New gear: Snowbee XS Plus fly line

For new anglers, the numbers and weights attached to most fly-fishing jargon can be a bit much. Mabye there’s a simpler way of doing it.

The folks at Snowbee, a UK company that’s making some inroads here in the U.S., has launched two new fly lines under the XS Plus brand that it claims match up with rods of varying weights. That’s right. One line that fits rod weights 2 through 5, and a second line that fits rods weighted at 5 through 7.

Yeah, I didn’t believe it either, so I took it casting. The results were impressive.

According to the folks at Snowbee, this innovation was a total accident—line designers were trying take a sinking-line innovation for fly fishing in the surf and apply it to a floating line. While the outcome was questionable in the salt, the result is a floating line with a long head (35 feet) that when loaded on a rod weighted between 2 and 5 casts remarkably well.

If this interests you, here’s one thing to remember—make sure the bulk of the head is out of the tip of your fly rod, or casting will be a bit difficult at first. But once the head is loaded, it really does work. I cast rods weighted 3 and 5 with the XS Plus, and I had no trouble shooting line.

It’s not a cheap line—it retails for about $73, but if you’re of the mind that having one line and one reel loaded with that line for a number of fly rods is a good thing, you might check it out.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.