I have long been of the belief that many fly anglers underplay the value of the fly line they use when purchasing or updating kit. While rods and reels are the blue ribbon tackle items it is always worth remembering that it is the kit at the business end - the line, leader, tippet and fly that will make or break a fishes decision whether to take your fly or not.
Here at Farlows we're always looking for new, innovative and practical products that make your fishing easier and more enjoyable, and as such when RIO releases a new fly line we're always keen to take a closer look. The RIO Perception fly line is the newest trout line from their stable and I've been testing one out this season - here's my review.
The stand out feature of the Perception is that it is built on RIO's ConnectCore ultra-low stretch core, whereas most other floating lines are built on a stretchy monofilament core. RIO claim that the reduction in stretch makes for a line that casts and mends easier than other lines and also results in more direct hook-ups than before.
I'll be very honest, the first time I used this line I really didn't like it! It felt heavier than the 4# lines I had cast before and I struggled to get it to turn over gently, particularly with my Sage TXL-F 7'10" 4# - my favourite river rod. One particularly awful fish spooking cast in front of a couple of fishing friends has stuck in my head ever since. I took myself off to a field for a few hours one quiet Sunday to try to get to know the Perception a bit better and it all fell in to place.
The Perception is so direct that the caster needs to adjust their casting stroke to account for the extra feeling from the line, but once accustomed to this different feel casting the Perception really is a dream. I found I had to take any power or force that may have been present before away from my casting stroke and once I had made the power and timing adjustments the Perception was singing through the guides. Lifting the line from the water is so effortlessly easy that it seems to float above the water not on it and because of this the Perception truly is the easiest mending fly line I've ever used.
The Tri-Colour distance system is an interesting idea and one that I have begun to use more as I've been using the line. The head of the line is split in to two colours, 20' of light green line at the tip and 16' of dark green line at the back end of the head and on the rear taper with a yellow/beige colour used on the running line. I've used the colour changes more to judge how much line to shoot when making a presentation to a fish; it has prevented me from over-shooting and risking spooking a fish.
Having used a 4# Perception on a softer rod and a 5# Perception on a Sage TCR 9' 5# I feel that the line is suited to different actions of rod, it just took a little more adjustment with the 4#. Hitting long casts with the 5# was an awful lot of fun; the thin running line zips away from around your feet with a well timed haul.
One point I feel I ought to mention is that playing fish on the ConnectCore line is an absolute blast! You feel every beat of the tail, shake of the head, every time your leader clips over a rock. Again playing fish with a low stretch core took a little getting used to but it really is a lot of fun!
RIO products really has pushed the boundaries with the Perception. The increased feel, casting potential and ease of use of this line makes it a great all-rounder that both beginners and more experienced casters will reap benefits from. Despite its high price tag and ultra-technical features I feel that the Perception is a fantastic line for those new to the sport, I remember thinking in the park that this line would be a joy to learn to cast with as its increased feel will be a huge help to new fly-fishers.
Experienced casters will appreciate the ease of use, mending and feel while playing fish. It may feel a little different to any lines you might have used before but it is worth the effort because when it comes down to it the RIO Perception is what a fly line is actually supposed to feel like.
Buying a new fly line can be a bit of a minefield, with so many brands, descriptions, taper designs and colours and as such it is a decision that is worth taking plenty of time over. Consider the style of fishing you intend to use the line for the most and base your decision on that purpose.
If buying a line still seems confusing then please pick up the phone, drop us an email at [email protected] or call in to 9 Pall Mall, we'll be more than happy to help.