Small stillwater specialist Stuart Smitham looks at the new G4 fluorocarbon from Airflo.
I’m always skeptical about new fishing tackle. Having tried several brands of leader tippet in past and been let down, via a breakage mid leader. I started asking questions with a certain manufacturer and was told, it could be bad knotting. With no knot in the area of the break and no further answers or explanations on why this happened. I formed my own conclusions and was on the hunt for a better performer.
That was when I found Airflo’s G3 and from that point onward, I loved how this tippet worked it’s magic on me. It boosted my confidence levels when I was on the water, making me perform as better angler. Your leader is your invisible link to your fly and the fish. Why spend 100’s of pounds on great gear, then go out and buy cheap tippet??
Just over two years ago, I was asked to try what is now G4 Fluorocarbon. Airflo like to thoroughly field test their products to ensure they will never let you down. I was given a big spool for a bit of feedback, just to see how G4 fares against some of those big Ellerdine Lakes fish that Ed & Jayne Upton are famous for stocking at the fishery.
I like having strength in my chosen tippet and this new material has bags of it. It is also thinner in diameter than G3 for it’s given strength, and is much more supple but not overly limp. Abrasion resistance is superb, and good at enough to handle the shock hits and drives that a big fast fish can produce. Especially on those Ellerdine upwind feeders, that cruise just below the surface. These fish hit your fly hard and continue going on track and at pace.
I like fishing with confidence and G4 has improved my performance, because I can fish worry free. Especially when you get to those nail biting stages in a scrap, when a trout shows it’s true tenacity, by shaking it’s head to free the hook hold. Or when you’ve just cast out and straightened your leader, then get one of those truly violent hits, that rips the line from your fingers. If you can stay in contact after one of those takes, then you have a tippet worth it’s weight in gold.
I construct my leaders in most cases with two droppers, or on a windy day with just one. I always use a three turn water knot for these and G4 knots very well. Especially when your closing the knot tight. I nearly always wet the tippet before drawing closed and my knots look small, which is important for those close up feeders.
Because G4 is more supple that G3, it turns over well and sinks with ease through the water surface. Through the odd bad cast, I discovered that G4 copes well with my inevitable casting knot too, but err on the side of safety when you have the chance of a “Fish of a lifetime” right out in front. Check your leader every few casts for wind knots and you’ll fish more confidently.
Looking at the spools on this new tippet. They all feature the same build components. Colour coded spool labels, and the spools lock together too. An elastic spool tender prevents your line from uncoiling in your bag or rig. Plus there’s a nifty little viewing port on the spool front, so you can see just how much is left.
With more choices of tippet on offer in the new range, from Saltwater, G5 Premium, Tactical and of course good old G3. The Sightfree range of tippets is a ‘go to’ tippet system that offers lots of scope for the all round angler.