February 04, 2021
The Holy Grail in fly fishing has always been fly lines that have less friction sliding through the line guides, and greater durability so they don’t crack. As soon as they crack, friction increases, and floatation decreases.
RIO says they have found this Holy Grail in their new SlickCast coating. A RIO press release said that SlickCast lines have “the lowest amount of friction to ever have been measured in a fly line.” The same lab tests—which measure friction and durability by repetitively pulling a new fly line against a standard fly line guide—show that SlickCast is also “33% more resistant to cracking, and over 140% more resistant to abrasion than the next toughest fly line on the market.”
According to Chris Walker, RIO’s research and development engineering manager, the lines are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) like other RIO lines. It’s the extra ingredients that make SlickCast so special.
“PVC lines have a bunch of additives that go into them to maintain their properties for fishing,” said Walker. “They have everything from plasticizers to make the fly line more flexible, to UV inhibitors to prevent it from breaking down when exposed to sunlight, and of course there are slickness additives as well. In this formulation, it’s the slickness additives that have changed the most to give us these special properties.”
According to Walker, SlickCast lines do help you make long hero casts, but less friction is even more important for feeding line into your drift through up-and-down stack mends and reach mends to improve the presentation of your fly.
The SlickCast coating is available only on RIO’s core trout tapers—the Gold, Grand, Perception, and Technical Trout. Together with RIO’s new ConnectCore Plus core, they are branded as the Elite Tier: Elite Tier RIO Gold, Elite Tier RIO Perception, and so on. These same tapers with the SlickCast coating and a regular core are called premium tier. They are $30 cheaper, and the only difference is the core. $120 | rioproducts.com