Top-secret technology for better fishing

(NewsUSA) - The same material that the U.S. military uses to build Predator drones and spy satellites has become available to the masses -- in a fishing rod. Unidirectional carbon fiber, a common carbon mesh, received a super-light lift in government labs, prompting its secret classification.

But government insiders have hobbies, too. One man, whose name cannot be released, decided to work with Orvis, an outdoors supplier, to create the ultimate fly fishing rod. He learned that the military was using a new kind of composite, a carbon fiber woven to be strong in every direction, but with 25 percent less weight than normal carbon mesh.

More exciting still, the new material weighs less than traditional fishing rods.

The carbon mesh is light -- anglers can cast all day without tiring. Fly fishing proves a precise art -- small manipulations make big differences in how and where flies -- fake insects used as bait -- land on the water's surface. The carbon mesh allows anglers to control even the tiniest flies.

When Orvis rolled a tube from unidirectional carbon fiber, it created a superior fishing rod that is more flexible, stronger, lighter and more precise than other fishing rods.

Orvis calls its new creation the Helios. Early reviews have garnered raves. A 9-foot rod weighs only 2.1 ounces, making it easy to cast for long periods. The Helios is strong enough to pull in large catches, but it has enough give that a fighting fish won't break the line.

"This rod is significantly different -- and better," wrote Al Kyte, master fly caster and member of the Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Board of Governors. "It has an extremely light feel, takes surprisingly little effort to cast, is nicely progressive and is a true five-weight."