The New Bruce Chard Grand Slam Fly Line From Scientific Angler’s

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Bruce Whips One Out  Photo by Louis Cahill

Bruce Whips One Out Photo by Louis Cahill

I’ve been a fan of Bruce Chard’s saltwater fly line designs for years. And why not? I don’t know anyone who understands the dynamics of fly casting or the art of presenting a fly on the flats better than Bruce. I guess if you guide the Florida Keys over three hundred days a year, for twenty years, you learn a thing or two.

I fished Bruce’s lines when they were made by Jim Teeny and I loved them. When Bruce teamed up with Scientific Angler he told me it would take the lines to a whole new level. That was no overstatement. SA’s materials and technology have really made the Grand Slam line sing.

The Grand Slam is the best saltwater line I’ve ever fished. That didn’t surprise me. What was a pleasant surprise was that it lived up to its marketing materials. This line actually does everything it promises and you don’t often find that these days. There is a lot going on in the design of this line. I’ll try to explain how some of the design features work and why they are important.

•The taper

If you have not read my recent post on understanding line tapers, check it out here. You may find the information helpful.

Nothing about the Grand Slam taper is ordinary. Every inch of this line was designed to help you overcome the challenges of saltwater presentation. With that in mind, let’s take a minute to understand those challenges.

The goal of a good saltwater presentation, regardless of species, is the same. A fast, accurate presentation where the leader turns over tight and there is zero slack in the system when the fly hits the water. Simple, right? So simple you can spend half a lifetime getting it right. Now add to that a thirty mph wind and some spooky fish and you have a pretty average scenario. The scenario that Bruce watches unfold every day, from the poling platform. So here’s what he designed to make it easier.

The front taper of the Grand Slam is very short. This transfers energy aggressively into the leader for maximum turnover. When combined with a hard saltwater leader this system gives you the best shot at turning over a big fly into the wind. This accomplishes two things. First, your fly lands on target. There’s nothing more important than that. Secondly, it lands with a straight, tight leader so the fly is moving in a lifelike fashion when the fish first sees it. That’s huge! You only get one chance to make a first impression. If the fish eats right away, your line is already tight so there’s no slack to take up when you set the hook. There is nothing more important in saltwater fly fishing than an accurate, slack free presentation. The Grand Slam delivers on this promise.

Things happen fast in flats fishing. Fish are on the move, they sneak up on you, they get spooked by changing conditions or other fish. Windows open and close in a hurry and it’s important to be able to make a shot quickly, especially when the shot is at close range. You don’t want to spend your time false casting. It’s crucial that your rod load quickly. The belly of the Grand Slam is a little overweighted to load fast action saltwater rods right away. This saves valuable time when the pressure is on.

Perhaps the most overlooked part of any fly line taper is the rear taper. The rear taper of the Grand Slam is one of my favorite features. It’s twice the length of the rear taper in most saltwater lines. That translates into control. The long rear taper transfers energy smoothly and effectively into the belly as long as any part of it is in contact with the rod. This means you can carry more line easily and make more accurate, and more delicate, long range presentations. Presentation is all about control and the extra long rear taper gives you control by allowing you to be directly connected to the belly until you shoot your final cast. That’s a big plus.

The rear taper terminates in an extra thin running line that shoots efficiently. The combination of the long rear taper and thin running line is deadly. It makes for great long range presentation. A definite plus in saltwater. If there is a downside it’s that the running line tends to sink a bit. It’s only an issue when wading and a small one in my opinion. The running line on most saltwater lines sinks.

•Texture and coatings

The Grand Slam features SA’s new Mastery texture. It’s a toned down version of the texture they use for the Shark Skin Lines. I’m not a fan of the Shark Skin which I find too rough but I like this new Mastery texture. They refer to it as working like the dimpled surface of a golf ball and that makes sense. The dimples create a layer of turbulence which reduces air friction by eliminating laminar separation. That’s to say, it really goes!

It does make it easier to pick up a lot of line off the water and do it quietly. That’s a big positive and I feel like it adds to the lines shootability (if that’s a word) by cutting down on guide resistance. Best of all, it has a really nice feel in the hand. The line does not get sticky like a lot of lines do in saltwater and it stays cleaner and doesn’t cut your hands. It has a hard feel to it which gives you a great grip for line control and a no-slip hook set.

The Grand Slam also uses the SA AST self-lubricating coating. This is a high tech coating that releases microscopic silicon beads that lubricate the line. It has the slickness of a freshly dressed line without picking up dirt like line dressing does. I think it adds to the nice feel of the line.

I experienced very little problem with the line tangling during casting. It always happens at some point but the Grand Slam seemed to have very little memory and laid out nicely on the deck. The temperature averaged in the mid to high seventies so I would expect it to be even better in warmer weather.

The right fly line is always important but never more than in saltwater fishing. Poor line choice can turn opportunity into futility but the right line will help you fish like a rock star. The new Scientific Angler Bruce Chard Grand Slam line is definitely the rock star choice.

You can get more info about the Grand Slam Line on Bruce’s site and even order one directly from him, which would be great because he’ll make a few bucks off of it.

http://www.brucechard.com/brucechardflylines.html

 

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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6 thoughts on “The New Bruce Chard Grand Slam Fly Line From Scientific Angler’s

  1. Nice. I fished with Bruce many years ago in the keys. I’m in the market for a tropical line for an upcoming trip. heading over to site now… THANKS!

  2. I bought the new Scientific Angler’s Bruce Chard Grand Slam Fly Line here locally in Sarasota Florida and after a few days on the water all I can say is that is all I ever wanted in a fly line. In the last 6 month I have tried 4 different fly lines from Rio, Scientifice Anglers etc. but this is in my opinion the best fly line on the market. If you would like to cast like a rock star get this fly line. Thanks! Mani

  3. Pingback: IFTD New Product Showcase Awards Get It Right | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

  4. Long time fan of Teeny Bruce Chard lines. Any comments on differences between the SA line and Teeny line? Difference in tapers? I am not crazy about SA coatings and texture. You seem to have mixed reviews. Thanks.

    To silver flashes on the flats!

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