In absorbing freshwater and fly fishing responsibilities E.K. Harry noticed the fact that existing records for freshwater tippet classes (2-lb, 4-lb, 8-lb, 12-lb, and 16-lb) were not the same as those for saltwater (6-lb, 10-lb, 12-lb, and 15-lb). While tackle manufacturers were eager to see the IGFA unify both fresh and saltwater tippet classes for purposes of record-keeping, it proved to be too difficult to do. Additionally, the 10-lb and 12-lb saltwater tippet classes were so close that distinguishing one from the other for purposes of record-granting was almost impossible. As a result, the saltwater tippet classes were separated by 4-lb increments, a decision that ultimately carried over to all record categories and the removal of the 10-lb category that led to much controversy.
In late 1980, a final record-keeping consolidation occurred when the Hayward, Wisconsin-based National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame agreed to forego further freshwater world record-keeping efforts and allow the IGFA to serve as the single universal clearinghouse for such information. By year’s end, the IGFA had accepted more than 150 new class records and 20 fly records in the freshwater category, eclipsing even the number of saltwater records established during the same period.