I’m always looking for new equipment items in fly fishing, and I’m always looking with a bit of a jaundiced eye. Not because I’ve seen it all or heard it all, but because my background training is as a research scientist. In science we set a null hypothesis that says something can’t happen, and then we try to prove the null hypothesis to be correct. This means that every avenue must be thoroughly examined, and if anything can be shown to prove the null hypothesis correct, then we must reject all other results, good or not.
I had an opportunity to visit with Andre Giermann from Stroft (Strong and Soft) line manufacturers at the EWF Show I Munich, Germany, a couple of weeks ago. They produce both monofilament fishing line and tippet materials, and their product selection is truly extraordinary. He was kind enough to provide some spools of Stroft GTM tippet material for my testing when I fishing in Austria for a week after the EWF. First, Stroft GTM is produced in mm sizes and not in the inches (or the “X” system). That’s OK, because it’s not all that hard to go online and get a conversion program that will instantly convert mm to inches (http://www.mm-to-inch.com). Then, by subtracting the thousands of inch from 11 we can get the “X” designation. For example, 0.16mm = 0.0063 inches. 11 – 6.3 = 4.7X. OK, so far so good. But then they also have 0.14mm material. Hmmm, that’s 0.0055, or 5 ½ X. And there are other in-between sizes, too. Suddenly tippet selection becomes a whole new ball game. For example, I used 0.14mm (5 ½ X) in Austria to fish dry flies. It’s perfect for size 14 – 18 dries. I used 4.7X for nymphing and was most pleased.
Not only that, but the strength of the material is greater than any other co-polymer material I know of. Strengths are given in kilograms (1 Kg = 2.2 lbs; see: http://www.kg-to-lbs.com. See the charts below to get an idea of how tough this stuff really is.
Now, consider this for a moment. They offer tippet materials in 0.01mm increments from 0.03mm (0.0012 inches or 9.8X) up to 0.3mm (0.0118, basically 10/5 size–0X is 0.028mm). That is, there’s 0.03mm. 0.04mm, 0.05mm etc., all the way up to 0.30mm. From 0.30mm and larger, the step-wise increments get bigger—0.025mm. Hmmm, so many choices! Ya gotta love it, especially down there in the micro sizes. Have a look at the English version of their catalog:
http://www.stroft.de/waku%20katalog%202015%20englisch/waku_catalogue_2015.html, and see pages 8-9 for diameters and strengths of Stroft GTM matrerials.
Here’s a conversion chart that I made from the data in their catalog for sizes 7X and smaller:
mm inches “X” Size Lb. Strength
.03 .0012 9.8 .55
.04 .0016 9.4 .77
.05 .0020 9 1.1
.06 .0024 8.6 1.4
.07 .0028 8.2 1.76
.08 .0031 7.9 2.2
.09 .0035 7.5 2.65
.10 .004 7 3.1
It’s nice that they make the material in a great range of sizes, including the super micro stuff, and great that it’s strong on the testing machine, but what about the actual toughness under fishing conditions? Surprise, surprise; I was astounded. I fished 4.7X (.16mm) and 5.5 X (.14mm), and was stunned at what I could do with it. Not only that, but the knots were perfectly strong. I got a couple of “wind knots” (actually bad casting knots with a split shot, and a bead head, and a Thing-A-Ma-Bobber all hanging on the leader), and they didn’t break, nor did they seem to weaken the material in any way. By the way, the 4.7X is a full 3 kilos or 6.6 pounds and the 5.5X is 2.7 kilos or 5.95 pounds.
Bottom line, I’m sold. Set me up with a full panel of this material! Of course I will pick and choose, I can’t carry 30 spools of material in my vest. By the way, the spools are small and light and come in 25 meter (27 yards) and 50 meter (54 yards) sizes. For my fishing I plan to use the following sizes, but please, pick and choose as you will.
mm Inches X size lb. Strength
.28 0.011 0X 16.1
.26 0.010 1X 14.8
.23 0.009 2X 11.2
.20 0.0079 3.1X 9.3
.18 0.007 4X 7.9
.16 0.0063 4.7X 6.6
.14 0.0055 5.5X 5.95
.13 0.005 6X 4.4
.10 0.004 7X 3.1
.09 0.0035 7.5X 2.65
Remember, now, that we get the X by subtracting the thousandths from 11. So, 4.7 X is .7 X smaller than 4X (it’s almost 5X), and 5.5X is ½ X size smaller than 5X and ½ X size larger than 6X half way between 5X and 6X).
I will break these 11 spools down into three packs: 0X-2X, 3.1X through 6X, and 7X-7.5X. Since the spools are small and take up little room in my vest, I have no problem carrying them at all times. I also carry 0.020 inch and 0.013 inch Maxima Chameleon in my vest. These sizes allow me to build leaders in whatever length and final tippet that I need for any and all occasions for trout fishing.
Stroft also offers abrasion resistant materials, fluorocarbons, and others, and I plan to test all of them for future reports on this exciting, Strong and Soft material from Germany.
Now, where to get it. It’s available in a number of sizes from Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, MT: (http://www.yellowstoneangler.com/stroft-gtm-tippet-material.html?options=cart). If you want to be more selective in picking your sizes, they you will have to endure translating from German to English. Stroft does not yet have an order form in English, but go here for the German version: http://www.aspo-gmbh.de/shop/monofile-angelschnuere/stroft-gtm/index.htm. If you wish, you can read all of it via Google Translate (https://translate.google.com).
OR, follow along: here are the instructions for ordering.
- You should be on the order page for Stroft GTM material.
- Page down to the size selection chart at the bottom of the page.
- Click on the underlined size that you want (for example, click on
Stroft GTM Monofil 0.28mm 7.30Kg.
- The catalog new opens to the order page for that specific material and size.
- On the right of the page you will see the word Lauflänge (yardage), click on it and select the size spool that you want (select 25 or 50—I get the 50). You will see the price displayed immediately below in Euros.
- Just below that you will see an indicator for quantity.
- Immediately to the right of the quantity window you will see a cart and the words: “In den Warenorb” (add to cart). Obviously, click on it and add the material to your cart.
- You will get a window that says: “Der Artikel wurde in Ihren Warenkorb gelegt!” (This item has been added to your cart). Click OK.
- When you are done with that size, go to column on the left and look just to its top right. You will see a little hand and the word “Zuruck” (back). Click on it and it will take you back to step 2 above.
- Repeat steps 2-9 as often as needed to complete you order.
- When you are finished selecting all the materials you want, go to the upper right corner of the page and click on: “Zum Warenkorb” (go to cart).
- This will take you to the cart and your order summary. Here you can change quantity (“menge”) or delete items (“Loschen” with an “X” button). If you need to get back to the order chart, on the left side just above the descriptions of the materials you ordered, you will see a little hand with the words “weiter einkaufen” (continue shopping). Obviously click on it. I will take you back to the last item you ordered, and then you can go back to step two by following step 9.
- When you are satisfied with your order, go to the bottom right corner and click on the “Zur Kasse” button (Check out).
- This takers you to a page for name and address:
Vorname:* First Name
Nachname:* Last name
Straße/Hausnr.:* Street number
PLZ:* Ort:* Zip and city, state
Below that you will see:
Kundennummer (falls bekannt):
Kostenlose 100m Spule Ihrer Wahl (ausgenommen STROFT GTP & STROFT FC) ab 35 € Bestellwert:
Bemerkungen, Hinweise und Anregungen:
Customer number (if known):
Free 100m reel of your choice (except STROFT GTP & STROFT FC) with 35 € order value:
Remarks, comments and suggestions:
If you want the free 100 mm spool, just write in what you want. For example if you use a lot of 5X, then type in Stroft GTM .16mm
16. When done, click on the “Weiter” button (next) on the bottom left corner of the form.
17. Now you are at the postal page. You will see a statement entitled DHL / Deutsche Post. This just means that in Germany the material is delivered by DHL. In the US, by regular mail. The cost is listed (usually 10 Euro). Again, click on the “Weiter” button.
18. This takes you to Step 3—payment. Use PayPal, it’s so much easier. Click on the little check button to the left in the PayPal row—it will turn blue. Click on “Weiter.”
19. Step 4. Get ready to finalize the order. Check it all over to be certain of quantities, sizes, etc., change as needed. At the bottom of the form you will see a check box labeled:
|Ich habe die AGB gelesen und akzeptiere diese.
Which roughly translated means that you are placing the order and agree to the payment for the materials.
20 Click on: “jetzt bestellen” (buy now) at the bottom of the page.
21. You will be directed to complete you PayPal info. Once you do and click pay now, you will get a page that says “Warten auf Zahlungsbestätigung..” (waiting to complete payment)—wait.
22. You should get a message that says “BESTELLUNG ERFOLGREICH GESENDET” (Order received). If not, after a couple of minutes, click on the blue underlined sentence in the wait message (step 21 above), and it will take you to the order received line.
23. Get ready for the best tippet material you ever used.