The Airflo Airlite rod series has made a return for this season and while the original rod was a three-piece, it is now a more versatile and compact four-piece model. Now called the V2 it is available in six models: a 9ft 5wt and 8wt, 9ft 6in 7wt, 10ft in 6wt, 7wt and 8wt, and prices range from £259.99 to £279.99.
On test was the 10ft 7wt, speciﬁcally designed for stillwater work and which Airﬂo say is a “great all-rounder”, capable of handling everything from ﬂoating lines to fast sinkers.
This new model has a well contoured, full wells cork handle, slimmer than the original, and it feels very comfortable and also lighter in the hand.
Starting off with a 7wt ﬂoater, I lifted an initial short length of line from the water that loaded the rod relatively smoothly. As I lifted longer lengths of line the casting action became even sweeter – this blank is really happy at handling medium to long head lengths.
It is a powerful rod in that it has a fast action, but at the same time is still user-friendly being smooth and easy to cast. It has a wickedly fast tip recovery so I could generate a lot of line speed, producing tight loops and great delivery. This really pays off when you are working with multi-droppered long leaders where full turnover is all important so the ﬂies can start ﬁshing straight away.
I found the rod was as proﬁcient at ﬁshing dries and emergers with reasonably light leaders and tippets, as it was twiddling nymphs at depth.
Moving on to a range of sunk line options from sink tips to intermediates the blank handled them in a very similar fashion to the ﬂoating line. When it came to medium sinkers (Di-3) to fast sinkers (Di-7) I did feel the rod loading and ﬂexing a little deeper but it was still very adept at working these denser lines.
When playing ﬁsh I found the rod did ﬂex a lot deeper than I’d thought it would considering its reasonably fast action, but this really helps in protecting tippet and leader and in turning and playing the ﬁsh with a lot more feel.
There are two rod weights either side of this 7wt: the 10ft 6wt is designed for top of the water work and lighter tippets and the 8wt, which Airﬂo describe as “the beast”, would suit competition anglers who like to pull sunk lines.
I liked the lightweight blank, the matt ﬁnish, the self-centering reel seat and most of all the rod’s performance and the way it can handle a full range of ﬂy-lines from ﬂoaters to fast sinkers.
Article reproduced with kind permission of Trout Fisherman Magazine.