Winston Freshwater AIR


Winston Freshwater AIR

There are days on the water when anything can happen. A pod of trout gulp midges mid-morning. Bright skies at noon encourage nymph rigs that get beadheads down into the deeper slots and faster runs. Afternoon clouds open streamer or terrestrial boxes. And at last light, an evening caddis or mayfly hatch lengthens the leader and lightens the tippet.

Winston Freshwater AIR™ rods are truly the “Swiss Army Knife” of fly rods. Thanks to our unique progressive action and SuperSilica resin system, these extremely lightweight freshwater rods load easily yet feature faster recovery rates when special situations arise.

So go ahead, grab one of everything that’s on the report and just go fishing. Freshwater AIR models let anglers breathe easy when anything can happen anywhere trout swim.

Need to take a longer breath of fresh Air? New for 2020 are three 9 ½’ models for your big river nymphing, stillwater dangling, beach strippping, and salmon/steelhead swinging.


Winston Freshwater AIR






Line Length Grip Rod Price / Blank Price
3wt. 7’6″ CIGAR $975 / $486
3wt. 8′ CIGAR $975 / $486
3wt. 8’6″ CIGAR $975 / $486
4wt. 8′ CIGAR $975 / $486
4wt. 8’6″ CIGAR $975 / $486
4wt. 9′ CIGAR $975 / $486
5wt. 8’6″ CIGAR $975 / $486
5wt. 9′ CIGAR $975 / $486
6wt. 9′ CIGAR $975 / $486
6wt. 9’6″ FULL WELLS W/ FIGHTING BUTT $975 / $486
7wt. 9’6″ FULL WELLS W/ FIGHTING BUTT $975 / $486
8wt. 9’6″ FULL WELLS W/ FIGHTING BUTT $975 / $486

Freshwater AIR 3wt: Great choices for small stream anglers who are primarily focused on dry flies and small nymphs. The shorter 7’6” and 8’ lengths are ideal for tight, willow choked streams, mountain creeks and smaller fish. The longer 8’6” model achieves ultimate presentations on fish that require hunched over streamside stalks, perfect drifts and the smallest insect imitations.

Freshwater AIR Fresh 4wt: These 4 weights give anglers added versatility from the breezy conditions in Chile to the quiet dimples of evening risers on the Henry’s Fork. The 8’ version specializes at anything spring creek related, the 8’6” is an extremely accurate rod on both small and bigger rivers, and the 9’ excels on bigger water when longer casts, more mending, and trailing an emerger off the back end of a dry is required.

Freshwater AIR 5wt: If an angler could only own one Winston, these 5 weight rods would be tough to beat. These models can do it all: from small flies on the light tippet, to turning over shorter leaders when flipping hoppers or smaller streamers from the bow of a drift boat. Think big fish in tight spots with the accuracy of the 8’6”, or any fish, anytime with the 9 footer.

Freshwater AIR 6wt: With plenty of feel from tip to butt, these responsive, yet extremely intuitive 6 weights can handle anything from high water salmon flies, small sink tips with streamers, and indicator rigs. The 9’ is the rod of choice when casting Chubby Chernobyl’s with a rubber leg stone dropped off the back of the hook. But fear not the 5X, as this rod has enough feel to delicately present smaller mayfly patterns when an unexpected hatch requires a lighter touch. The all-new 9’6” is ideal for larger indicator rigs, casting intermediate line or chronomids on stillwaters, or even as a light, single hand steelhead rod on smaller water.

Freshwater AIR 7wt: This new 9’6” rod is the ultimate single-hand steelhead rod. From nymphing deeper holder water, single-hand spey techniques, and large Stillwater trout like those gigantic cutthroat found in Pyramid Lake, this 9’6” 7 weight has the power needed to cover any heavy freshwater application.

Freshwater AIR 8wt: Our customers asked and we listened. There was a need for heavy salmon and steelhead rods in a single hand configuration. Fishing stripers in San Francisco or the North East? Our 9’6” 8 weight is the perfect rod off the beach.


Winston Freshwater AIR



    • Advanced carbon fiber combined with our SuperSilica lightweight resin system to improve toughness and durability
    • Classic smooth Winston Progressive Action
    • Incredibly accurate presentation
    • Boron III technology for enhanced power
    • Designed and Handcrafted in Twin Bridges, MT

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Winston Freshwater AIR


  • Weights: 3wt. thru 8wt.
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Sections: 4
  • Guides: Hard chrome snake over-sized “Shooting Guides” with chrome nano-lite stripping guides
  • Reel Seat: Nickel silver with figured Maple insert on 7’6” 3wt thru 9’ 6wt. Charcoal Gray anodized aluminum with double locking rings on 91/2’ 6, 7 and 8wt.
  • Storage: Premium graphite rod tube with embroidered with logo rod sock

1 review for Winston Freshwater AIR

  1. winston



    Does that mean I’m still not excited to cast a flashy new stick of graphite and don’t think that many of them really are pretty awesome. Not at all. With all the various technologies that go into fly rods these days- even with the mid-priced offerings- we as anglers have it pretty much made in the shade when it comes to finding a fly rod that suits our needs and wallet.

    Many of you likely know that I’m a big Winston fan. That said, it pretty much goes without saying that when I started hearing rumors about a new rod being developed up in good ol’ Twin Bridges, MT, I was instantly intrigued. The aspect of this new rod that struck a chord the most with me was that it wasn’t ‘replacing’ an already existing rod line. This was something completely different.

    Then came the name. Winston has a tradition of ‘numbers and letters’ (as I call it) when it comes to their premium rods. If you’ve been a fan of green sticks over the past few (or many) years rods such as the Boron II X, WT, TMF, JWF or Boron III LS likely come to mind. This rod was different however and broke away from that mold.

    Welcome the Winston AIR.

    As the name might suggest, the first thing I noticed when picking up the AIR was the weight. This rod is incredibly lightweight and giving it the ‘fly shop wiggle’ showed me an action that I already knew I was going to enjoy fishing. Winston incorporates their tried and true Boron technology into the AIR, however blends this with a new SuperSilica resin system. The result is a much lighter, more responsive fly rod. The rod really does feel alive in your hands.
    True to tradition, this rod still has the classic ‘Winston feel’ and if you prefer your fly rod to double as a broomstick, this likely isn’t going to be your cup of tea. That said, the medium-fast action of this rod still has plenty of power to cover a very wide range of your on-water bases.
    I spent the past few weekends putting the AIR through the paces on the South Platte and walked away very impressed. This is definitely a totally new fly rod.

    For my testing purposes I fished the AIR in 9’ 5wt. I felt the rod excelled best in two situations- dry flies and light nymph rigs. The dry fly side of things was no surprise given the manufacturer of this rod and I was extremely impressed by the rods effortless versatility. Whether making a 10’ cast or a 60’ cast, this rod handled it all without missing a beat. I primarily fished tiny size 18 and 20 bwo’s with the AIR, however made it a point to throw some larger hoppers around as well. Once again, this rod performed effortlessly and had no issue turning over these larger foam offerings. I instantly found myself daydreaming about how much fun it would be to spend a day in a drift boat throwing hoppers or stoneflies with this rod.

    Kyle WilkinsonThe AIR is offered in 9 different combos of length and weight from the small stream delight of a 7’6” 3wt, up to the big river, size 4 salmonfly and hopper/dropper special of a 9’ 6wt.

    Interested in checking out an AIR for yourself? Give one a cast, I feel confident you’ll quickly agree that Winston has truly created something special with this new rod.

    Kyle Wilkinson
    Trouts Fly Fishing

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