Leland on the Airflo Ridge Supple Tactical Fly Line
Our choice for everything from High Sierra trout to Oregon summer steelhead, the Airflo Ridge Supple Tactical is a versatile full-floating fly line that is especially well suited to soft presentations and wary fish
. In a three weight, this line is perfect for finessing bushy dries on small streams
, and in a seven weight, it can drop a Green Butt Skunk in a 10-inch lie from eighty feet
. A no-nonsense fly line for all-around river work
, the Ridge Supple Tactical – also commonly known as the Airflo Ridge Tactical – should be the line that fills your go-to trout or light steelhead spool
Leland on Specifications
While the Airflo Ridge Supple Tactical is a great choice for lighter flies and pinpoint presentations, it can also step up and chuck lead shot or conehead streamers
if you ask it to. An easy-casting 6-foot front taper
and 24-foot level head, together with a low-stretch Power Core
, provide smooth energy transfer as the loop unfolds
, and offer crisp roll-casts in anyone’s hands. Airflo’s revolutionary Ridge design, paired with high-tech Polyfuse XT teflon sheathing, provides high-floating, long-shooting performance
, while the all-polyurethane, PVC-free
construction means crack-free life for years to come
. Finally, Airlo's Supple construction and treatment make the Ridge Supple Tactical an easily handled winter fly line
- Fly Line Density: Floating
- Fly Line Taper: Mid belly, weight forward with two welded ‘Micro Loops’
- Total Head Length: 39 feet (for 5 weight line - varies by line weight)
- Running Line Length: 51 feet (for 5 weight line- varies by line weight)
- Total Line Length: 90 feet
- Core: Low stretch ‘Power Core’ – supple braided monofilament
- Coating: Ridge Ultra Supple Polyfuse XT Polyurethane
- Line Weights: 3 through 7 weight
- Color: Lichen Green
Leland on Airflo Fly Lines
Airflo is a stand-out among fly line manufacturers in several ways, but one of their defining characteristics is their use of polyurethane (PU) instead of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to build their fly lines. As plenty of people know, PVC is non-recyclable, and its manufacture entails a less-than-friendly solvent process with controversial environmental upshots. PU, on the other hand, is easily recycled, lasts longer in UV environments, and doesn’t require plasticizers to stay supple over the years. Airflo is so confident in their PU fly line technology that they offer a 5-year No-Crack Warranty.
What’s more, Airflo fly lines are built on incredibly low-stretch cores – 6% or less. For strike detection and hook setting,
this low stretch is essential – ask any experienced tarpon angler. But
one of the less understood merits of a low-stretch core like Airflo’s
multifilament Power Core has to do with casting. If a line stretches less, it offers better energy transfer and enhanced loop stability, especially at distance. For those who haven’t spent any time around casting tournaments, it might be hard to believe, but low stretch fly lines like those from Airflo are less prone to ‘jumping’ and are invariably more accurate. Power Cores are also supple over a much wider temperature range than monofilament, making line management easier in a host of fishing situations.
Leland on Ridge Technology
Most basically, Airflo’s Ridge fabrication affects the way Ridge lines interact with (1) your rod’s guides and (2) the surface of the water.
In combination with Airflo’s Teflon-driven bonding/coating technology,
the Ridges that run the entire length of the line help to minimize the amount of guide/line friction that occurs during line-shoot. This enables the caster to achieve greater distance with less effort – and as a likely result, better accuracy. On the water, Ridge lines hold air bubbles in their grooves, providing for higher flotation and less contact with the water. For our part at Leland, one of the unexpected upshots of this air-trapping was how it diminishes surface tension, and how easily and quietly the lines can be drawn out of the water for the backcast. This has relevance in all technical fly fishing scenarios, from tarpon flats to spring creeks.
Leland on Airflo
With a huge following in their native UK and across Europe, Airflo is undoubtedly one of the preeminent names in fly line manufacturing.
Since their start in the late 1980s under UK angler Paul Burgess – when
they defined themselves through a move away from the traditional
solvent-based PVC fly line technology of the day – Airflo has stayed at
the forefront of fly line design and development, with a slew of patents to show their industry leadership. Airflo was the first firm to develop density compensation (DC) and the welded loop, which are now industry standards.
One of the largest selling points about Airflo lines is their
longevity, which has its source in the material used in manufacture:
polyurethane (PU). Like other urethanes, which are used in car
dashboards, boat paints, and car paints, PU is highly resistant to UV and chemical damage, and won’t leak solvents over time to crack as other fly lines can.
Integral to the long-lasting performance of Airflo lines is Airflo’s two-layer extrusion method, called Polyfuse XT. Utilizing a specialized extruder which is like a ‘nozzle inside a nozzle’, Airflo can seal two separate layers of polyurethane around a fly line core, and adjust the ratios of each material as the core passes out the extruder. The middle layer contains the defining elements of the line (whether microballoons, for flotation, or metal dust, for sinking ability) while the outer layer seals the line and contains all the slick-shooting properties that should be concentrated on the exterior. As a result, Airflo lines are less porous and consistently last longer.
Whether you’ve been fishing Airflo for years, or have just started to catch wind of their virtues, you should know that Airflo fly lines are hugely impressive, and Leland is thrilled to have the opportunity to carry them.
Airflo on the Ridge Tactical Trout Fly Line
Utilizing the original Tactical Trout taper developed by Rene Harrop, the Ridge Supple technology improves the original beyond belief in cold conditions. This makes the line more supple in the hand and, more importantly, this suppleness allows the fly line to follow the water’s surface more effectively to help reduce drag and help you catch more fish.
The easy flexible coating helps maintain ultra sharp loops and smoother casts. With the ultra low friction Ridged surface and low stretch power core, the line generates incredible speed to put your fly in the zone regardless of weather conditions.
Airflo on Ridge Fly Line Technology
Why all fly lines are not created equal.
Working tirelessly to create the ultimate fly line, we were intrigued when an ex-racing driver suggested that tyre technology could hold the key.
We looked at how rain tyres lost grip on a dry track, and we realised that running ridges along the entire length of the line would greatly reduce friction and improve shootability.
The concept is simple in and of itself: the unique ridged design reduces the surface area in contact with the rod guides, consequently lowering friction levels compared to any regular round fly line.
Testing confirmed this and highlighted how the Ridge fabrications grooved surface actually held water during the cast to act as a superior lubrication system regardless of conditions. Team this innovation with record levels of Teflon® in the outer coating, and you have the slickest line ever manufactured. Made from Airflo's unique polyurethane coatings, each Ridge is incredibly tough for long term durability.
* Incredible shootability
* Increased distance casting
* Memory free performance
* Permanent self-lubrication
* Incredible buoyancy
* Perfect welded loops
The results exceeded our wildest expectations! We’ve created a line which is so technologically advanced that it outperforms conventional lines in all areas – shootability, self lubrication, memory and buoyancy – all massively improved thanks to Ridge Technology.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective – Ridge Technology from Airflo.
Airflo on Polyfuse XT
All Polyfuse XT fly lines are produced using a unique dual coating process that fuses a super slick, tough outer coating to an extremely supple polymer base that, unlike PVC, will not crack. They come with a 28 day satisfaction guarantee plus a five year non-crack guarantee.
Airflo on Airflo Fly Lines
Only Airflo lines are made from UV resistant super tough polyurethane. There are no liquids used in the manufacture of Airflo lines and therefore they last longer than PVC lines. With dry lubricant in the outer coating, Airflo lines stay cleaner than other lines and don’t require as much care as PVC lines.
Use an Airflo Turbo Shoot cleaner or other thin non-sticky cleaner/protector like STP Son of a Gun. By cleaning your line you help the front of the line float and keep friction in the guides from degrading line smoothness. You can use any brand fly line cleaner or conditioner on any Airflo fly line. Airflo lines are hardly affected by DEET and other chemicals that would normally ruin a fly line. You don’t have to worry about getting insect repellant on Airflo fly lines.
Airflo on Airflo
Not happy with the PVC fly line technology of the day, Paul Burgess, a mad keen flyfisher, who also happened to be a qualified engineer, set about changing the process by which modern fly lines are manufactured. Moving away from the traditional tower system, Paul began extruding fly lines with computer controlled systems that allowed for control over production accuracy previously thought impossible.
That was the late 80s. Now, over 20 years later, Airflo is the world's leading manufacturer of solvent free fly lines and is responsible for developing a series of innovations unparalleled by any other line manufacturer during that period. Whilst we may not have invented the fly line, innovation has been a keystone at every stage in our development, being the originators of Polyurethane coatings, creating the first welded loops, developing low stretch cores and even the world's first density compensated fly lines.
More recently, we've developed an advanced range of fly lines with Ridged coatings that reduce surface friction and improve shootability - each breakthrough offering a truly tangible improvement, not some invisible technology developed in the minds of the marketers.
'Green' or 'Environmentally Friendly' is something all fishing companies like to claim, and whilst we are more than happy to make you aware that our coatings are kinder to the environment, it was originally the search for a polymer that didn't leach solvents, was unaffected by UV and ultimately just lasted longer that lead us to pursue polyurethane as an alternative to solvent based PVC.
The final result is what we believe to be the world's most advanced range of fly lines and, judging by the bandwagon we've created with our continuous stream of innovation, most of our competitors would seem to agree.