Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

Rods from Air­flo and Epic, a Wy­ch­wood shell jacket, Scierra waders and Cort­land's Trout Boss DT line

Air­flo’s Air­lite V2 range is not new, but this 9ft 6in, 5wt is. The rod has been de­signed by Air­flo’s sales di­rec­tor, the highly re­spected com­pe­ti­tion an­gler Gareth Jones, es­pe­cially for del­i­cate dry-fly fish­ing on still­wa­ters. It punches well above its price tag. What ini­tially feels like quite a fast ac­tion oozes feel and depth when loaded and it de­liv­ers an in­cred­i­bly sta­ble cast­ing loop. Cast­ing with it be­comes sec­ond na­ture, as does turn­ing over a team of flies with pin-point pre­ci­sion. The pro­gres­sive, smooth ac­tion is a de­light. We fished with it from the bank (with very lit­tle clear­ance be­hind and back­ground snags) and it de­liv­ered a Lee Wulff Tri­an­gle Ta­per 5wt floater with ease, while on a boat the rod’s wand-like qual­ity is un­locked: it ef­fort­lessly lifted a team of flies off the wa­ter, roll-cast­ing over both shoul­ders with fast, snappy changes of cast­ing an­gle. When play­ing a fish un­der the boat, with this rod you just know your tip­pet won’t break. Give your cast some welly and you’ll be amazed how lit­tle, if any, fly-line is left on the reel. The rod’s that ver­sa­tile. The rea­son for adding this model to the V2 line-up was to meet the needs of spe­cial­ist light-tip­pet fish­ing – a rod ca­pa­ble of ab­sorb­ing a fit rain­bow’s turn of pace on tip­pets down to 6X (3lb-3.5lb). We know it works on rain­bow trout up to 5lb taken on a sin­gle dry-fly… Gareth’s in­spi­ra­tion comes from his trips to Lough Cor­rib where light­tip­pet fish­ing for big, wild brown­ies prompted the search for a suit­able tool. If a rod is good enough for such tech­ni­cal lough fish­ing, then frankly, it’s as good a still­wa­ter dry-fly rod as you will find. Our only nig­gle is the lack of a keeper ring, which many an­glers like. The green wooden reel seat, with a se­cure nut, was re­li­able on a day when the rod landed a bag limit of Eye­brook reser­voir trout. For the reser­voir or loch/lough an­gler look­ing to dis­cover the ben­e­fits of a lighter dry-fly out­fit, this rod is all you need.

AIR­FLO AIR­LITE V2 (9FT 6IN, 5WT) £269.99 Air­flo. Tel: 0871 911 7001. Web: fishtec.co.uk

We like the stealthy non-flash blank. The seat holds reels se­curely.

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