Gary Sandstrom, designer of Ambush Lines, talks about why he created them:
Originally designed on the Deschutes River in Oregon for fishing in areas with very little back cast room. I wanted a line that would load the rod with only 10-20 feet of line out, turn over large bead head flies with an indicator and shoot 30 feet with one roll cast. The first lines sizes, 4-6 (195-235 grains) were primarily for the trout guys. As switch rods became more popular as a tool for trout and light steelhead fishing, requests for larger sizes were answered with Ambush lines being made in sizes 7- 10 (266-400 grains). The tricky part in trying to line switch rods is some manufactures rate these rods as a true single hand, while others rate them as spey rods, both with the same line designation. Typically a good starting point for switch rods is an Ambush 8 weight (290 grains) will load a 5 weight switch rod, Ambush 9 for a 6wt switch and a Ambush 10 for a 7wt switch (rated for spey application). If the rod is a true single hand, then just match the same Ambush line weight to the rod line weight. Of course, the best thing to do is visit your local fly shop and see if they have some sample lines to cast or attend a spey event with your rod and cast the lines on the water. The next production of Ambush lines, the 11-14 weights (450-600 grains) are for the double handed casters that wanted a line with a very short head for fishing in really tight areas. They require a very short casting stroke and work best with the shorter 11-12 ½ foot rods typically used in fishing smaller rivers or big rivers with little or no room for a D-loop. These lines have a slightly longer head to accommodate the extra length in the rod. What I really like about the Ambush lines is that you can attach either a long mono leader, a poly leader of any density or a heavy chunk of T-14 and the line will still cast well. Another nice feature of Ambush lines is the integrated shooting line to head (no loops to hang up when casting short or when landing a fish ) and the cool two tone color, designed specifically for easy detection of the head/shooting line junction in low light conditions.
Notes on Using the Wulf Ambush Fly Line
Ambush General Description
A short heavy head line based on the proven triangle taper. Available with a contrasting integrated shooting line in weights 4-14 or head only in lineweights 8-14. Front welded loop included for convenient changing of leaders and tips.
Fishing in tight quarters with very limited back cast room. The short heavy head facilitates quick loading and efficient turn over when using weighted flies, split shot and strike indicators. The short rear taper makes roll casting and shooting line easy and lends itself to the various single hand spey casts. The heavy head "digs" in the water surface, slowing the line speed, in the typical down and across presentation, making it ideal for swinging soft hackles or stripping streamers.
Switch Rod Use
The short head on the Ambush line makes it the ideal fly line for switch rods. Rule of thumb when selecting a line, is to use 3 line weight sizes above the rod weight. For example, a 5wt switch rod would take an 8wt Ambush line or head. A 7wt switch rod would load well with the 10wt Ambush. If you are going to primarily overhead cast with a switch rod, then go just 2 line sizes above the rod weight(7wt Ambush on a 5wt switch rod).
Scandi Style Casting
If you choose to use the Scandi or underhand style of casting, select an Ambush line 3 sizes above your rod weight. Poly leaders (all densities) work exceptionally well on Ambush lines. Total length of your poly leader should be 1 to 1.5 times the length of your rod (including tippet). Poly leaders, because of their similar taper to the Ambush line, tend to increase the overall head length of the Ambush, promoting longer turnover time and increase casting distance.
Skagit Style Casting (SPEY RODS)
Skagit style lines are made to cast large flies and heavy sink tips. The Ambush line is similar to other Skagit lines in length but have a more pronounced taper (a short Triangle Taper) which softens the way they turnover (less clunky). When selecting an Ambush line for throwing big flies and sinking tips, go 4 line sizes heavier than the rod weight. For example, for a 8wt spey rod choose an 12wt line or head. A great shooting line to use behind the Ambush head is Wulff’s Tracer shooting line, which comes with an 8 inch loop for easy head changing and has a 2 foot bright orange color at the loop end, to help detect where the shooting line and head meet.