It’s not every day that you can walk into the neighborhood fly shop and sort through a collection of Airflo fly lines … The reason, I believe, is the problem of distribution and name recognition, not the quality of the line. Airflo is a British corporation that builds fly lines well known and loved by the European family of Spey and fly rod fishers who are fortunate to fish some of the best trout and salmon waters in the world.
Here in the United States, names such as Scientific Anglers, Cortland, Orvis, and Rio are much better known … and to be sure, these names are associated with fly lines of great quality. But just in case you’ve never tried one, let me suggest that Airflo builds some great lines, too. With U.S. sales and distribution now in the hands of Rajeff Sports, LLC, I expect increasing numbers of dealers throughout the U.S. will carry Airflo products.
I’ve reported on Airflo products before, such as the review of the Polyleaders that I did in 1998. I am pleased to say the Polyleaders remain as superb today as they what is now 8 years ago. I think it’s fair to say that Airflo dances to the beat of a different drummer. For example, Airflo is the only manufacturer that I know who does not use some form of PVC to cover their fly line cores … instead Airflo uses a proprietary polymer coating thereby separating Airflo from almost any other line you are apt to stumble across.
Along with a few other innovations, now comes Airflo with its Sixth Sense Fly Line. At the outset, let me assure you this is a one helluva line. For years, Airflo has sought to produce the world’s best non stretch fly lines with all of the attendant advantages: (1) reduced loss of casting energy, (2) hook setting at extended range, and (3) easier line lift-off and mend at increased range. I will be the first to agree with Airflo’s own statement that there were problems with the earlier versions.
(Quote) “We never gave up working on this concept, because together with Polyurethane coatings, the benefits of non-stretch cores are huge. Imagine a line that loses less casting energy, a line that easily sets hooks at long range, a line you can lift off and mend at increased range – imagine no more.
Working with a new core and production process (we have) created a line with around 6% stretch as opposed to the standard 20% (plus) found in regular lines.
The minimal stretch in Sixth Sense gives incredible sensitivity and improves hook penetration even at extreme range. All Sixth Sense lines have a unique Delta taper and come in a full range of densities.” (End Quote)
So how does the Sixth Sense cast? In a word or two, very, very well! It is, in fact, one of the finest lines I’ve ever had the pleasure to throw. The version used in this review is the 5/6-weight floater featuring a weight-forward format in the unique Delta taper. As far as I’m concerned, the Sixth Sense accomplishes everything Airflo suggests.
High line speed seems to come naturally with the Sixth Sense without having to be induced as is so often true with other lines. It, therefore, must be placed in the “Long Ranger” category. In the hands of a skilled caster casts of 80 to 90-feet are easily attainable. I also liked its ability to throw short and mid-range casts accurately and with gentle presentations. The polymer line coating feels subtle to the line hand and does a great job zinging its way through the guides with nary a telltale sign of memory. And speaking of telltales, just wait until you lift from the water … I think you will find it easier than ever with few waves left to wash ashore.
Throughout my tests, Mr. Wind was on vacation … nevertheless I have a strong feeling that in one of its two intermediate flavors – slow or fast – the Sixth Sense will perform admirably against him, especially in the 8 or 9-weight configuration.
As I said earlier, the Sixth Sense is one helluva line. I would like to be one of the first to go on record with compliments … with the development of the Sixth Sense, excellence has been achieved. I have no doubt that if you give it a try, Airflo will gain a new fan in the very competitive world of fly line development.
The Sixth Sense is available in a 5/6 and 7/8 WF Floater as well as a full series of sinkers beginning with 6/7 and 8/9 slow intermediate and ranging to the 6/7 and 8/9 Di5 at a sink rate of 5-in. per sec.
In summary, the Sixth Sense offers these features:
Power Core technology
Extreme low stretch – only 6% compared to 20% on normal lines
John, I think you'd like it better than the Sharkskin. This one won't hurt your guides or fingers or wallet .........
Get ahold of me or Joni. I think I might have a good deal for you if you're interested in last years model. Nothing wrong with it, it's just been updated for this year.
I tried a 5/6 last year, and it felt a bit heavy on 5wts (SLT & Z-Axis), butt was the cats south side on my 690-4 SLT. I was using it in pretty unfavorable winds on a large lake and it performed very well. I have a spool of 4/5 to load up and try on the 5wt SLT and 4wt BIIx.
One word of caution... when they say 'no stretch', just go along with it... and if you must try stretching it, don't do it after a long drive and a few beers unless you have a better back up plan than I did last Oct....