Airflo Tropical Saltwater Fly Lines – Reviewed by Matthieu Cosson

Airflo fly lines are the guides choice the world over for good reason – super tough, slick, and ultra reliable. Combine these attributes with awesome tapers and casting performance that goes on day after day, season upon season, it’s no wonder they have become the choice of professional guides in all four corners of the globe.

Here Matthieu Cosson, the head guide at outfitter FlyCastaway reviews the awesome Airflo tropical saltwater ridge clear tip and GT floating lines – read on to find out exactly why saltwater pro’s love them so much!

Airflo Tropical Saltwater Ridge Clear Tip:

I have been using this line exclusively for 4 years now on #8, #9 and #10 weight rods during my fishing but also guiding guests on Saint Brandon atoll (Mauritius) and in the Seychelles waters mainly at the Farquhar and Providence atolls. The 10 feet of clear tip make for a huge advantage as it adds more stealth to each presentation.

For confirmed fly casters as well as for beginners, the taper is the best for presentation casts to any species living on the flats of Indian Ocean flats. The former will also find it great for longer presentations as you are able to carry a lot of line in the air and it keeps true tracking.

I’ve landed a 16lb Indo Pacific Permit, lining it on its right hand side to be able to drop the crab just 8 feet in front of its head while it was tailing. The cast went into the strong Saint Brandon wind (around 14-16 knots). I never imagined being able to do such a presentation with any of the other lines available on the market and then getting the fish to eat the fly.

It also stalk the schools of Humphead Parrotfish on Farquhar and Providence atoll flats as well as the Triggerfish found there. It makes for a soft landing on the water and you can clearly see the fish swimming or feeding underneath the clear tip without being spooked. This is definitely improving your chances to get more bites!

 A Humphead Parrotfish - fooled using the Airflo clear tip.

A Humphead Parrotfish – fooled using the Airflo clear tip.

Also as a guide, having only 10 feet of clear tip helps to track the line drifting on top all the way to the customer’s fly, which is a huge advantage compared to a full clear line.

Despite not having a 60lb core, I found out it serves well as a GT line in 12-weight persuasion for pure inside flats fishing on pressured fisheries where the fish are smarter for these same reasons stated above. I meant pure flats fishing as you will not have to lift the GT from the below or horse it back from reef structure in atoll reef areas like , i.e. when fishing the surf which usually requires a hell of a lot of strength in fly lines.

A brace of GT’s (Giant Trevally)

Airflo Tropical Ridge GT floating line:

For years, guides have been looking for lines that combine both a good presentation and fighting abilities. Airflo have come out with their GT line using a 60lb braid core that does not stretch.

Up to the day, it is THE ONE line I will fish and recommend to my guests to use as not only has it the strongest welded loops on the market (should you choose to use them) but also a great taper to cast a size 4/0 to 8/0 fly without struggling.

My guests most of the time have an image of the GT as a rowdy fish species that will eat anything anytime and in any circumstances, thanks to some crazy fish porn, probably! The reality can be quite removed: …a GT following a ray or tailing into a school of Humphead Parrotfish on the flats is one of the spookiest fish to target.

Once your GT rod is set up with a certain type of line, you can’t change it quickly while on the flats as you don’t have time to change spools at all. It is critical to have a line that can both deliver a fly quickly into the surf as well as making great presentations with the fly landing softly.

The Tropical Ridge GT line allows the angler to track the fish while casting as it possesses a real taper. This makes presentations far better than any other lines and giving anglers better chances to hook and land the GT of a lifetime.

The line is also quite versatile, as I also use it for bluewater flyfishing here: we fish for sailfish, tuna, wahoo and small marlin in the blue. It loads heavier/stiffer rods up to a 13-weight quite well and has the desired breaking strength for pulling these pelagic fish up from the depths, we just know what we are talking about when we mean pulling hard.

We fish for sailfish, tuna, wahoo and small marlin using the GT line.

We fish for sailfish, tuna, wahoo and small marlin using the GT line.

For about a year now, Airflo has added their SuperDri coating technology to the line which definitely enhances its casting qualities, another great reason why I am never on the water without a spare Ridge GT floating line as a backup for my angling guests!

Matthieu Cosson
FlyCastaway Head Guide

FlyCastaway specializes in guiding groups of dedicated anglers to various exotic destinations in Africa and the Indian & Atlantic Ocean Islands around the continent.
For the trip of a lifetime visit: www.flycastaway.com