Author: Tucker Ladd
There hasn't been a lot of new and inovative products to come about in the fly line category since the debut of the Sharkskin Fly Line by Scientific Angler a few years back. Ultimately, there is only so much you can do to change the taper, color or make-up of a fly line to make the fly fishing industry go "WOW". This is particularly true in that no many new fly lines actually aid the angler in catching fish. All of this changed in 2012 with the debut of the Airflo Ridge Clear Tropical Fly Line. The name says it all, CLEAR! Anglers have long looked for the ideal fly line color to deal with the wary fish that prowl the flats of the globe, and most companies have looked past the ideal color... no color. Yet not many fly line companies can achieve this new look, as the make-up and manufacturing process that goes into their fly lines won't allow it. Yet through Airflo's patented PVC Free fly lines, they have been able to dial in this technology, and make one of the stealthiest salt water fly lines available.
Now we have unfortunatally been unable to test this new line, so we're not going to BS you into thinking we know what we're talking about. I am uber physced about this line, and you can bet the farm it will be on my reels next time I'm being poled along the flats, but I know only as much as the Airflo catologue and my rep has told me. Which is why we have looked to Louis Cahill of Gink and Gasoline for a little "on the water" perspective on this line.
"On a recent tarpon trip I had the chance to fish one of Airflo’s Clear Floating Tropical Ridge lines. I was prepared to either love it or hate it and to be honest I got a little bit of both. I fished it for two days and here’s what I learned.
Stealth: I’ve always been skeptical of clear lines. It’s long been my belief that what fish see is the shadow of the line or the disturbance it creates on the surface and that a bad cast will spook fish no matter what line your using. I was surprised to find I was wrong. The first day fishing the clear line was bright and very calm. Landing an eleven weight line softly on a day like that is crucial. I’ll be honest, I made a few bad casts. Casts that should have spooked fish but didn’t. In this area the Airflow really delivered. It’s a great stealth line.
Castability: All in all the line casts very well. It loaded my Thomas and Thomas eleven weight Helix very nicely. It turned over easily and was easy to land softly. It shot well, as promised, handled the wind nicely and, after some work (more on this later) had very little memory and laid out nicely on the deck. No complaints casting this line.
Low Stretch: One of the things I generally don’t like about clear lines is they all seem stretchy to me. A stretchy line is the kiss of death when tarpon fishing. A tarpon’s mouth is so tough you really need some authority to get a good hook set. I expected this line to be a problem, but it wasn’t. The hookups I missed were on me, not the line."
Well there you have it, straight from the bloggers mouth. New technology is fun, particularly when it helps in catching fish. A big thanks to Mr. Cahill for the review.