The SALAR Project

The SALAR Project started early in the 80’s. The hook series that was made by hand at the small factory in Redditch and my own series of rods was given the name SALAR. It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar. Ever since, the name SALAR has become a well-known trademark associated with me and my ideas. I have even on occasions jokingly been called “Mr. Salar”. Many of my creations have been given the name SALAR.

SSS – Salar Synthetic Series
The last 20 years the synthetic materials have taken over a big part of the choice of materials in fly tying. I am myself part of the hair-fly-generation but when I started there was no flash, angel hair, neither any exciting synthetic dubbing combinations. At that time we were dubbing natural materials and the favourite was seal fur that gave a somewhat translucent appearance.

A Revolution
When the flash entered the market it revolutionized most fly boxes! The flash flies created effects that were very favourable and above all changed the cold water fishing completely. That was the beginning of a frenetic chase of new exciting materials. Most of the new materials originated from USA and were intended to be used in other fashions than what we really wanted to use them for. Ever since I have tested hundreds of different dubbing combinations, flash in all imaginable qualities and colours, some very bad, some good and some became favourites.

Zebra Samurais

“It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar.”

The supply of different synthetic material more or less exploded during the 80’s as well as the 90’s and has yet not decreased. Today there are synthetic materials that can replace natural material in almost every aspect – with emphasis on “almost” – thank heavens. The connection to natural materials in fly tying is classical and should remain a part of the art of fly tying in my opinion.

Creating What You Want
Gradually the question arous – why should we look for material that might suit our way of tying? Why look for colour combinations that almost live up to our expectations and might be mixable or adjusted to my/our patterns? Why not contact the manufacturers and tell them exactly what we want? Precise and exactly with the qualities and colour combinations we always been striving for. Since we’ve reached so far when it comes to progress and functionality, tying technique, pattern and thoughts on how material ought to be used and how flies should swim – why not manufacture material that completely live up to our expectations. Why not do it to perfection?

Said and done. Shim Hogan became the natural choice – the man behind angel hair and many other fabulously exciting and good products – the man for whom nothing is impossible – a true visionary, a passionate fly tier as well as fisherman. One of the true trend setters in the world of synthetic fly tying. His answer to the question whether he could help me was: “You tell me what you want and I’ll do it for you!” Fabulous! As the samples started to present themselves I felt like a kid in a candy store. I let Håkan Norling in on the project and soon we had created a series of 15 different colour combinations. These became the base of what is today called the SSS – Salar Synthetic Series which consist of seven different materials, soon to be eight. The idea is to let the series keep growing into the complete synthetic series. The list of wishes is long but in my opinion one should hurry slowly. A good result is of more importance to me.

Angel Hair
I use Angel Hair in almost all my fly creations today. In the smallest flies I use merely one or two strands of Angel Hair as the only flash element. In the bigger flies I mix Angel Hair and natural hair to create an optimal and appetizing mix. I have often made my own mixtures, colour combinations to harmonize well with my patterns. It was rather natural for me to start creating my own Angel Hair blends. I have put together 15 different blends where three of them have strongly fluorescent streaks. With these blends I manage all of my creations - from the smallest fly for sunny days to the meanest, biggest fly for the murkiest water.

Angel Hair HD
HD stands for heavy duty. This is a heavier type of Angel Hair. The material is somewhere between common flash and the original Angel Hair quality. Many times, you experience the common flash to be too heavy and the Angel Hair too thin. Voila! The solution was Angel Hair HD. I must say one of my better materials, so useful in so many different styles of flies. This material replaces the flash in small flies and the Angel Hair in the bigger ones. This quality also comes in 15 different colour blends. You get the whole colour chart with the three hot fluorescent colours as an extra spicy alternative.

Flash
This is my own flash mix. It is the same colour mixtures as in the Angel Hair qualities. It’s simple and supreme and all out of the same bag. You don’t have to pull out one strand here and two there, mix and tangle. Here you can just get going. You find the 15 fine colour blends that suit everything from the lightest fly to the extra spicy night flies. The flash is not too stiff and yet not soft enough to tangle. Please remember to take away the little support strand that the flash is made around. It’s when you take those out you realize how superior this material really is.

Dubbing
I have never understood why you should dub without brushing. The ultimate qualities of dubbing are to create a body that reflects and lets through as much light as possible. Translucence is one of the most important things specially with flies for clear rivers. Most dubbings have too short strands to fit big flies. If you brush it half of the material will fall off which makes it impossible to get the right lustre. The structure of the SSS dubbing consists of transparent synthetic fibres, dyed and mixed with the SSS Angel Hair blends. The 15 colour combinations give you many imaginable variations for everything you tie.

An older Sierrakorva

Sparkling Angel Hair

Glitz Dubbing
I love the brushed translucent fly and that this dubbing can be brushed extremely hard. SSS Glitz is a long fibre flash dubbing with extreme characteristics. Unlike the usual SSS dubbing that is built on translucent synthetic fibres, Glitz is built up of flashy fibres in several qualities and colours. A dubbing mix may contain up to 15 different types of fibres. All helping to achieve those perfect glittering seductive characteristics without tangles of fibres. Of course, Glitz is a dubbing with fibres that are long enough to be brushed to perfection, even on the largest of flies. It is well suited for larger salmon and sea trout flies. It creates saltwater flies and sculpins beyond your wildest dreams. It sparkles and shines more than any other dubbing. Glitz – when you want your big flies to really stand out.

Braid
It’s a long time since I stopped using traditional tinsels, flat as well as round and oval ones. Of course, I tie with them but now only when tying classics in the old way. The synthetic braid is superior. It’s much stronger, you can find it in any imaginable colour and the colour does not wear off. I have made my braid in a quality which makes it perfect for all forms of bodies. It is not too thick to overlap or to be twisted. In my own fly tying I only use this one quality. If I need a ribbing I use the same material but twist it into a round or oval form. The harder you twine the smaller flies it fits. It is simple and effective, and you can use the same quality for both body and ribbing. SSS braids are extremely durable and the flies end up much stronger. Again, a good fly should have a long life taking many great fish.

Holo Braid
This is the second generation of our fantastic braid. We have 15 holographic colours which with its unique, strong colour and reflection gives fantastic bodies and super strong glittery ribbings in all necessary colours. Now tiers can find their favourite colour in one of the two series. Holo is much shinier and creates a brighter fly. The Holo Braid twists just as easy and holds it sparkling colour just as good as the regular SSS Braid. A little trick I sometimes show is how you can twist two of the Braids into one unique ribbing. If you can’t decide to go for Sea Lice Silver or Alta Gold why not take both. Or try one of my favourites Charcoal black twisted together with Magma Yellow. The holographic silver and gold braid is today tied in on hundreds of thousands of flies worldwide.

SSS Tying Thread
Mikael have during several decades had a good co-operation with the Georgio Benecchi factory in Italy, using the thread for tens of thousands of flies. Our SSS threads are of the old good reliable Benecchi quality. They are strong, thin, elastic, and flattens out just great when tying with them. For us this is the best tying thread ever made, tested over decades – now refined and reintroduced.

We have six standard colours. The must-have colours: black and white, Olive and Tan for the imitation tiers and two very strongly fluorescent colours: orange and chartreuse. We carry them in two classic qualities 8/0 and 12/0. On top of the our standard colours this we present two special threads. The phosphorescent Glow 8/0 and our very unique SSS Stealth 12/0. This super elastic, “invisible” thread will for sure be many people’s new favourite – soft, strong and completely translucent it opens up fantastic opportunities.

Glitz Dubbing

Black 12/0 SSS Thread

Boxes & Wallets
Many years ago I made my first fly box design. The yellow plastic box with room for even the biggest flies was a great success that now have changed into a whole series of higher quality bright orange boxes. The SALAR Supreme series consists of four different boxes. Two small 14x6 cm – our “hook/micro fly box” with five compartments and our small “Samurai box” with three long compartments for slimmer and small flies. The two bigger boxes are both double sided. The whole series is made in a burnt orange durable hard plastic. The two double-sided boxes have reliable hinges and opens full to give a small “fly selecting tray”. The SALAR Supreme series give you complete possibilities to storage all your flies like you want them.

Already 10 years ago I started using the concept “fly wallets”. When we launched our first SALAR Supreme Wallets with five pockets the fall 2016, we thought many would realize the advantages. But what a success it was! Today our SALAR Supreme wallets are standard in many places and every trip we meet people who say they will never go back to regular fly boxes. 2018 we presented our next generation of fly wallets. Golden brown with copper rivets, these wallets with 10 pockets are truly slick. The advantages are the same as with the original, well protective, displays the flies, keeping hundreds of flies for you on the river. When I started with wallets I emptied nine big yellow boxes full of flies into two Salar Supreme wallets that fitted into one of my vest’s pockets – amazing! I love to have many flies and now I can carry even more variants to the river making me hesitate even more on which one to tie on...

“SOS” – SALAR Organizing System
I travel the world with my fly tying stuff. I have used all possible tying bags, all too small, resulting in chaos every time. This is how this idea grew, to do our own simple but extremely functional packing system: SOS – SALAR Organizing System. It’s designed to take the whole fly tying kit, but it has shown to be just superb for everything from leader material and shooting heads to extra socks and fishing maps. The system is made in a durable clear plastic with good reliable zips. All sizes consists of 5 pockets. After using this for some time now I don’t know how I could survive without them. They are so handy, easier to keep order then it’s ever been. Easier to see where the stuff is and to take it out without creating chaos.

SOS comes in three sizes, large 40x30 cm, medium 30x20 cm and small 22x17 cm. The biggest is suitable for bigger soft skins, flash, hair of different colour and structure. In the medium we pack our necks, SSS Braid, smaller skins, hackle and ostrich herls. In the small one we pack our tools, tying thread, spools, or cones. I also use them for my leader material and shooting heads. It’s only your imagination that sets the limits. Whatever you have – SOS will get you well organized!

The Hook Series
Already in the early eighties I came in close contact with Allan Bramley and the hook manufacturer Partridge. Allan invited me to “Partridge Fly Tying Days”. It was an honour for a young and eager to learn fly tier. To be able to meet with other well-known tiers like Paul Joergensen, Davy Wotton, Oliver Edwards and others. To show off my own thoughts, ideas and tying techniques gave me a wonderful kick.

Allan Bramley who at the time was the owner of the company, was not only a gentleman but also incredibly dedicated to the art of making fishing hooks. On one occasion I tied a few Spey and Dee flies on old antique double hooks. They were hooks with incredibly slender form, delicate eyes and nicely tapered wings. Allan saw them and after various discussions the project was in motion. We can do anything! I remember Allan’s words so well. Hooks with tapered wire in the eye had not been made for at least 50 years.

I remember one discussion in particular about the angel of the eye. I was stubborn and demanded a 45° angle. The reason why Partridge persistently wanted a 30° angle was from the beginning a compromise between having a straight eye and a sharply angled eye. Well, a compromise that wasn’t good for anyone. A hook that wasn’t good enough for either a usual clinch knot or a steering knot. Steering knot – hmm? The question marks were piling up on the chief designer’s forehead. When I managed to find a piece of nylon and tied a steering knot on one of the hook samples, he finally got the picture. Imagine he had never seen or understood the point of this. No wonder that the hooks had a hopeless design of the eye’s shaping.

Hook design is in many ways a subjective opinion, directed by all experience you can gather and put together. The actual points, the front and the shaping of the bend are what direct the hook’s qualities. It must be possible to put forth some concrete answers that are based on more scientific facts... My desire and persistence lead me to KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where some of the most eager to know technicians assisted me with expertise and laboratory tests. The SALAR hook series was on the market for quite some time. Mustad bought Partridge and production moved to China. Hooks became more expensive and when the Partridge company again was sold back to UK the decision was made – the hooks were too expensive to make and the series disappeared and was replaced by simpler hooks.

Now winter 2019 a new decision is made. It’s time to get the fantastic SALAR range back on the market! This winter we are working hard with one of the world’s best factories to get the series up and running within one year. It’s a very exciting project with quite a few new trendsetting designs. I would love to share more but it will have to be a bit secret a few more months… But you bet this is worth waiting for!

Check out the SSS Synthetics in the shop here, the SALAR Supreme series of boxes and wallets here and some of the other SALAR products right here.

The SALAR Project

The SALAR Project started early in the 80’s. The hook series that was made by hand at the small factory in Redditch and my own series of rods was given the name SALAR. It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar. Ever since, the name SALAR has become a well-known trademark associated with me and my ideas. I have even on occasions jokingly been called “Mr. Salar”. Many of my creations have been given the name SALAR.

“It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar.”

Zebra Samurais

SSS – Salar Synthetic Series
The last 20 years the synthetic materials have taken over a big part of the choice of materials in fly tying. I am myself part of the hair-fly-generation but when I started there was no flash, angel hair, neither any exciting synthetic dubbing combinations. At that time we were dubbing natural materials and the favourite was seal fur that gave a somewhat translucent appearance.

A Revolution
When the flash entered the market it revolutionized most fly boxes! The flash flies created effects that were very favourable and above all changed the cold water fishing completely. That was the beginning of a frenetic chase of new exciting materials. Most of the new materials originated from USA and were intended to be used in other fashions than what we really wanted to use them for. Ever since I have tested hundreds of different dubbing combinations, flash in all imaginable qualities and colours, some very bad, some good and some became favourites.

The supply of different synthetic material more or less exploded during the 80’s as well as the 90’s and has yet not decreased. Today there are synthetic materials that can replace natural material in almost every aspect – with emphasis on “almost” – thank heavens. The connection to natural materials in fly tying is classical and should remain a part of the art of fly tying in my opinion.

Creating What You Want
Gradually the question arous – why should we look for material that might suit our way of tying? Why look for colour combinations that almost live up to our expectations and might be mixable or adjusted to my/our patterns? Why not contact the manufacturers and tell them exactly what we want? Precise and exactly with the qualities and colour combinations we always been striving for. Since we’ve reached so far when it comes to progress and functionality, tying technique, pattern and thoughts on how material ought to be used and how flies should swim – why not manufacture material that completely live up to our expectations. Why not do it to perfection?

Said and done. Shim Hogan became the natural choice – the man behind angel hair and many other fabulously exciting and good products – the man for whom nothing is impossible – a true visionary, a passionate fly tier as well as fisherman. One of the true trend setters in the world of synthetic fly tying. His answer to the question whether he could help me was: “You tell me what you want and I’ll do it for you!” Fabulous! As the samples started to present themselves I felt like a kid in a candy store. I let Håkan Norling in on the project and soon we had created a series of 15 different colour combinations. These became the base of what is today called the SSS – Salar Synthetic Series which consist of seven different materials, soon to be eight. The idea is to let the series keep growing into the complete synthetic series. The list of wishes is long but in my opinion one should hurry slowly. A good result is of more importance to me.

Sparkling Angel Hair

Angel Hair
I use Angel Hair in almost all my fly creations today. In the smallest flies I use merely one or two strands of Angel Hair as the only flash element. In the bigger flies I mix Angel Hair and natural hair to create an optimal and appetizing mix. I have often made my own mixtures, colour combinations to harmonize well with my patterns. It was rather natural for me to start creating my own Angel Hair blends. I have put together 15 different blends where three of them have strongly fluorescent streaks. With these blends I manage all of my creations - from the smallest fly for sunny days to the meanest, biggest fly for the murkiest water.

Angel Hair HD
HD stands for heavy duty. This is a heavier type of Angel Hair. The material is somewhere between common flash and the original Angel Hair quality. Many times, you experience the common flash to be too heavy and the Angel Hair too thin. Voila! The solution was Angel Hair HD. I must say one of my better materials, so useful in so many different styles of flies. This material replaces the flash in small flies and the Angel Hair in the bigger ones. This quality also comes in 15 different colour blends. You get the whole colour chart with the three hot fluorescent colours as an extra spicy alternative.

Flash
This is my own flash mix. It is the same colour mixtures as in the Angel Hair qualities. It’s simple and supreme and all out of the same bag. You don’t have to pull out one strand here and two there, mix and tangle. Here you can just get going. You find the 15 fine colour blends that suit everything from the lightest fly to the extra spicy night flies. The flash is not too stiff and yet not soft enough to tangle. Please remember to take away the little support strand that the flash is made around. It’s when you take those out you realize how superior this material really is.

Dubbing
I have never understood why you should dub without brushing. The ultimate qualities of dubbing are to create a body that reflects and lets through as much light as possible. Translucence is one of the most important things specially with flies for clear rivers. Most dubbings have too short strands to fit big flies. If you brush it half of the material will fall off which makes it impossible to get the right lustre. The structure of the SSS dubbing consists of transparent synthetic fibres, dyed and mixed with the SSS Angel Hair blends. The 15 colour combinations give you many imaginable variations for everything you tie.

Glitz Dubbing
I love the brushed translucent fly and that this dubbing can be brushed extremely hard. SSS Glitz is a long fibre flash dubbing with extreme characteristics. Unlike the usual SSS dubbing that is built on translucent synthetic fibres, Glitz is built up of flashy fibres in several qualities and colours. A dubbing mix may contain up to 15 different types of fibres. All helping to achieve those perfect glittering seductive characteristics without tangles of fibres. Of course, Glitz is a dubbing with fibres that are long enough to be brushed to perfection, even on the largest of flies. It is well suited for larger salmon and sea trout flies. It creates saltwater flies and sculpins beyond your wildest dreams. It sparkles and shines more than any other dubbing. Glitz – when you want your big flies to really stand out.

Glitz Dubbing

Braid
It’s a long time since I stopped using traditional tinsels, flat as well as round and oval ones. Of course, I tie with them but now only when tying classics in the old way. The synthetic braid is superior. It’s much stronger, you can find it in any imaginable colour and the colour does not wear off. I have made my braid in a quality which makes it perfect for all forms of bodies. It is not too thick to overlap or to be twisted. In my own fly tying I only use this one quality. If I need a ribbing I use the same material but twist it into a round or oval form. The harder you twine the smaller flies it fits. It is simple and effective, and you can use the same quality for both body and ribbing. SSS braids are extremely durable and the flies end up much stronger. Again, a good fly should have a long life taking many great fish.

Holo Braid
This is the second generation of our fantastic braid. We have 15 holographic colours which with its unique, strong colour and reflection gives fantastic bodies and super strong glittery ribbings in all necessary colours. Now tiers can find their favourite colour in one of the two series. Holo is much shinier and creates a brighter fly. The Holo Braid twists just as easy and holds it sparkling colour just as good as the regular SSS Braid. A little trick I sometimes show is how you can twist two of the Braids into one unique ribbing. If you can’t decide to go for Sea Lice Silver or Alta Gold why not take both. Or try one of my favourites Charcoal black twisted together with Magma Yellow. The holographic silver and gold braid is today tied in on hundreds of thousands of flies worldwide.

SSS Tying Thread
Mikael have during several decades had a good co-operation with the Georgio Benecchi factory in Italy, using the thread for tens of thousands of flies. Our SSS threads are of the old good reliable Benecchi quality. They are strong, thin, elastic, and flattens out just great when tying with them. For us this is the best tying thread ever made, tested over decades – now refined and reintroduced.

We have six standard colours. The must-have colours: black and white, Olive and Tan for the imitation tiers and two very strongly fluorescent colours: orange and chartreuse. We carry them in two classic qualities 8/0 and 12/0. On top of the our standard colours this we present two special threads. The phosphorescent Glow 8/0 and our very unique SSS Stealth 12/0. This super elastic, “invisible” thread will for sure be many people’s new favourite – soft, strong and completely translucent it opens up fantastic opportunities.

Boxes & Wallets
Many years ago I made my first fly box design. The yellow plastic box with room for even the biggest flies was a great success that now have changed into a whole series of higher quality bright orange boxes. The SALAR Supreme series consists of four different boxes. Two small 14x6 cm – our “hook/micro fly box” with five compartments and our small “Samurai box” with three long compartments for slimmer and small flies. The two bigger boxes are both double sided. The whole series is made in a burnt orange durable hard plastic. The two double-sided boxes have reliable hinges and opens full to give a small “fly selecting tray”. The SALAR Supreme series give you complete possibilities to storage all your flies like you want them.

Already 10 years ago I started using the concept “fly wallets”. When we launched our first SALAR Supreme Wallets with five pockets the fall 2016, we thought many would realize the advantages. But what a success it was! Today our SALAR Supreme wallets are standard in many places and every trip we meet people who say they will never go back to regular fly boxes. 2018 we presented our next generation of fly wallets. Golden brown with copper rivets, these wallets with 10 pockets are truly slick. The advantages are the same as with the original, well protective, displays the flies, keeping hundreds of flies for you on the river. When I started with wallets I emptied nine big yellow boxes full of flies into two Salar Supreme wallets that fitted into one of my vest’s pockets – amazing! I love to have many flies and now I can carry even more variants to the river making me hesitate even more on which one to tie on...

“SOS” – SALAR Organizing System
I travel the world with my fly tying stuff. I have used all possible tying bags, all too small, resulting in chaos every time. This is how this idea grew, to do our own simple but extremely functional packing system: SOS – SALAR Organizing System. It’s designed to take the whole fly tying kit, but it has shown to be just superb for everything from leader material and shooting heads to extra socks and fishing maps. The system is made in a durable clear plastic with good reliable zips. All sizes consists of 5 pockets. After using this for some time now I don’t know how I could survive without them. They are so handy, easier to keep order then it’s ever been. Easier to see where the stuff is and to take it out without creating chaos.

SOS comes in three sizes, large 40x30 cm, medium 30x20 cm and small 22x17 cm. The biggest is suitable for bigger soft skins, flash, hair of different colour and structure. In the medium we pack our necks, SSS Braid, smaller skins, hackle and ostrich herls. In the small one we pack our tools, tying thread, spools, or cones. I also use them for my leader material and shooting heads. It’s only your imagination that sets the limits. Whatever you have – SOS will get you well organized!

The Hook Series
Already in the early eighties I came in close contact with Allan Bramley and the hook manufacturer Partridge. Allan invited me to “Partridge Fly Tying Days”. It was an honour for a young and eager to learn fly tier. To be able to meet with other well-known tiers like Paul Joergensen, Davy Wotton, Oliver Edwards and others. To show off my own thoughts, ideas and tying techniques gave me a wonderful kick.

Allan Bramley who at the time was the owner of the company, was not only a gentleman but also incredibly dedicated to the art of making fishing hooks. On one occasion I tied a few Spey and Dee flies on old antique double hooks. They were hooks with incredibly slender form, delicate eyes and nicely tapered wings. Allan saw them and after various discussions the project was in motion. We can do anything! I remember Allan’s words so well. Hooks with tapered wire in the eye had not been made for at least 50 years.

I remember one discussion in particular about the angel of the eye. I was stubborn and demanded a 45° angle. The reason why Partridge persistently wanted a 30° angle was from the beginning a compromise between having a straight eye and a sharply angled eye. Well, a compromise that wasn’t good for anyone. A hook that wasn’t good enough for either a usual clinch knot or a steering knot. Steering knot – hmm? The question marks were piling up on the chief designer’s forehead. When I managed to find a piece of nylon and tied a steering knot on one of the hook samples, he finally got the picture. Imagine he had never seen or understood the point of this. No wonder that the hooks had a hopeless design of the eye’s shaping.

Hook design is in many ways a subjective opinion, directed by all experience you can gather and put together. The actual points, the front and the shaping of the bend are what direct the hook’s qualities. It must be possible to put forth some concrete answers that are based on more scientific facts... My desire and persistence lead me to KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where some of the most eager to know technicians assisted me with expertise and laboratory tests. The SALAR hook series was on the market for quite some time. Mustad bought Partridge and production moved to China. Hooks became more expensive and when the Partridge company again was sold back to UK the decision was made – the hooks were too expensive to make and the series disappeared and was replaced by simpler hooks.

Now winter 2019 a new decision is made. It’s time to get the fantastic SALAR range back on the market! This winter we are working hard with one of the world’s best factories to get the series up and running within one year. It’s a very exciting project with quite a few new trendsetting designs. I would love to share more but it will have to be a bit secret a few more months… But you bet this is worth waiting for!

Check out the SSS Synthetics in the shop here, the SALAR Supreme series of boxes and wallets here and some of the other SALAR products right here.

The SALAR Project

The SALAR Project started early in the 80’s. The hook series that was made by hand at the small factory in Redditch and my own series of rods was given the name SALAR. It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar. Ever since, the name SALAR has become a well-known trademark associated with me and my ideas. I have even on occasions jokingly been called “Mr. Salar”. Many of my creations have been given the name SALAR.

“It felt natural as an acknowledgement to the fantastic fish, the Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar.”

Zebra Samurais

SSS – Salar Synthetic Series
The last 20 years the synthetic materials have taken over a big part of the choice of materials in fly tying. I am myself part of the hair-fly-generation but when I started there was no flash, angel hair, neither any exciting synthetic dubbing combinations. At that time we were dubbing natural materials and the favourite was seal fur that gave a somewhat translucent appearance.

A Revolution
When the flash entered the market it revolutionized most fly boxes! The flash flies created effects that were very favourable and above all changed the cold water fishing completely. That was the beginning of a frenetic chase of new exciting materials. Most of the new materials originated from USA and were intended to be used in other fashions than what we really wanted to use them for. Ever since I have tested hundreds of different dubbing combinations, flash in all imaginable qualities and colours, some very bad, some good and some became favourites.

The supply of different synthetic material more or less exploded during the 80’s as well as the 90’s and has yet not decreased. Today there are synthetic materials that can replace natural material in almost every aspect – with emphasis on “almost” – thank heavens. The connection to natural materials in fly tying is classical and should remain a part of the art of fly tying in my opinion.

Creating What You Want
Gradually the question arous – why should we look for material that might suit our way of tying? Why look for colour combinations that almost live up to our expectations and might be mixable or adjusted to my/our patterns? Why not contact the manufacturers and tell them exactly what we want? Precise and exactly with the qualities and colour combinations we always been striving for. Since we’ve reached so far when it comes to progress and functionality, tying technique, pattern and thoughts on how material ought to be used and how flies should swim – why not manufacture material that completely live up to our expectations. Why not do it to perfection?

Said and done. Shim Hogan became the natural choice – the man behind angel hair and many other fabulously exciting and good products – the man for whom nothing is impossible – a true visionary, a passionate fly tier as well as fisherman. One of the true trend setters in the world of synthetic fly tying. His answer to the question whether he could help me was: “You tell me what you want and I’ll do it for you!” Fabulous! As the samples started to present themselves I felt like a kid in a candy store. I let Håkan Norling in on the project and soon we had created a series of 15 different colour combinations. These became the base of what is today called the SSS – Salar Synthetic Series which consist of seven different materials, soon to be eight. The idea is to let the series keep growing into the complete synthetic series. The list of wishes is long but in my opinion one should hurry slowly. A good result is of more importance to me.

Sparkling Angel Hair

Angel Hair
I use Angel Hair in almost all my fly creations today. In the smallest flies I use merely one or two strands of Angel Hair as the only flash element. In the bigger flies I mix Angel Hair and natural hair to create an optimal and appetizing mix. I have often made my own mixtures, colour combinations to harmonize well with my patterns. It was rather natural for me to start creating my own Angel Hair blends. I have put together 15 different blends where three of them have strongly fluorescent streaks. With these blends I manage all of my creations - from the smallest fly for sunny days to the meanest, biggest fly for the murkiest water.

Angel Hair HD
HD stands for heavy duty. This is a heavier type of Angel Hair. The material is somewhere between common flash and the original Angel Hair quality. Many times, you experience the common flash to be too heavy and the Angel Hair too thin. Voila! The solution was Angel Hair HD. I must say one of my better materials, so useful in so many different styles of flies. This material replaces the flash in small flies and the Angel Hair in the bigger ones. This quality also comes in 15 different colour blends. You get the whole colour chart with the three hot fluorescent colours as an extra spicy alternative.

Flash
This is my own flash mix. It is the same colour mixtures as in the Angel Hair qualities. It’s simple and supreme and all out of the same bag. You don’t have to pull out one strand here and two there, mix and tangle. Here you can just get going. You find the 15 fine colour blends that suit everything from the lightest fly to the extra spicy night flies. The flash is not too stiff and yet not soft enough to tangle. Please remember to take away the little support strand that the flash is made around. It’s when you take those out you realize how superior this material really is.

Dubbing
I have never understood why you should dub without brushing. The ultimate qualities of dubbing are to create a body that reflects and lets through as much light as possible. Translucence is one of the most important things specially with flies for clear rivers. Most dubbings have too short strands to fit big flies. If you brush it half of the material will fall off which makes it impossible to get the right lustre. The structure of the SSS dubbing consists of transparent synthetic fibres, dyed and mixed with the SSS Angel Hair blends. The 15 colour combinations give you many imaginable variations for everything you tie.

Glitz Dubbing
I love the brushed translucent fly and that this dubbing can be brushed extremely hard. SSS Glitz is a long fibre flash dubbing with extreme characteristics. Unlike the usual SSS dubbing that is built on translucent synthetic fibres, Glitz is built up of flashy fibres in several qualities and colours. A dubbing mix may contain up to 15 different types of fibres. All helping to achieve those perfect glittering seductive characteristics without tangles of fibres. Of course, Glitz is a dubbing with fibres that are long enough to be brushed to perfection, even on the largest of flies. It is well suited for larger salmon and sea trout flies. It creates saltwater flies and sculpins beyond your wildest dreams. It sparkles and shines more than any other dubbing. Glitz – when you want your big flies to really stand out.

Glitz Dubbing

Braid
It’s a long time since I stopped using traditional tinsels, flat as well as round and oval ones. Of course, I tie with them but now only when tying classics in the old way. The synthetic braid is superior. It’s much stronger, you can find it in any imaginable colour and the colour does not wear off. I have made my braid in a quality which makes it perfect for all forms of bodies. It is not too thick to overlap or to be twisted. In my own fly tying I only use this one quality. If I need a ribbing I use the same material but twist it into a round or oval form. The harder you twine the smaller flies it fits. It is simple and effective, and you can use the same quality for both body and ribbing. SSS braids are extremely durable and the flies end up much stronger. Again, a good fly should have a long life taking many great fish.

Holo Braid
This is the second generation of our fantastic braid. We have 15 holographic colours which with its unique, strong colour and reflection gives fantastic bodies and super strong glittery ribbings in all necessary colours. Now tiers can find their favourite colour in one of the two series. Holo is much shinier and creates a brighter fly. The Holo Braid twists just as easy and holds it sparkling colour just as good as the regular SSS Braid. A little trick I sometimes show is how you can twist two of the Braids into one unique ribbing. If you can’t decide to go for Sea Lice Silver or Alta Gold why not take both. Or try one of my favourites Charcoal black twisted together with Magma Yellow. The holographic silver and gold braid is today tied in on hundreds of thousands of flies worldwide.

SSS Tying Thread
Mikael have during several decades had a good co-operation with the Georgio Benecchi factory in Italy, using the thread for tens of thousands of flies. Our SSS threads are of the old good reliable Benecchi quality. They are strong, thin, elastic, and flattens out just great when tying with them. For us this is the best tying thread ever made, tested over decades – now refined and reintroduced.

We have six standard colours. The must-have colours: black and white, Olive and Tan for the imitation tiers and two very strongly fluorescent colours: orange and chartreuse. We carry them in two classic qualities 8/0 and 12/0. On top of the our standard colours this we present two special threads. The phosphorescent Glow 8/0 and our very unique SSS Stealth 12/0. This super elastic, “invisible” thread will for sure be many people’s new favourite – soft, strong and completely translucent it opens up fantastic opportunities.

Boxes & Wallets
Many years ago I made my first fly box design. The yellow plastic box with room for even the biggest flies was a great success that now have changed into a whole series of higher quality bright orange boxes. The SALAR Supreme series consists of four different boxes. Two small 14x6 cm – our “hook/micro fly box” with five compartments and our small “Samurai box” with three long compartments for slimmer and small flies. The two bigger boxes are both double sided. The whole series is made in a burnt orange durable hard plastic. The two double-sided boxes have reliable hinges and opens full to give a small “fly selecting tray”. The SALAR Supreme series give you complete possibilities to storage all your flies like you want them.

Already 10 years ago I started using the concept “fly wallets”. When we launched our first SALAR Supreme Wallets with five pockets the fall 2016, we thought many would realize the advantages. But what a success it was! Today our SALAR Supreme wallets are standard in many places and every trip we meet people who say they will never go back to regular fly boxes. 2018 we presented our next generation of fly wallets. Golden brown with copper rivets, these wallets with 10 pockets are truly slick. The advantages are the same as with the original, well protective, displays the flies, keeping hundreds of flies for you on the river. When I started with wallets I emptied nine big yellow boxes full of flies into two Salar Supreme wallets that fitted into one of my vest’s pockets – amazing! I love to have many flies and now I can carry even more variants to the river making me hesitate even more on which one to tie on...

“SOS” – SALAR Organizing System
I travel the world with my fly tying stuff. I have used all possible tying bags, all too small, resulting in chaos every time. This is how this idea grew, to do our own simple but extremely functional packing system: SOS – SALAR Organizing System. It’s designed to take the whole fly tying kit, but it has shown to be just superb for everything from leader material and shooting heads to extra socks and fishing maps. The system is made in a durable clear plastic with good reliable zips. All sizes consists of 5 pockets. After using this for some time now I don’t know how I could survive without them. They are so handy, easier to keep order then it’s ever been. Easier to see where the stuff is and to take it out without creating chaos.

SOS comes in three sizes, large 40x30 cm, medium 30x20 cm and small 22x17 cm. The biggest is suitable for bigger soft skins, flash, hair of different colour and structure. In the medium we pack our necks, SSS Braid, smaller skins, hackle and ostrich herls. In the small one we pack our tools, tying thread, spools, or cones. I also use them for my leader material and shooting heads. It’s only your imagination that sets the limits. Whatever you have – SOS will get you well organized!

The Hook Series
Already in the early eighties I came in close contact with Allan Bramley and the hook manufacturer Partridge. Allan invited me to “Partridge Fly Tying Days”. It was an honour for a young and eager to learn fly tier. To be able to meet with other well-known tiers like Paul Joergensen, Davy Wotton, Oliver Edwards and others. To show off my own thoughts, ideas and tying techniques gave me a wonderful kick.

Allan Bramley who at the time was the owner of the company, was not only a gentleman but also incredibly dedicated to the art of making fishing hooks. On one occasion I tied a few Spey and Dee flies on old antique double hooks. They were hooks with incredibly slender form, delicate eyes and nicely tapered wings. Allan saw them and after various discussions the project was in motion. We can do anything! I remember Allan’s words so well. Hooks with tapered wire in the eye had not been made for at least 50 years.

I remember one discussion in particular about the angel of the eye. I was stubborn and demanded a 45° angle. The reason why Partridge persistently wanted a 30° angle was from the beginning a compromise between having a straight eye and a sharply angled eye. Well, a compromise that wasn’t good for anyone. A hook that wasn’t good enough for either a usual clinch knot or a steering knot. Steering knot – hmm? The question marks were piling up on the chief designer’s forehead. When I managed to find a piece of nylon and tied a steering knot on one of the hook samples, he finally got the picture. Imagine he had never seen or understood the point of this. No wonder that the hooks had a hopeless design of the eye’s shaping.

Hook design is in many ways a subjective opinion, directed by all experience you can gather and put together. The actual points, the front and the shaping of the bend are what direct the hook’s qualities. It must be possible to put forth some concrete answers that are based on more scientific facts... My desire and persistence lead me to KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where some of the most eager to know technicians assisted me with expertise and laboratory tests. The SALAR hook series was on the market for quite some time. Mustad bought Partridge and production moved to China. Hooks became more expensive and when the Partridge company again was sold back to UK the decision was made – the hooks were too expensive to make and the series disappeared and was replaced by simpler hooks.

Now winter 2019 a new decision is made. It’s time to get the fantastic SALAR range back on the market! This winter we are working hard with one of the world’s best factories to get the series up and running within one year. It’s a very exciting project with quite a few new trendsetting designs. I would love to share more but it will have to be a bit secret a few more months… But you bet this is worth waiting for!

Check out the SSS Synthetics in the shop here, the SALAR Supreme series of boxes and wallets here and some of the other SALAR products right here.