Line comparison Rio vs SA Scandi for Trout Spey

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
570
Reaction score
422
Location
S. CA
Falling down the Trout Spey rabbit hole here is my comparison of two of the popular brands of Trout Spey Scandi lines.
My go to line has been the 270 grain integrated SA Spey Lite Scandi line and I'm using it on a 10'6" 4wt two handed rod. I have a Loop brand 11' 30 grain intermediate poly head on the front end that loads the rod nicely. The paint on my rod recommends a 290 grain Scandi line so I'm in the ballpark @ a total of 300 grains.

I am super comfortable now with this SA line and how it performs with all the usual suspect casts that can be made with it. It easily jumps between touch and go and snap C's.

So when I saw Rio's version of this same line pop on the auction site (on the cheap) I thought I would give it a try and make a comparison.

Rio's version is 265 grains and I have the same 30 grain poly on the sharp end.




Here's the lines on paper with the SA diagram on top.
On paper they are very similar and guess what? They cast very similar. If anything I would give the edge of user friendliness to the SA line. Veteran casters will have no problem with either line. The SA has a slightly shorter front taper so maybe that attributes to making it easier to cast for a beginner.

Here's the rub, If I had to pick between the two I would go with the SA and that's only because the SA has a better integrated running line. Stripping in the lines you can notice the difference in friction. That said, if the Rio running line was slicker I would go with Rio because I'm pretty sure I could achieve longer casts with the same amount of casting effort. Another consideration is that the Rio line has a thicker head than the SA.so If space is an issue on your reel SA may be the better option.

Final notes they are both great lines and user friendly. So the plan is to put the Rio line on ice and save it for a rainy day once I wear out the SA line. As always, YMMV...
 
Last edited:

ryc72

Well-known member
Messages
581
Reaction score
128
Location
new york city
Nice comparison. If you had to guess whats the biggest/heaviest fly do you think your setup could comfortably throw?
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
570
Reaction score
422
Location
S. CA
Nice comparison. If you had to guess whats the biggest/heaviest fly do you think your setup could comfortably throw?


These two flies are the largest I've throw on that line. Mind you that these flies are more bulky but not heavy.
They followed along without too much kicking and screaming but certainly these occupy a area above the sweet spot for this line.
I have yet to throw a skagit head on this setup. I tied some heavier zonker style sculpin flies and I have a feeling that fly will not be going along for the ride so quietly.
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
570
Reaction score
422
Location
S. CA
Great feedback on these two lines thank you! I have been pondering between the two myself on a 11'7 #3
No Prob, since I am new to this myself (two hand). I find myself searching quite a bit for articles and reviews pertaining to trout spey. A testiment to this forum is that a large percentage of my searches kick me back to the archives of this site. So I thought I would kind of give back for others down the road doing these exact searches.



One last thing I did not mention is the difference in the junctions between the head and running line.
The SA uses a black textured junction that works great in ideal conditions. You simply strip until you hear or feel the textured portion enter your top guide and then start your cast. If the conditions are not ideal it can be difficult to hear or feel the texture portion. So then you have to rely visually to find the juction which is not so great because the junction is black.

The Rio has no texture but it is bright orange at the junction so it is a lot more visible then the SA. The SA line would be a win/win if it was bright orange and textured. It's a small thing but once you get use to that textured junction you kind of miss it when it's not there. lol
 

ryc72

Well-known member
Messages
581
Reaction score
128
Location
new york city
I have the sa skagit lite 300 and love the textured transition. Prefer it to a visual transition myself.
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
570
Reaction score
422
Location
S. CA
I have the sa skagit lite 300 and love the textured transition. Prefer it to a visual transition myself.
Just the person I want to talk to. I'm on the hunt for a skagit line for my setup 10'6' 4wt.
I'm guessing you are fishing something similar because the recommended grain weight for my rod is 320.
But for SA I have to go either 300 or 330.

What length and weight is your rod and do you like the line? Thanks
 

ryc72

Well-known member
Messages
581
Reaction score
128
Location
new york city
I have a 10ft 4wt Thomas and Thomas Dna switch rod. The 300 grain sa Spey lite skagit with 7.5ft opst tips is spot on for me. I’m guessing that either the 300 or 330 would be just fine for your rod and it would be up to your personal preference. The 300 for my rod provides a very pleasant deep load. That being said if the 270 scandi feels great I would probably go with the 300 instead of the 330 but that’s just me.
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
570
Reaction score
422
Location
S. CA
I have a 10ft 4wt Thomas and Thomas Dna switch rod. The 300 grain sa Spey lite skagit with 7.5ft opst tips is spot on for me. I’m guessing that either the 300 or 330 would be just fine for your rod and it would be up to your personal preference. The 300 for my rod provides a very pleasant deep load. That being said if the 270 scandi feels great I would probably go with the 300 instead of the 330 but that’s just me.
Thanks for the info and I was thinking 300 will be good as well.
 
Top