What is Airflo Ultra Strong Copolymer tippet?
Airflo says that Ultra Strong is "the most advanced Copolymer tippet material on the market today." Essentially, it's a nylon tippet and leader material that has the usual transparent colour and feels soft and limp in the hand. It's a good option for fishing dry flies, but it works equally well for lures and nymphs too. It's well-priced, being significantly cheaper than fluorocarbon, so represents good value for general fly fishing use.
How thin and strong is this tippet?
Made in Japan, this tippet material isn't the thinnest on the market, but while that means it's more visible to fish than fluorocarbon, it's tough and strong and turns flies over well. If you're not fishing crystal clear water, do you really need to fish with fluorocarbon?
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What sizes are available?
Airflo Ultra Strong comes in various sizes from 3lb to 15lb and is sold on the usual 50m spools. The spools are quite basic with no line retainer band and just a slot instead. This works fine but lanyard users may find that line unravels slightly from time to time.
What's it like to use?
We get through shedloads of tippet and use quite a lot of different brands. We've been using the 10.5lb 0X version of Airflo's Ultra Strong Copolymer tippet recently, mainly for chucking big lures and fishing buzzers and nymphs. It's a nice, supple line with a bit of stretch and is much limper than fluorocarbon. It knots fairly well for a copolymer, better if you don't forget to use a bit of saliva to slicken things up and help avoid pig-tailing.
It's been very reliable with no notable snap-offs. However, as with most other tippet materials, it is important that you carefully moisten your knots and give them a tug to check they're secure, as we have experienced the occasional knot failure, especially on dropper knots.
How much does it cost?
Ultra Strong is very inexpensive stuff. We picked up half a dozen spools for just a pound a piece, but it usually retails for around £3.99. It's obviously not in the same league as more expensive materials, but for if you're not a connoisseur and just want some cheap, no-frills tippet it's perfectly usable stuff and pretty good value. Some dealers are currently selling it for just a pound a spool, which is an absolute bargain.