Salty Saturday - Airflo Flats Master Line
This line is a Manic Tackle Project special developed with Australian guides and flyfishers. The Flats Master features a 10’ intermediate tip (1.5 IPS). The head length is 38 feet so works well in a range of casting conditions. The Flats Master fills an important niche for tropical fly fishing – the line Goldilocks would call “just right”.
It shines when fishing a few scenarios. Firstly, fishing deeper flats where the fly need to get down faster than a full floater would allow, but still provide easier pick up and recast qualities. This suits permit fishing to a tee. Permit often feed along the deeper edges of flats, among gutters, sandbars and rubble beds. The Flats Master makes those shots more accessible than a full floating line and is easier to reposition than a full intermediate – just right!
Secondly, it works well fishing below weed lines or chop, getting the fly subsurface when it needs to sink down into a school of pelagics, whether GTs or tropical Tunas. Similarly, the line works well dredging deeper edges of reef or rocky country. It won’t plummet to the bottom, rather giving you time to work a fly in the zone. This also works well in mangrove environments when you are fishing deeper water whether it is drop-offs, colour-changes, drains or mudbank edges. You can also get the fly down into deeper root structure for longer with an intermediate tip. Fishing a full floater works well but each strip pulls the fly up and out of the deeper strike zones. I’ve fished it with crabs, shrimps, clousers, barra bunnies – you name it, the head has enough oomph to carry a larger or heavier fly.
Thirdly, the Flats Master is an incredibly practical line. This style of line is a utility line, it can cover a whole days of fishing quite easily. Throw poppers or topwater no problem. The tip keeps the fly working against the surface well. Throw clousers or candies into schools and get them into the real melee. Throw flats flies at quicker moving fish so it gets in their field of vision. Kind of like the swiss army knife of lines!
Photo: Dave Bradley