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|Pitsford Pirate Floating Fly Lines|
Reviewed by Fred Carrie
Being a true Scotsman, and worse still, living close to Aberdeen, it might be expected that I would be forever on the lookout for a bargain! Well, yes, we are noted for being a truly miserable bunch up here, but, clichés aside, it is remarkable how far your money can go these days when buying fishing tackle and some of it is very, very good indeed.
Back in the May 2006 edition Hamish Young reviewed the now quite well known and excellent Barrio Mallard Floating Fly Line . Now, this is not intended to be a comparative review, however there are many similarities between the well known Barrio lines and those sold by “Pitsford Pirate” and knowing this may help users of one line understand the other a little better.
It has been suggested to me that both of these lines are produced by the same UK manufacturer and while, as previously stated, there are many similarities this writer can neither confirm or deny this.
I used both a Pitsford Pirate DT#4 floater and a Barrio Mallard DT#4 floater regularly over the 2008 trout season, almost exclusively when river fishing, but with the occasional loch trip. On the rivers and burns I fish, mainly the Aberdeenshire Don, Deveron and one or two smaller streams, it is seldom necessary to cast more than 40 feet and usually it’s much less than that. Being stealthy is generally far more effective than trying to be a macho-distance-caster. The rod I used almost exclusively over this period was a Nielsen Powerflex 9 foot #5. This is a fast action rod that performs better for me with a #4 line under normal fishing conditions.
I noticed no performance differences at distances of up to 30 feet. Both lines performed admirably. On the odd occasion when I had to cast further (mainly when loch fishing from the bank), I preferred the Pitsford Pirate line and therefore used it. To be fair I understand that the tapers on the Barrio lines were designed for smaller still waters and rivers and I would consider the above not at all relevant for the vast majority of the fishing I do.
Neither line showed any sign of cracking after a full season’s use (and I fish a LOT). Both did however have an annoying tendency to become sink-tips after a while which was probably due to water ingress at the tip. I now dip the tips of new lines in fly tying varnish to seal them in an attempt to prevent this. The jury is still out on whether or not it is effective.
The Pitsford Pirate Floating lines come in a choice of colours: ivory and hi-viz (orange?). I have only ever used the ivory lines considering the use of “hi-viz” incongruous on wild waters. I am certain any self respecting Don trout would agree.
The Pitsford Pirate ivory floaters are available as WF or DT #3 to #9 and cost an almost unbelievable £14.50 each. Two lines cost £27.00, three lines £40.00, four lines £52.00 and five lines £62.00 your choice and mix of weights from the stated range. Each line comes with two braided loops with the braid sleeve pre-fitted and postage is included in the price. The lines are supple and have no memory.
One of my pet hates is modern packaging. You know, two supermarket tomatoes in a large polystyrene tray wrapped in cling film; children’s toys encased in an impervious plastic cocoon that requires an oxy-acetylene burner to open if not a small thermo-nuclear device? I hate “modern” packaging with a vengeance, I really do. It is so irritating and wasteful. Pitsford Pirate Floating Fly Lines come in a small, clearly labeled bag. No spools, boxes or bells and whistles that just end up in some landfill. For me this is a huge plus point for both the environment and my temper.
At the outset I said this was not a comparative review, although, as it turned out, some comparison was inevitable. In conclusion I would not hesitate to recommend either of these excellent, great value for money products. You really can’t go wrong.
More details on Pitsford Pirate Fly Lines can found by clicking here
Fred Carrie started fishing in the mid 1960's, hillwalking in the 1970's and has been combining the two on and off ever since.
Fred runs the successful Wild Fishing Scotland web site and enjoys the hike up to the wild hill lochs as much as the fishing itself. The more uncharitable members of his family and friends say that is perhaps just as well.
Fred lives in Donside, Aberdeenshire with wife Monika.