Airflo Ridge Clear Tip Tropical Fly Line

Fly fishing for bonefish in the Bahamas
This fish never saw it coming. Photo: Kyle Shea.

This past season at Andros South, we spent a lot of time with Airflo’s latest clear tip fly line, the Ridge Clear Tip Tropical line. We really liked it, and today we’re going to tell you why.

A Clear Tip That Actually Floats

Appropriately named, the Ridge Clear Tip Tropical line is a fully floating fly line designed for tropical climates consisting of a 12 foot clear tip on the leader end of the fly line (go figure!). However, unlike many other ‘clear tip’ lines released in the past, the clear section actually floats like the rest of the line, and trust us, when it comes to bonefish that’s a good thing.

Some of you might be thinking that a clear fly line will help prevent ‘lining fish,’ but it’s important to note that no matter what color the fly line is (clear or not), dropping a heavy fly line on a bonefish’s head will most likely send him running. So then what good is a clear tipped bonefish line? We’ll tell you.

We’ve seen a lot of bonefish spook by the motion of the fly line in the air above them. That’s why most seasoned anglers choose to false cast just short of their target and shoot the remaining distance when presenting the fly. The fish never sees the line, and only has one thing on his mind, your fly.

However, not everyone has precision accuracy, and there are times when casts need to be made over (not on top of) feeding fish. In this case, the clear tip on the Ridge Tropical is deadly. On several occasions we noticed pods of bonefish entirely unaware while false casting directly over them!

Also, it’s no secret that casting into the wind is a big part of fishing on the flats. Long leaders can be tough to turn over in the wind, but because the end of the fly line is already clear, one can get away with fishing a much shorter leader for better turnover in windy conditions.

Taper

The Ridge Clear Tip Tropical consists of a more traditional taper than many modern saltwater lines today. With a total head length of 50 feet (including a 25 foot rear taper), those who prefer the advantage of picking up and carrying more line in the air, along with a more delicate presentation, will appreciate the taper of the Clear Tip. For general comparison, those in the know will relate the style of taper closest to RIO’s Bonefish line.

We found the taper to make for a great ‘all around line.’ While it excels most at picking up and carrying large amounts of line, in the right hands it still loads quick enough for the shorter shots as well.

Fishability – The Ultimate Wading Line

We do a lot of wading for bonefish at Andros South, and for many of the reasons above, the Ridge Clear Tip Tropical line has become one of our go-to lines when fishing on foot. When wading for bonefish, multiple shots in a row are not uncommon. Therefore, we really like being able to pick up a fishable amount of line without the need to strip a bunch of running line in. The longer taper of the Clear Tip makes this a breeze.

When fishing on foot, bonefish are also often targeted in skinnier water and the added stealth of the clear tip and more delicate taper seems to really help present the fly without spooking wary fish.

Furthermore, one thing we really like about the line when wading is that the thinner running line floats really well. So, no longer do we have to dig our line out of the turtle grass behind us before making a shot, and that’s a really good thing.

Conclusion

We really like fishing the Ridge Clear Tip Tropical. Even though our bonefish aren’t overly spooky (well, in bonefish terms that is), we were still able to see the advantage of the clear tip. However, in areas where stealth is the name of the game, it’s sure to be a game changer.

The Ridge Clear Tip Tropical retails for $84.99 and is available in line weights 6 through 12. For more information, visit Airflo’s site, here.

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