The science behind scientific hunters

Scientific Fishermen is a name that fishermen instantly associate with quality and innovation in fishing gear. In particular, the Michigan-based company has led the way in airline design for decades and this year celebrated its 75th founding.y Anniversary. When such a venerable organization holds the largest new product launch in its history, you’d better believe it’s a big deal!

So big, in fact, that Scientific Anglers sent their international sales director, Jeff Pearce, and their research and development director, Andrew Bosway, down to tiny Australia to tell us all about it. I was lucky enough to get invited to an information day at Millbrook Lakes recently, to meet Jeff and Andrew, hear about the science behind their range of products, and best of all, test out some new lines at the Trout Lake cabin.

Above: The day began with a conversation from our Director of Research and Development, Andrew Bosway, who told us about the science behind their range of products.

Essentially, the team at Scientific Anglers gave their entire range at once to make sure it catered to flyfishers around the world. Some products have been discontinued, others remain the same, while several new lines have been added. The information day was organized by Andy Summers at Mayfly Tackle primarily to educate some of the major retailers from Scientific Angler about the new equipment – so there should be no excuse for your local guy not being the full bottle.

Above: The guys had over 40 reels wrapped in different stripes for testing.

Notable recent developments in the airline include the evolution of the pioneering range of Sharkskin fabric lines, introduced by Scientific Anglers in 2007, to become part of the newer Sharkwave series. The increased surface area allows these innovative textured lines to sit higher in the water, providing lower drag, easier repair, less water spray and easier pickups, while the micro-textured surface traps air to provide greater potential for shooting and buoyancy. The slight downside to the shark lines was the tendency to be a bit harsh on the angler’s hands. Scientific hunters took this into account in their new lines.

Above: The place was a cozy cabin lakeside cabin in the trout fishery at Millbrook Lakes.

When Scientific Anglers developed the Mastery Textured Series, they took what they learned from the advantages of Sharkskin stripes, but then modified the pattern onto the micro-textured surface (now similar to the dimples of a mini golf ball). The result was a series of stripes that preserved the important characteristics of shark stripes but look like traditional smooth stripes. No more cutting fingers! The new Wavelength Series (officially woven chain) now comes in many lines from float to sink and from freshwater to saltwater.

The distinctive wavelength series dimples have also been incorporated into the Sharkwave Series, which is said to be the world’s first “3D” flight line. This means that it retains the Sharkskin texture at the front end, then has a series of wavelength divisions along the abdomen and running line, but a soft-touch reference point where the head meets the running line. I’ve caught these streaks and I can vouch for the fact that they will make even an average user like me perform exponentially better.

Above and below: Western Bulldogs AFL star Will Minson is testing a new streak and getting some tuition from Millbrook Lakes guide Jim Jackman.

Another area they have focused on is the Mastery Smooth series of flyers which feature a wider range of tapers, while tapers have been tweaked on existing models as well. Like all scientific fly lines, their advanced imaging technology is created thanks to a chemical mixture before the fly lines are made, which means the lines come off better and run for the life of the line because there is no outer coating that can be worn over time.

Above: Scientific Anglers’ International Sales Director Jeff Pearce (left), Andy Summers of Mayfly Tackle (center) and Scientific Anglers’ R&D Director, Andrew Bosway (right).

It doesn’t stop at the airlines, of course. Scientific Anglers has also updated its wide range of leaders and mentors. One interesting point is their decision to ensure that the intermittent stress on the beam indicates the actual refractive stress. It’s not a maximum, nor a minimum… It’s the pressure that will break the tip of the finger. This will be a point of difference with their competitors. And while they maintain an “X” designation for texts that are very popular in the United States, these references also provide strains broken in both imperial and metric.

Above: There was plenty of time for breed testing—and two trout were landed, too!

If you would like to learn more about the mind-boggling collection of science angler lines, leaders, litter and fly reels, visit, or for more information.

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