|Super Strong Leaders and Tippet Material|
Super Strong Leaders and Tippet Material is a co-polymer resin system developed exclusively for Orvis and is sold by no one else. This is Orvis’s best selling material of all time—a great material at a great price!
Short History of Tippet Material
The first pound of nylon produced by DuPont in 1939 cost 27 million dollars, but by the time postwar fisherman returned from Europe and the South Pacific, it was being produced at a reasonable price in large quantities and quickly accepted by fishermen. Nylon is much stronger per diameter, and made the use of smaller flies possible. Nylon is also unaffected by cold water, most solvents, has excellent resistance to abrasion, and is not weakened by age if it is left in the dark and not exposed to ultraviolet light. Orvis tippet material has a special finish applied to it, which makes it resistant to breaking down when exposed to ultraviolet light.
What are Copolymers and Cofilaments?
Prior to the mid 1970s, nylon tippet material was made from nylon 66, one of the original nylons developed by DuPont. It was sometimes blended with other kinds of nylon, where the raw nylons were melted together before they were extruded. In the 70s, monofilament manufacturers began offering two types of products. The first was a cofilament, where one type of nylon is sheathed with another type. The better product is a copolymer, where the nylons were chemically bonded to form larger polymers. All top quality nylon tippet materials, including Orvis Super Strong, are now copolymers.
We know that most of these copolymers are a mixture of nylon 6 and 66 combined with some other kinds of nylons and resin systems. The exact formulas are kept secret by the nylon manufacturers, and even if you have an exclusive with a particular formula of tippet material, you have no idea exactly what is in it. When we test tippet materials, we will be given a range of formulas to test with arcane designations like G-3 and T-1, and we then test both in the laboratory and the field.
We will often get back to the manufacturer with feedback like: “make it more supple,” or, “make it slightly more abrasion-resistant.” We then go through another round of testing. Many of the top brands are made in the same factory in Japan, but each brand of tippet has its own unique chemistry. Customers see many of the top tippet materials wound on the same type of spools and assume they are the same, but this is the same as assuming that all ice creams taste the same and have the same ingredients because they all come in the same type of container.
Benefits of Super Strong
Special Resin System = Incredible Strength: Super Strong has the highest known strength of any material we’ve tested because the nylon molecules are reinforced by a special resin system.
Refractory Index: Super Strong is specially formulated to be much more invisible than standard nylon material. Standard clear nylon tippet material has a refractory index of 1.62. Super Strong is 1.53.
Very Supple: The modulus of tensile elasticity gives you a measure of a fiber’s resistance to bending — its stiffness. The higher the number, the stiffer the material. Super Strong has a modulus of tensile elasticity of .57 kilograms per square meter, making Super Strong material softer than standard nylon tippets and leaders. It even maintains its softness in very cold water.
Low Memory: Super Strong has very little memory.
Water Absorption: Standard clear nylon material absorbs approximately 8-10% of it’s mass in water. Super Strong is specially formulated to meet Orvis’s strict demands of no more than 3.5% absorption.
Specific Gravity: Super Strong has a specific gravity of 1.14, making it just slightly heavier than water.
Incredible Knot Strength: Tensile strength gives you a relative measure of a material’s breaking strength. Another factor critical to fishermen is how a material holds up when knotted. In a test of 4X material from four competitors (Maxima, Climax, Umpqua, Dai-Riki), six-turn blood knot’s were tied, then allowed to soak for 10 minutes (nylon absorbs water depending on the polymer makeup, and this causes knots to break slightly under a test performed with dry material). The identical tensile test was then performed and the average of the three tests was taken. Results were consistent with all tests. Super Strong broke at more than double the strength of the Maxima and Climax, and was approximately 15% stronger than the Umpqua and Dai-Riki.