If apps are your thing and selecting the right line for your rig isn’t, RIO might have the solution. Last week, the Idaho Falls-based company introduced its free Line Selector App, designed to make “…the connection to fish come easier for anglers whether it’s through its lines, leaders and tippet or through education on the consumer and dealer level.”
Considering I often fall under the fly-lines-for-dummies category, I downloaded “Line Selector” to an iPhone 5, and within minutes was navigating a series of targeted prompts. My journey began at the crossroads of spey and switch, where line-matching can be as complicated as Egyptian algebraic theory. And that’s where things got personal.
Like Match or Tinder, Fly Line Selector aims to know your specific “type” from the get-go. As a “Double Handed” fetishist, I was led to the “Rod Make” page. There, the list was respectable, and not limited to Farbank specific brands such as Sage and Redington. In addition to the latter, you can choose sticks from Scott and Loomis to Thomas & Thomas and more. Although it’d be nice to see a wider variety of specialty brands, including Burkheimer and Meiser, it’s a good start.
Under manufacturer, I clicked Winston. But since my BIIX speys are discontinued, I was SOL. Sage, I figured, was a safer bet, and I chose the One Spey in a 6126-4 model. After selecting water type it was on to casting and fishing styles, skill level, line density, fly size, and then—eureka—my list of potentials appeared. It included Skagits and Short Head Speys in matching grain weights, as well as descriptions similar to what you’d find at rioproducts.com.
Of course, this app is designed to sell RIO fly lines—and that’s what you’ll get. Follow links to the website and buy direct, or hit “menu” where you’ll find a directory of local fly shops.
Overall, Fly Line Selector functions the way it’s intended. It may not be Simon Gawesworth in your back-pocket, but if you’re in the market for RIO lines specific to the rod manufacturers in the app database, the technology works. The issue with simplified cyber-speak, however, is that it won’t say how you’ll gel in real life. For that kind of compatibility determination, you’ll just have to step into the water and really stroke it.
Pros: App is free and user-friendly. Cons: Would benefit from more manufacturers (as well as discontinued rods) added to an updated version.