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Jay Nicholas.

Field trial and review of OPST Commando Smooth fly line

By Jay Nicholas / Oregon Fly Fishing Blog  /August 10, 2018 

Jay Nicholas, a stickler for fly line performance realities, has not changed his mind [2/1/2021] about the ‘SMOOTH,’ and neither have we. The OPST Commando Smooth fly Line runs opposite of all competitors, except Wulff, in length and rapid diameter thickness increase.

It’s supposed to splash down like a fallen birch if ‘scandi cast,’ but it can be as unalarming as a Mosca to even spooky Pescado by angler skill, tips, and tricks – landing like a butterfly.

Technology is here, and in this case, fly lines are always welcome. Read what Jay concluded. — Skip Clement

I was looking for a short head fly line that I could cast from a dory offshore Pacific City. Many floating fly lines work well for this purpose, including most of the short head floating fly lines such as the

RIO OUTBOUND Short (30 ft)
AIRFLO Float (~30 ft)
WULFF Ambush (20-24 ft)

Although I have fished all of these lines successfully, I constantly fiddle with my tackle and I am something of a fly line freak. I simply wanted a shorter head and here is why. The shorter the head, within reason, the more likely I supposed that I would be able to make a cast of something like 50 – 60 ft with no more than one back cast. Casting poppers and small streamers from a dory requires fast reaction to deliver a fly quickly to fish that may be moving beyond casting range. A short head would, I supposed, be less likely to foul in antenna or other caster’s rods.

So while I fished other lines and found them satisfactory, I wanted to try the super short heads offered in the OPST Commando Smooth series.

So I set to sea on August 9th 2018, in my friend Kevin’s Breaker Dory, seeking silvers.

Most of our time was devoted to trolling but a short time was set aside to test my new fly line, and this video records my awkward efforts.

Overall, I was ‘more than pleased’ with the line’s performance

I fished a 200 gr SMOOTH with 7.5 ft floating tip on a 5 wt Winston B3X with Nautilus CCF-X2 reel.

One or two back casts allowed me to lay my fly out 50-60 feet, well in the zone I wanted to cover. The line laid out straight in spite of my best efforts to throw a curve into it. I did not try a 10 ft floating tip of a sink-2 tip, but will do so in the future.

I almost hooked a silver while I was stripping out line to make my first cast, but that is soooooooo typical.

I am not well versed on appropriate line weights to match to various fly rods, but the 200 gr plus 7.5 ft floater was very comfortable and cast with authority.

I will add that I tried casting the line with only a mono leader and it was HORRIBLE!

The 7.5 ft floating tip changed everything, and the line laid out straight and true.

So, here is a solid thumbs up for this new fly line.

Current line configuration is:

Length: 99.3 feet.

Head weights: 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300 grains.

The head on the 200 gr line is roughly 13 ft.

Front and rear line loops

The running line is the thinnest I have seen  (light fly line coating over mono core) and is low memory to reduce line coiling

I have nothing to say regarding casting this line with sustained anchor styles, but for straight overhead with or without change of direction, this line was intuitive and an instant performer for me.

Jay Nicholas July 2018


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