Fly Life Magazine

Innovations have changed fly fishing over the years

Charles Duell, Commissioner of U.S. patent office in 1889, said “everything that can be invented has been invented.”

This quote nearly caused the patent office to close. When discussing fly fishing equipment we no longer talk about inventions. We talk about innovations because as far a s we know new inventions in our sport rarely come along. An innovation can be defined as a new method, idea or product that shows improvement on something else. Innovations are common in the fly fishing business and the two most important improvements or innovations have been in fly lines and fly rods.

Southard, Charles Zibeon. [CC BY 2.0 (

Fly lines have been around since the 17th century when an article was written about casting a line and was described as being twice the length of your rod and three hairs thickness. The real innovations began around 1959 when Cortland Line Company introduced the first commercially successful fly line with a new synthetic finish and was marketed as a nonsinkable fly line. It had a nylon center core and a surface coating that would not become water logged.

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