John Gummer and the Airflo SLN Master fly rod

In amongst the preparation for the 2016 National River Championships that were to be held on the Whanganui River in Taumaranui, I happened to be playing around with a bunch of nymphing sticks. It’s a huge ask for a rod to be capable of casting a single un weighted nymph on a short line nymphing leader to throwing a couple of 4mm tungsten beads. I knew the Whanganui was going to be jam packed with little fish around that 20-25cm range, so I needed a rod that was quick enough to set the hook, and soft enough in the tip to keep the little buggers on the hook! The mighty Whanganui is also home to some absolute donkey bows.

Going from a 20cm rainbow to 60cm of pure muscle is demanding on the rod to say the least! So my rod needed to have some serious backbone, but still light enough in the hand to cast all day long. Over the 12 hours of fishing the Airflo SLN Master I landed 128 measurable fish, helping me to a 3RD place finish. A world-class river and an unbelievably good rod!