt floating line and 6' of T14. You can speycast it with trees scraping your back and, if you look hard enuf, you can probably find a rod it will cast on and conditions that it will be ideal for. ;)

Then, as critics are wont to do, a few will rise up (usually ones with a personal grudge that don't have the cojones to deal with their issues in person) to flame the new invention and deride the creator on the various internet forums. :eek: Some without even trying the product in question. :confused:

My "take" on the whole issue? There's no way to determine whether the changes made to an existing line design (or material change) are significant enough to constitute a true innovation or not until it's either (1) embraced over a period of time by knowledgable anglers or (2) copied by other manufacturers.

Innovation is constant. It's often obscured by marketing hype that clouds the distinction between true innovation and "repackaging".

My .02,


12-13-2005, 12:06 PM
This is a very interesting question, and not easy to answer. What comes to mind for me is that maybe that's the real beauty of steelhead fishing (and atlantic salmon fishing) on the fly.

Tradition, and appreciation of the age-old methods blended with new technology: Spey casting on high tech rods, ancient fly patterns mixed with new-fangled ones in a wheatley, an old pewter flask with a new Oregon single malt (that was good Andre), and ettiquette for each other on the water.

Some things are changing, and are new - but many, no most are the same. It's this tradition that makes it more than just fishing but a way of life.

12-16-2005, 03:57 PM

Then, as critics are wont to do, a few will rise up (usually ones with a personal grudge that don't have the cojones to deal with their issues in person) to flame the new invention and deride the creator on the various internet forums. :eek: Some without even trying the product in question. :confused:



I hear what you are saying Brian, but all of your custom lines are terrible. I've never tried them, but I'm just saying. Terrible. :chuckle:

However, mine are pure genius. A thousand years ago, some joker named Juro got me on the scent of chopping WF lines and looping on tips for a single hand rod sink tip system. My innovation though, is that I chop off 1-2% less (or more) of the forward taper. Ergo, invention & genius. Pure.


12-19-2005, 01:43 PM
Yeah, I never could get that 16' bomb to cast either. ;)

Now I know ~your~ Secret, I'm going to (1) create an exact copy of your lines based on your secret formula (2) make them some unique and obnoxious color like flourescent candy apple red and (3) market the hell out of 'em on the Internet!!!

There I'll publicly applaud myself for my innovation, claiming I communed directly with Alexander Grant to get the spec's for these lines while disavowing any awareness of you or your "parallel" line tinkering. :wink:

What do you think??? Would it work? :smokin:

12-19-2005, 04:10 PM
I think people should be critics. Let us say you don't like the GAP or Old Navy because they use unethical practise's such as child labor. Can't people voice their concern or grudge. Yes they should write a letter to the company letting them know how they feel but they don't have to do that. If someone does not like the ethics of a fishing company does it matter who they tell that they don't like the companies products? If Jimmy Huston is picking bass up by the gills and chucking them in the boat as he advertises his product then why can't someone tell his freinds be by internet or by voice he thinks this guys products are BS. If jimmy huston tells me he invented the Hula Popper and it now comes in green why can't you call the guys balony. It's capitalism at it's best and let the cards fall where they may. If the guy has a good product nothing will stop its sales anyway. If a guy whos ethics I do not like on a river and is selling something to help destroy the ethics I beleive in then I personally don't want him around or his products no matter how good his products are. But he has a right to be there as much as I have a right to tell people he shouldn't be there. That guy should and will come out on top just about everytime because he has as much rights as I do.

The Law of the Jungle.

12-20-2005, 04:14 AM
If Jimmy Huston is picking bass up by the gills and chucking them in the boat as he advertises his product then why can't someone tell his freinds be by internet or by voice he thinks this guys products are BS.

OC my friend if Jimmy is doing the above it doesn't mean his products are bad. It just means he is an unethical angler and is setting a bad example for the uneducated who might be prone to imitate him.
I am not saying you should buy his product only that his hypothetical bad behavior doesn't mean he sells crap.

12-20-2005, 09:27 AM

You are right make no mistake about it. But be it a good product or a bad product people have a right to tell people don't buy the product because of the ethics involved in the company who says they invented a certain product or is just a bad ethical company in how they handle themselves in public.

I have no idea if flytyer or Andre had any company in mind when they started this thread or the other one. I'm not sure if doublespey is just being sarcastic about people not having balls to front the unethical company is poopla. Many have fronted companies before with success. Look at Sparky and his getting so many people together against that eating establishment last year that was unethical by feeding its clients wild steelhead. I think people should post the names of companies here on the internet who they beleive are unethical. If the moderator beleives its not factual or prudent to do so then that brings up other issues about freedoms on such forums or who has the right to judge which cause or protest can go on and which can not. Now maybe if Flytyer did have someone in mind he did not post the name not because he didn't have balls but because he did not want to put the forum in a hard place. So what do you do you eighter just shut up or you try to push around the edge to accomplish your beliefs.

Steelhead fishing has been political and nasty for over forty years from what I see. What I have noticed in the last year is that many people are giving up on the fight. This forum always had been a leader in controversy and I think it may have been a good thing but if people feel they can not speak their mind without getting zapped then they will go else where.

12-20-2005, 01:02 PM

When I started my thread on new developments, I didn't have any particular person or company in mind. I started it because there has been far too much nonsense being put forth by too many people about new developments in fly fishing and flies that are nothing more than re-visiting things that have been around for many years; but that may have been "forgotten" or overlooked by many for a while. And then along comes some joker claiming he has this new development, which of course is his and you can only get it from him or he gets paid a royalty from an offshore fly tying outfit for this new fly. When in fact, it is not something new in lines or flies at all.

Simply changing the wing material from say grey fox guard hair to grey squirrel tail, substituting someting like Kystal Flash as a collar instead of using a hackle, using plastic chenile instead of dubbing or rayon chenile, using dugging instead of floss for the body, or adding a little bit of Kystal Flash to the wing does not make a new fly. Likewise, selling a shooting head that has the mono running line spliced to the shooting head does not make it a new development because folks have been doing just that for many years.

OC is correct, I didn't name the person or his business because I know there are folks who believe his marketing hype. Also, there are folks who think he is the greatest steelhead guro alive today. Therefore, in order to avoid having a flame fest get started, I pushed around the edges to get the info across about his so-called innovative "Yancy Line" being nothing more than something that has long been in existence (as Bob mentioned since 1946 and Jimmy Green as being behind it).

It is nothing but pure bs to say that you have a new innovative fly when the line is nothing more than a shooting head with an interchangeable front 15' tip section. This type of line has been in use for well over 30 years and is nothing new; therefore, to have someone claim it is his line and that it was developed over several years of intense design, development, and testing is pure hokum. Just like taking a line and cutting 2'-3' off the front of it to improve turnover with heavy or very wind resistent flies does not make it a new line, splicing the flat mono running line to a shooting head does not make it a new line. Heck, Dave Whitlock was doing this with lines for trout and bass along with publishing how to do so back in the early 1970's. Whitlock didn't claim to have invented or developed this type of line, he just told others how to do it.

The folks I fished with back in the 1970's made interchangeable tip shooting heads by cutting the front 30' off a DT line and then cutting the 10' front taper off this 30' head, adding loops, and making a shooting head that we could change the sink tip portion of to meet the water conditions and depth we desired when fishing for shad on the Delaware River. And there was a group of folks in Northern CA doing exactly the same thing for winter steelhead even before that.

Ed Ward, Mike Kinney, Marlow Bumpus, and all the others involved in the development and refinement of Skagit Lines and casting don't take credit for it. Instead they all feely acknowledge that many folks were involved in it. Why can't others do the same? The same with the folks who worked out the modern long-belly spey line tapers, all of them have credited Alexander Grant as the progenitor of their refinements.

Same thing with flies. George Cook never claimed he came up with or developed the marabou spiders for winter steelhead and chinook salmon fishing. He simply said these are the color combinations I've found useful. Bob Aid here in WA State and Jack Gartside in MA were both tying marabou spider types years ago. Gartside tied his on long shank streamer hooks to represent baitfish and Aid tied his on large 1/0-3/0- salmon irons as swimming flies for winter steelhead. Why can't other tyers do as George Cook and simply say these are the colors I find useful instead of claiming to have invented or developed a new fly.

Why does someone claim to have come up with this new innovative "Yancy Line", when it is something that has been done for many, many years by others? And why does someone make only a material change to a winter steelhead fly Al Knutsen developed originally for striped bass fishing in northern CA, which Knutsen simply called the White Marabou Streamer and call it something new?. Simply changing the red hackle that Knutsen used on his fly to red Krytal Flash does not make it a new fly, it simply makes it Knutsen's White Marabou Streamer with red (or whatever color) Krystal Flash. To call it anything else is again pure hokum. I mean look at all the various colors of Woolley Buggers in use, they are all called Woolley Buggers despite the plethora of colors in use. Likewise, the Egg Sucking Leech, I've not seen an Egg Sucking Leech being given a different name because the person tying it is using something other than black or purple chenile for a body or any flourescent color whatsoever for the "egg head". Again I ask: Why can't the person simply give credit to Knutsen and say his Cop Car fly is nothing more than a slight material variation of Knutsen's fly?

Over the years I've tinkered with and modified many flies; but this never resulted in a brand new fly that required a new name. For example, back in the early 1980's I started to tie Muddler Minnows with cottontail rabbit strip, matuka style wings instead of using the original's grey squirrel tail and turkey wing. Was it a new fly, of course not, it was simply a rabbit strip muddler and that was how I spoke of it and how a fly shop owner I knew sold it as in his shop. The same with steelhead flies. I have taken Frand Amato's Night Dancer and tie it as an Irish Shrimp Style fly to give it more acton and a different profile. Is it a new fly? Nope. It is simply a Night Dancer Shrimp or Night Dancer tied Irish Shrimp style. I also tie the Night Dancer as a spey fly; but it is not a new fly, it is simply a Night Dancer Spey. Why can't others do the same?

Now we have the same person hyping up some new light 2-handed rods he is developing as reported on a different thread by Sinktip and OC, which of course he says are in development and which are major innovations of his. Again I call bs because light 2-handers have been around for quite awhile and are not some new innovation or development of his. Likewise, the lines his is supposedly developing specifically for these new light 2-handers have been around as well.

The bottom line is this stuff I'm speaking about is doing nothing more than hyping up stuff and playing loose with the truth (or at the least stretching it greatly). This crap ought to be exposed for what it is, nothing but marketing hype and repackaging of things that have been around and developed by others.

Is it so hard to understand that someone doing this stuff is actually harmful to newcomers to steelhead fly fishing because it gives them false information? I have no problem with anyone selling products in his business; but I ask that it be done honestly so newcomers to fly fishing or those with little understanding or knowledge of the history of fly fishing don't go down the primrose path of blindly accepting pure nonsense as truth. Innovation and development are not accomplished through marketing hype and claiming you created, invented, or developed something that you borrowed from others.

Personal grudge against the person, not hardly. Just a desire to see his lies (or marketing hype if you lies is too harsh for your sensibilities) exposed for what they are. I fail to see a problem with exposing his lies for what they are. And I am not afraid to name names either. Dennis Dickson is the name of the one how supposedly developed the Yancy Line and he is also the one who supposedly developed the Cop Car all on his own; but I will be surprised if his name (or even Yancy Line or Cop Car, some of his "innovative new things") is not edited out.

As Juro said, it is tradition and by inference the history of it that makes fly fishing more than just a way to put fish on the table.

12-21-2005, 02:06 AM
Same thing with flies. George Cook never claimed he came up with or developed the marabou spiders for winter steelhead and chinook salmon fishing.

the reason george never claimed to of developed the marabou spider was because he didn't. the orignal Popsicle and other flies within the Alaskabou series were not tied marabou spider style. instead the marabou was just lashed to the hook ala Joe Butorac's Skagit Monster. in fact, the alaskabou series was not tied marabou spider style until large flytying operations started tying them in that manner.

12-21-2005, 11:27 AM
Nah, let's not . . . .

12-21-2005, 01:10 PM

Exactly my point. George didn't claim he originated or developed them because he didn't develop the marabou style. There were also other people (Miller and Arnold among them), besides Butorac lashing marabou tips to hooks at the same time and Butorac never claimed he developed the style either, although he tied them commercially. Butorac also gave credit to Knutsen for the idea because of Knutsen's Marabou Streamer, which Knutsen developed back in the 1940's. It may or may not have been Bob Aid who first tied them by wrapping the marabou around the hook as a hackle after he read an article about Jack Gartside doing so with trout streamers; but that is open to question too because Strobel was doing it about the same time as well.

Like I said, why can't others be honest like George and not claim development of something they did not? Refinement and color combinations, no problem; but these are far different than claiming you developed it.


Name dropping? Nah. Simply listing some of the folks involved in the development of a specific fly type in order to clarify the history of the development in order for it to be clear to those who don't know it. The names are needed in order to show it was many different folks working on it and their inspiration came originally from Knutsen.

12-21-2005, 01:32 PM
:chuckle: :)

12-21-2005, 01:57 PM
That's more betta DS. :lildevl:
And I would like to call out some more names of those who truely love steelheading and who do it in a proffesional maner. One rarely hears anything bad about how they go about their job of steelhead guiding.

M.B., M.K. and J.F. are class acts on our local rivers as far as I can see. I'm sure there are more.

12-21-2005, 05:48 PM
I think Al Knutsen's marabou streamer dates to the early 1930s. With my memory, of course I can't be sure without looking it up, but I think I have a reference. Somewhere at home I have a Yellow Spider and a tiny nymph tied by Al.

Palmering, or spider tying, marabou was first shown me by Frank Hederick in 1973 at the WFFC. It was an orange marabou, either palmered or spider wound, on a steelhead hook. He said it was about as good as any steelhead pattern. Because it was so simple, I thought surely he was joking. Duh!! I imagine that Bob Stroble and Bob Aid saw the same fly, or same technique about the same time.

The first marabout flies I saw in use for steelheading were by Ed Nevens on the NF Stilly in 1972 or 73. They were purple marabou, just lashed on the hook, with tinsel chenille for body, and white goose primary slips for wings. I didn't have to tie more than a couple of those to realize the goose was optional.


Salmo g.

12-21-2005, 10:11 PM

Thanks for reminding me of Headrick and Nevens, I had forgotten about them and their contribution to the development of the marabou spider. I strongly suspect that all of the NF Stilly regulars on the early 70's were using or experimenting with marabou flies. And these guys all knew and most also fished with Knutsen since he lived in Everett, WA at that time and fished the Stilly too.

01-07-2006, 03:06 AM
As long as magazines are published every month .. "it," the subject of the article will be "new and impoved." Line manufacturers? My guess is there are really only three different configurations for (as an example) a dry line: a DT, a WF, and a long taper. From that point on, at least with the last two, is 'tinker around' and see if you can come up with something that works. Have there been some major inovations that 'made a difference?' You bet. One that comes to mind is the triangle taper spey lines vs. the XLT's. The 'basic underlying' idea of both lines is quite similar; but where the designer of the lines went from there was two very different views on achieving their goals.

And than you have to create enough 'hype' to get someone to buy the darned things. Fly's are easy, it's the other 'hard gear' that costs a lot of money to get into production. As you sell more, 'unit costs' come down ... but I don't think most "high end" manufactures of fishing (especially fly fishing) gear expect to sell that many units. So 'unit cost' to the consumer stays high.

How many 're-invention' of the wheel do we have alone just in reels? Looking at the new Kaufm's catalog and drooling over page after page just for this one type of item. I won't even get into fly rods. :rolleyes: