Mar 16, 2011

Airflo's New Skagit Switch

Fresh off the press, Airflo's Skagit Switch line has arrived.  This line is designed for short spey rods, switch rods and for those anglers who prefer a swing method of fishing.  This taper should not be confused with Rio's Switch line which is designed for an indicator and/or drift style of fishing.  Airflo's Switch is most similar to Rio's Skagit Short, however there are a few differences.

For a more robust bio on Airflo's Skagit Switch click Here.

Most of this winter season, I have been enjoying the lightness and the agility of switch rods on our area rivers.  Up until a week or so ago, the lines that I have been using have been mainly the Rio Skagit shorts on an 11' 7wt , 11' 8wt and an 11'9''  8wt advanced switch rod (Sage 11'9'' TCX).  Although it all comes down to the angler's casting stroke, I find that I like a 425gr -475gr for the 7wt, a 475 - 525 for the 11' 8wt and the 525 gr on the 11'9 8 wt TCX.  That said, I like these lines well enough and I have enjoyed some pretty ok casting.

Last week I got a chance to play around with some of these new airflo lines and I was actually blown away.
I think the major difference is the shape of the loops and how the lines actually turn over at distance.  I put a 450 gr on an 11'7wt Z-axis which casted like a dream, although a 480gr would also work for those preferring a more relaxed stroke.  Also got a chance to throw a redington 11'3'' CPX Switch with the Airflo 480gr which was nice, but I think I would prefer the 450gr personally. 

The thing that seperates these lines is the polyurethane coating.  This material, as oppossed to the PVC used on other line brands keeps the surface like new, years down the road.  It also encourages a very supple form that translates into tighter loops on the casting outlay.  Furthermore, I think that Tom Larimer and the folks at Airflo nailed the taper on these lines.  These lines have an ucanny ability to turn over towards the end of the casting length to help carry it through for maximum distance.  They are also quite resposive in close.  At times, I have found that the RIO Shorts like to turn over a little too quickly thereby hampering a smooth, tight loop for distance.  But do not take my word for it, you should give one of these new lines a shot and see what you think.

Want to chuck a load of T-14 and a lead-eyed intruder?  No problems here.

Have a good time out there,

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