Catching big saltwater fish on fly requires special gear, from rod and reel down to the tippets. One of the most important parts is your backing. You need enough to let the fish run, yet it needs to be thin enough to keep the drag down with a load of line in the water. Gelspun lines are a natural for this use, and with an aim to create a foolproof system for big fish, Scientific Anglers has introduced its new Mastery Series XTS backing.
The high-visibility yellow Mastery Series XTS (Extra Thin and Strong) backing enables anglers to put 35 to 50 percent more backing on a reel than with traditional Dacron. The 30-pound-test XTS backing has a diameter of 0.014 inch, compared with an average 20-pound Dacron backing's diameter of 0.018 inch. This may not seem like much, but the Mastery Series XTS 50-pound has a 0.016-inch diameter, while 30-pound Dacron generally has a 0.024-inch diameter - and that's huge. This line also holds knots well, remains abrasion resistant and feels smooth.
Both the 30- and 50-pound Mastery Series XTS lines are available in 100-, 250-, 500-, 1,000- and 3,000-yard spools. Retail prices range from $12.95 to $519.95, depending on class and spool size.
For more information, contact Scientific Anglers, 3M Center, Building 223-4 NE, St. Paul, MN 55144; 800-525-6290; www.scientificanglers.com.