Fly lines aren't the shiniest, flashiest tool in an angler's tool bag. What they lack in curb appeal, they make up for in being...well...literally the entire reason you're actually fly fishing. Fly lines are the straw that stirs the drink. They load the fly rod and deliver your flies to the intended target in an efficient and accurate manner.
Now, manufacturers in the United States produce most fly lines from polyvinyl chloride or PVC. While there are some great fly lines made out of PVC, the material has some downsides. Firstly, in its purest form, it's a hard and brittle material.
In addition to being a better choice for the environment, PU fly lines have some additional benefits for anglers. PU has greater resistance to UV degradation, sunscreen, DEET, fuel, and solvents than PVC. Additionally, PU has a natural ability to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions. The material stiffens far less in the cold than PVC and is much less prone to wilting in the tropical heat.
Airflo makes many different lines for a wide variety of both fresh and saltwater uses. In this blog, we're going to focus on the freshwater side of things. Let's take a look at five of our favorite freshwater fly lines from Airflo.
Many moons ago, Airflo brought the first textured fly line to market - dubbed Ridge. Well, recently, Airflo updated their proprietary texture and they christened it with the name - Ridge 2.0. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I suppose.
As it did with the original texture, the Ridge 2.0 texture runs parallel to the line itself. This allows the line to remain quite supple. All while producing less noise and most importantly, less friction as it passes through the guides. This reduction in friction allows Ridge 2.0 lines to cast easier and more accurately.
A new material formulation allows for seamlessly smooth, flawless diameter transitions, and the ability to produce some of the thinnest, lightest running lines in existence.
The original low-stretch core. Airflo lines only stretch 6%, as compared to 20-25% stretch of more traditional PVC lines.
What does that mean for the angler? Improved hooksets, greater casting control and efficiency, and improved strike detection. Not the worst.
Polyurethane is a true thermoplastic, so it can be semi-liquified (using heat) and fused back together to form the strongest loops in the business. Airflo loops seamlessly transition back into the line tip/running line - eliminating the dreaded "hinge point" that can occur on traditional PVC fly lines' loops.
Let's start our tour through Airflo's freshwater line offerings with the all-arounder - the Superflo Ridge 2.0 Universal Taper. The Universal taper is slightly heavier than the AFFTA standard. It weighs 150 grains in the 5-weight option, which is approximately half a size heavier than the industry standard. That means the Universal taper strikes the perfect balance between power and finesse.
With the Universal taper, an angler can switch between nymph rig and dry fly setup easily and quickly. With a 39' head and an additional 12' of "haul zone", the Universal taper is proficient at both shooting line, roll casting, and even throwing more technical casts that involve carrying a little more line.
The Universal taper is most comparable to the RIO Gold and the Scientific Anglers Amplitude.
The second stop on our tour is the Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Power Taper. Looking to turnover big flies or heavy nymph rigs, the one-line weight heavy Power Taper fits the bill. A perfect complement to those contemporary fast-action rods, the Power Taper has a shorter head at 37'. The shorter head of the Power Taper makes it easier to roll cast, shoot line, and load your fly rod in close.The Power Taper is not the best option for precise and technical casts. The powerful, front-loaded front taper excels in generating quite a bit of force. This force helps the angler deliver big flies efficiently as possible.
Throwing long, delicate casts to technical trout? Well, the Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Tactical Taper fits the bill. The long front taper promotes a smooth, beautiful turnover and presentation.
The long 46' head allows you to carry ample line when casting to a pod of rising fish. This extended front taper ensures you can get the most accurate cast you can at a distance.With a smaller tip diameter, the true to AFFTA line weight Tactical taper delivers small flies softly. Accuracy and presentation are the name of the game with the Tactical Taper.
If you're dedicated to the Euro Nymphing game, the Airflo Euro Nymph Fly Line is the perfect addition to your kit. The fly line comes in two varieties. The first is a brown level line with a 4' hi-vis orange tip. The second is a completely clear level fly line.
Both varieties are super-thin, level 0.60mm line, which is 100% FIPS compliant - aka you can use it in competition. Additionally, both varieties have the non-stretch POWER CORE. Combined, these features make the Airflo Euro Nymph Fly Line a strong choice for those of you who love catching every fish in the river.
The name of the game is efficiency when you're stripping streamers out of a boat or on foot. The more casts the better. How do you make more casts?
To achieve that efficiency, you need a line that gets the fly down fast, loads your rod quickly, shoots well, and can be recast quickly. The Streamer Max Short fits the bill for the streamer junkie.
With a short 18.5' -23' (depending on the line weight) fast sinking head, an intermediate haul zone, and a floating running line, you can make the quick, accurate, shooting casts necessary to fish streamers effectively.