Rio Steelhead Scandi Review
By Evan Unti
The new Rio Steelhead Scandi shooting head has gotten a lot of hype both in the fly fishing industry and on various message boards scattered throughout the internet. So what is the big deal with this new shooting head? In actuality, the new Rio Steelhead Scandi is almost identical, in terms of taper design, to the custom cut Vision heads we at Deschutes Angler have been offering for years. The reason we decided to have these new lines manufactured was to minimize the amount cutting, splicing and dicing it takes to fine tune a Vision line. With this new line we have customized the lengths and grains weights to match the multitude of rods available on today’s market. Of course the lines are still easily manipulated if you decide to you want to customize the line to your own personal tastes.
The Rio Steelhead Scandi is based on the principle that an efficient shooting head should be about 2.5 times the length of the rod and we have designed these lines to meet this requirement with matching grain weights. Some lines will come in a foot shorter or longer based on the rod but still within a workable window. The same goes for the grain weight designations given to the lines. Our designations are based on the most common grain weights used for a given line weight. For example, a 6wt spey rod, if it is genuinely a 6wt, should cast 385gn with ease and knowing that most 6wt rods fall into the 11.5’ to 12.5’ length the line is marked at 31 ft. to meet the length requirement. Thus the Rio Steelhead Scandi should be able to match just about any spey rod on the market.
Casting the new Rio Steelhead Scandi line is effortless. The design of the line loads the rod quickly and it springs off the tip of the rod with a perfect tight leading edge which translates into higher line speed. To aid in the overall performance of the line we worked with Rio to generate a material that is extremely limp and supple which allows for a tremendous transfer of energy from the rear taper through the leader. Yet the fine front taper which measures 41 thousandth of an inch, turns the fly over delicately causing as little surface disturbance as possible. Because the Rio Steelhead Scandi transfers energy so efficiently, it can easily handle the multitude of sinking polyleaders from slow sinking to extra super fast sinking. In the hands of a skilled caster, this line can also fish a variety of sink-tips from Type 3 to T-14.
Undoubtedly the new Rio Steelhead Scandi is one of the best shooting heads available and a versatile fishing tool for the modern two-handed angler. The refined taper design coupled with the right material will ensure that this line is easy to cast for both the beginner and advanced caster. If you want to take your casting to the next level, the Rio Steelhead Scandi is the right line.
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