Salty Saturday - Airflo Ridge Clear Tip Tropical Floating Line

By Bill Mitchell 01/11/2020
 

Airflo Saltwater Fly Lines come in a number of tropical rated variations. In tropical parts of Australia, many anglers use one of Airflo’s specific purpose lines. Firstly, we look at Airflo’s Ridge Clear Tip Tropical Floating Line. This is a full floating line with a 12 foot floating clear tip. It comes in sizes between WF6F and WF12F. The head is long at 50 feet which allows great line control over what is an aggressively weighted head suited to modern fast action fly rods. The line is a pale yellow overall and works well as a subtle colour for stealthy shots. The clear tip comes into its own in a couple of scenarios.

Firstly, sight casting on mud-banks, fishing up and across drains and on beaches for fish like Barramundi and Threadfin Salmon. These fish are our equivalent of Florida’s “laid-up” Tarpon and Snook, and are just as spooky – perhaps more so. The clear tip give you an extended butt section that reduces spooking fish by line flare, overshooting or in very clear water. Hinchinbrook permit guide Dave Bradley put me on to this line years ago for this exact purpose and I haven’t turned back for my #8 mangrove bashing set up. I have fished it on standard 9’ and shorter rods (8’4” and 7’7”) and it happily works with all.

Secondly, I like it as a general purpose line, it excels at fishing skinny water tailing fish where an intermediate tip isn’t needed but some stealth is required. Shallow water fish like Golden Trevally and Bastards can be spooky when they get in less than a few feet of water and the clear tip helps keep presentations sneaky.

I have also used it as a big baitfish/streamer line for chasing pelagics, that longer clear tip allows you to have a shorter, more castable leader when using brush flies, or topwater flies like poppers, crease flies and gurglers. Happy fishing.


Photo: Dave Bradley