Winston Air Salt: A Timeless, Precise Beauty

Leonard Schoenberger

Winston is synonymous with classic, beautiful fly rods. Their Air Salt is no exception.

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Saltwater Fly Rod on Boat
The Winston Air Salt during some saltwater fishing for stripers off Montauk, NY. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Specs and Features

Model: Available in various line weights, catering to diverse saltwater angling needs.

Technology: Incorporates Winston’s advanced Boron III material for enhanced strength and responsiveness.

Action: Fast action design, providing power and accuracy for challenging saltwater conditions.

Guides: Fuji titanium stripper guides and hard-chromed snake guides ensure smooth casting and durability.

Reel Seat: Anodized aluminum reel seat designed for saltwater corrosion resistance.

Handle: Premium full-wells cork grip for comfort and control during extended casting sessions.

Price: $1,025

Abel Rove Fly Reel with streamers on beach
The Winston Air Salt paired with the Abel Rove for some surf fishing in Portugal. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Diving into the Details

At first glance the Air Salt stays true to Winston’s legacy of creating beautiful, premium fly rods. From the aluminum rod tube (in a marvellous dark green color) to the beige rod sock, the Air Salt portrays quality right out of the box. You could say that’s simply the way it should be for a rod with a price tag of more than $1,000. But I can tell you from experience that’s not always the case with premium priced products – unfortunately.

I also fell in love with the blank’s dark green color. For me that’s (still) the gold standard in fly rod blank colors – but that’s personal of course. The dark green works nicely with the anodised reel seat and the light coloured cork handle. Winston found a good mix of classic features and modern looks in my eyes. The only thing that bothered me a little when evaluating the look and feel of the Air Salt, was the fighting butt. For a #7 (that’s the class we tested) it’s a little too big in my opinion. But that’s a minor fault.

The set of high-end components is rounded-off by hard chrome guides in a titanium coloring (picks up the reel seat’s color nicely) and nanolite stripping guides.

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel while fishing for stripers in Montauk
Fishing the Air Salt #7 for striped bass in New York. Photo: Christian Anwander

Casting Performance of the Winston Air Salt Fly Rod

According to Winston, the Air Salt is a fast action rod. To me, it didn’t really feel like that. It has a stiffer mid-section and a rather soft typ which makes it feel a little more like a medium fast action rod. I fished it excessively for striped bass off Montauk, NY (see photo above) and also multiple times for sea trout in the Baltic Sea to expose it to different fishing scenarios. Based on that experience I’d say the Air Salt is a rod for intermediate to advanced fly casters since it’s action needs a little getting used to.

Once you’ve got it figured out though, I think the medium-fast action is a delight to fish. It shines in combination with smaller flies and is not a rod to cast huge streamers I’d say. It really works great at short and medium distances due to its precision. Casting into stronger winds and over long distances is not the absolute stronghold of the Air Salt. (Make sure to check our review of the Atlas Signature rod as well which did an excellent job in that department).

Winston Air Salt - Best 7wt Fly Rod
Beautiful green blank color of the Air Salt. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Overall Impression

In my eyes, the Winston Air Salt stands as a formidable companion for the saltwater angler seeking a perfect balance between power and finesse. The precision in design, coupled with the advanced Boron III technology, elevates this rod to the top shelf. Whether you’re stalking elusive bonefish on the flats or spooky sea trout, the Air Salt rises to the occasion with unwavering performance, and most of all precision.

Sea trout with fly rod
A sea trout caught on the Winston Air Salt fly rod. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger


Excellent precision at close and medium range

Absolute premium look and feel across the board

Ideal rod for casting smaller flies at species such as bonefish or seatrout

Elegant design and classic Winston aesthetics.


The fighting butt is a little oversized

This is not the ideal rod to cast bigger flies into the wind

Winston Air Salt Fly Rod on bank with Bauer RVR Fly Reel
The Air Salt comes in a beige rod sock and a dark green aluminum tube. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger


In my opinion, the Winston Air Salt stands as a pinnacle of saltwater fly rod engineering. Its combination of cutting-edge technology, versatile casting performance, and durable design make it a worthy investment for the discerning angler who demands precision and reliability in their pursuit of saltwater species. It’s not the perfect rod to cast big streamers in (very) windy conditions.




Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel while fishing for sea trout in the Baltic
The Winston paired with Hardy Ultradisc fly reel for coastal sea trout fishing. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

FAQs: Winston Air Salt

Is the Air Salt suitable for beginner saltwater anglers? 

While the Air Salt offers exceptional performance, it is better suited for anglers with some experience due to its fast action design.

Can the rod handle heavy saltwater species like tarpon?

Absolutely, the Air Salt is designed to tackle aggressive saltwater species, including tarpon, with ease.

Does the cork grip provide a comfortable grip during long casting sessions?

Yes, the premium full-wells cork grip ensures comfort and control during extended periods of casting.

How does the rod handle windy conditions on the flats?

The fast action design and power of the Air Salt make it well-suited for casting in windy conditions, providing the accuracy needed for flats fishing.

Is the rod prone to corrosion in saltwater environments?

Q5: A5: The rod features corrosion-resistant components, including a Fuji titanium stripper guides and an anodized aluminum reel seat, ensuring durability in saltwater environments.