It’s no secret that Airflo Fishing have been head down, bum up over the last five or so years. Having been acquired by US company Mayfly Outdoors (Abel and Ross Reels), the UK based fly line company has been hard at work pushing the technological boundaries of fresh and saltwater fly lines.
With the new Superflo Ridge 2.0 Technology, the PVC free fly lines are performing better than ever, providing a seamless transfer of energy from cork to fly. Now, after a highly anticipated wait, the saltwater range of Superflo Ridge 2.0 Flats Tapers have been brought to market.
A great friend of mine, and former colleague Cameron Forsman describes us both as fly fishing free agents. Having both worked for Manic for the past five or so years, we’ve had the privilege of working with some of the top brands in fly fishing, including having access to products yet to be released to market. Now, both of us have taken different paths but are still heavily invested in fly fishing (as if there’s any other option) and this has given us the opportunity to thoroughly test different brands, especially in the fly line space.
Undoubtedly, this piece of the fly fishing puzzle can be very important when it comes to a new set up, even more so when it comes to the salt. Spooky fish in skinny water, howling winds and heavy flies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to challenges out on your favourite flat.
Having moved on from Manic, I am no longer tied to any brands and can offer my incredibly subjective advice without an agenda. Here’s why, even after fishing three of the closest competitor brands, I still choose Airflo.
THE NEW AIRFLO RIDGE 2.0 TECHNOLOGY
This is the one we’ve all been patiently waiting for. The new and improved Ridge 2.0 Technology takes everything we love from a textured fly line and represents a major step forward in performance.
The new lower profile Ridges allow for greater flexibility, virtually zero compression, reduced stiffness and less guide friction. This, combined with the super low running line diameter has reduced line drag in the guides by up to 10%, significantly increasing line speed. Almost always, line speed is king out in the salt, so this new hybrid technology instantly caught my attention.
Traditionally, Airflo fly lines have had a thicker diameter running line due to the materials they use. This has now been addressed, providing flyfishos with some of the thinnest diameter running lines on the market today contributing to greater shoot ability, less guide friction and increased reel capacity (finally!)
THE RIDGE 2.0 FLATS UNIVERSAL TAPER ON THE WATER
Having just spent two months in Boca Grande, Florida, I have been able to put the Airflo Superflo Flats Universal through some rigorous testing. Primarily using the WF8 Floater, chasing Redfish and Snook, it’s safe to say I’ve found a new favourite.
Equally at home mangrove bashing at short distance and making those long cast that matter, the Flats Universal Taper is a real jack of all trades. I recently had a Flats Power Taper sent to me but to be honest, it hasn’t even come out of the box because the Universal is just killing it. I’ll be saving that Power Taper for some serious wind and heavier flies that will no doubt need to be thrown around in the future.
I’ve been lucky enough to have access to an old Lake and Bay 20ft flats skiff down here in Boca. These skiffs, although necessary for a bit more chop and open water, are notoriously noisy with their hull slap. This has forced me to reassess boat position, often placing myself 80ft away from targets or, on those calm mornings, I’ve had to anchored up and wade to avoid spooking those knee rattling tailing Redfish.
The Ridge 2.0 Flats Universal is just such an awesome line for those long, delicate casts. Easy loading but allowing a long pickup should that tail pop up 30ft to the right, or left, or 20ft longer, or….ah shit you spooked him.
Another great bonus when using this line, it’s allowed me to load up some darts to throw at short distance under docks at cruising Snook.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
- Line identification
- Dull colours for those calm and bright days on your favourite flat
- Slick packaging with great visual taper profiles
- Simple to choose from Universal, Power, Tactical. No longer will your time be spent at the local fly shop scratching your head in confusion.
- Super slim running line for great shootability, less guide friction and improved reel capacity (this is huge!)
- 100% PVC free...read on
AIRFLO LINES ARE PVC FREE
You’ve probably heard it before, but Airflo make their lines 100% PVC free. Other brands use PVC, which is a naturally rigid plastic that requires the use of plasticisers to make these lines functional. Over time, these plasticisers leach into the waters you fish, leading to cracking, line failure and environmental contamination. If this isn’t bad enough, once PVC decomposes these lines release a group of lethal, bioaccumulating toxins into the environment, effectively making a PVC fly line impossible to safely recycle.
Instead, Airflo use polyurethane, an inert, stable and fully recyclable material that requires zero plasticisers. This leads to a more durable fly line without the lasting damage to the environments we cherish so deeply.
The Airflo Flats Universal Taper, as the name suggests is a super nice, environmentally friendly, and most importantly, versatile saltwater fly line that will have you reaching for it again and again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gus Lapin is that guy that can do anything, and do it better than you even though you've been at it way longer. You name it, cricket, photography, art, skiing...he's across it all.
He's also completely and utterly obsessed with fly fishing and has applied himself across pretty much every single aspect of that too. Fly tying? Tick. Saltwater? Tick? Cod, carp and other Aussie oddities? Tick, tick, tick. Throw in everything NZ trout related and you've got yourself possibly one of the most well rounded anglers out there right now.
Oh, did we mention he's also a certified casting instructor? Well of course he is. Legend.