The Best New(ish) Fly Line: Scientific Angler’s Amplitude

The Best New(ish) Fly Line Scientific Angler’s Amplitude (1)

How important is a good fly line?

I would argue that a fly line is the most important piece of fly-fishing equipment. That’s because the line carries a fly to the fish. Even the best fly rod can’t perform properly with the wrong fly line attached to it. And, a rod won’t cast a line and fly—very well— if it is dirty and cracked. Dirty and/or cracked lines are sticky and they don’t “shoot” through the guides very well, if at all. If you can get one through your rod tip and onto the water it won’t float well and your flies will be pulled under the surface. If the fish are eating on the surface, you don’t stand a chance.

To me, it’s abundantly clear that a correctly matched, clean, slick, crack-free, and high-floating line is a key element to fly-fishing. And a new, premium fly line is like a fresh pair of lenses, providing an angler with clear vision, or in the fly-fishing sense, perfect casting and presentation abilities.

Scientific Anglers’ Amplitude Fly Line

Enter Scientific Anglers’ Amplitude fly line. At $130, it’s no surprise some anglers are shocked when they encounter it on a fly shop wall. A fly line cost comparison shows that you can get a standard line for $75, which by no means is considered cheap. But, one-hundred and thirty bucks? How can this Amplitude thing be worth it?

Without going into all the technical specs let’s look at what this line can do in real-world fly-fishing conditions.

I first set up a reel with the Amplitude MPX 5-weight line over a year ago. Since then, I have fished the line with nymphs, streamers and dry flies on numerous fly rods. It has received some heavy use and abuse. I’ve dropped coils in the mud, in bankside vegetation, and on the sandy bottoms of boats. I have fished it hard with only the fish on my mind. I have given the line no cleaning or any special love or respect.

In short, the Amplitude MPX works like a champ. It still shoots like a new line. It has developed zero cracks, and the welded loop on the tip is in perfect shape. The line still slides smoothly when extending drifts, stacking slack mends, and working slack line casts. I’ve used it on fly rods of varying price points and regardless of the rod, the line excels at performance.

I will argue, based on my experience with this line, that it will improve your angling performance and actually lead you towards more fish when compared to most other lines. Almost any line is good when new, but after even a day or two of use, the coatings on conventional lines get covered by a film of dust, dirt and algae. The textured surface of the Amplitude seems to ignore these elements.

The Best New(ish) Fly Line Scientific Angler’s Amplitude (1)

The Technical Angles

AST+ Coating

Scientific Anglers claim their AST+ coating is the slickest on the market. What does that mean for the angler? A slick fly line results in longer casts with less angler effort and is easier to manipulate when on the water. The AST+ also increases the durability.

Floating Texture

What does that mean? Unlike a smooth-surfaced fly line, the microtextured surface traps air, which naturally increases floatation. Increased floatation means the line sits higher in the water and produces less drag, easier mending, roll casts and pickups. The texture also provides the added benefit of decreased line flash (it’s not shiny) in the air, resulting in, theoretically, fewer fish spooking from a line above their heads.

Shooting Texture

The shooting texture contains tiny curved divots like those found on a golf ball. There is very little texture on the surface so the line feels similar to a traditional line, but the benefits are the added slickness, higher floatation and increased durability.

The Best New(ish) Fly Line Scientific Angler’s Amplitude (2)

So, in the end, how do these technologies translate to your day on the water?

  • Added Slickness—Increased casting distance, less casting effort and ease when feeding slack.
  • Higher Floatation—Less drag, easier roll casts, mends, and pickups for casting.
  • Increased Durability—Performance at a higher level for a longer period of time.
  • Less fuss—No need for constant cleaning and dressing, which makes it easier to focus on the important stuff, such as fishing and presentation techniques.

I guess you could say that after full review and consideration, I’m a fan of the SA Amplitude MPX fly line. Is it worth the price tag? I guess that depends on an angler’s, dedication and how often you fish. If you fly fish a lot, like I do, you will definitely value the performance attributes and the durability of this fly line.

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I fly fish to live (25+ years guiding). I live to fly fish (obsession). At the age of two, I captured my first Bluegill in Southern Michigan. Since then, I have never stopped looking into waters for fish. My first wild trout came from the waters of Glacier NP a few years later. I spent much of my youth chasing fish in Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and throughout central Canada. I went to Alaska in 1989, where I met my wife, started a family and spent 26 seasons guiding anglers. Great Falls and the North 40 Fly Shop are now home base. Stop by and lets talk fish, bear encounters or even my experience with Bigfoot.

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