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Trouts Journal

AIRFLO // Our Top 5 Freshwater Airflo Fly Lines

Ivan Orsic / Aug 4, 2023

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.

To make PVC into fly line, manufacturers add a variety of plasticizers, tungsten powder, and hollow glass spheres. The fly lines eventually shed these materials and leech contaminants into the environment. Enter Airflo and their polyurethane (PU) fly lines.

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.

Let's talk about Ridge 2.0 and some of the other Airflo fly line features.

RIDGE 2.0

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.

SUPERFLO

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.

POWER CORE

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.

MICROLOOP

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.

Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Universal Taper

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.

Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Power Taper

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.

There's not much finesse in the big fly world. But, again, that's not why it's here. It's here to party and throw big rigs.

The Airflo Power Taper is most comparable to the RIO Grand and the Scientific Anglers Infinity Plus.
Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Tactical Taper

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.

With a 46' head that's composed of a gradual 20' front taper, 16' belly, and 10' rear taper is designed to carry line and present small flies in a delicate fashion. If you want to get a little nerdy about fly line taper design, compare the 20' front taper of the Tactical Taper (below) to the 6' front taper of the Power Taper (above).

It should be clear which taper is for technical casts and which one is for turning over large flies. It's all about energy transfer and the Tactical Taper is very mild as compared to the aggressive Power Taper.

The Airflo Superflo Ridge 2.0 Tactical Taper is most comparable to the RIO Technical Trout and the Scientific Anglers Trout.
Airflo Euro Nymph Fly Line

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.

Superflo Streamer Max Short

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.

SHOP AIRFLO

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