Airflo Airlite V2 9’6” #5 – Trout & Salmon Magazine Tackle Review

”A dry-fly dream”

Airflo’s Airlite V2 range is not new, but this 9ft 6in, 5wt is. The rod has been designed by Airflo’s sales director, the highly respected competition angler Gareth Jones, especially for delicate dry-fly fishing on stillwaters. It punches well above its price tag.

Airflo Airlite V2

Airflo Airlite V2 9’6 #5

What initially feels like quite a fast action oozes feel and depth when loaded and it delivers an incredibly stable casting loop. Casting with it becomes second nature, as does turning over a team of flies with pin-point precision. The progressive, smooth action is a delight.

We fished with it from the bank (with very little clearance behind and background snags) and it delivered a Lee Wulff Triangle Taper 5wt floater with ease, while on a boat the rod’s wand-like quality is unlocked: it effortlessly lifted a team of flies off the water, roll-casting
over both shoulders with fast, snappy changes of casting angle.

When playing a fish under the boat, with this rod you just know your tippet won’t break.
Give your cast some welly and you’ll be amazed how little, if any, fly-line is left on the reel. The rod’s that versatile.

The reason for adding this model to the V2 line-up was to meet the needs of specialist light-tippet fishing – a rod capable of absorbing a fit rainbow’s turn of pace on tippets down to 6X (3lb-3.5lb). We know it works on rainbow trout up to 5lb taken on a single dry-fly…

Gareth’s inspiration comes from his trips to Lough Corrib where light tippet fishing for big, wild brownies prompted the search for a suitable tool. If a rod is good enough for such technical lough fishing, then frankly, it’s as good a stillwater dry-fly rod as you will find.

Our only niggle is the lack of a keeper ring, which many anglers like. The green wooden reel seat, with a secure nut, was reliable on a day when the rod landed a bag limit of Eyebrook reservoir trout.

For the reservoir or loch/lough angler looking to discover the benefits of a lighter dry-fly outfit, this rod is all you need.

Airflo Airlite V2 fly rods are available here.

Airflo Airlite V2 9'6 #5

Airflo Airlite V2 9’6 #5

Article reproduced with kind permission of Trout & Salmon Magazine.

Fly Fishing Tackle New Gear – Airflo Super Stik II Rod Review

If you are looking for a mid-level fly rod that is ‘just right’ in terms of action, feel, cosmetics and performance then the Airflo Super Stik II’s could be a safe bet. Here Robbie Winram of Trout Fisherman magazine gives the range a comprehensive review – read on to find out more.

The Airflo Super Stik II fly rod

The Airflo Super Stik II fly rod

Airflo Super Stik II rods from £139.99

AIRFLO have relaunched their Super Stik rods in two ranges – the standard range consists of seven dual rated three-piece models, and the competition specials are four piece 10ft rods in 6wt, 7wt and 8wt.

The standard Super Stik II’s are: 9ft 5/6wt and 9ft 6/7wt at £139.99; 9ft 6in 6/7wt and 9ft 6in 7/8wt at £149.99; and 10ft 6/7wt, 10ft 6/7wt and 10ft 6in 7/8 at £159.99.

While the old Super Stik’s featured bright red blanks, the new ones are a subtle olive-green colour. The other difference is in the cork handle which now has a ‘flexible’ 1.5-inch section of composite and natural cork rings, aimed at reducing wear in this high-pressure area.

I had the 9ft 6in 6/7wt rod on test which I set up with a 6wt floating line. Even with a relatively short length of line on the water the rod loaded smoothly, all the flex coming from the top quarter. I was able to generate some good line speeds and nice tight loops. As I started to get a feel for the rod, working longer head lengths outside the tip, the blank flexed a little deeper, almost to the midway section, living up to its rating as a middle-to-tip action rod. But it handled these longer lengths competently.

My casting stroke was quite long and I found it a very relaxed affair with the rod doing the majority of the work. With overhead and double hauling taken care of I moved onto continuous motion casts such as the roll and switch. Here, the softer flex in the blank really paid dividends with some nice casts going out onto the water.

Fishing and casting with midge-tips through to fast intermediate lines also saw good results and nice turnover. Only when I tried out some medium to fast sinkers did I feel the rod working a good deal harder to perform at the same level. I just had to shorten the head lengths and watch my timings for those distance casts.

VERDICT:

A great all-round rod for floating and sinking line work. The dual 6/7 rating means this rod will also take a 7wt line so I spent a good bit of time with the heavier floating and sinking density lines as well. The 6wt balanced the rod just right for my casting style but what the7wt gives you is a little bit more help with loading the rod, a real bonus if your casting isn’t quite up to scratch.

Airflo Super Stik II competition special rods £169.99

THE 10ft Super Stik II competition specials are available in 6wt, 7wt and 8wt, and are all four piece models so are easier to travel with and store out of the way in the boat.

Airflo say the rods have slightly more ‘steel’ in the butt section than the standard models, which not only helps to knock fish over so you can get them into the boat quickly, but also helps when striving for those distance casts to cover fish at range. This slightly different action really makes light work of sinking lines.

The 10ft 6wt that I tried out was also proficient with floating and intermediate lines, giving good turnover and presentation. When it came to roll and switch casts it was nowhere near as smooth as the standard 9ft 6in 6/7wt, but with overhead and double hauling it had a beautiful feel and I could aerialise very long casts with little effort.

Airflo Super Stik II Comp special

Airflo Super Stik II Comp special

VERDICT:

This is not a difficult rod to cast so will find favour with anglers of all abilities. It does have a bit more steel than the standard Super Stik II model so is very good at pulling fish quickly to the boat and also fishing a range of dense sinking lines.

Airflo Super Stik II fly rods – ‘Tackle testers choice’

The Airflo Airlite V2 Switch Rod – 11 Foot 8 Weight

With a new season of chasing creatures of the salt in mind, our sea fly fishing guru Darren Jackson takes a new rod out for a spin with a selection of fly lines.

I’ve done a fair bit with switch rods and light double handers over the years and they really are just a joy to use; they make things so effortlessly easy.

I recently got my hands on a new Airlite V2 Switch 11ft 8wt to play around with and took along some standard Airflo Forty plus and Sniper lines, with densities ranging from floating down to a Di3 to have a good chuck.

Airlite V2 11ft 8 weight on test

Airlite V2 11ft 8 weight on test

Each line performed brilliantly well, but the Snipers are definitely the stars of the show on this rod (for me personally!) Simple/relaxed over head thumps were throwing my fly respectable distances, as they were with both line types; it was just a little more effortless for the Sniper with its short (30ft) aggressive head.

This line really drags big heavy patterns out there without to much fuss; I’d best describe it like “a three year old taking an out of control Rottweiler for a walk!”. The Sniper is never going to win gold for presentation, but for what I do (bass fishing on the coast) it’s a issue that’s not even worth taking a second to think about.

Single hand casts with a double haul thrown in sent the fly incredible distances and my backing to running line connection was making a regular appearance. That extra one foot of rod length allowed me to get considerably more of the head and running line out through the eyes with extra control, and with no signs of it collapsing/hinging than what I can comfortably manage with my 10 foot rods which, in turn, equates to longer casts.

The Sniper fly line from Airflo

The Sniper fly line from Airflo

For the record, I find the Forty Plus Sniper line performs so much better with longer leaders and a good stiff butt section. Basically extending the head a little which in turn allows more flight time and gives the line/head/loop more time to turn over before things catch up on their self. Take your time with the Sniper and it performs,try powering it out there with a short leader,combined with the short head,and it just wont work and dumps in.

I’m no casting instructor and those who are more technically advanced with the whole casting thing will get where I’m coming from (I hope). For those out there who are using the Sniper line,try it and see how you get on.

As it stands, I’m still relatively young and fit and found it no issue what so ever performing single handed casts with this rod,as time goes on and I grow older and weaker I’m not sure I’d like to be doing it all day. Saying all this, it’s not really what the rod was designed for in my eyes. Yes, overhead casts can be performed with relative ease but,technically,it’s a light double hander and should be used as one. All manner of speys, skagit, roll casts etc.are a doodle with this rod and if I was to fish small to medium sized rivers again for salmon and sea trout I’m not sure if I’d reach for anything else.

Airlite V2 ready for action

Airlite V2 ready for action

Things are really starting to move now, water temp is climbing everyday and I just can’t wait to hit the shores and give this rod a dam good thrashing. It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of the Airlite range of rods, I’ve used and abused them for over ten years and they have taken the worst I can throw at them with out issue. If the new V2 can take half the punishment I’ve given the older models we’ll get along just fine.

Tightlines, Daz

First Look At The Airflo Super Stik MK2 Fly Rod

Fishtec team member Gareth Wilson has been testing a new rod on several stillwater trout fisheries this winter. Read on to find out how he fared with the new Airflo Super Stik MK2 fly rod.

Late in 2017 I was handed a rod to test. It was the follow on for the original Super Stik and one I was keen to put through its paces. Immediately I was impressed with the great cosmetics and the high standards that the MKII has been built to. The addition of a composite/cork handle has increased grip and the olive finish creates a great looking rod at an even better price.

The all new Airflo Super Stik Mk2 fly rod

The all new Airflo Super Stik Mk2 fly rod

However, a good-looking rod is of little use if it cannot perform on the water. For our first test we took the rod to Lechlade Trout Fisheries. With the goal of seeing how the rod would handle double figure fish. We set up as usual with the Airflo Super-Dri 6ft Mini Tip in a weight forward 7 and single fly. Lures would be the choice for a chilly day in December and some of my home tied flies would prove deadly.

I started off with a Chartreuse Hot Head Tadpole and started fan casting on the top end of the lake casting to rising fish. As I cast into the wind and to a rise close to the island I gave a few quick strips to get in contact with the fly and entice any fish feeding in the area to follow before returning to a slow figure eight. Half way through the retrieve I paused before quickly speeding up the retrieve and bang, fish on! The fight was incredible taking me back and forth along the bank. I had never felt a stocked fish fight this hard and the bend in the rod reminded me of a wild welsh sewin, doing what he wanted and refusing to turn in the direction I wanted. After an incredible fight we finally landed the beast.

A nice double put a serious bend in the rod!

A nice Lechlade double put a serious bend in the rod!

This was the start of a good day. We switched to the incredible cat (my own cat’s whisker variant) and cast out. After a few aborted follows I slowed the retrieve right down, just keeping in touch with the fly. This retrieve bought on a savage take from a smaller fish of about 6lb. After a short aerial performance in which the rod absorbed every jump and lunge the fish came to the net. We finished the day with our 6 fish and the rod handled extremely well especially considering the average size of fish was 10lb.

Another one bites the dust.

Another one bites the dust.

First impressions of the rod where great. With it’s smooth progressive mid-tip  action and responsive feel it looked like a great rod for buzzer and nymph fishing. With this in mind, a trip to Ellerdine was arranged. The goal of today would be to test out a team of buzzers and bloodworms and we how the rod would cope with multiple small flies and a slightly smaller but more energetic size of fish. I set up with an 18ft G3 Fluorocarbon leader and a team of 3 flies with 6 ft separating each from the other. The goal when fishing this kind of approach is to let the wind do the work for you barely moving the flies, only retrieving to keep in touch with them.

It wasn’t long before we had our first fish. A lovely 2lbs Ellerdine rainbow. This was followed by another 2 trout in quick succession. I then switched to my Black Mamba V2 lure. This fly is fitted with a Guideline salmon disc, which imparts a wobble but also hinders casting aerodynamics. The rod coped with this fly extremely well, with superior presentation.

The black mamba V2 fly

The black mamba V2 fly

First cast along the bank and a few tail nips later I decided to speed up the retrieve. I cast beside an overhanging tree and began to strip and almost instantly had a take from a beautiful brown trout. This fish, although small, was a nice addition and was very silver for a brown. I finished the day with another 6 fish and the rod had shown no signs of weakness.

As a third and final test I decided to use the rod while boat fishing. With all the usual big reservoirs closed, my attention turned to the smaller Gludy Lake. A stunning fishery set in the Brecon countryside with catch and release being the only form of fishing on offer. This leads to some truly stunning fully finned fish that put up an incredible fight. Its clear waters meant that a stealthy approach would have to be taken and the electric boats on site are perfect for this.

The Airflo Super Stik mk2 on test

The Airflo Super Stik mk2 on test on Gludy lake.

On the day we were met with a stubborn easterly wind and temperatures that rarely got above freezing. After assessing the situation, the Airflo Forty Plus Fast Intermediate was the correct choice for the conditions as getting your flies to the cruising level of the fish is incredibly important early season.

The fly that seemed to be getting all the interested was a Shaggy Damsel. Within 30 minutes of putting the fly on I had many takes and pulls and landed 2 silver rainbows, both around the 2lb mark.

We drifted in front of the house situated on the lake and cast into the weed. Suddenly, I had a ferocious take. It bored deep. I thought it may have been one of the brownies that grow on and become incredibly difficult to tempt. The fish started towing the boat taking us out into the deeper water. As he surfaced and turned to go on another run the blue flanks were clear to see, the brown was in fact a big blue trout. After seeing the size of the fish, I gave it respect and if it wanted to go on another run, I let it. After landing the special fish, I was happy with a new PB blue trout of 4.3lbs and with full fins and a perfect tail. This bright blue fish will be one I will remember for some time.

A nice gludy blue

A nice Gludy blue.

To sum it up, the Airflo Super Stik Mk 2 is a cosmetically pleasing upgrade from it’s predecessor and is more than capable of handling fish of all sizes whilst casting extremely well. The progressive action is user friendly and provides brilliant presentation of a variety of fly sizes and types. The perfect stillwater trout fishing rod in my opinion.

Gareth tested the 10′ #6/7 model. Airflo Super Stik Mk2 fly rods are available April 2018. Each rod is supplied with a quality cordura case and a FREE Airflo Super-Dri fly line. For more info click here.

Thoughts on the Airflo Super Stik Fly Rod: Review by Gareth Wilson

In this long term tackle review Fishtec’s Gareth Wilson shares his thoughts on the Airflo Super Stik fly rod – after spending a full season in action with it on the bank!

As both a stillwater and migratory species river fly fisher having one rod to cover both aspects of my fishing allows me to cut down on gear and travel light. However, finding a rod that can deal with the challenge of wrestling with big salmon and hard fighting sea trout while not being overkill on stocked fish is quite challenging.

One on the Super Stik from Ellerdine lakes

One on the Super Stik from Ellerdine lakes

Early this season I purchased a 10′ #7/8 Airflo Super Stik, for primarily for sea trout fishing with large stillwaters and boat angling being an added bonus if the rod was up to the task. The early season saw us visiting Garnffrwd, The Usk Reservoir, Ellerdine and Llyn Cllywedog with the average fish being 2 and a half pound but some special fish amongst them including a 12.8lb tiger trout and a few double figure rainbows.

The rod handled perfectly. It could turn over a team of flies with great presentation and also pump bigger lures into the wind with no problem. The middle to tip action on the rod is great for achieving big distances with ease, especially when used with Airflo’s Forty Plus intermediates and Super Dri sink tip lines.

Between May and October the focus switched to the river fishing with sea trout being my true passion. Sewin (Welsh for Sea trout) are In my opinion the hardest fighting fresh water fish we have in the UK.

It wasn’t long before a real bend was put in the rod with my farther in law landing this double figure sewin on the Super Stik. The rod played the fish perfectly absorbing every leap and run the sea trout had to offer and it wasn’t long before she was netted and released safely.

On our next trip it was my turn with three sewin caught. The night started with a 4lb hen fish who wanted to stay deep and kept trying to get under the bank. The next fish almost in the same location was a 6.7lbs male. He was all fight exploding out of the water around 3 ft in the air before boring deep running down the pool and taking me almost to the backing – before changing direction and swimming straight back towards me. I kept in contact and again he came leaping out and crashing back down. After landing this fish I knew this rod was a winner!

A Sewin on the Super Stik

A Sewin on the Super Stik

The winter period sees me returning to stillwater fly fishing. Here being able to cast a great distance can be a massive advantage. You can cover fish that have been pushed out by other anglers and for the bigger fish holding deep. The Airflo Super Stick is perfect for casting extreme distances. It loads extremely efficiently and easily with modern day fly lines and you’ll find you can get incredible distances with ease. The cost of this rod is incredible  value and it handles better than other rods I have tried at more than triple its cost.

This is a perfect bit of kit for the all-rounder and will handle small dries, teams of 3 or 4 flies and big sea trout and salmon flies alike. A real bargain and a rod you won’t regret purchasing.

Stop Press: For a limited time period Airflo Super Stik Rods are now just £99.99!! Check out the Super Stik rod range here.

Airflo Airlite V2 Fly Rod Review

Airflo Airlite v2 rod reviewThe 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.

VERDICT:

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.

www.troutfisherman.co.uk

Fly Rod Eyes Explained

Ever wondered why your fly rod rings are set up the way they are? Does it really matter what sort of guides you have? Our blog explains all!

Fly rod guides can have real effect on casting and fish playing performance. Most anglers never pay attention to the eyes when making a rod purchase, but they should – because eye configuration and quality can make a big difference to your fishing.

Fly rod guide types

You will find three main types of rod rings on a fly rod.

At the butt end you will always find a stripping guide. This is the largest eye, with a wide diameter to allow line to shoot through it easily on the cast. They tend to be manufactured with a ceramic insert to reduce friction. They are built to handle the energy from the power generated in a stiff rod butt section. On higher line rated rods designed for distance or throwing large flies, you will often find two stripping guides. If you intend to do a lot of distance casting, then a rod with two of these guides is a must.

Stripper guides

Typical stripper guides

Snake eyes are the most commonly found guides on a fly rod blank. Basically these are simply twisted pieces of wire; designed to help your rod flex and your fly line flow through them unhindered. Made of chrome, stainless steel or even titanium, the standard double snake guide is very lightweight and a favourite the world over.

Double leg snakes

A double leg snake eye

Theses guides will be spaced at an optimum distance apart to allow for smooth flexing of the rod and for good line flow. The diameter of snake guides vary, according to what the rod builder had in mind for the performance of the rod.

If large diameter guides are used, this helps with shooting line for extreme distance; however some line control is lost in the process which can affect presentation and accuracy. Narrow eyes allow for precise control of the cast and better loop formation, but distance is harder to achieve. Most fly rods are built with their guide diameters as a nice balance between distance and line control.

Single leg snakes are also very popular on UK fly rods. These reduce the weight further by having just one leg that requires whipping to the rod blank – thus reducing the quantity of rod epoxy and thread needed to attach them.

In the UK most fly rods sold feature either standard double or single leg snakes, bucking the trend from heavy, narrow, lined ceramic eyes that were very popular a decade or two ago.

Single leg snake

Single leg snake

The tip eye (or tip top) is a vital guide that is fitted to the end of your fly rod. They are especially important as they are the most prone to wear, and need to transfer casting energy at the thinnest part of your rod. So they need to be of superior quality and just the right size for best performance.

Hayfork tip eyes

Hayfork tip eyes

Hayfork tip eyes are the most common, but there are also round tip tops available. These reduce friction because there is nowhere for the fly line to catch or get slowed down in. They are used by some of the top manufactures such as Sage.

In addition to the three main rod eyes described above, keeper rings are generally found just above the rod handle. These are usually just a simple looped piece of wire, placed to accommodate your fly.

The addition of a keeper eye on a fly rod is for convenience – it will help you resist the temptation to plant your fly into the cork handle, or onto the stripper eye and risk damaging the lining. Several modern fly rod manufactures have taken to leaving the keeper eye off their rods –  a trend that some may find annoying, or may not be bothered by. But, it’s something worth considering and checking when making a purchase.

Keeper eye - with or without?

Keeper eye – with or without?

Remember the more you pay for a fly fishing rod, the better the guide quality and overall thought to rod ring size and their placement is likely to be. These little differences can make a rod massively easier to fish and cast with. Be warned that on cheaper rods chrome snake eyes of poor quality can get grooved, or even corrode within a season or two. The old saying ‘buy cheap buy twice’ certainly rings true when it comes to fly rods and their guides.

Back On The Sea Trout

Shooting season is over and the guns are cleaned, oiled and put away, time to turn my attentions back to the fly fishing.

The next few weeks is going to be a busy one at the vice for me, replenishing the fly boxes for the new season ahead, not only on topping up my salt water patterns but, on starting a fresh on a new batch of sea trout (sewin) flies.

Sea trout flies

Busy on the vice – Plenty of sea trout flies.

There was once a time I was addicted to sea trout fishing and I spent the best part of twenty years of my life solely targeting these magnificent creatures, with a number of productive rivers right on my doorstep most nights of the week I would be found sitting bankside waiting for the lights to go out.

A magnificent double figure sea trout

A magnificent double figure sea trout – fruit of an addiction.

When I say “Most nights of the week” I mean at least four or five and for a great part of it seven, I really can’t put in to words the effect these fish had on me, obsessed would be a understatement. Holding down a full time job and sea trout fishing is not ideal when you have such a obsession, I would try my hardest to limit my weekday sessions to around 1am but, of course, if the fish were on, my limit would go out the window, many a time I’ve found myself walking off the river and driving straight to work.

As I referred to in a past blog, I achieved about as much as I wanted to on the sea trout, targets were set and broken and I just felt the time was right to move on. After so many years at the game I did start to lose the enthusiasm for it, I was not getting that buzz I once was , It was time for a change and a new challenge. I dabbled with saltwater fly fishing for many years but, the past six years has seen all my efforts directed towards the sport and it’s been a blast!, the enthusiasm I was lacking and the buzz I was missing rekindle……So why the return to sea trout fishing?

A great reason to return to sea trout fishing!

A great reason to return to sea trout fishing…

Salt water fly fishing is so weather dependent around the South Wales coast that many times through a season I get blown off the water, for days, sometimes weeks with a persistent south westerly wind. Although I get plenty of time at the vice to tie flies during these periods my need/urge to be close to water waving a fly rod around, chucking a lure at something fishy is what I crave….I need that fix!

The other reason for my return to sea trout fishing was while fly fishing for mullet in a local estuary last season, the size of some of the sea trout that swam past me at this mark sure got the heart racing a little faster and rekindled some fond memories. They past with in feet of me in no more than eighteen inches of water, I could make out every beautiful detail of them, those spots, that shape, streamlined power, wow! That’s when I decided what I was going to do this year when conditions dictate I can’t hit the surf.

Worth staying up late for....

Worth staying up late for….

I won’t be going at them with the same conviction I showed all those years ago and most of my fishing will be concentrated around daytime/evening sessions, with night time forays limited to the weekends. I say that now but, who knows? With me, when it comes to fishing, anything can happen. Having been out of it for so long I’m really not sure what to expect? All I’ve had the past few seasons from the guys still at it is doom and gloom reports, there’s no doubt about it that sea trout are in decline and numbers have been steadily dwindling for many years despite the great efforts of a select few to turn things around. Anyway, enough of that, could be a future blog.

The water I’m going to be fishing (fishing most) is new to me, not new in the fact I don’t know of it, just that I have never sent a line across it. Why,I really don’t know it’s no more than a stone’s throw from the house. It’s a very intimate little river, boulder strewn with many a twists and turns, weirs, and some deep gorges. As well as the salmon and sea trout that run it there is also a healthy population of wild brown which will provide me with some sport. I’m quite sure it’s going to be a tough nut to crack and honestly don’t think it’s going to give up its inhabitants to me with ease, I’ve so much to learn about it, I could take a short cut and fish the rivers I know so well but, I’m really up for the challenge of this one.

Airflo Airlite v2 rod

Airflo Airlite v2 rod – on test.

I’m also really excited this year to be putting the new Airflo Airlite V2 fly rods to the test. I honestly think Airflo are on to a winner with this new range, which brings back the original blank from 9 years ago with re-tweaked and improved actions for 2017. I simply cannot wait to try them out on some hard fighting Welsh sea trout – watch this space!

Tight lines

Daz

The Airflo Rocket Fly Rod – UK Angler Feedback

The Airflo Rocket fly rod was released last year to critical acclaim. Beautifully finished, with unbeatable performance it’s proven itself to be a best seller and anglers favourite. We can honestly say that this fly rod range has thoroughly pleased every fisherman who has ever used, reviewed or purchased one. Read on to find out why top UK anglers love their Rocket rods so much!

Gareth Jones, the Airflo sales director is one of the UK’s leading competition fly anglers. Gareth has been using the 10′ #8 ”competition special” on numerous UK reservoir fisheries. This model is purpose deigned for the UK reservoir angler needing the ability to handle all densities of sinking fly lines with ease.

‘This 4 piece rod oozes power and loads smoothly to launch some of my sinking lines over 50 yards when fishing from the shore. Whilst it has incredible power, it is not overly aggressive and does not pull the hook hold when you get fish close to the net, making it perfect for early season competition and bank fishing.”

During the intensive field testing of this rod prior to release early last year, Gareth caught some lovely Farmoor trout using the new Airflo Forty Plus ‘Booby fly line’ for a Trout Fisherman magazine article – see image below.

Farmoor rainbow - tamed on teh 10' #8 competion special.

Gareth with Farmoor rainbow – tamed on the 10′ #8 competition special.

The 10 #8 competition special model went on to the win the prestigious Trout Fisherman magazine’s ”tackle testers choice” award in November 2015. This is what tester Robbie Winram thought of the 10′ #8:

‘If you are in a boat rocking and rolling in the wind and rain, this rod can work tirelessly, punching out sunk lines all day long.”

Robbie Winram was very impressed with the Airflo rocket fly rods.

Robbie Winram was seriously impressed with the Airflo rocket fly rods.

Chris Ogborne made use of his 10′ #6/7 rocket rod in many stillwater fly fishing locations, both at home and abroad. Here’s what Chris had to say:

”If ever there was the ultimate all-round ten footer, then this is it.  Amazing on Blagdon, superb on Corrib, and out of this world for sea bass fishing on the beach down here in Cornwall. The combination of sensitivity and feel is matched by arguably the best balance I’ve felt, not just at this length but at any.  A very special fishing tool.”

Our online marketing manager Ceri Thomas field tested the 9 foot #6/7 model for nearly a year. It rapidly became his favourite rod for stillwater angling.

”This rod is ideal for the small stillwater angler. Light with a crisp and responsive mid-tip action it’s simply lovely to cast and use. I have also enjoyed catching wild brown trout in the Welsh hill lakes using this rod – the four section design comes in handy when getting off the beaten track!”

Ceri with a wild brown in the net.

Ceri with a wild brown in the net.

Fishtec blogger Rene Alleyne spent many late nights last summer on the river Towy in search of sea trout. Rene simply loved using his rocket 10′ #7/8 weight:

This rod was an absolute joy to fish with. It does everything I need it to and cast’s very smoothly, whether using small flies or big surface lures. It will cast two heavy tubes at distance no problem at all. I’m looking forward to getting back out at night with this rod already for next season

Towy Sea Trout

Rene’ with just some of the Towy sea trout he caught using his Airflo Rocket 10′ 7/8 fly rod.

Fishtec’s marketing director Tim Hughes traveled up to Clywedog reservoir in Mid Wales and used his 10′ #6/7 to catch hard fighting rainbows off the top on the drift.

”The 10 #6/7 has everything you need for floating line action. Forgiving and feather light, with a nice fish playing action. It also has the backbone to handle the full range of sinkers and intermediates.”

Tim Hughes into a fish on the dries.

Tim Hughes putting a bend into his 10′ 6/7 rocket.

Young Callum Russell got a new fly rod for Christmas! His father, competition angler Matt got him a 9’6 #6/7 rocket fly rod as an upgrade from his trusty Super-stik.

”My 9’6′ #6/7 rocket is amazing! The colour is great and it casts like a dream, it helps me get an extra 3 or 4 yards which great when the fish move out due to my father’s bad casting.”

Here he is with the fish that christened his brand new rocket on Ellerdine lakes!  And yes, he out fished dad (again!) that day… To say Callum is thrilled with the rod is a big understatement.

Callum Russell with an Ellerdine lake double figure bow'

Callum Russell with an Ellerdine lake double figure bow’

So, if you are looking for a new fly fishing rod to help kick off your 2016 trout fishing look no further – the Rocket might be just what you’re looking for!

For full details of the Airflo Rocket fly rod range click here.

11 Top Tips For Looking After Your Fly Rod

Here at Fishtec we have seen many times over that an improperly cared for fly rod can let you down. Caring for your fly fishing rod in the correct way will make it perform better, be 100% reliable and help make it last you a lifetime. Read on to find out how fly rods should be treated.

Look after your fly rod- and it will look after you! (Image Sageflyfish.com)

Look after your fly rod- and it will look after you! (Image Sageflyfish.com)

Follow our 11 top tips for taking care of your precious fly rod:

1. Take the cellophane off the handle: We see cellophane left on rod handles far too often in social media pics, when talking to anglers on the bank and in returns. You should always remove the cellophane from a cork rod handle before using it. It’s only there to keep dirt off in the warehouse/showroom. If you don’t, moisture will get underneath and will rot the cork and crumble the filler out. Naked cork also offers a far better grip and feel!

2. Never pack away a soaking wet rod: We have had several customer returns where this has clearly been done, with the rod stowed in a soaking wet bag and then zipped up in a tube. The strong musty smell of mildew is very apparent, as is mold and lifted white discoloured varnish. This is a sure-fire way to ruin your rod – cork will go spongy, glue will go soft, whippings will soak up water and it can spoil the varnished finish.

This rod bag was stained and rotten from being repeatedly stowed wet. The rod inside was in a poor condition.

This rod bag was stained and rotten from being repeatedly stowed wet. The rod inside was in a poor condition.

This fly rod has been repeatedly stored soaking wet - and the finish has started to bubble as a result.

This fly rod has been repeatedly stored soaking wet – and the finish has started to bubble as a result.

3. Give your rod a wash: Occasionally your rod deserves a clean up! Not every session, but once in a while. Most anglers never do this, but it will help enhance performance, particularly if the eyes are dirty. Use a sponge, luke-warm water and fairy liquid. An old toothbrush will help you get in the eyes and crevasses in the reel seat and spacer. If you use your rod exclusively in saltwater, then this is essential after every use. At the same time take the opportunity to check rings for wear and damage.

Use a toothbrush to clean up your eyes once in a while.

Use a toothbrush to clean up your eyes once in a while.

4. Clean your cork: Your cork handle can get dirty, discoloured and even muoldy. The best way to deep clean is to use isopropyl alchohol and a rag (same stuff used to repair Simms waders). This stuff is also available as the Airflo Bloc-IT leak detector. Lighter fluid can also be used to give your cork a good cleanse.

5. Clean the ferrules: Take care to ensure your ferrules are clean. Grit, dirt etc. can and will get trapped in them. If dirty when you push together you risk them getting stuck, or causing damage to varnish and ferrules. This in turn then contributes to sections slipping, or getting stuck.

A ferrule damaged by grit and dirt trapped at the joint.

A ferrule damaged by grit and dirt trapped at the joint.

6.Check your ferrules during fishing: Even the best designed fly rods will experience some twisting at the section joints. One angler will get slippage but a friend picking up and casting same rod may not! It all depends on the individual caster’s ability, casting style, fly line used, even wind direction – the way you cast and fish has a huge impact on this.  Every angler should check the connections and push back together (if necessary) as an automatic reflex at least several times each session. Loose sections are a major cause of broken rods.

7. Use candle wax on a loose section: Over time due to improper care of ferrules (see tips 5. & 6) sections can be more prone to twist if they have worked loose or have had grit in them. Use of candle wax rubbed on male part of ferrule will help slippage greatly.

8. Pack your rod way carefully: A major cause of breakage is a rod just carelessly thrown in the car boot, garage corner etc. The wife, kids or dog knock them over yet the rod makers get the blame when an inch missing off the tip or crack is discovered on the water side. Once your rod is dry use the rod sleeve and hard case it was originally supplied with. If you have lost yours, these Airflo multi rod cases are perfect for keeping several fly rods out of harms way.

9. Rod sections stuck together: Stuck sections are most often caused by lack of cleaning ( see tip 5.) If this happens try using two people each side and pull straight. If that fails cool down, or freeze the stuck section then pour warm water over the female section only, then pull hard. Getting hold of non slip rubber patches (used in drawers) or using a tea towel for a better grip can be a great help.

10. Store the sections in the correct way: Stow with the cork handle up with the tip end also facing upwards next to it. This minimises any chance of the tip getting damaged when being pushed down, and the handle acts to protect the tip and give something to grip when pulling out of the case.

11. Clean your reel seat and thread: Prevent your locking rings from jamming and cross threading by cleaning regulatory with an old toothbrush. If you fail to do this you could ruin your reel seat – many rod makers charge extra to replace butt sections!

Grit has been trapped in the locking rings - and has damaged the thread.

Grit has been trapped in the locking rings – this has damaged the thread.