learn / Make the Connection / Rio Blog / Freshwater / Make Your Fly Lines Work For You: Why the Right Line Matters

Make Your Fly Lines Work For You: Why the Right Line Matters

Nick Tenyor

model.config.imageAsset.altText

After guiding, working, and living in a fly shop for close to ten years-you come to realize some absolute truths about fly-fishing. You learn that the quality of your experiences on the water matter more than the number of fish brought to hand, the importance of taking a break to enjoy a sandwich and cold drink on the bank, and that your choice in fly line(s) is absolutely critical to make sure that your fishing goes smoothly and effortlessly. While this may seem like a no-brainer fact that your fly line is important-I am still blown away by how many customers and clients who will spend loads of money on a rod and reel, flies, etc.-but skimp on the fly line in order to save a couple of bucks

There are ways and areas to cut spending when getting outfitted, but the fly line is not something you should go cheap on. Why? Your fly line is the engine that makes a fly rod function! To put this into perspective, the engine in a Ferrari is what MAKES it a Ferrari-not just the frame, wheels, or logo. You could have the best rod and reel money can buy, but that won’t matter jack if you don’t get a quality fly line that will make the rod load and un-load as efficiently as possible. So, in order to pick-out the best fly line, you must first determine where you are going to be fishing, what you are going to be fishing with, and figure out what line makes your rod work the best.

model.config.imageAsset.altText
RIO has done an excellent job of streamlining the line selection process with the addition of the Line Selector App, but I figured that talking about the importance of getting specific lines for specific purposes to get the most out of your fishing would not hurt. I no longer carry multiple rods on the water when I am fishing for myself, because I have focused on getting specific fly lines that allow me to get the performance I want, without worrying about carrying around another rod. This has streamlined my fishing experience, and resulted in much more time fishing than worrying about where I laid down my other rod(s).
I now carry one rod and bring with me two spools of line that have specific purposes. One of the lines I carry is for presentation (i.e. dry flies, soft hackles, light nymphs, etc.), and the other is for general purpose use/abuse (i.e. big dry-droppers, indicator nymphing, streamers, etc.). All-around lines like the RIO Gold or RIO Perception are great, and I use them often for my presentation lines on all of my Sage rods, but having the right specific tool for the right job will take your experience from 9 to 11. For the aforementioned all-around fishing, and tough casting conditions, I love the new In-Touch Single Handed Spey line. This line has quickly become my favorite for throwing dry-droppers, indicator rigs, and streamers on my 590 Sage ONE. The In-Touch Single-Handed Spey loads the 590 ONE great in close for short shots with dries, and when throwing distance, the head loads the rod deep for easier distance casting.
Where the single hand spey line proved invaluable was when I was throwing large hopper and mice patterns off the bank of a large local reservoir a couple of weeks ago. The wind was gusting 15-25 M.P.H., and I was limited on my back casting space due to the steep banks behind me. Having a line that loaded my rod perfectly, and excelled at spey style casting, was the key to my success. Because I had the right tool for the job, what was already a tough scenario was not nearly as hard. As a result, I hooked up with many fat cutthroats cruising the wind swept banks using a myriad of spey and overhead casts. More importantly, I was able to deliver the goods time and time again efficiently, and effortlessly-which made for a very memorable outing. Lines for big flies are invaluable, and the ease of throwing big steamers, long distances, with minimal effort has always been a challenge for even the most experienced casters. The In-Touch Outbound Short lines from RIO have made streamer fishing not so challenging, and actually made throwing “meat” actually fun.

Where the single hand spey line proved invaluable was when I was throwing large hopper and mice patterns off the bank of a large local reservoir a couple of weeks ago. The wind was gusting 15-25 M.P.H., and I was limited on my back casting space due to the steep banks behind me. Having a line that loaded my rod perfectly, and excelled at spey style casting, was the key to my success. Because I had the right tool for the job, what was already a tough scenario was not nearly as hard. As a result, I hooked up with many fat cutthroats cruising the wind swept banks using a myriad of spey and overhead casts. More importantly, I was able to deliver the goods time and time again efficiently, and effortlessly-which made for a very memorable outing. Lines for big flies are invaluable, and the ease of throwing big steamers, long distances, with minimal effort has always been a challenge for even the most experienced casters. The In-Touch Outbound Short lines from RIO have made streamer fishing not so challenging, and actually made throwing “meat” actually fun.

model.config.imageAsset.altText
I recently put my freshwater Outbound Short to the test tossing streamers all day on large, open Wyoming river. The wind which had been non-existent in the morning came out of the West with a vengeance, and for six straight hours the wind gusted up to 40 m.ph., causing white-caps to form going upstream in the slower pools and runs. Under such conditions, many anglers would call it a day and head back to camp to drink and/or take a nap until the wind died down. I did not stop fishing, and had one of the best streamer days I have ever had on that particular river despite the punishing wind. I know that skill plays a huge part in being able to cast, but I will honestly tell you that without my Outbound Short fly line, I would have not had as much fun as did, nor been able to fish as effectively as I did. It made a huge difference because it loaded my rod perfectly, made throwing medium/large sized streamers and a slow sinking poly-leader a breeze, and it cut through that Wyoming gale like a hot knife through butter. It worked so well that at one point I was fishing two streamers at once in that wind, and I never had any issues with turning both of them over.
model.config.imageAsset.altText

In short, when it comes to “special” situations it really does pay to try some new fly lines in order to have the right tool for the right job. This is the time of year that many fly-fishers chuck meaty flies in hopes of tempting a whale to strike. For those big flies, RIO’s In-Touch Outbound Short streamer lines are the best I have ever used. These lines make throwing big flies fun, efficient, and the fact that the In-Touch core helps you feel even the most subtle strikes all makes for a more exciting streamer fishing experience. If you are a spey casting fool, or you just want to get the most out of your single-handed rod, you cannot go wrong with the In-Touch Single Handed Spey Line. It will literally do everything that you want it to, with the added bonus that it will allow you spey cast efficiently and effectively when your back is literally against a wall.

Having taken these lines into the field, and seen what they are capable of, I am confident that you will find that they will make your fishing experiences all the more enjoyable. Branch out and try some of the new 2015-16 lines for your favorite rods-you may be surprised by what you find.

Nick is a longtime shop employee, guide, and instructor for Western Rivers Flyfisher in Salt Lake City, UT. When he is not out teaching, guiding, or working in the store, you can find him chasing fish across the state and west. He is also a Sage Elite Pro, Regional Ambassador for RIO Products, and a Certified Casting Instructor via the Federation of Flyfishers. In short, he loves his job, and helping others catch fish. Photo Credits: Travis Ruiz and Kigen Curtice