It's gonna happen.
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Clark Fork, Missouri, Clearwater, Central PA springs, Lycoming Creek is home.
Ed, you are probably right that my lines need a cleaning after a summer of caddis swinging. I'll give that a try, and I'm sure it will solve the problem. As I said in the other thread, I think ice buildup was also an issue. In hindsight, we should have pulled over and done this, but we were freezing our butts off! Definitely understand your reasons for not integrating, but I think it would be great for the lighter lines you offer, specifically for single-hand applications like the one I described, because for me distance isn't as important in this context. I mainly use the larger sizes just to swing for steelhead, and the head/runner is definitely superior and I'm absolutely in love with the lines for casting big flies and tips for my favorite fish. Maybe some folks are stripping for larger predators and would like that feature, but for me it's a single-hand trout deal.
I know nymph fishing is bottom of the priority list for most folks on this forum, and it is for me personally, too. Just don't enjoy staring at a bobber when I could be looking at the canyon wall. However, when you're guiding the Missouri for trout, you pretty much gotta do it, unless you have special people like many here, who just want to dry fly fish or swing. This is extremely rare and a lot of times, even when people intend to just dry fly fish, they succumb to the temptation when they see people in another boat roping in trout. With the application I was describing (long leader tail water nymphing from a boat) the real advantage of the Commando is the ability to turn over the long leader, indicator, a piece of shot, and tungsten beads with essentially zero effort and maximum efficiency. Distance is relatively unimportant. In fact, the perfect cast is usually 20-40 ft at most. When dealing with frequent high winds and long weighty leaders and trying to false cast, even a good angler can sometimes lose valuable fishing time while untangling one of these giant messes. We were pretty amazed at the lack of effort needed to cast, and Sparsespeyhackle (my guinea pig) had zero tangles throughout the day. Also remember that with this style of fishing the drifts are very LONG, sometimes a few hundred yards. When we stepped out of the boat and waded, the line functioned perfectly, even being a bit dirty.
I think my favorite thing about the Commando lines for trout is the versatility. I still enjoy throwing a scandi for long-distance soft hackles, but I also love how easy it is to change between a streamer-style presentation and the floating tips for a near-surface presentation. Before the floating tips came out, I was making cheaters for this purpose out of the back taper of old, single hand lines. The floating tips are awesome and I love being able to dial in the length of the head and know exactly what it weighs. It's great to fish through a run with wets, then flip the tips quick and run a minnow imitation before heading to the next spot.
For winter steelheading, no line comes close IMO. Definite game changer and I can't wait to pair it with an even shorter rod for cramped, high-bank applications. My biggest issue, and one that many experts warn against, is switching back and forth between casting styles. I love to throw my longer dry lines in the fall, and it often takes several days of crappy casting to shorten up my stroke and stop blowing casts, and every September, I feel like I'm relearning on the dry line. I enjoy both so I hope to eventually practice my way to success.
Anyway thanks for the lines and for a great staff and all the other great products you offer. Your line recommendations have been spot on, your staff has been very helpful, and I look forward to whatever you come up with next. I'm a giant fan. Love my drabs!
"Science is magic that works." - Kurt Vonnegut