Swift Fly Fishing recently announced the arrival of their new range of Epic blanks - being marketed as FastGlass II. This probably explains why a number of Epic models have been out of stock for some time now (I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on a Bocca Grande blank), and why a number of other blanks have been reduced in place. Swift appear to have been clearing the space for this exciting new range to come in. Rather than try to explain the difference, the following is an excerpt from Swift's release:
"Zentron® Unidirectional S-2 Glass. Moving forward all Epic FastGlass® fly rods are produced using industry leading Zentron 8 micron Unidirectional S-2 Glass (a mouthful I know). This next generation fiber is specifically engineered for fly rod production and features 8 micron fibers developed and produced in the USA. These fibres are almost half the diameter of other unidirectional materials, resulting in a tighter, more precise and stronger material.
Zentron S-2 Glass is a modern composite material that exhibits very high damage tolerance, high tensile strength, high flexural strength and is extremely well suited to advanced fly rod construction. Modern unidirectional S-2 Glass is primarily used in the construction of wind turbine blades, helicopter rotor blades and militarily aircraft. It is very strong - the Sikorsky Helicopter Corporation even have a patent on it's use. Although a different grade material, we use it in our fly rods for many of the same reasons.
In short, because this material is so strong we can use less material, this gives us a very strong blank that is light and extremely responsive.
Epic FastGlass fly rods still exhibit the full flexing feel, strength and casting goodness of fiberglass, but without the associated weight and that 'Noodle' feeling we all know."
Epic have been at the forefront of glass rod construction for some time now - and they have now taken it to the next level. We look forward to getting our hands on some of these new blanks soon, and so should you!