Tackle Talk What has lead to the greatest change?

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #907950


    Reading some old books and contemplating how little has fundamentally changed down through the decades.

    But then I got thinking, “Okay what is the most significant change to occur in our sport?”

    There are materials changes in line, rods, reels, tippet/leaders but aren’t they just tweaks on a continuum rather than fundamental shifts?

    Pondering a tad longer I came up with polaroids as probably the single most fundamental change but then what about the web and social media? Open to thoughts and suggestions if anyone can trump polaroid sunglasses with a sound rationalisation.

    p.s. I’m not sure I could have cut it back in the silk line, gut cast, greenheart rod era, all that gear prep and maintenance sounds exhausting.



    Polarised lenses, yes.  Saltwater and exotic native species? Affordability? Transport and access? Fly line technology? Mono and fluorocarbon? Catch and release? Electric outboards (not me)?



    Probably one of the major changes to our sport is the fact that it is now not seen as elitist and open and challenges all anglers



    Most significant change to occur our sport … hmmm , so many ways to go on this one and have to agree with suggestions of Flylife & taupofish

    I think environmental issues are certainly the most pressing and significant change currently , a warming world , degradative land use , shrinking wild spaces , more humans living apart from nature yet having greater impact on natural systems in so many ways , and so many more anglers chasing that elusive experience into every corner of the globe before it might vanish  …

    But I think the intent of the question was more on actual fishing technique & equipment ? And hence polaroids.

    So perhaps waders as a similarly significant step ? I read this somewhere but can’t recall where , I dont think it was Schullery or Herd  . Fly fishing being predominantly a cold water sport til recently and Trout being a cold water species , before waders time spent in the water was quite limited . Waders opened up previously difficult to access water , allowed fishing year round , and for longer periods of time , and their ready availability perhaps could also be seen as a marker of the era of industrialisation and all that came with it . Reminds me too of the Spanish proverb ‘ you cant catch a trout without wet breeches ‘


    [email protected]

    “…what is the most significant change to occur in our sport?”

    That’s a really good question.

    I don’t know about polaroid glasses for two reasons; the use of polaroids for fishing is not new, and it’s not really global.  David Scholes discussed polaroiding in his 1960s book “Fly-fisher in Tasmania”, but I don’t think he was the first.  My fly-fishing pals in Europe, Asia and the Americas had never heard of polaroiding, or tailing trout, until they visited Tasmania. Nor have they found it a practical technique on return to their homes.  It seems that polaroiding is more an Australian, New Zealand phenomena and has certainly had a profound effect for some here.

    I tend to agree with taupofish that the removal of elitism has had a huge influence for the benefit of all.  In UK, salmon fishing was the pastime of the aristocracy, fly-fishing was practised by the gentry and coarse fishing was for common folk.  Absence of elitism coupled with affordability and more free time, had more people able to take up fly-fishing.  The introduction of cheaper fibreglass fly rods over handmade artisan cane rods helped make fly fishing affordable to everyone.  Later mass production of cheaper carbon rods reinforced that.  Another significant change has been the publication of fly-fishing texts by ordinary folk for ordinary folk.



    Maybe Micmac needs to set us a timeframe, and a location? Here in Aus and NZ or worldwide? 50 years, 100 years or more?

    On a personal level, I could survive summer here in Tas without hi-tech waders, and could fish ok with my first fly rod, line, leaders and flies, but I would be lost without prescription polaroids.



    On a personal level, I could survive summer here in Tas without hi-tech waders, and could fish ok with my first fly rod, line, leaders and flies, but I would be lost without prescription polaroids.

    Yep that was my thinking as well, I kind of think I fish stillwater better without waders, because I spend more time looking for fish (thus the polaroids) than scaring them.

    I guess I was thinking of a long timeframe 100 years and a broader worldwide stage.

    I note my grandfather bought his polaroids back from OS (circa 1950’s USA or Europe) and always used to astound me with his supernatural ability to spot fish.

    The shift from elitism has certainly been enabled by technical advances reducing costs and yep the broadening of the species base, no longer just salmonids, has also contributed to that shift. leisure time is no longer the exclusive prerogative of just one class as it once was.



    For me, the biggest single positive change in 55+ years fly fishing has been graphite rods.

    When I started as a youngster, I used a split cane rod (made by John Turville in North Melbourne). It was heavy and very unresponsive. Nowadays, I can fish all day without my arm tiring out. Rods are light, flexible and very responsive. I occasionally use my old rods, and it feels like I am fishing with a plank of wood.

    Another significant change has been fly lines. I started using a silk line. It was heavy, and needed to be dried and dressed at the end of each day, and sometimes during the day. It also developed a memory quite quickly.

    Polaroids are not new, but they have improved. My Dad used them from the early 1960s. I started using them in the 1980s, and I reckon I have caught many, many more more trout than I would have without them. These days I mainly fish small creeks, and to see a fish approach my fly is exhilarating. It is amazing how often they will look at a fly for quite a while before taking or rejecting it.

    From a safety perspective, EPIRBs have been a great development. I have never had to use mine, but it good to know I have it.

    For me, the biggest negative has been the invasion of many former top quality streams by European carp.


    mitch aka 2 fish

    strength and diameter.



    1 Flylines.

    2 Polariods

    3 Tippet/Leader material

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.