Airflo Skagit Compact Issues - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Airflo Skagit Compact Issues

Used an Airflo Skagit Compact for the first time today. Used it on my switch on a stillwater, fishing under an indicator, and had a couple issues.

First - the back loop on the line is so thick and stiff that even with a nice loop to loop connection to my Rio running line, I had trouble getting the line through the guides. I know how to create a loop to loop connection, but the back of the head kept getting caught on the guides.

Second - in temperatures just above freezing, the line coiled up like a slinky despite many attempts to stretch it out. It was bad enough the it made hook sets very difficult.

My current thought is to replace it with a Rio head, anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 04:36 AM
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I canít say I have ever had these issues with the airflo head coiling. Maybe try and get a replacement.
If you are constantly bringing the head inside the guides I would recommend an integrated line.
I fish still waters a lot with a 4 weight switch rod and use the airflo floating switch line. This is a one piece line and turns over everything I have tried on it including 15ft leader with 3 flies. It also has much better presentation than a skagit.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:18 AM
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I have not noticed the head twist as much as the running line. If you casting with a typical snap-T or similar for skagit it will twist the line. I think this would be more noticeable on still water. In a river the line has a chance to stretch out and recover from the twist as it swinging or on the dangle. With still water it doesn't have this opportunity.
As for the loop to loop connection, if your head is spending that much time in the guides your using the wrong line. As mentioned previously an integrated line would likely be a better choice.


Which way to the river?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:23 AM
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Try stretching it overnight. As for the loop to loop clanking through the guides I'm over that too! Switching to Commando Smooth for my single hand trout fishing etc. I definitely love Airflo lines though.

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:15 AM
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Another vote for the OPST Commando Smooth. If I have to strip then thatís the line I use.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:17 PM
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I like some Airflo lines and heads, also Skagit heads for its performance and longevity. I got some dozens over the years, additional Guideline lines produced by Airflo.
I also have a lot of Rio production lines and I am not at all label blind.

The problems you are describing, the relatively thick and stiff factory welded loops, I know all too well.
Solution for me from the beginning after purchase of another head:
Soak the first 5 mm of the loops in Aceton for a few seconds. Turn Fireline or Mono around each half of the loop and peel the coating off. Some turns of tying thread to cover the edges from coating to core. A cover of Aquasure or Stormsure around that and worked in into the core to protect it and at least this problem is solved. Try and get some experience in doing this on a couple of old lines...

I am tuning all my heads like this and it’s as smooth as can be with the loops inside the rings while stripping in. No need for an integrated line for me and on the run with full versatility.
But that’s a question of personal taste of course.

Another problem you described: stiffness of coating in cold conditions. Also well known to me with some of my Airflo heads.
The main problem seem to have their reasons in production tolerances. They are not only obvious in length and weight of heads with sometimes remarkable differences, but also in the coating. It can be different in suppleness versus stiffness.
Don’t be shy to talk to your dealer to get another head, independent of your further decisions. Airflo should get the feedback to do something about it.
If you have the chance to compare heads in a shop, maybe you could feel the differences. Maybe you are lucky to get the softest coating available for your needs.

And last but not least of course there would also be Rio for you.

Good luck!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:26 PM
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One solution from Peter Charles.

making a full fly line - Hooked4life


Which way to the river?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I like the idea of the integrated line for this purpose, but would like to be able to switch out heads when needed. I wasn't bringing the loop connection through the guides often, but even when fighting a fish it was getting caught in the guides. Do all Airflo heads have the thick black loop at the back, or perhaps was this just used for a short time?

I'll probably just order myself a Rio head to replace it, I like their smaller, finer loops.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 02:03 PM
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Each brand has it's pro and cons. You just happened across one that is a con for your situation. The Rio may have a smaller loop, don't know, but the line twist??? I don't think that will change.


Which way to the river?
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