Today I tried my new Expert WF 4# flyline purchased from Richard Ward, Derbyshires own dry fly guru and below are my own findings using the line and writing honestly on my blog might prove helpful. I suppose I should start by saying the packaging and information booklet inside showing the needle knot and leader make up very handy and fully agree there are huge benefits when dry fly fishing. I use a lighter leader set up than recommended but this is down to personnel preference as the booklet states, I start with 12lb, 6lb and 3.6 tippet for ultimate presentation but for a beginner spending plenty of time swinging in the trees retrieving flies, often a stronger set up, in line with the booklet would be useful to avoid many set ups. The packaging is excellent, booklet great and line marked well, very easily attached to reel from supplied spool
INTO THE BOX
The first few things to jump out at you are the muddy matt brown colour which is obviuosly stealthy, then the lovely slick feel which is top quality and absolutely no memory whatsoever. Obviously the expert may prove hard to see at times but were watching the dryfly remember although I suspect you could attach a hi-vis leader/braided loop for nymph fishing with no problems, especially being a WF line, therefore the line could be used for winter nymph fishing aswell, ensuring good allround value.
GOING THE DISTANCE
I'll start by saying I've fished DT (double taper) lines for a good few years so how was the revert back going to feel, I did have my doubts let me tell you. I'm pleased to say my first few casts were as delicate as ever, effortless casting, but to be honest you expect that from most new lines,but they can all lose that new feel very quickly after getting rubbed in cow pat etc. Anyway my first test was fishing at distance across the river, and with a full line zipping out easily across a large weirpool you'll never have any problems in this department. Not being the greatest caster I sometimes make a few elephant landings but the expert proved itself in delicately landing the fly at some distance, so the easy bit was a complete success with no complaints and considering thats not what the line was specifically made for, maybe a bonus.
THE BOX OF TRICKS
I chose a long line of trees on the opposite bank just short of the surface and while ever stepping closer, aimed my fly to slip under the trees and drift down close to the bank under the canopy. I was very impressed as I managed some tricky casts, landing where I visualised before the cast and edging closer to the trees snail paced performing turbo and side casts very well to keep landing under the branches. The fact I hadn't lost a single fly to the Tree Gods spoke volumes, I was really pushing/testing myself without the air turning blue once, by now I'm slowly becoming a fan.
After some impressive roll casts of various distances the only thing to try was fishing in close proximity, after all the expert will have to stand proud here to suit the majority of my fishing so a real life or death requirement for any flyline of mine.
Starting with 3m of flyline off the end of my rod I made repeated casts while shortening a few inches everytime. Enter the realm of the expert, the line was amazing at short casting all the way to 1m with the fly unfurling nicely more or less at my feet. I tried small and big flies with the same result so the expert had gloriously past the Trugg (FFF Name) test with flying colours, well muddy brown to be precise. I cannot fault the expert in any way shape or form really and if you love catching browns on dryfly then this line will go some way to helping you become the expert you aspire to be.
KEEPING IT REAL
In fairness the real test comes when being scrunched up, perched on the edge of a riverbank in summer, covered in fauna while short casting to a wild brown. This scene wasn't performed today but the line does arielise well and punch out short distances to perfection, therefore I can only see the expert handling things without any problems with no shortfalls. As always the shelf life will only come into play in the future, how long will it last and keep performing well, who knows we'll have to wait and see. Now some might say the expert line is expensive but it performs admirably against similar priced lines and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
I'm not saying go and buy an expert now and you'll catch all the fish in the river, but I believe your chances will have very definitely increased, especially at close quarters dry fly fishing.
Todays try out was performed on my 9ft Sage which I do enjoy using on average size rivers but I look forward with high expectations when using the expert on my Old Majestick (7ft bamboo), my sharpe shooting rod, I'm sure they'll pair up very nicely to weedle out those wiley trout and grayling this coming season.
All comments on this line are based on my own experience and expectations of a flyline and obviously as honest as ever. You can view the line by googling Dry Fly Expert.