What is the Barrio GT125 fly line designed for?
The Barrio GT125 fly line is effectively a longer version of Barrio's excellent GT90 fly line. While the Barrio GT90 is the standard 90 feet long (27.4m), the GT125 measures a massive 125 feet (38m). Most normal fly fishers don't need a fly line 125 feet long, but for distance competition fly casters a 90-foot line is going to be restrictive.
Most competition casters hit over 90 feet with relative ease, so with a standard line they'd be losing distance as the backing knot shoots up through the rings towards the end of their cast. As a result, you'll find many tournament fly casters using one of these specialist extra long fly lines instead of a standard 90-foot line.
Along with the Scientific Anglers Mastery Expert Distance (or MED) the GT125 is the standard line used by most distance competition fly casters.
What taper does the GT125 use?
According to the line's developer, Mike Barrio, the GT125 (previously known as the GT125 Sport) has a relatively short belly and front taper and a long, finely balanced 73-74 foot head section. This is backed up by a lot of thin and supple running line, which helps your line shoot further at the end of the cast.
The longer head of the line means your loops remain more stable in the air and you'll be able to carry more line if you have the skills to do so. It also means you need to have a fair bit of line outside the tip to get the rod to load fully, so it's not ideal for close range work, compared to most standard lines.
What's the difference between the Barrio GT90 and the GT125?
As far as I know, the GT90 and GT125 are very similar over the first 90 feet. I believe the GT125 just has extra running line at the back end, effectively making it a GT90 with an extra 35 feet of running line. I'm not an expert in fly casting, but to my untrained eye my GT125 lines seems to behave pretty much the same way as my GT90 lines.
Newer versions of the GT90 apparently have a harder coating than previous versions but I don't think the GT125 has this yet, so there's also a difference in the material used to make up the line, though it doesn't seem to make a huge amount of difference to the handling with the lines I have and my mediocre casting skills. It does feel a bit slicker, perhaps.
Are they any good?
Few people understand fly lines better than those on the distance fly casting scene and it seems that many of the people we've met at British Fly Casting Club events seem to use the Barrio GT125, so this is probably a good a recommendation as any.
As it's a long fly line and isn't the thinnest on the market, you will need a larger reel to house one of these lines. While nothing like as thick and spool-consuming as the Airflo 40+, you may not be able to fit the #6 line on a standard 5/6 reel and still have room for backing.
What colours are available?
The Barrio GT125 is available in any colour you like, as long as it's orange. As it's a specialist line, most are sold to distance casters and they want a brightly coloured visible line so their loops are easier to watch. By contrast, the GT90 is available in a more subdued olive.
What weights does it come in?
The GT125 comes in four weights, all of which are weight forward floating lines: WF5F, WF6F, WF7F and WF8F. If you want a bog standard weight forward floater for stillwater fly fishing, check out the GT90 instead. It's available in additional line weights and is a more practical length for everyday use.
Where can I get one?
You can only buy Barrio fly lines direct from the manufacturer, Mike Barrio. Amazingly, they're only £27.60 including free worldwide shipping, so they're superb value for money and highly recommended.
Available from: www.flylineshop.com