I have to confess – I enjoy chironomid and nymph fishing in lakes – but prefer fishing with floating lines and long leaders whenever possible. For years I fished with a standard Weight Forward floating line, and then moved to a floating indicator line when manufacturers produced situation-specific options. The basic concept behind indicator lines is an aggressive front taper designed to more easily turn over wind-resistant indicators or flies. Some indicator lines also have a highly visible tip to help detect strikes and a color transition near the back of the weight forward head to show the normal loading point for casting.
The Airflo Nymph line is a multi-colored line with a very short, fat and aggressive front taper (1.1 m; 3.5 foot) and comparatively long (15 m; 49.5 foot) weight forward head. I fished a 6 weight version of this line, both with and without an indicator, on a recent week long trip to Kamloops area lakes.
The line’s designers achieved their goal – “easier casting of any size fly while allowing greater control of mending.” The line readily turned over indicators on 30-to-60 foot casts, floated very well, and shot through the guides adding distance to each cast. Very good flotation coupled with the comparatively long head and rear taper made on-water mending effortless even with crosswinds and waves. Fortunately I found some fish willing to cooperate, and the low stretch Power Core technology worked as advertised, resulting in good bite detection and hooksets. The line did have some memory that caused it to tangle on cold mornings, but its other strengths make this a reasonable trade-off.
The front of the line has a well-formed, integrated loop that easily slides through the guides – my experience with Airflo lines is that these loops are durable. The light orange front section extends for about 9 m (30 feet of tip, front taper, and belly), where it transitions to a 9 m light green section comprising the rear taper and front part of the level running line. The rest of the running line is a slightly darker and brighter orange. The transition between the front orange and middle green sections is a reasonable marker for cast pick-up and rod loading. On the water, the three-toned line provides visual markers for cast and retrieve distance.
Overall, I really liked the line and will use it in both lakes and rivers. The only situation where another option might be preferred is for technically demanding waters or fish where extreme stealth and a fine front taper is required to softly land small flies.
By Terry Antoniuk