Mastery Presentation Taper
MPX stands for Mastery Presentation Taper: that’s a pretty bold statement! The team at Scientific Anglers also call it the best all-round fly line they have ever made. Another bold statement! Even more so when you consider that the MPX is by & large replacing the discontinued GPX Taper that for the most part every fly fisher folk around the world seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
The review lab
Given that we were tackling a potential mammoth here we wanted to make sure that we did the Mastery MPX review justice. A six-week test review would not cut it considering we were potentially messing with many an anglers’ first choice in fly-line. Instead we chose to fish the Mastery MPX for over a year. We wanted to make sure that our first impressions on the lawn were matched by our final impressions on the water & for that we needed to throw everything on these lines, and at everything.
Great presentation line, we’ll see! Superb at turning over heavy nymphs & fishing indicators, ok, we’ll test that. Streamers to dry flies, surely it cannot do all this but there was only one-way to find out. We literally fished our 5wt Mastery MPX fly-lines for everything and on multiple rods.
We chased Yellowfish, Trout, Carp & Bass and we threw all kinds of flies in rivers, stillwaters & backyard ponds. If this really is the working man’s fly-line we were going to prove it.
Here are our findings one-year on!
The Mastery MPX fly line comes in two colour options, both offering line identification, AST (advanced shooting technology) & welded loops:
- Buckskin (Running line) & Optic Green (Tapered head)
- Amber (Running line) & Willow (Tapered head)
Each to their own in colour selection but the true aesthetics is by way of feel. The line weight, like the GPX taper is half-a-line weight heavy. This means that you are in effect casting 5-and-a-half weight line on your 5wt, which in turn slows the action of the rod and for many makes the sweet spot in your casting stroke easier to find. This is not unique to Scientific Anglers but it is certainly worth mentioning.
It is however the taper that sets the Mastery MPX apart.
If you pay attention to the taper graph you will notice that the front taper is much the same as the old GPX – 5 foot long & designed to help turn over flies but still offer presentation potential by quickly dissipating excess energy in the last 5-feet.
The most significant difference is that there are two belly sections and they have been very cleverly designed.
Belly 1 moves a significant amount of weight forward & towards the head, to help load your rod early for short distance presentations. This also aids in increasing rod feel. We found that at short range you could still feel enough through the rod to present even heavy carp flies – you just needed to make a slight timing adjustment to ensure accuracy with presentation. That heavy Belly 1 obviously created a conundrum: to maintain an energy transfer through the line without insanely overweighing the line. Hence Belly 2. A far gentler taper toward the rear & running line keeps the loop transfer fluid.
Again you do notice when you need to push out a long cast that the additional wait during the pause in the casting stroke is created by the heavier head & Belly 1, but a solid pause just loads the rod deeper.
Editors’ note: for the average fly-caster, the Mastery MPX is a fly line that physically shows you that you still can get distance without overpowering your stroke & risking tailing loops.
You may not think of fly lines in this much detail but you will appreciate that the Mastery MPX taper does allow, with a few casting adjustments, both delicate presentation & long line bombing casts towards the horizon whilst still turning over big streamers.
Where does the MPX shine?
If there is one thing that drives us nuts, it’s fly-lines that tangle and/or catch every conceivable snag during casting. Not only does the Mastery MPX offer ST+ technology for a slicker shooting line through the guides but a braided multifilament core really does mean fewer tangles & knots in the guides.
We cannot say we never experienced a tangle or snag but at least in our experience our attention was never drawn to continued interruptions.
Our Mastery MPX 5wt fly lines have been used & abused from Lesotho to the Vaal River & they have come out the other side shining. The latest models of Mastery MPX fly lines not only include ST+ technology but also AST (Advanced Shooting Technology) technology, which essentially means that this line is not coated for slickness, it has slickness built INTO the line. Yes please! No more burning through the coating & tossing the line, the Mastery MPX will remain slick until you reach the core!
This is not another GPX taper! The Mastery MPX fly-line from Scientific Anglers is its own animal. It truly is a versatile fly line that will serve its owner in numerous fish encounters for seasons if need be. The world of fly-lines is highly competitive and the more serious angler may have different line applications for different scenarios but we can almost guarantee that this Mastery MPX taper & complimentary Scientific Anglers technology will wiggle its way into every fly fisher’s arsenal… and that rings true too for the few that were not overt fans of its predecessor.
The Mastery MPX retails for: ZAR1150 or $74.95