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Fly Line Review


Anything but wiry and stiff, Gamma's Frog Hair FC makes Fluorocarbon leader manageable
 

Date: 12/22/03
Tackle type: Fly Line
Manufacturer: Gamma Technologies
Reviewer: Zander






Total Score: 8.6

Introduction:
Fluorocarbon leaders and tippets offer fantastic refractive capabilities, adding up to increased stealth, but are often stiff and hard to work with, especially when fishing with incredibly undersized flies. Gamma Technologies introduces Frog Hair, an innovative new tippet which offers all the advantages of 100% Fluorocarbon, but making it extra manageable, stronger, and more shock resistant.
 

Gamma Frog Hair FC 5X Specifications

Colors/Patterns 1 available (clear)
Base Material 100% Fluorocarbon
Line wt's available 10+
Weight Tested 5X = 4.4lb IFGA Class
Avg. Diameter (4lb) 0.152mm (0.006inch)
Leader Spool Tested 25 Meters
MSRP $12.99 (25 meters)


About Gamma Technologies:
Gamma Technologies is a sports research company that concentrates on the development, testing, and evaluation of advanced sports products. Gamma’s latest products include three new fly fishing tippets and leaders. These include Frog Hair (copolymer), Frog Hair FC (100% fluorocarbon), and Deep Blue (saltwater specific). In addition Gamma has designed easy to use leader tying kits and tools to help anglers customize their leaders to match individual conditions.

Impressions:
Gamma’s Frog Hair FC comes packaged in a lightweight spool that fits easily in your vest, or on a fly fishing lanyard. Packaging of tippets is very important as ease of use is a high priority when you find yourself tying on new tippets on a rivers edge, or standing next to a prime flow. The spool features an octagon shape with soft edges; this allows for a firmer grip then those offered by standard circle spools. The spools lock together for easy organization and storage. In addition an elastic retaining band extends over the tippet so it doesn’t unfurl from the spool, and each band is clearly labeled for quick identification.

 

Frog Hair comes on a ergonomic interlocking spool, and is easy to string on or tuck into any fly vest

 

Gamma Process: Gamma uses a proprietary process to actually alter the molecular structure of the fluorocarbon material, creating millions of intermolecular bonds throughout the line. The result is a “cross linked” molecular structure that is stronger, more abrasion resistant, and still more flexible then traditional fluorocarbon lines.

 

Frog Hair is extremely manageable, and it is easy to switch tippets quickly

 

Real World Test: To test the Frog Hair Leader we conducted cast tests at a local reservoir, then headed up to the base of the sierras to try the new leader on some shrewd Browns. We used a GLoomis 4wt rod paired with a Bauer Junior Mac (JM1) spooled with Scientific Anglers Air Cel fly line.

 

Small diameter and excellent knot strength make Frog hair a great choice for small to medium sized flies

 

Stealth: The number one reason why fluorocarbon is so popular is due to the underwater invisibility the material offers. Frog Hair is 100% pure fluorocarbon, but undergoes Gamma’s unique process to improve line strength and manageability while still maintaining the superior refractive capabilities of traditional fluorocarbon. The thin mm diameter of this line combined with the fluorocarbon material makes the line near invisible to fish, even in the clearest water. To test this we went fishing in slow running streams for extremely diffident Browns. We found the line to be exceptional for both dry and wet flies. Browns that spook at the first sign of danger, readily committed to snapping up our flies. We switched out to a standard monofilament tippet and noticed the similar amount of strikes on dry flies, but a significantly reduced strike percentage when teasing trout with wet flies.

 

Test casting demonstrated the excellent presentation capabilities afforded to anglers who will appreciate the characteristics of pure fluorocarbon, now with excellent suppleness

 

Presentation: Because Gamma’s process makes Frog Hair more supple then normal fluorocarbon it feels unlike any other fluorocarbon based tippet we have ever fished with. When fishing dry flies with stiff fluorocarbon the fly presentation always seems to suffer as the lines tend to exhibit memory, and the flies often are positioned at undesirable angles. Frog hair on the other hand is limp enough to present in an exact straight line with your cast. This allows you to drop your flies exactly where you want them to. When fishing extremely light flies this suppleness really shows it's value, and I was able to lob the smallest flies into particularly constricted areas.
 

Shy brookies and browns quickly committed to flies tied with Frog Hair


Durability:
Tying knots with traditional fluorocarbon is a little more difficult then plain monofilament due to the stiffness of the line. Frog Hair is much easier to securely tie a variety of knots with. I found it easy to switch out even the smallest flies even while standing in the middle of running water. During our tests we hooked into some really hard hitting little trout. these browns would strike the fly and realize immediately that something was wrong, turn the other way and flip about in a mad effort to shake the small barbless hooks. During our field tests we had fewer drop off's and for a while we couldn't figure out why that was the case, since I often lost fish using the exact same fly. What I later discovered was that the suppleness of the Frog's Hair actually acts offers increased shock resistance, which helps prevent break offs from hard-hitting strikes. While the line helps you land more fish by resisting line breaking shock, it still offers exceptionally good feel.

 

Ratings:

Gamma Frogs Hair FC 5X Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Here is a 100% fluorocarbon line that allows you to take advantage of the refractive capabilities of fluorocarbon and still enjoy the manageability of much more supple lines. The tippet is also durable and memory free 9
Performance This tippet is very high quality exhibiting very good results in our test. Overall an excellent performing tippet 9
Price The downside to getting your cake and eating it too is that you have to pay for it. Frog Hair FC is more expensive then traditional tippet, but if your looking for ultra manageable fluorocarbon then it's a small price to pay 7.5
Features Not Applicable N/A
Design (Ergonomics) You can tell a lot of science went into the formulation of this line. Gamma basically took out all the pain and weaknesses of using traditional pure fluorocarbon lines 8.5
Application This material is excellent and Gamma makes Frog hair FC in the easy to use spool we reviewed as well as in pre-made tapered leaders. the line is available in multiple weights and can be used for everything from fly fishing for palm sized Brookies to big bad Billy Bass 9

Total Score

8.6


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great manageability L More expensive then traditional tippets
J Shock resistant L May be hard to find in some areas
J Excellent Stealth  
J Better presentations of small flies  


Conclusion: Frog Hair is extraordinarily strong for its diameter, and offers unique attributes that make it not only effective to fish with fluorocarbon, but finally easy as well. The advanced process that this line undergoes is pure advanced science, but the benefits to anglers is simple...more hookups from shy fish, and less fish lost to aggressive strikes. This tippet amazed me in that Gamma found a way to make a line so supple, and still so incredibly sensitive. You truly feel like you are connected to the fish the minute you hook up. Though a little more expensive then traditional tippets, fly fisherman who are keen on the stealth attributes of fluorocarbon definitely should appraise this inventive new creation.

 

Until next time...Tight Lines!


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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