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Floatant - Should we use it?

What are the other ESSENTIAL pieces of equipment you carry with you? How do you pack? How do you hold your gear while fishing? Fly boxes? Snips? you tell us.

Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Anthony » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:39 pm

Just say no. Maybe we need a floatant Czar. ;)

On the serious side though - fly fishers need to be aware that their actions (or inaction) can indeed effect watersheds in a big way. Can you say Didymo?
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby patrickgarner » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:04 am

Tenkara USA flies could be sold as "Floatant Free. Save Time, Save Our Waters."

An open letter to floatant makers could be posted demanding that they 'prove' they use harmless ingredients.

A summary of the open letter could be posted on a number of forums, all posts linking back to this location for the 'full text' of the letter. The action would drive new fisherman here for a side education about tenkara rods, as well as increase awareness about using chemicals in our rivers.
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:03 pm

Now we are talking action! I like it Patrick.

Just yesterday I saw an add for Loon Outdoors, I think they had a line of some 10 floatants displayed. Went to their site, there are:

8 floatants
4 "weights/ sinkers" (one of them says " Don't leave the product on your leader after you are through fishing as it can warm up and stain vests or other articles." - Would this harm the environment???
3 lubricants for rods/line, one of which is a lubricant for line that can be used as a floatant and applied streamside
7 cleaners and protectors, one of which is a soap that says "This biodegradable soap is safe for use in the rivers that we love." - OKAY, this got me, no matter what the composition of soap, and whether it is biodegradable, no soap should be encouraged to be used on the "rivers we love", especially higher mountain streams where the decomposition of biodegradable soaps is slow at best.

The company's slogan is "environmentally friendly fly fishing gear and accessories" but none of the floatants descriptions mention their composition and how they are environmentally friendly. Further, depending on how many bottles are sold, I really wonder where all that stuff is ending up?

I'll work on an open letter to manufacturers, if anyone feels like taking a crack at it, that'd be really great.
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Stephen McGowen » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:53 pm

Hey friends...this thread is lunacy !
Consider how much polution goes into the manufacture and distribution of our rods and lines which come to us from halfway around the world . The slight amount of silicone and wax that flotant puts into the river is nothing compared to the above and the use of your SUV to get to the river.
Lets have some perspective.....
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Anthony » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:15 pm

Stephen McGowen wrote:Hey friends...this thread is lunacy !
Consider how much polution goes into the manufacture and distribution of our rods and lines which come to us from halfway around the world . The slight amount of silicone and wax that flotant puts into the river is nothing compared to the above and the use of your SUV to get to the river.
Lets have some perspective.....


What you say is true, no doubt. It seems to be more of a philosophical issue than a practical one. Besides, I always walk to the stream and use only natural silk lines and gut leaders (just kidding). Sometimes I just think about fly-fishing instead of going (much easier on the environment). :twisted:

Perspective might be in order - you bring up good points. I flew out to Colorado to fly-fish this summer, and then drove all over creation to many different rivers. That's not exactly a carbon neutral, eco-friendly thing to do. I guess I need to move somewhere with better trout fishing within walking distance, not for my own interests but in the interest of the environment. :lol:

Thanks for the injection of reality!
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby patrickgarner » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:09 pm

Thanks for the injection of reality!


No matter the distance traveled, the type of vehicle or the carbon footprint, these activities are away from our rivers. Floatant we put in the river. Big difference. Trout aren't slurping our carbon footprint.

Every little conscious act to minimize degradation and to keep those waters clean is important. I think Daniel's idea remains valid. And the concept (floatant's bad?) is one that will be be 99% foreign to most fisherman.

I too would help with an open letter.
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Anthony » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:29 pm

Don't get me wrong. I am a tree hugger. I've been convinced that floatant use is not philosophically in line with my current belief system. However - I can also see the other side of the coin. I believe there are currently other more imminent threats to our trout streams than floatant use. I think that one must be careful of the saturation point of public opinion. Extreme views must exist on both sides I suppose - for a balance to work out. But sometimes a more temperate viewpoint can yield more fruit.
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby patrickgarner » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:47 am

EZ, I don't see this as being an extreme issue. In fact, it seems a fairly moderate request to make to manufacturers: What's in your floatant?

There are many things threatening our waters. That shouldn't mean that we solely focus on the largest threats.

If common floatant has contaminants, I for one would like to see that change. How many of us would consciously use it if we knew the chemicals were detrimental to fish or other aquatic organisms?

There's no harm in raising the issue, and raising fisherman's consciousness if in fact the chemicals are bad.
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Anthony » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:16 am

I'm all in favor of not using floatant or encouraging eco-friendly floatants. I just think that sometimes there is a danger of "issue-fatigue". If folks are bombarded with too many of these types of things, it can become just white noise - and then people tune out all together. That's all.

As you say "There's no harm in raising the issue, and raising fisherman's consciousness if in fact the chemicals are bad." I agree. There is certainly nothing wrong that or with pursuing a commitment from manufacturers to produce more eco-friendly floatants. That would surely be a good thing.

And like I said - this discussion has caused me to re-evaluate the use of floatants for myself (I won't be using them). In spite of my personal beliefs, I still think many will see this issue as extreme or ridiculous. Remember as fly-fishers were part of a fairly small community and then as Tenkara enthusiasts we are part of an even smaller subset (a fairly obscure subset at that), the fishing public at large may not be as receptive to these types of ideas.

But I think we are both on the same side of this :D
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Re: Floatant - Should we use it?

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:39 pm

I agree it's not a big deal, and it's probably not worth throwing a big storm against floatant, but I think it's wise to question its use a little bit and question its environmental side effects. I have not seen the issue discussed anywhere else before, and I don't think us tenkara anglers will be making a huge fuss about it.

But hey, we already questioned the use of a reel (and are therefore saving energy and pollutants from reel manufacturing :) ) So, why not question floatants too?
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