Gear Review: RIO Fly Lines Outbound Short and Grand

For those that know me it’s really no secret. I’m sold on RIO fly lines. I love them. I’ve used pretty much all the top fly lines on the market and RIO just has has it figured out. RIO allowed me the opportunity to test two of their lines this year and after extensive use i’m ready to give my thoughts.

I contacted RIO in the Spring and explained that I wanted an 8wt line for throwing big Pike flies to the toothy critters around here. I also wanted something I could take on warm vacations where i’d be fishing in salt water. I wanted something I could throw into wind, a line for throwing big flies while not wearing myself completely out.

Simon at RIO talked me out of their Pike line and persuaded me to try a shooting line, the Outbound Short.

After listening to where I fish he said the coldwater version would be best as the water temps are rarely over 75*. The coldwater outbound has a soft coating to keep it tangle free in cool conditions. The head on this line is short, only 37 feet, and its very much front loaded. When the 8 wt line arrived I was worried by how fat the front of the line was.

Once I cast it, I found that this was helpful. I just got the line out to the point where the olive head was at the last guide and then shot. With little effort the fly line and heavy flies shot as far as any other line i’ve ever fished, but with much less effort.

I’ve fished the line for Tarpon, Pike, Bull Trout, and even large Trout and it continues to impress me. The only complaint I have is that it’s not a line for big rivers where mending at big distances is needed. This is not what shooting lines are for though. The running line is too thin to move the the rest of the line. Not an issue for the fishing I do with it. The line does what it’s advertised to do.

A couple of months after receiving the Outbound Short I was contacted about testing the new RIO Grand line. The new Grand has two new features that are truly awesome. RIO calls these “Max Cast” and “Max Float” Max cast is a sophisticated coating that repels water. The line when being picked up off the water or when mended literally jumps off the water. Its noticeable. It takes about half the effort to move this line off the water even when compared to older RIO Grand line with the same taper. This quick video gets into more details.

RIO Products' New MaxCast Fly Fishing Technology Revealed from RIO Products on Vimeo.

I first used this line in Utah trowing streamers on a small freestone river.

It was later used with an indicator rig.

In both cases the line impressed me. It really is a slick line allowing me to fish more effectively with less fatigue.

Max Float technology means a super high floating tip section of the line. Nothing worse than fishing an indicator rig in a river and having the last two feet of fly line downing in the current. Max float keep the line right on the surface, all the way to the leader.

RIO built this line for todays fast action fly rods. They are a full size heavier than the standard line weight. I paired this line with a fast action Winston MX. I decided to try the WF5F on the 6wt MX and I feel it’s a perfect match. Unless you have the fastest of fast (I’m looking at you Sage TCX guys) I recommend going one size down. With the improvements RIO has put into this line I plan on replacing most of my other trout set ups with RIO Grand. That is, if my other RIO lines like the Gold, Indicator, Mainstream, and Avid ever wear out. Keep the good stuff coming RIO.

Categories: Arizona, Bass, Bull Trout, Fly Fishing, Fly Lines, Gear Review, Lake Fishing, Northern Pike, Pacific, RIO Products, Sleep When Youre Dead, St Thomas Tarpon, Tarpon on Fly, Trout