RIO's Windcutter Interchangeable Tip Spey Fly Line

RIO's Windcutter Interchangeable Tip Spey Fly Line

Once again, RIO understands the Spey line.

  • By: Darrel Martin

Andy Turner, one of the Northwest's premier peripatetic anglers, recently fished some rivers on Russia's Kola Peninsula, and has one word for Rio's Spey line—versatile. The interchangeable mid- and tip sections allow dramatic adjustments in both length and function of the fly line. The interchangeable midsection with the floating tip threw long lines and lovely shoots over the Kharlovka and Litza rivers. On Alaskan waters, Andy merely omitted the midsection and attached a heavier head to get down quickly to chinook salmon.

Most importantly, the shorter, but heavier, fly line gave a normal rod load—it rolled and shot beautifully.

Like Andy, many casters have found that Rio understands the magic of the Spey line. The Interchangeable Tip Spey Line has the same profile as Rio's Windcutter Spey Line—but the Interchangeable line comes with two floating and five sinking tips tucked into a shooting head wallet. There is a"front-loading" Tip 1 for light presentation and a"weight-compensator" Tip 2 for stiffer rods.

The 15-foot tapered sinking-tips include a clear AquaLux Intermediate Tip (1.5 inches per second, or ips), a Type 3 Density Compensated Tip (3 ips), a Type 6 Density Compensated Tip (6 ips) and a Type 8 Density Compensated Tip (8 ips). Also included this year is the new Intermediate Compensator Tip. For better line control, this tip replaces the Floating Tip 2 when fishing the 15-foot sink tips. Despite the various divisions in a formed fly line, stiff, non-hinging line-loops slip smooth and continuous power from section to section. Furthermore, a"slick shooter process" on the line helps extend the casting distance. Rio's John Harder points out that there is no standard line-rating system for Spey lines, as the original 1961 American Tackle Manufacturing Association numerical line-rating system does not work well with these lines. John says that Spey rods do not load like single-hand rods because they require more line weight. Rio's heads are heavier and longer than on conventional, rods to create a proper anchor, lift and roll. For example, a standard 10-weight line for a single-hand rod is 280 grains at 30 feet, while RIO's 9/10/11 Windcutter at 55 feet is 650 grains. A standard 8-weight is approximately 210 grains at 30 feet; Rio's Windcutter 7/8/9 head is 525 grains. I still remember mismatching my first 9-weight Spey rod with a 9-weight Spey line; it was a malicious marriage. The rod never recognized its mate. John says anglers don't need to reline a rod every time they wish to change the line; instead, they merely omit or add midsections and tips to match conditions-and all of this can be done quickly on the water. Rio claims that its Spey lines can match every angling condition, every Spey rod and every caster. Kudos to a line called versatile. The Windcutter Interchangeable Tip Spey Fly Line retails for $150.