Fly line is an often overlooked piece of equipment in this old, but still fast growing sport. Many people, while outfitting their favorite rod and reel, will forget that different fly lines can make a rod feel completely different. Some lines are made for quick casts, some lines are made for cold weather, some lines are made to load a rod more easily, and some are even created to target a specific species of fish.
With all of the different fly line options out there, it’s nice to see manufacturers such as RIO take the time to do the proper research needed to pair a certain type of performance up with a certain type of fishing situation. Enter: the flats.
Fly fishing the flats can differ slightly from the low country of South Carolina to the crystal clear flats of Florida Bay, but one thing is constant- the performance of your go-to fly fishing setup. In this here article we’re going to take a look at a relatively new line from RIO, the ‘Tropical Series Bonefish’ taper fly line to be exact, and why you should own it.
Instead of spitting out some specs from the manufacturer, let’s discuss why and how this line could work for your application.
Bonefish are the fabled ‘ghosts’ of the flats. A scenario you could catch yourself in while bonefishing is one of many, but is probably either very sudden and close or very far and accurate. Sometimes you get surprised by these ‘ghosts’ and just pop a quick back cast 20 feet from the boat, and sometimes you see one tailing off in the distance. Reglardless of which one you find yourself encountering, the RIO Bonefish Series should suit you well.
I never got a chance to chase any actual bonefish with this line (it arrived the week after my yearly Islamorada vacation) but I did get to catch plenty of Eastern Central Florida redfish and tarpon aka ‘Mosquito Lagoon bonefish’. These fish are so pressured that they get scared by their own shadow.
Over the course of several weeks I was able to test the RIO Bonefish Series fly line in 7 weight out on quite a few long and accurate presentations as well as plenty of short and medium ones. The line performed flawlessly each and every time I needed it to slide out of my rod guides and into the path of a cruising redfish.
The RIO Bonefish Series fly line lands a nice Mosquito Lagoon tarpon with a short presentation as he cruised the shoreline.
The line is easy to shoot out with only 2-5 feet on your first back cast, and also into the distance with just a few more false casts. If you’re a dragon slayer or ‘casterbater’ this line could also be good for you, as it’s medium length belly taper allows you to keep the line in the air for a few more second as you get that one last perfect false cast.
The RIO Bonefish Series, in my opinion, feels a little heavier than a standard ‘tropical taper’ fly line. This is good new for people with fast rods that want a little bit more ‘feel’ out of the blank. Where did it lack? I would say in short distance accuracy. This is something that depends on the angler, but I feel that I was slightly more accurate with the quirks that I have while fly fishing, using Wulff lines.
All things considered, I would recommend this fly line. I’m normally a Wulff Triangle Taper user but this new RIO line has my interest piqued and I will definitely look closely at RIO product in the future. If you’re a flats fisherman who wants the best of both worlds, this RIO Bonefish Series would suit you very well.