TFO Special Delivery Plus Floater
Floating Fly Line Review
With floaters being the number one type of fly line used on our BC Interior stillwaters, it’s nice to see, and test, new technologies/ideas/brands as they come up. We are happy to offer the following floating fly line review.
TFO describes their Special Delivery Plus Weight Forward Floater as follows …
The new Special Delivery Plus lines are manufactured with our proprietary microspheres that enable noticeably higher floating lines even in choppy or fast water. HFT (High Float Technology) additives in the coating for the latest friction-reducing technology allows easy line pick up for maximum casting efficiency. The SDP fly lines are higher floating, creating minimal surface contact that significantly reduces drag caused by water resistance. High-tech laser ID markings easily identify each fly line and Micro-slim welded loops are strong and durable yet supple for easy turnover. Dual-color lines easily identify the head to running line taper for fast control and distance accuracy. Custom-designed tapers with a low stretch core allow effortless smooth casts. Available in line weights 4 through 8.
We received this fly line pre ice off 2021 and between a couple of us have put over 80 days of use in with it. Water depths varied from as shallow as 2 feet to long lining deep water with 45 foot leaders. We are comparing the TFO Special Delivery Plus against our baseline SA Nymph/Indicator Tip (now AMPLITUDE ANADRO/NYMPH) and Mastery Titan lines. Testing rods were the 10′ TFO LK legacy in 6wt. and a 9’6” Sage AccelSage in 5wt.
Memory: This line was loaded straight onto the reel without the usual initial stretch typically performed on a new line. Why? Because upon initial observation it did not appear to carry much, if any, memory! This is actually the first time either of us experienced a line that did not require initial stretching. In comparison both SA baselines required initial stretching as well as a quick stretch before every use. To be fair, with zero stretch the line did not run “laser straight” but was certainly not wavy enough to impact hook sets, strike detection, etc.. Once stretched virtually all memory disappeared and very little effort (pre use stretching) was required to maintain it.
Castability: As mentioned, the TFO Special Delivery Plus 6wt. was tested on both 5wt and 6wt rods. Our consensus was that the line preformed better when ‘overlining”, ie. the 6wt. seemed to cast slightly better with the 5wt. than it did with the 6wt.
The coating on the fly line is very slick and smooth, which made casting as much of it as usual (almost all of it) almost effortless.
In windy conditions the line performed well and we didn’t feel that we had to make any adjustments in our casts other than what we would normally do in windy conditions with any line. As a side note, the line performed better when cast through the wind with the 6wt. than it did with the 5wt., most likely due to the stronger backbone on the LK Legacy.
Castability of this fly line over time will certainly be correlated with how well the slick/smooth coating/finish holds up. We can’t speculate on this in just one season but we will endeavor to update this post with out findings over the next season or two. 😉
Appearance: Most floating lines tend to be brighter, especially in the “nymph tip” section, but the green/sand combination of the TFO Special Delivery Plus Floater worked fine for us. There is a bright fuscia tip at the welded loop but it is very small and not noticeable with longer casts. The green isn’t overly bright but easy enough to see against darker water as well as in clearer waters with marl bottoms. The lack of a larger bright “nymph tip” section was not an issue for us as when indicator fishing the sole focus is on the bobber and when long lining feel (contact with the fly) is much more important.
Floatation: Initially the TFO Special Delivery Plus Floater rode high and dry and picking up long stretches of line already laid out on the water was not a problem. After about 20 days on the water the fly line began to show signs of slight sagging at the tip. This is pretty normal on most floaters that we have used when there is no regular cleaning or maintenance performed. After a quick cleaning and dressing the sagging was gone and the TFO SDP was floating like a champ.
Feel: The TFO Special Delivery Plus floater has a nice coating that feels smooth in hand. It’s not too fat and has no texture. After a ton of hook sets we could feel normal wear and tear on our fingers but nothing out of the ordinary.
Performance: Again comparing to the benchmark SA’s, the Special Delivery Plus floater felt lighter, casted as well, floated as high, laid out relatively as straight (with less maintenance), and was sensitive enough to feel light takes.
The only performance issue we’ve found with the TFO Special Delivery Plus floater was with the welded loop used to connect the leader. After about 10-15 days the weld began fraying and on day 24 it peeled back to the point where it was getting caught in the guides, which greatly increases your chances of breaking your leader and possibly snapping off the fish of a lifetime.
This is not a slight on the TFO fly line alone as we have found the same issue with the SA’s, as well as all other fly line brands that we have had experience with. In our opinions, cutting off the loop and nail knotting your leader on right at the get go isn’t a bad idea. 😉
Durability: This is a tough one as the front half of one season is certainly not enough time to draw valid conclusions on the longevity of any fly line. What we can say is that after 80 plus outings it continues to perform like it did on day one. We typically get about three full seasons out of the SA’s and so far we have no reason to believe that the TFO Special Delivery Plus won’t last at least the same. But again, stay tuned … 🙂
Value: At $58.99 CAD, the TFO Special Delivery Plus Floating Fly Line is a great value … PERIOD!
Conclusion: This floating fly line was a pleasure to review. The TFO Special Delivery Plus Floater performed as well as our benchmark lines in every category, with less memory out of the box, and at a fraction of the cost! Longevity will be the determining factor on purchasing this line again but at this point there is no reason to think that it wouldn’t be comparable with our current fly lines. With the only issue being the welded loop, which is easily remedied, it is an amazing value that makes it easy to recommend to anyone looking for a performance floater at a great price!
For your convenience you can find the TFO Special Delivery Plus Floater here!:)