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SFF Review - Angling Active Spey Lines
Lines for salmon fishing have never been as confusing or expensive as they are now.
I would go as far as to say they are almost the single most talked about subject on this forum outside of fishing. Every major tackle brand offers its own fly lines and we also have the smaller celebrity/casting instructors adding more interesting products to the mix as well as the larger retailers offering us their own brand fly lines. Some are good, some not so. One thing is for sure though, its a minefield out there and mistakes can prove expensive.
Angling Active is a tackle retailer based in Stirling with a retail showroom and mail order operation via their website. Over the last couple of months I have been reviewing their own brand salmon spey lines in floating, sink 1/2 and multi-tip.
Angling Active All Round Spey Line
The 'All Rounder' is available as either a floater or a sinker in the type 1/2 class. As would be expected the floater floats and during the time I used it, it did and very well. Once off the reel and onto the water there was no memory and the line lay and fished around nice a straight. The sinker did the same except it sunk Now that might sound pretty basic stuff but you would be surprised how many times Ive seen floaters sink and sinkers float so a good start!
Both lines have a 62' head, that is the entire weight forward section in front of the running line, yellow in the case of the floater, blue on the sinker. The transition between the head and the running line is clearly marked with a 4 inch long black sleeve, this is fused into the line to give a smooth and easy passage through the rod rings and it also serves as a head marker. I like these head markers because they enable you to easily lift the same amount of line each time, something really important to enable consistent casting.
The lines I was sent were marked 10/11 and the total head weight was 49g. What I should point out at this stage however is that the head has a long rear taper which prevents you from positioning the whole 62' head outside of the rod tip, it just will not cast satisfactorily at this length but equally I would suggest it wasnt designed to do this anyway. With the black marker pulled 8'-12' inside the rod tip you have a very comfortable 50'-54' head that weighs 44g-45g and which casts very well and will turn over the very fastest 10' Airflo sinking poly leaders with ease. Of course these lines will cast shorter with less than 50' outside the tip but you need to have at least 46' outside the tip to get nearer the full 10/11 line weighting. With nothing more than 12' of nylon the head has a very powerful turnover without quite reaching into the splashy bracket. Again the S1/S2 version was very happy with the fastest of the Airflo 10' sinking polyleaders and by being able to vary the tip will give you a very flexible sinking line, I use S1/S2 more than any other sinker during the season.
There is also a multi-tip version of this line which shares the same head profile/weight and casting qualities. The All Round Multi-Tip comes with 3 separate 15' tips in float, intermediate and sink 7, it cast these tips with authority and again the running line was smooth and tangle free. All of these lines cast extremely well, the tapers are sweet and the running line is of just the right diameter, stiffness and slickness. I found the 10/11 rating to be very accurate based on the taper and actual head weight and it loaded both a 15' Loop Grey Line and Sage 15' Z-Axis nicely.
There are lots of good lines on the market these days so the performance of these lines alone dont make them stand out any more than any of the other good lines on the market, having said that they perform very well indeed and I dont believe many people could find much fault with them at all. What does make them stand out though above the competition is the price of £24.99 for the full lines and £44.99 for the multi-tip and both include free delivery!
It really does make you wonder why you need to spend £100+ on a multi-tip fly line when these are around at less than half that price, the same can equally be said for the floaters versus similar full lines costing in excess of £60. A really great value product I feel very comfortable to recommend.
These lines were supplied for review and can be purchased from Angling Active
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