The Choice of the Right Fly Line
As a fly fishing globetrotter certain things you will always find in my hand luggage and never in my baggage. These are my fly lines and if possible also my fly reels. If the luggage gets lost or is delayed fly rods might probably be available at site and if not, a spinning rod would do in case of emergency. But without the right fly line you are completely lost especially if you plan to fish in remote areas where fly lines might not be available at all.
In 1996 I was invited as a special guest to the famous Chatsworth Angling Fair. There I got to know Simon Gawesworth. Within the years we met at various fly fishing fairs around Europe and the USA. Finally, Simon got stuck in Idaho Falls and started to work for RIO, which was at that time still in the possession of its founder Jim Vincent. Many years have passed since, and in 2005 RIO was acquired by Far Bank. In the years that followed RIO grew continuously and became the market leader in fly lines. As a RIO Team member Simon Gawesworth was always at the pulse of the company and meanwhile he is RIO's marketing manager for the USA, CDN and AUS. After a short e-mail communication with Simon and Rudi Heger who is RIO's wholesaler for the German speaking parts of Europe the change of the brand was scratched. I am very happy about the new cooperation and I hope to make the one or other useful contribution to line development in the future.
Being Spoilt by RIO
If one works through the catalogue of Rudi Heger, 20 (!) pages with RIO fly lines can be found. Especially less experienced fly casters often think it to be too hard for them to understand which fly line to choose.
I got numerous phone calls in this matter to help customers to find the right product of the RIO range. "Why is it necessary to offer so many different lines?", I was asked many times. Well, it's quite simple, there are no plain-vanilla waters as well as no plain-vanilla fly fishers. The streams and rivers we fish are very different. Some are small, some are wide, some are fast whereas others e.g. spring creeks are usually slow moving. Some waters are open and others require to load the rod with nearly no backspace.
Some fly fishers prefer to fish with single hand rods, whereas others fish waters where double handers are needed. Some like switch rods. The Italian TLT technique requires DT lines, whilst most other techniques are cast with WF lines. The Underhand Technique and its Scandinavian variants are cast with shooting heads. Skagit lines are special short versions of them which allow to fish big flies deep and slow even in fast water. Other double hand casters like Simon are more traditional and love to fish longer Spey heads.
Fishing for salmonids in rivers and streams is one thing but there are so many other fish that go for flies, too, provided the correct line is used. If I fish for northern pike in spring or summer I usually use intermediate lines or floaters whereas in late autumn and winter I target the same species with sinking lines. In saltwater different lines have to be used especially if you want to fish the tropics. Coldwater lines don't suit for fishing under these conditions as they become too soft and feel like casting a spaghetti, not to forget about the consistently tangling running line when shooting.
Are there no allround lines available?
In the European Alps you call a line an all-round line if it suits for dry fly fishing or fishing with small nymphs in rivers that are up to 10-15m wide. Despite this, for a beginner I would suggest a more specialized line that he can feel better and which helps him to learn the technique much faster. A tournament fly caster would not be happy with such a beginner line. He needs something different. RIO has a special line for him, too. Tournament fly casting has not got much in common with the fly fishing we usually perform. Tournament fly casting is a power dominated sport that requires workouts in the weight room. The common fly fisher's aim is to present the fly nearly without any visible power application but as precise and quiet as possible to not spook the fish. Therefore we need a good line.
Mobility creates new opportunities
There a fish that can better be caught with nymphs or streamers, so you chose the line depending on the water you fish. Lines for lakes are usually different than those for rivers. At Gebetsroithers' time in the Alps dry fly fishing for trout and grayling was the main way fly fishing was performed. Even nymph fishing was frowned upon. Other species like chub, barbels, pike or carp were regarded as trash fish so nobody fished for them with the fly. As a consequence there was no need for outfitters to offer a big selection of fly lines.
Within the last decades mankind became very mobile and with the growing mobility the desire to fish for new species even on the other side of the globe has grown. Fishing remote places for big fish requires a careful preparation. The most important thing is to have the right fly lines with you as there will probably be no lines available at site.
RIO is keen to offer the fly fishers around the globe the lines they need to catch the fish of their dreams. This is reason enough for a big range of fly lines.
The most important part
The fly line is the most important part of our equipment, comparable with the ski of a skier. Everybody knows that an extreme narrow-waisted ski cannot be used for making fast turns in a downhill race. The proper fly line makes an effective, powerless, precise and delicate presentation possible to not spook any fish. Even if you are not a good fly caster, casting with the correct line feels much better.
My explanations have shown that the big line selection of a wholesaler makes sense. If you know a good dealer who is a fly fisher too, you will for sure get the correct line for your needs. But even if there is no fly fishing dealer in your area you do not have to end up in despair.
RIO has created the online Fly Lines Selector which enables you to find the right line for your purpose within a minute. So you don't need to visit a dealer but can order directly from home.
Try it now!