Boss 9/10: Line Review
On Friday, I received my Boss 9/10 from Gene Oswald. Because of a family reunion, I was not able to get out and cast it until yesterday morning, but when i finally could try it I really did. I met my friend Tom out on the river and he and I tried the 9/10 Boss on 6 different Bruce and Walker Rods, and these were:
Powerlite 15' 7/8/9
Powerlite 16' 8/9
Walker 15'6" 9/10
Walker 16'6" 9/10
Walker 17'6" 9/10
Norway 16' 9/10
Before getting into rod-by-rod specifics,I would like to give some general observations.. We measure this line at 68' in length, and with an out-of-the-box weight of 51 grams (787grains). The butt section of thye line is noticeably thinner than that of the Nextcast FF 70. The head is pink, technically "salmon", but it is pink to my eye.
*A quick note on Nextcast: I have spent thousands of dollars on spey lines since I started spey fishing over 20 years ago, I think I have spent thousands on lines 55' and longer. I have a good friend who is in the same boat, and in all these purchases and tests, never have I found a line that is as good as the Nextcast. I have heard great things about other lines only to try them and again find a line not as good to cast a Fall Favorite or Winter Authority. My fly tying room has a pile of "long lines" collecting dust because they fell short. So I was not real sure how the boss would be able to compare.
I found the Boss to be the best long rod line I have cast on some of the rods and about equal to the Nextcast FF on others. I did not mind the line's color at all, once I was casting it, in fact I really liked the way it looks. This line is noticeably long while casting it and when moving from a Nextcast FF 70, there is an adjustment to be made to get the anchor placed correctly. Once that adjustment is made, this line really sails, but not equally on all rods. Here is a quick run down of our impressions.
Powerlite 15' 7/8/9: The Boss worked well, but felt long on this rod. I would prefer a FF/WA 9/10 55', the FF 70 8/9 also works well, so I would bet (without knowing) that the Boss 8/9 would be a great fit as well.
Powerlite 16' 8/9: This rod with a FF 70 8/9 is my favorite casting rod/ line combo. I think Tom would agree (or he would take the Walker 16'6"/ FF 9/10). However, The Boss 9/10 felt just as good to cast (even though it was 50 grains heavier, and 6' longer), in terms of anchor placement and loading, and the cast travelled noticeably further (I mean ridiculously far). For this rod the Boss is a notable upgrade. Which was a big surprise.
Walker 15'6" 9/10: This rod loved the line. It took a bit of a casting transition to pick up the long line with a slightly shorter rod, but once I adjusted and the anchor was placed correctly, the sparks flew, and the rod was able really deliver long smooth casts. really good combo.
Walker 16'6" 9/10: Line cast very well and delivered the fly beautifully, but we felt that the Nextcast FF 70 9/10 and the Boss were pretty equal on this rod, not the same but pretty equal. This a fantastic rod that seems unique among all spey rods and both lines cast great, but very different characteristics. One loads better, the other flies better.
Walker 17'6" 9/10: The Boss was awesome on this rod, how could it not be? The extra length is great on this rod and it loads it up really well. Also, the thinner diameter of this line really allows it to fly further before the but starts dropping.
Norway 16' 9/10:I cast further with the Boss on this rod that I have with any other line, but I like the way the FF 70 8/9 feels better. this rod is lighter than most people would expect. Maybe the Boss 8/9 would be the ideal fit, I haven't been able to try it yet.
I hope this was a useful review for you long line guys. Tom and I are not tournament casters. Tom is an excellent caster and I feel that I am pretty good too, but there are better, more knowledgeable guys out there. We work hard and practice, always looking to improve our technique. We are dedicated students to this sport.
Quick conclusion: If you like cast long bellies with 15'+ rods, this line is worth the money and you will be missing out if you don't try one out. I now have a line that fits three of my favorite rods and rocks. Pretty awesome!
Not all who wander are lost.