Good stuff, Tim. I definitely think that 3D lines have their place. The problem with an angler always getting “new” gear, or having a wide variety of sink tips, is that most anglers don’t spend enough time on the water to really learn how their set-up fishes, or how the fly behaves, in a variety of water conditions. I believe an angler can be very successful with a floating skagit or a 3D set-up if they learn the nuances.
Years ago, I would put 3+ rods in the boat on a one day float trip. I would cover every section. It was a great way to catch fish. But some of those sections required me to fish in ways that I didn’t really enjoy.
Now, maybe because I’m getting older, selfish, or lazy, I put one rod in the boat. And I fish water that is both a place where steelhead would hold, but also conducive to my specific set-up. It is more enjoyable and I find myself with the same or even more success because I’m being thoughtful on presentation and fishing an ideal set-up on particular runs. A guy can really master a single line and rod in a variety of conditons if he just puts in the time and is confident.