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Mastery Expert Distance Fly Lines

by Ray Schmidt

For casting geeks, no other fly line comes close to being as popular as the Mastery Expert Distance. Here’s a little history as well as some tech stuff on this great line.

The ED (no relationship to the men’s problem) started out as the first line in the Scientific Anglers Mastery Series back in the early ‘90s. The line had a long head and hard coating, designed for better casters who wanted to cast distances. As the Mastery Series developed, Scientific Anglers added new lines. The addition of the Mastery GPX and Mastery Trout lines a few years ago made room for a very specialized distance line, and the Mastery Distance line was born.

The Mastery Distance got longer heads and tapers and quickly became a favorite of top casters. As casters got better and throwing light floating lines became a passion for many, further tweaks were in order. A name change to Mastery XXD came with another head length increase and taper lengthening. Finally, in 2006, more with more changes, it was renamed to Mastery Expert Distance.

The current ED is the most complex design yet, with unmatched performance. These lines have long front tapers, but have fairly large tip diameters. The goal is to have delivery be fairly powerful, but delayed as long as possible to allow longer flight time. The design of the belly further delays turnover and enhances delivery. The front part of the belly slowly tapers larger to the start of the front taper. Pushing more mass to the front of the line delays and strengthens turnover, just what is needed for good delivery at extreme distances.

Total head length on a 5 weight Expert Distance is 68 feet, 30 feet of that being rear taper. Such a long rear taper makes the line carry long very smoothly. The top casters that compete with these lines false cast 80+ feet of line, watching for the perfect back loop before launching. Casts of over 130 feet have been made in competition, with a 5 weight line. Of course, the line alone isn’t responsible for such distances; an amazing amount of skill and practice are required to cast consistently over 100 feet, but this is the line that can do that.

However, the Expert Distance is not just a competitive distance line, it also happens to be a great fishing line. The long head allows very good long-range control and pick-up. The head and front taper design carry bigger flies with ease, and the line excels in wind and tough conditions. It is the ultimate big water line, but it is better when fishing from boats than when wading. The head is too long for easy use by wading anglers trying to cast long distances.

The Expert Distance comes in two colors. Mist green lines of 105 feet come in sizes 4-9, and there is an orange 120 foot version in sizes 5,6,7 that is preferred by most instructors and competitive casters.

If you like to cast, and want a line that won’t hold you back, the Mastery Expert Distance is your line. It is a line that is a joy to cast, in your back yard, or across the Big Manistee or Madison River. Schmidt Outfitters is the world wide distributor of these lines. They are available on our web site or by calling our fly shop at 888-221-9056.

Product links
Mastery Expert Distance Line
Mastery Expert Distance Line