Fly-fishing, Streamers, Tackle, Trout


Even if you only believe some of the stuff you read in the fly-fishing niche-within-a-niche of the internet, you’ll probably have picked up hints that Airflo fly-lines have suffered from a pretty mixed reputation. Sinkers like the Di7 are still legendary for their efficiency in plumbing the depths of the great Midlands reservoirs, but the brand’s floating lines used to be equally notorious for their memory and tendency to form permanent coils around the largest arbor reel: good for nothing but tying up tomato plants was the general web-users’ verdict.

As a long-time lounger in online coffee-houses like the Fly Fishing Forums, I took due note of these opinions… but recently I started to notice a countervailing trend. According to posts on the Spey Pages and other forums based way out west on the PNW’s steelhead coast, Airflo’s scandi- and skagit-style lines have recently achieved what can only be described as cult status. So when I found myself faced with the problem of lining up a (frankly ultralight) switch rod with something to throw big streamers into post-industrial rivers, it seemed logical to start talking to a company based on this side of the Pond…

Here in the UK, Airflo lines are marketed by the Fishtec fly-fishing tackle retail business, so I had a good look around their website before picking up the phone. Slightly to my surprise the switchboard quickly volunteered to put me through to the buying office, where it transpired that Gareth fishes exactly the same Beulah Classic 4/5 weight rig, and recommended a 270-grain Scandi Compact shooting head from his own experience of using it to hunt monster marmorati in Slovenia.

Several months later, and even having replicated his reassuringly memory-free combination of shooting head, running line and polyleaders, I still can’t claim I’m close to grooving the moves that define a spey-casting jedi master. Somewhat less running line heads for the horizon than I’d like, there’s the lurking suspicion that a comparatively little ten and a half footer probably isn’t the ideal light-sabre to practice those strokes with, and I’ve already accepted that I may have to go considerably longer and heavier for future huchen, taimen, inconnu and even our native pike. But I’ve also confirmed that yes, there really is something addictively beautiful and satisfying about double-handing a long rod of any description. And it certainly exorcised a whole cackle of demons to be able to pick up the phone to a mail order company and find my problem solved with an instant personal recommendation from an expert NPD team right here in the UK.

All of which is also a roundabout way of saying I’m delighted that this blog and my other online hangout at have since (entirely unconnectedly) been chosen for listing in Fishtec’s highly respected roundup of fly-fishing blogs to be reckoned with. So thanks again, Fishtec and Airflo. Now, stand clear while I wind up this bad boy on the end of my corkscrew oozlum skagitated snap-t…