For those interested in the shooting head style of salmon fishing the question of which running/shooting line is best crops up almost as often as questions about the shooting heads themselves. In this review I have chosen one of many available, Airflo Ridge running line.



This is the code number and description for the 30lb grey floating running line



The term 'Ridge' is an interesting concept and as far as I know it is unique to Airflo. During the manufacturing process the line is no longer made in a way which results in an even circular profile, instead it appears under a microscope to look like this



A series of ridges around the lines circumference are intended to reduce the overall surface area in contact with the rod rings, in theory this should allow the line to shoot further than a line without ridges but of the same diameter. Airflo also claim the ridges help to reduce tangles when shooting.



The Airflo Ridge is a conventional fly line style shooting line in the sense that it is based on a braided core with a polyurethane coating. At one end there is a large 9" loop for connection to the shooting head, the other end is cut and needs to be joined to the backing with a suitable knot or braided loop.

The first thing I noticed about this running line when I put it onto a reel was just how slick it felt but that it was also quite thick as compared to other shooting lines. A quick check with a digital vernier revealed an average diameter of 1.02mm or 0.040". This is at the thickest end of shooting line diameters I have seen/used and typical of the running line diameter of an average spey line, that isn't always a bad thing and more of that later. The weld on the loop was very smooth and slim.



Field Test

In use this running line is very user friendly, it lies on the water with minimal memory and in most circumstances it floats very well. There will always be a time when the current swirling around your legs can drown a running line and from time to time this happened with the ridge line but no more than any other similar product. I liked the fact that I could figure of eight retrieve this line into my hand and when released onto the water it showed no signs of lasting memory. The 1.02mm diameter made it very easy to grip against the cork during a cast and it never slipped once during the testing with only a single finger applying minimal pressure.

Another impressive point I noticed was just how few tangles I got while casting. My longest casts were around 14-15 pulls which is around 42'-45' of running line. and with a 42' head and 15' leader gave casts to around the high 30yds, more than enough for my typical salmon fishing home and abroad. At a real push I could squeeze out some 40yd casts but I felt I was working harder than I wanted to. I noticed that the ridges hold onto water as you retrieve the line, this could have a positive effect in lubricating the line as it zips through the rings but equally it will make the line heavier so may hinder its progress, in truth I think one cancels the other out. The lubrication may however explain the lack of tangles?

I used this line with heads of between 34g and 44g and it performed acceptable with all of them, I would say it shot better with the heavier heads, probably due to the diameter.

Conclusion

Airflo Ridge is certainly not the longest casting running line I have ever used but it is one of the very best behaved. I would consider this a good 'fishing' running line as opposed to an ultimate distance casters line. The suppleness and lack of memory make fishing and managing the line very easy which is a real pleasure compared to fighting with some of those wiry mono type lines. The compromise is ultimate distance but if your salmon fishing is done to around 35yds and occasionally longer then its user friendliness would win me over every time.

Unless I was consistently fishing at distances around 25yds I dont think I would choose this line for shooting heads of less than 30g. The larger than average diameter and subsequent resistance makes casting further a bit too much effort with these lighter heads.

Overall a very nice line which I would recommend to anyone who is new to shooting heads or to those who appreciate there is more to fishing these line systems than ultimate distance. Ease of use and good presentation have significant value to many, myself included.

This line was supplied for review and can be bought from Angling Active

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