In 2013 our buddy Bruce Chard took the flats fishing world by storm when he teemed up with the folks at Scientific Anglers to develop his Grand Slam fly line. In fact, it won Best in Show at the 2013 International Fly Tackle Dealer Show.
We found the line’s ability to turn over big flies into the wind at short distances to be a great match for our fishery at Andros South, and many of our guests quickly found it to be their fly line of choice as well.
Well, this year Bruce up with Airflo to create a new line, using the same great taper (minus a few small diameter tweaks), with a few more features that we think made for an even better line! We already dig the taper, but a few new features we noticed right off the bat that we think has made for a big difference are as follows.
- It’s quiet. One of the biggest complaints we heard from our guests about the previous Grand Slam line was the sound of the line through the rod guides. The texture of the line certainly allowed it to shoot well, but some found it to be noisy and a bit abrasive on the fingers when stripped. We’re not sure the fish really care about the sound the line makes, but if you’re the type who likes a quieter, more finger friendly line, you’ll definitely appreciate the Airflo Tropical Punch. It uses Airflo’s Ridge Technology in which tiny ridges run along the length of the line to reduce friction, keeping the line quiet while still shooting like a rocket.
- It floats well. Many modern salwater lines feature extremely thin running lines in order to shoot line as far as possible. That’s fine when fishing from a boat, however at Andros South we wade quite a bit for bonefish and thin running lines don’t tend to float very well while wading. That’s a bummer when making a shot at a tailing bonefish only to find your running line is snagged in the turtle grass behind you. However, while the running line on the Tropical Punch is super thin, it still floats like a cork! Airflo calls it ‘Super-Dri’ technology, and while we don’t quite understand how it works, we’re sold on the idea.
We’ll save you from the super techy rundown on the design of the taper. Instead, we’ll let the designer himself tell you about it in video form below.
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This line sounds like it might be ideal for me when I fly fish for pike on windy prairie lakes. Can you think of any disadvantages to using this line as opposed to the pike lines that are already out there?
Kyle Shea says
I bet the taper would be great for turning over heavy/wind resistant pike flies and wire leaders! It has a super short front taper which means great turnover of heavy junk into the wind. However, the only disadvantage I can think of would be that being a ‘tropical saltwater’ line, it has a harder tropical coating so that it doesn’t get ‘gummy’ in hot climates. The disadvantage of this is that tropical lines can become ‘wirey’ and coil a great deal when used in colder weather. Hope that helps!
I am planning to use it with Hardy Proaxis in Mosquito Lagoon Florida in December. Do you think it will be too stiff for that time?
Thanks for stopping by Hans. We wouldn’t consider it too stiff for normal central FL conditions, but do consider that the line is built for warm water. For example, if you happened upon that area right after a Nor’ Easter blew by, you might find the line a tad more wirey in the cooler water, but it probably would not be that noticeable. The CTP will, however turn over those crab patterns and spoons with extraordinary ease.