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R.L Winston, Energy Line Trout R.L Winston, Energy Line

R.L Winston’s Energy line was released about a year ago.
I have held off writing review until I was happy to say I tested that in all four season’s condition. Having to try them in many of the conditions I now can be happy to share some of my findings and opinions.  So here we go…

The two models I have tried are:

Trout WF #5:38ft head /90ft : 144gr 
Trout WF #6 : 40ft head / 90ft :   163gr

These lines were tested with Winston B3X, Nexus and some other rods.

First impression of the line out of the box was “wow…. bright!”  then once I had them in my hand I thought “Slick as”, it had a beautiful slick coating on the surface, without reading it too much into specs I knew who those line were made by.  Second pictures show a glimpse of the line, first 10ft or so is subtle tan colour then it changes to chartreuse green for the remaining of the 80ft. It certainly is striking. Traditional anglers here in NZ always swear by fishing with dull camouflaged colour line, for them bright coloured line certainly doesn’t sit well. I personally experienced colour of fly line doesn’t make much difference in most instances, I have fished with blue, green, sandy, tan, orange, pink, cream, white and yellow coloured line and catch rate hasn’t changed at all, and I believe once you line the fish on casting, no matter what the colour of line is, fish will see it regardless. Perhaps how I fish may have some sway in the result, or I haven’t encountered the situation where the line colour really does make a difference, let’s leave this debate to some other time.

As far as the performance goes, first impression of casting was “Oh…. yeah!” It casted so smooth and turns over beautifully, and medium length tapered head turns the heavier flies with ease and really wakes up the action of modern powerful fly rods, without being too heavy and cranky. It casts like a dream until 65ft without hardly any effort, and with a bit of line speed added it casts up to 80ft nicely, because of the medium taper head it lacks the power to cast passed the end of fly line, however this line probably wasn’t designed to cast the ultimate distance in mind. It really is an easy line to fish in any condition. I have got a little carried away and fished in -8 ℃ (18℉), cold temperatures was not a problem for energy line, it felt a little stiff in hand however it never really changed casting performance, also clients and I tested casting it in 80 km/hr (49miles/hr) head wind to see how it handle the elements, and the result was astonishing, with a reasonable speed applied, it casted up to 30ft and turned 10ft leader straight without too much difficulty.

The way Energy Line’s head taper is designed, it forms nice tight loop at shorter distance and it can cut through stiff head wind, in a still condition, weight and energy of that tight loop carries the running line well, hence anglers do not need to open the casting arc too much to get a nice line out, in the case of needing a longish cast, just adjust the casting stroke length a little, to hold the loading energy longer, which add sextra loop speed for distance casting.

I have attached a video link below, from our client’s post to show you what fishing in 80km/hr wind looks like, have a laugh… I mean have a look.


Energy line felt so much like one of my old time favourite line, Scientific Angler GPX (original taper) except it felt a little heavier in head. Looking at the Energy line’s profile, taper is pretty similar to GPX and it sits about 1.25 loading weight of AFTMA standard weight range. Since then, SA’s GPX line evolved to 1.5 loading AFTMA standard weight, and became more suitable line for modern powerful stiff – fast action rods, and sad to say but that’s when my relationship ended with SA’s GPS model. So, for me this Energy Line was a welcome news for some of my rods, with modern technology toughen in it for a good measure.

From a guide’s perspective this is a great guide line as well, as a lot of anglers struggled to cast and present flies in 40ft+ ranges, this line can deliver the performance without too much difficulty.
A lot of 2 tone coloured fly lines in the market have line colour change set at the end of the rear taper, which is a great visual guide for optimum loading point, in contrast on Energy Line it has first 10ft is in contrasting colour, client’s can see when to pick the line up and start recasting easily. When the new anglers are learning or client’s are fishing with rented (unfamiliar) gears, every bit of help they can get to make their day easy is most welcomed. Also having such a high-vis coloured line, I (as a guide) can easily track where the client’s flies are. I can go on and on about pros of this line, but I’m sure you get the idea by now.

It is a well thought after and smartly produced line. I have not tested the Saltwater model of Energy Line yet, however I can imagine it has all the good features in it for saltwater elements.

Over all, this line has high performance level and most importantly effortless to use, I am very impressed and recommend it to anglers at all levels. Any fly rod with medium –  fast action (except super stiff action bloom stick style rods), Energy Line should pair up well with most of the ranges.  Also I cannot recommend it enough for any fishing guides that fishes open water with small flies, this line will be your best friend and reduce your eye fatigue at the end of the day.  

Only the down side of this line is a price tag RRP of around $100USD, which is right up there with the any other premier fly line, but you get what you pay for. I am sure you will not be disappointed with it’s performance, and your money is well spent on a arguably the most performing link between you and a fish.

In conclusion:
“Go buy one!”  and enjoy fishing with the equipment that can make your day easy.

Tight (Energy) lines

Proprietor: Ayato Otsubo
Video: Courtesy of Don Whiteman

All rights reserved for River Talk Guiding New Zealand



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