Items by Cortland

Cortland fly lines are characterised by experience, innovation & passion - for over 100 years

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For over a century, the Cortland Line Company has been passionately dedicated to developing and manufacturing the best lines for fly fishing. The headquarters are located in Cortland, New York. All fly lines are made in the USA using the latest technology, much of which has been and continues to be developed by the company itself. The commitment and expertise that characterises the company is based entirely on a love of fishing, which continues to drive the development of its products.

The beginnings of the Cortland Line Company date back to 1915, when Ray Smith, a businessman and passionate angler, founded the company. Thanks to his expertise in the field, Smith patented a range of silk woven fly lines that proved to be more durable than other options available at the time. This made the Cortland Line Company one of the leading names in the fishing tackle industry soon after its founding.

The company's fortunes changed in 1941 when Leon Chandler, who came from a farming family in Missouri, moved to Cortland, NY, and began working for Ray Smith. After serving in the Signal Corps during World War II, Chandler returned to Cortland Line Company and began to develop into a seasoned salesman. Thanks to his presentation and teaching skills, Chandler became a prominent figure in the fly-fishing industry, both nationally and internationally.

Chandler travelled the world professionally, imparting his fishing knowledge in even the most remote locations. This earned him the title of "Ambassador of Fly Fishing to the World". Back in the United States, Chandler became Vice President of the Cortland Line Company and introduced several innovations to the industry.

In 1953, Cortland Line Company took a revolutionary step by introducing the first PVC-coated fly line on a braided nylon core. This milestone marked the beginning of the era of modern fly lines as they are still used today.

In the years that followed, Chandler kept the Cortland Line Company abreast of the constant innovations in the industry, both in terms of basic materials and design. His influence also extended beyond the company, as he became involved in the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association (AFTMA) and Trout Unlimited, where he held various leadership positions.

In 1988, Chandler was honoured with the Dolphin Award and inducted into the Freshwater Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding career in the fishing world. In 1992, after more than 50 years of dedication to the Cortland Line Company, Chandler retired from the company.

Today, Leon Chandler's legendary legacy lives on through the continued production of the highest quality fly lines, which are still manufactured at the Cortland, NY facility with the same passion as 100 years ago.