When I opened the box for the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Big Water Taper #12 (BWT) line I got a fright. I figured the line would be thick but this was really thick. But with a 100lb core, you can understand. My next thought was that I was going to have loose some backing. The line had come recommended by Andre van Wyk after he put one to good use on Providence Atoll in the Seychelles.
Sci Anglers have taken a different approach with this line and this especially evident in the running line. The core of the line is actually on the outside and because its thick, heavy hollow nylon braid, it creates a texture on the running. It’s a different texture to Sci Anglers’ textured lines and I think a byproduct of the core braid. Textured lines are not my favourite thing; something about the zzzzz zzzzz sound with every cast and retrieve that has never sat well with me. But it’s the only 100lb fly line available right now. (Smooth finish please Sci Anglers, hint hint!)
The BWT 100lb does not arrive with prewelded loops either. Which is something I actually don’t mind. Rather, it comes with two 100lb braid loops and some heat shrink tubing for you to build your own. I’ve always cut the loops off the heavier lines anyway in order to make my own so was quite happy to make up my own loops.
It also has a high vis section of running line (its black) that Sci Anglers say is for keeping track of your fly line during a fight. I didn’t put much into this until a GT had my the fly line well out of the tip of the rod; the black section is easily seen from far off and was actually a great reference point during a fight. How clearly I could see it surprised me quite a bit and is a clever extra addition.
The running line is much thicker than any other #12 line I have ever handled. Holding the RIO GT’s running line next to it immediately highlights just how thick it is. At 87g, the Amplitude is also about 37g heavier than my Rio GT (measurements taken on the kitchen scale). This initially raised the question about extra pressure on the rod through the casting action – 35 odd grams more than normal #12 is quite a bit). However, this was put to rest after a conversation with Scott’s Jim Bartchi about loading pressures and a rod’s ability to deal with increased pressure from heavier lines. But make sure your ferrules are tight, because a slip will cause your rod to break.
In Fiji I got to test the line properly. I spent lots of time casting and retrieving and a bit of time playing tug of war against GTs. I was genuinely impressed with its castability – this was a concern at first impressions. It loads easily and quickly but shoots really well when one considers the overall thickness and weight of the line although it quick heavy. Personally, I will get an #11 line to match my #12 rod for future GT chasing.
I must add that that the abrasion resistance of the line was extremely good. More than once the line got pulled around coral and rocks and came pretty much intact. This was a relief after shelling out $120 for it. Maybe I got lucky on that one, but I most certainly felt confident putting full pressure on a good sized fish. Which is exactly why I bought a 100lb line.
This is obviously a line that is made for a very particular set of circumstances. Namely stopping big fish as quickly as possible. I definitely wouldn’t want to blind cast it all day (but I’ve never wanted to blind cast a 12 all day anyway). I’d also suggest that if you’re going to use this line, get it on your rod and practice before you hit the flats in search of that lifetime fish. It does take a little practice to get the loading just right and if you miss-load or miss the line on your haul, you’ll be cursing…
Overall, I was super stoked with the line. At the very least it has left me with an increased confidence in my gear’s ability to stop a trophy GT.
Note: The Rio GT #12 line used to compare has seen it’s fair share of action and I will always consider it a great line.