Team Tuesday - Matt Jones goes Ballistic

By Matt Jones:

I’m normally one to really look after my gear; baby it, care for it, clean it etc…. however “what on earth gave me the idea to try and punish a fly line and attempt to bring it to a premature death, when all that will be left is its supple braid core?”

I still don’t know what inspired me to set myself such challenge of flyline destruction but at this stage what is more important is the results – they are simply Ballistic!

Wandering nervously up the remote valley

When I found myself on South Island back country excursion, suddenly realising I had left my normal fly reel behind (loaded with an Airflo Bandit WF6F), I of course I wasn’t going to let this stop me – so, out came my back up 8wt setup, complete with the Airflo SuperDri Ballistic WF8F. Yes, I was about to have a day’s fishing in gin clear water, with spooky browns, fishing light tippets and small dry flies… with a flyline I had absolutely punished, never cleaned, never rinsed after using it in the salt, walked all over it, etc… surely this line would not “float” and I was surely setting myself up for failure????

My primary application for the Ballistic line had been for rivermouth use; heavy streamers, dragging through rocks. I’d often use an extra super-fast sinking Polyleader attached to the front of the Flyline, which would drag it across the ocean floor with every wave dumping fist sized rocks onto it. Not fun for the line. After a while of that kind of punishment, as expected the polyleader itself was battered, bruised and in need of replacement - as you can see from the picture below – surely the flyline could not withstand this kind of punishment and still float???

Well, when I came across the first trout for the day to present my dry fly to, I was somewhat apprehensive that this line which had been severely abused was highly unlikely to float – I was sure it was going to sink and turn my cicada and to a “streamer” before I’d get the drift over the fish.

What happened though? The fly line…. …well it was like it was fresh out of the box……


The line floated perfectly as if it was fresh out of the box

and…. Result!

I am highly impressed with these lines! Airflo have really nailed their buoyancy with their SuperDri series of flylines and what’s even more amazing is the amount of punishment that they can endure – and still float like brand new! Even now, I am still fishing that same abused Ballistic line and it is just a slick and floaty as when I first pulled her out of the box. If you are looking for a durable flyline that really floats – you can’t go past these!!!

The front taper and belly of the line, as good as new.