Since Scientific Angler’s introduced their Air Cel fly lines in the middle of the 50s and sent all the greasy silk-fly lines to the museum, surprisingly little has happened in terms of floating line production technology. What has happened since – technology-wise, mainly pertains to taper designs and the increasingly diverse technical disciplines within the fly fishing market.
60 years after the Air Cel fly lines something has happened, however, and the codeword is ‘nano-technology’. ‘Nano’ is a label that gets attached to all kinds of things, and we’re not quite sure what it means when it comes to fly line production. In this regard, not much information is divulged, but to us, the most important thing is how a fly line performs – and how well they present a fly to a fish.
The ArcticSilver’s MicroDiameter lines are thinner and smoother than conventional floating fly lines in comparable AFTM-classes. The diameter is closer to that of slow-sinking lines, and they are met with less air resistance and thus achieve higher line speed than competing fly lines. And since they float really well, despite the low diameter, the advantage is clear.
“Difficult to improve with modern technology” – that’s the absolute criterion for achieving our top rating of 10. We’re really careful about giving this rating to even the best of high-quality products since we’d like to take into consideration the possibility that new technology will render them second best.
We saw a similar breakthrough in rod manufacturing 6-7 years ago, when Orvis launched their Helios-rods, and the ArcticSilver MicroDiameter fly lines represent a similar revolution. When adding highly successful tapers to the mix, we’re inclined to say that these fly lines are extremely difficult – if not impossible – to top with today’s technology.
With the above in mind, the top rating 10/10 is obvious, and a new standard has been set for the competitors!
ArcticSilver has focused on constructing a fly line profile that is ultra-thin all the way through the line length. This makes perfect sense in a range of lines ranging from #5 – #8, where making actual tapers isn’t a problem. The field of application includes single-handed fly fishing for seatrout, pike, and salmon.
In general WF 6-8 fly lines are in direct competition with shooting heads, so in addition to comparable WF floating lines, we have also tested the ArcticSilver MicroDiameter (Grey Ghost) line up against floating shooting heads in comparable lengths and weights.
A full-length WF fly line is the most comfortable and versatile choice. When choosing a shooting head one is aiming at longer casts. When overhead casting, the ArcticSilver Grey Ghost line shoots further than my trusty test line, and even though is doesn’t have a taper designed for Spey casting, it performs flawlessly here too, providing great turnover and presentation. Here, we’re talking about casts of 25m + leader, and you’ll rarely need longer casts when using a single-handed rod for Spey casting.
The head of the ArcticSilver MD Grey Ghost fly line is approximately 11 meters and weighs a little more than 18grams. The rear taper, however, is relatively long stretching into the shooting line for about 6-7 meters. This means that you can easily blind cast with more than 12 meters of line. The maximum casting length is only limited by the fly line’s total length, which was measured at 29,4 meters. If you add 4 meters of leader, you’ll have a distance of 33 meters between you and your fly.
If I use a shooting head and monofilament shooting line, I’m capable of casting a little longer, but when I tie on a fly with a little bit of weight or air resistance, the loop has a tendency to collapse, and the fly lands right beside the shooting head. This never happens with the ArcticSilver MicroDiameter fly line – not even with long-haired and fluffy tube flies.
The Grey Ghost line ensures superb turnover and delivers the fly perfectly. In summary, the effective casting range during practical fishing is fully comparable with that of shooting heads – but the presentation is much, much better!
The ArcticSilver MD Grey Ghost line easily loads the heavier of the two rods for long overhead casts. And if you’re planning on using it for Spey casting, it’s not a bad idea to set it up with a lighter rod.