Do it All Fly Lines

Fly Fishing Gear

Do It All Fly Lines?

Rio Indicator Line v. Rio Perception

In early October, John Arnold wrote a great Headhunters blog on fly lines for the fall.  John called some of them “Floating Do-It-All Lines” and that really caught my attention. 

I seldom use a boat, so I’m always wading around with one rod.  I want to be able to nymph, throw a streamer or fish a dry to risers with a minimum of gear. 

I need a Do It All Line!

I’ve been using the six weight RIO Indicator line for years.  It’s designed for chucking an indicator, shot and a couple of nymphs, but I use it for everything.  It casts with a very open loop and that’s certainly good for nymphing — especially when I get lazy and don’t concentrate on my cast.  And, it has a long rear taper behind the head and that makes it very easy to mend.  Perfect for Missouri River nymphing.

But it also has a short front taper to turn over big streamers.  And, if you’re careful, end the cast high and let it come down softly, it’s OK for fishing dries to risers.  Not perfect but OK.  It mends well, and that’s great but the open loop isn’t the best for accuracy – particularly into the wind. 

Now John Arnold knows what he’s talking about and has never led me wrong.   I read what he had to say about the Rio Indicator line and it was exactly the same as my experience:

“The Indicator IIis the best nymphing line on the market, throws big dries and streamers easily – albeit ugly – and depending on your fishing style, may or may not work as a fall baetis line.”

In that blog he also said: The new RIO Perception “might be the perfect do it all fly line for fall. Plenty of power in the streamer game, with an aggressive front taper that will turn over large streamers. Accurate enough for small dries and delicate presentation, but it will punch through that nasty November wind. For nymphing, it has the turnover skills for that weighted nymph rig and we love no-stretch cores when setting the hook.”

So, how do the RIO Indicator II and the RIO Perception compare out on the river?

I’ve been using both of them for a few months on a six weight Sage ONE.  My experience has been exactly as John described.   The RIO Indicator II is a great nymphing line, but it isn’t as good for casting into the wind as the RIO Perception because it throws a big, open loop.   It’s also not accurate for the same reason. 

The RIO Perception, on the other hand, is very accurate, and it’s no-stretch nature seems to help me feel the rod load and punch it up wind.  It’s a great line!

But here’s the tradeoff: Because it has a shorter head and rear taper, the RIO Perception doesn’t mend as easily as the RIO Indicator II.  

So what does all this mean?  Everything’s a tradeoff.  Two great lines.  Like blonds and brunettes, I love them both.  Are there Do It All Fly Lines on the market?

Did it help me minimize my gear?  Hell no.  Now I’m carrying two lines!

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