Rio Skagit Flight vs Airflo compact skagit

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Flyn'dutchman, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Flyn'dutchman Member

    Posts: 459
    Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Has anyone done a comparison of these two? Can't find much info on the Airflo. Is it tapered like the Rio? Which will lift a heavy tip better or is there any real difference?
  2. NomDeTrout Fly Guy Eat Pie

    Posts: 472
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    In my inexperienced hands, both are great. I haven't really felt that one is more advantageous over the other. Both boom line out with 14 ft of sinktip with heavy flies for me.
  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,502
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,474 / 9
    No skill here but I've got a few AF Compact Skagits and they seem to deliver sink tips and flies pretty darn good to me. Way better than my lack of talent deserves.
  4. Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

    Posts: 2,141
    Twin Bridges, MT
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I have much more experience with the "Green Line" but have recently been fishing a Flight, and after a few days chucking one I definitely prefer the Airflo. I'll be throwing the flight some more this weekend on some different rods and report back.
  5. attack Member

    Posts: 152
    Forks, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    not much taper to the compact...they are more similar to the rio skagit shorts and regular skagits than the flight...compact should in theory turn over heavier tips/flies, flight should in theory fly a little smoother/farther...note i have not used the flight yet but it has a lot more taper
  6. Han Double Member

    Posts: 82
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have done quite a bit of side by side comparison, and while both with get the job done I prefer the airflo. I don't know if its because I have been using airflo line longer and am used to it or if there really is that much of a difference, but to me it seemed like the airflo's compact skagit could turn over sink tips a little better, and it felt like it loaded the rod a little more effectively.

    but thats just my experience casting three different rods dialed in with the appropriate airflo skagit and then switching to a matching grain flight (give or take ten grains or so due to the differences available).
  7. slippery_whippet Member

    Posts: 229
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Used both sold Rio and kept Airflo, Love'n it on the end of the SA dragontail shooting line.

  8. nutsack angler newb

    Posts: 417
    Dedmonds, WA
    Ratings: +36 / 0
    I've been resistant to the flight mostly because I see it as rio's attempt at joining the tapered skagit revolution, which is necessary, but I'm partial to airflo in general because I think their loops and materials are stronger and last longer. That said I've never cast a flight but here is a side by side comparison of both lines.
  9. fletch New Member

    Posts: 23
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  10. sothereiwas Member

    Posts: 304
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    It would be cool if Rio came out with something original and meaningful. Not gonna last long stuck behind the 8-ball
  11. Haydukelives! New Member

    Posts: 5
    Lake Forest Park, Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I fished both lines this season on a Sage FLi 8140 and a Sage VT2 8139.

    I used sink tips and cheaters.

    The Flight was a total disaster the first two days I used the line. My normal set up, including the Airflo Skagit Compact and tip without a cheater, worked great on my 8140. When I changed only the line, from Airflo to RIO Flight, the entire casting process fell apart. When I added a 5-foot cheater, it worked much better, but the final turnover of the fly was never what I wanted.

    I've since restrung the Airflo line on a separate spool, and hope to compare the lines next weekend on the Sandy River in Oregon, with back to back casting on both rods.

    Methinks after several trips with the Flight that it just doesn't have the muscle to turn over huge flies and tips (think Skagit Minnow flies and T-14).

    I bought the line and plan to keep fishing it, but I foresee a day when it gets traded off or shelved permanently if I can't dial it in better with my rods.

    That's my two cents.

    Get a demo if you really wanna play before you pay. Any respectable fly shop will give you one before you spend the cash.
  12. NomDeTrout Fly Guy Eat Pie

    Posts: 472
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    interesting review there.
    you shouldn't be putting a 5ft cheater on the Flight. It has a taper on it so you're basically killing the purpose of its taper by putting a cheater on it. Plus why a cheater? By grain weight, Flight has a longer head than the Airflo.
    I personally had no problems turning big flies over. I was out on the Hoh fishing everything from 10 ft to 15ft of T-14 with 4-6" intruders with big db eyes. Had no problems turning it over...
    I'm not pro at this stuff but if casting a new line in the right weight grain was "disasterous" then it might have something to do with the casting than the line...
  13. Haydukelives! New Member

    Posts: 5
    Lake Forest Park, Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The cheater recommendation comes from Poppy at the Red Shed Fly Shop, he didn't lead me astray.

    He got the info from George Cook's recommendations for the 8140.

    In fact, the 8140 cast great without a cheater using the 600 grain Airflo Skagit Compact and a 15-foot sink tip (about 125 grains in the tip), and 3 ft. of Maxima. Turned over heavy flies great, even though the total head length was a bit on the short end.

    When I used the same tip and leader set up with the Flight, sans cheater, the line did not turn over the fly. After two days of using that set up and having terrible luck casting, I asked some questions and bought a RIO cheater set, which is tapered slightly, by the way. The extra 5 ft. helped the Flight turn over better on both the 8140 and the VT2 8139. I've since fished it for many days on the water, but after experience with both lines, I still think the Airflo is the king of Skagit lines.

    And NomDeDude, don't know why you wanna be so contentious, no need to insult folks without cause. I was just telling my experience with the lines. Guess that's the nature of these here computer forums, and I should expect it. Maybe you should go fishing and get happy again...
  14. NomDeTrout Fly Guy Eat Pie

    Posts: 472
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My apologies if i came off contentious. I just find it interesting that one would describe using the Flight as disastrous. If it was indeed as bad as you may have made it sound, I would assume the grain weight was not matched well with the rod or the casting was off. Having used both lines I found minimal differences in the two. Both turned over large flies very well for me. I'm just a firm believer in that with the quality in lines brands are producing now, it's often user error than the product. I only come to this conclusion after having Mike Kinney make cast after cast with minimal effort with any line combination given to him. But Mike is just another beast who can probably turn over an elephant if he needed to.
    But I digress, i shouldn't judge based on someone else's experience, my apologies. and you may be right, I haven't fished in weeks and with the rivers closed, I may be going crazy.
  15. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,785
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    The flight may be the most disasterous Skagit line ever devised. It casts great with smaller flies, but with the half chickens I throw, it falls way short in being able to turn stuff over. For reference here is the flies we throw:!/photo.php?pid=230950&id=1592774765

    Note that is a spool of Amnesia, for scale reference.

    With those flies, the airflo casts great, but I'm still not sold on the ability to mend it. I ended up taking on and putting a rio cheater on the end of it (a 8/9/10 5' cheater) and it fixed the mending issues up pretty well. Of the two, I WAY prefer the Airflo, but pine for the days of the beer can shaped Rio skagit.
  16. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    I thought the Rio Flight was descent, but with a bit too much rear taper. It just doesn't want to turn over crisp, especially with larger flies.
  17. k2flyfisher its taco time. wheres the sauce?

    Posts: 407
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    frumpy. saddlebags. too long of a rear taper. doesnt want to wedge and comes off the water like a walrus. thats my take on it. "it throws small flies well"?!?!? give me a break. if its going to be called a "skagit" then it better be able to turn over big flies. their original skagit was much better.
  18. stewart dee Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I like the flight with lots of bottom hand and a full season to dial it in. I like Airflo on windy days. Crappy loops and a fish on!
  19. DoubleL A guy who loves to fish

    Posts: 42
    Oregon & Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I like the new Flight skagit line just fine, and liked the old skagit line just fine as well. I did find that I needed about 25 more grains in total line weight with the Flight have the same "feel" with my typical flies and 15 feet of T14. I was able to achieve tighter loops like a tapered line should, but that was never a desire of mine for winter fishing.
  20. Red Shed "junkyard spey"

    Posts: 517
    Peck, ID
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    This is what I've found when comparing the Compact skaj and the Flight. For me the Flight just seems to need to be a size or so heavier to preform the same as the skagit compact.

    Also if one compares the Flight to the Rio skagit in Rio's chart one will find the recommended Flight is heavier then the standard skagit.

    I think they are both pretty nice lines.