I had wondered when modern fly line design and marketing moved into the modern era how the specialty lines would sell. Would people use them. Would they add performance to whatever discipline or target species the line use intended.
How are lines different and why won’t my general use line do the trick?
Well, your RIO Gold will do the trick. It is a weight forward fly line made for nymphing, dry fly fishing, and will toss a streamer too. So, why shouldn’t I use that all the time?
Imagine you are an off road rally car racer. You build your vehicle for a specific situation. You get tires for that rig that are made for the situation. I look at fly lines the same way I look at tires. Tires can make or break the rally car’s effectiveness…and your fly line can do the same.
Put a generic fly line on your rod and you will get just that. Generic outcomes. Can it do everything you may need? Of course it can. Can it perform nymphing duties as well as a nymphing line will provide? No, not really.
So should I really get a nymphing line? Some of you have a few fly rods. You have them designated by discipline right? A dry fly rod, a nymph rod, and a streamer rod.
With skis you apply specific wax for the snow condition.
With fly rods and varying situations you may apply the same logic. Why wouldn’t you?
I for one was skeptical as I purchased my first nymph line. “A nymph line I asked. Really?” As I said this I remembered that I have employed a streamer fly line for a couple decades. When I moved to the Missouri River in the early 90’s one of the first purchases I made was a Teeny 200 grain 23’ Sink Tip! Loved it. I still have streamer lines for my streamer rods. An intermediate Outbound Short and the shorter 10’ Intermediate Streamer Tip has gotten my attention this winter.
I once was huge fan of Double Taper fly lines. A great presentation line. I used them exclusively for dry fly angling. Hunting heads only. Until I wanted to nymph. Then that line became my nymphing line. It was OK, it worked.
I fell to the marketing pressure when RIO introduced the first nymph line. Or at least a friend did. He had purchased a nymph line and I won it in a dice game at the bar one night many years ago. While I don’t remember much of that night in Craig MT, I do remember that moment.
I spun the reel up with my Nymph Line Booty within a week and have never looked back. What does the nymph line do that other fly lines cannot?
Mend. Mending my number one propriety while nymph fishing. Getting the flies to move downstream at the right pace. That is the number one goal. Drift. You can control the drift more efficiently with a nymph line.
High Floating Hi Viz Tip. You can see it and it floats high! Whatever the magic is involved in making the bright orange hydrophobic I applaud it!
Designed to cast heavy nymph rigs. We are commonly fishing heavily weighted double fly nymph rigs with varying amounts of split shot. They do not cast well. But with the advent of modern tapers and fly lines designed for very specific and narrow uses I can now cast sloppy nymph flies with precision.
The 50′ head length of the RIO Indicator II provides enough mass to turn over the nymph flies while leaving enough of the larger diameter head for easy mending.
While getting the flies to the fish rapidly and keeping them in play is the goal of nymph fishing I do not mind if I can get them into the correct path the first time, the first cast.
The bottom line is just this: If you nymph fish a little or a lot the modern nymph fly line is something you need. Just like tires for your car specific use fly lines can help you achieve the next level. Efficiency in fishing catches more fish. Why not take advantage of the nymph line. I strongly suggest you give it a chance.
Or just throw some dice and pick out a good reel for your new nymph line…