Full confession. I’m terrible when it comes to my fly lines. I have boxes of lines in my office and even one of those line winders so I can easily change out lines … but I never do. I have lines on different reels and that's where they stay. It’s not really because I’m lazy, it’s because I’m particular. When I find something I like, I use it – and abuse it – until it’s no longer usable.
Case in point, this poor fly line. Every time I pull out my rod and cast this line I wonder if today’s the day I’ll retire it. It’s broken and gets so sticky that I have to clean it every time I use it. I keep those little line cleaner packets in every fly bag and boat box I own because the only thing worse than a bruised and broken fly line is a sticky one.
But today’s the day I change out my fly lines to a new series of lines – they’re that good. Here’s why I’m changing up my lines to the new SlickCast line series from RIO.
Sticky lines suck.
You clean your fly line, you take impeccable care of your gear, and it still gets “stuck.” You know what I’m talking about. You make a great cast only to have it fall five feet short because it’s catching going through the rod guides. You can feel it hinge as you cast, and you can feel it stick in your fingers when you strip. It’s not you, it’s a sticky fly line. What I love about the SlickCast is the coating. You can tell there’s something different about it from the moment you take it out of the package. It feels cool and smooth in your hand before you even put it on your rod. But, when you’ll really recognize it is when you cast it and it flies through the guides like a bullet, even after the 100th day on the water.
Fly lines are expensive.
A good fly line is gonna set you back $100 buckaroos or so and that’s not chump change in my book. So when I buy a fly line, I expect to get my money’s worth. As an angler who spends more than 250 days on the water a year, it’s important to me that my lines not only take the abuse I’m throwing at them, but they last through the abuse. These new lines have been lab-tested to last 140% longer than the competitor’s lines in the abrasion category and take 33% longer to crack. A longer lasting fly line means more time on the water and a better value at the fly shop counter.
Floating lines should FLOAT.
I’ve tested floating lines that have a tip so tapered that they just don’t have enough coating at the end to make them buoyant enough to stay above the water. SlickCast lines have what they call MaxFloat Tip Technology which RIO claims “floats more than twice as high as regular line tips without an increase in diameter.” Since I haven’t seen the scientific research behind this, I can only say whatever it is they have on the tip does make it stay above water, and as a dry fly snob, that means my fly stays above water longer as well.
They are color-coated.
If you’re anything like me, I’m not only directionally challenged, I’m distance challenged. I have a difficult time distinguishing between 30, 40 and 60 feet. These lines have a triple color marking system so it only takes a brief glance at my line to know how much line I’ve peeled off my reel. And, with the sweet spot of the line also clearly marked, I know where the line needs to be for my rod to load correctly so I can make that hero cast to the rising trout my guide says I can’t reach.
These lines will be available at your local fly shop starting June 24th. If your local fly shop does not carry RIO, you can find them online at RIOproducts.com