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History of 3M Midland

Scientific Anglers/3M Fly Line History

Scientific Anglers was founded in Midland, Michigan, in 1945. The first products we made were not fly lines. Magnesium rod tubes, fly floatants, leader sink, and other small products were made and sold in the early years.

The founders of the company, Leon Martuch, Clare Harris and Paul Rottiers were avid fly fishermen and not entirely pleased with the fly lines that were available. It seemed that the silk and nylon lines they used sunk when they wanted them to float, and vice versa. While the company made their initial products, the three men were working on inventing a better fly line.

Much of the early development work was done in Leon's kitchen; there was no factory. Various line cores were coated with different coatings and cured in Leon's kitchen oven. Coating durability was tested initially by dragging sections of line behind their cars while driving to and from local fishing trips. When they finally developed a sample that held its coating for the duration of a fishing trip, they knew they were close to revolutionizing fly fishing.

In the early and mid-1950s, core and coating technologies were improved, and a method of tapering the coating on a level core was invented and patented. In 1954 the first modern plastic coated floating fly lines were made and sold and fly fishing was changed forever.

In the years that followed, Scientific Anglers invented nearly every significant new line technology we know today. In 1973 Scientific Anglers was acquired by 3M and the innovation continued. There are now fly lines for nearly every fishing application around the world and core, coating and taper technology has been refined to a high level. Lines now cast and fish better than ever and are more durable and trouble free to use, giving even more pleasure to today's anglers. More recent significant improvements include the patented AST coating technology and patented surface micro-replication technology, Sharkskin.

Today, 3M Scientific Anglers makes more fly fishing lines than any other company in the world, and more different kinds. We make specialized lines for many different markets around the world, including Japan. And the innovation continues---watch for new advances coming soon.


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