Sink tips for Spey fishing Part 3: Airflo Products
Here’s a quick review of Airflo Polyleaders and the range of Airflo sink tips that are most popular and effective with Two-Hand Spey and Switch anglers fishing for anadromous and lake-run salmonids around the world.
Airflo PolyLeaders, Sea Trout Steelhead : 8 ft long and offered in six sink rate options from 0.5 ips to 6.1 ips. This is an 8 ft tapered leader with a welded loop on one end and a surgeon’s loop in the monofilament core at the other end. Loop on your tippet of 3 to 6 ft or tie it in with a blood knot. Polyleaders are constructed over a mono core that tapers to 24 Lb, so choose a tippet that is in tune with the core – we usually fish these with tippets in the #8 Lb to 16 Lb range. For those anglers who want a Polyleader longer than 5 ft and shorter then 10 ft, this is the Polyleader of choice.
Airflo PolyLeaders – Salmon Steelhead Polyleader: These are available in 5 ft, 10 ft, and 14 ft options, all with a 24 Lb maximum core strength. These Tapered Pplyleaders are offered in 7 sink rates from full floating to extra fast sink (6.1 ips) rates. All Polyleaders have welded loops at one end and a Surgeons Loop in the core monofilament at the other. We add tippet of bout #16 Lb or less by looping or blood knotting to the mono core tip.
Airflo PolyLeaders – Salmon Steelhead Polyleader, 40 Lb option: This is your go-to Polyleader when you want to fish #20 or #25 Lb Maxima Ultragreen as your tippet. The standard #24 Lb Polyleaders can’t match this stuff but the #40 Lb can. This would be a great Albacore leader too.
Airflo Custom Cut Tips (CCT) With both a 10 ft and an18 ft option to choose from, this Airflo product is quite similar to the Rio Level T material, except it is provided in a specified length, is built over a braided core, and has a welded loop at one end. The 10 ft option can be used as is, with the addition of a leader tippet. The 18 ft option can be used as is or may be cut to make up a 10 ft plus a 8 ft tip, for example. In this case only one of the two pieces will have the welded loop, so you will need to make your own loop on one tip. T-7, T-10, T-14, and T-18 sink options.
Remember, T means that the tip coating incorporates Tungsten as a hi-density sinkant and the numeric rating indicates the tip material’s wt in grains per foot. Thusly, a ten-foot length of T-14 weighs in at 140 gr. The higher the number, the heavier the tip will be for a given length, and the faster its sink rate will be. T material is level, and is not tapered like PolyLeaders are.
Airflo Custom Cut Tips (CCT) 20 ft option: This Level T-material has a sink rate of either T-10 (8 ips sink rate) or T-17 (10 ips sink rate). The nice feature of the 20 ft CCT (custom cut tip) product is is that it has welded loops on both ends. This makes it easy to make, for example, a 12 ft and an 8 ft tip, and both will have welded loops on both ends. As with the shorter CCTs, you need to attach a tippet with an Albright knot or by making a nail-knot loop on one end of the tip. Suggestion: use the lighter version of CCT with Switch rods and light Spey rods. Use the heavier CCT with Spey rods.
Airflo 10ft & 5 ft Salmon – Saltwater PolyLeader Set: These are complete sets of PolyLeaders in sink rates including clear floating, clear hover, clear intermediate, slow sink, fast sink, super fast sink, and extra super fast sink rate. This set includes all 7 PolyLeaders in an Airflo Tip Wallet. These make great leaders for use with tippets of about #16 Lb or less when fishing rivers, estuaries, beaches, and offshore. If you want the convenience of a full range of Polyleaders, this delivers the goods and saves you money.
Airflo Spare 15 ft Sink Tips: This Airflo Product is analogous to the Rio Replacement 15 ft sink tips. Rio offers their 15 ft tips to fish with line classes #4 (at a 64 gr tip) to #12 (a 190 gr tip). Airflo, just to be different, offers their spare 15 ft sink tips to fish with line wts #6/7, #7/8, 8/9, and 10/11.
So concludes Part 3 (the final installment) of this Spey Sink Tip Review
Jay Nicholas, December 2012