Being a steelhead and spey junkie I have become very familiar with most of the running lines on the market today. I have never been a mono running line guy for those that know me. I have given them their fair shake and fished them, they just don't feel right to me. I do however enjoy the lack of tangling that mono produces along with the lack of friction and the distance that it can produce. This is where the Airlfo Xtreme Running Line works the best for me. This line is harder and slicker than almost all running lines that are not mono. It has some of the same qualities when it comes to shooting your line as mono. It just makes it easier to hold onto during those bitter cold winter steelhead days where the fingers feel like ice cubes, and if you step on it with your studs you are not worried about a weak spot in your line.
Joe Ewing works at Pacific Fly Fishers full-time and is also the owner of Northwest Steelheading guide service. Growing up on the Skykomish River, Joe began fly fishing at a very early age under the guidance of another dedicated fly angler, his father. Nearly twenty years later, the passion is still growing and Joe continues to ply the waters of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, primarily in the pursuit of steelhead.
Lite-Brite has become one of go to materials for all of my steelhead and salmon flies. It is so versatile in the way that it can be used I can’t go wrong with it, in whatever way I need to add some flash and sparkle into my flies. For a brighter body I will use it as a straight dubbing and leave it wound tight, for that buggy/swimmy look on the body I will leave it loose and pick it out. The long fibers in the hanks allow me to make it as long or as short as I want the flash to be. The last way that I use this material is an overlay for a wing to give my flies that extra “pop” in the water.
The Pro-Tube system of tying tube flies has got to be the easiest ways to tie up tubes. For my bigger patterns I tend to use the 40/40 tubes and my smaller summer run and trout streamer patterns I use the micro tubes with the smaller hook guides. Tying on a tube is no different than tying on a hook or a shank. The beauty of them is that I am not hindered in how long or short I want to make my flies like I am with a shank or a hook. Add in all the options of adding weight to the fly for the ones I want to get down or the inventive pieces that we can add to make our materials move like they never moved before makes this, the best tube option for me.
The Rage line from Airflo is my number one choice of spey lines for all of my applications in the swing world. Better casters will soon realize that sink tips can be an option on this fly line if they choose or need to fish them. Other casters can still use Airflo poly leaders if they need a little more sink on the river. The Rage line handles the floating lines in the wind much better than any Scandi line that I have ever fished. Unlike a Scandi or Midspey it can handle big or small flies. So with the many faces of this line why would I continue to keep changing out my head every time I wanted to switch from a floater to a sink tip when one line can get the job done.