Tropical-style fly line is a must for where I live. While "standard" lines can often be used here in Florida from late fall through early spring or so, once the intense heat starts to take hold you'll be much better served by a specialized hot-weather fly line. The Airflo Super-DRI Tropical is a line tailor-made for such demanding conditions, and I was recently able to test out the WF8F size to experience this line's features for myself.
Line Weight: WF8F
Colors: Gull Grey/Sandy Tan
Overall Length: 100 feet
Head Length: 38.5 feet
30-Foot Weight: 240 grains
Core: Powercore Braid
Welded Loops: Yes (2)
My Airflo Super-DRI Tropical line touts a very low-stretch core and is 100% PVC-free. Its dual-layer polyurethane construction is said to offer UV-resistance and is chemical proof—good news for those of you who use bug spray containing DEET. Airflo's special Super-DRI coating also helps the line repel water and grime which equals high-floating performance. Finally, Ridge Technology is built into the outer coating. This feature gives the line tiny ridges running the length of the line which means less of the line's surface is contacting the guides, thus equaling more distance. Airflo also claims this keeps the line cleaner, helps resist tangling, and provides better grip.
The quality of this fly line is excellent. There were no defects to be had or discoloration to note with our testing example. The line sports a light-grey head, while the running line portion is a sandy tan color (colors shown in the following pics).
I was actually going to start using this line for beach snook fishing later this spring, but I couldn't stand to look at it collecting dust on my shelf, so I spooled it up and used it multiple times during our warm Florida winter. While Tropical lines really shine during intense summer heat, they remain plenty usable when there's warm air/water temps at other times of the year too. In fact, Airflo handily rates this line on a temperature scale ranging from 68—100.4 degrees. Weather in the first half of that temperature range is commonplace here during the "cool" months, so I brought the line with me to prospect for largemouth and peacock bass and whatever else decided to come along and munch my streamers!
From short to long, this line casts great at all ranges and easily turned over the small to medium-sized streamers I used. I mainly fished it on my extra-fast 7-weight Sage Method rod which it matched to very well. The line's 30-foot head weight of 240 grains puts it squarely within the grain-weighting of a 9-weight line, making this a pretty hefty line with a robust head. I found it to be simply awesome for loading my extra-fast rod quickly and making lightning-fast presentations with just one or two false casts.
Do the ridges really help with distance? That's really hard for me to say for sure. I do like how the ridges feel when grabbing the line, though. There's just a hint of texture against the finger tips that offer up a slightly more confident grip. One negative aspect that I did find is that the ridges seem to readily collect dirt/grit from the ground if fishing from a sandy or dirty shoreline. When bank fishing in certain areas this was a minor annoyance, but if you're wading or fishing from a skiff it obviously shouldn't matter. Oddly enough, I didn't feel like it actually held back the performance at all, though.
Despite me not fishing this line during the hottest part of the year, I still found it was easy to manage under the more modestly-warm temps. There was some minor line memory (as expected with a firmer, stiffer tropical line such as this), but it stayed quite manageable overall. Would I fish this line in cold temps? Past experience with similar tropical lines has told me no, but here in Florida where it's normally mild to hot, I typically have no issues using these lines on most days throughout the entire year. Also, I do have past experience with this line (just not this specific box of line) during sweltering summer heat and it handled those extreme conditions great.
Whether you're planning a trip to the Everglades or the Seychelles, this is a serious line to consider. It boasts strong performance, solid quality, and sports a color that won't spook fish but can still be tracked well. Despite this being a bonefish/redfish line, I caught a very "different" mix of species during testing which included tripletail, oscars, peacock bass, and largemouth bass.
Airflo offers the Super-DRI Tropical in both weight-forward and intermediate varieties in line weights 6–9. Fly line isn't cheap these days, and at $89.99 it certainly commands a stout price, but the quality and performance is definitely there!
Looking for Airflo Super DRI Tropical Bonefish/Redfish fly line?