Another week, and another question has arrived in my inbox. This week, Mark emails:
“Hi Chris, hope you going well? A question please. Which current line do you think best suits the 6wt Scott Radian for back country fishing?”
Here’s my reply:
“Hey buddy. First, let’s take a basic run down of the tapers that make up a fly line and what they do. The rear taper determines how smoothly the energy is transferred to the belly. A longer rear taper allows for a longer carry, and optimum distance and accuracy.
The belly is generally the thickest and heaviest part of the fly line and transfers much of the energy. Shorter bellies offer benefits for quick fire casting (like shooting heads) whereas longer bellies offer much better control, accuracy and distance.
The front taper determines the presentation and turnover of the fly. A short front taper provides the punch for aggressive turnovers as energy transfers quickly from the belly through to the tip. Kind of like a skateboard gaining momentum down a steep hill. A longer front taper lets the energy dissipate smoothly over a greater distance and allows for softer, more accurate presentations. The tip is simply a short section of level line so that the taper isn’t affected each time you cut and reattach a leader. The head length includes the rear taper, belly, front taper and tip.
I use the Airflo Superflo Presentation for almost everything, but some may struggle in windier conditions if their casting ability is lacking. With a 7’ rear taper, 25’ belly and longer 7.5’ front taper it’s a fantastic line for accuracy and presentation across the board and is my all round, general purpose trout line for both the technical front country streams, and wherever in the mountains I may wander.
I like the punch of the new Airflo Superflo Dash and its unique taper design. With a short, 5’ rear taper and a 12’ belly, it then has a compound taper ‘bump’ which accelerates the energy and provides a final push into the 7’ front taper in the dying stages of the cast.
This makes the Dash a great line for turning over big flies or wind resistant indicator rigs in the backcountry or on big water. It’s a smooth casting aggressive line that won’t overload your rod tip.
Often it’s just a confidence thing and we developed the Airflo Superdri Bandit as you know, specifically for NZ backcountry conditions. Many anglers have been using these lines over the years and they’re still a top seller. The 20’ rear taper allows for more loop control in the air and effortless on the water mends. A 24’ belly carries ample energy through to the 6.5’ front taper which is camo banded to provide a little more stealth in your outdoor environment. The Bandit is a fantastic general purpose backcountry line designed and tested here for NZ conditions by Manic, and Kiwi anglers.
In summary, if you’re looking for a backcountry specific line then either the Dash or Bandit will suit most anglers needs. If you’re after an all round line offering presentation qualities for trickier trout then the Superflo Presentation is my pick.
Regardless, you need to keep your line slick and clean for optimal performance, so when you purchase your new line, pick up a tube of Airflo Whizz Lube.”