A few years ago there was a bit of a buzz created by a coating called “NeverWet” that made whatever material you applied it to extremely hydrophobic (water repellent). Many people that saw the product (and also fished) mused that it could eventually be used on waders, boots, rain jackets, rods, reels, and even flies as a floatant.
Once it was licensed out to Rust-Oleum as a consumer product for home use, I seem to recall some folks purchasing it and having mixed results in their mad scientist experiments. It did generally repel water, but not as efficiently as in the promo videos.
Anyway…fast forward to today, and scientists at the University of Rochester have evidently created a laser etched metal that is completely hydrophobic and anti-corrosive, with no need for topical lotions or potions. What the WHAT? I mean frickin’ laser beams!
In the video below they talk a bit more about the process as well as potential applications such as waterless toilets in 3rd world countries… Now I don’t know if this has fly fishing applications, (perhaps in reels?), but it’s still pretty damn cool.