S&A or RIO?

S&A or RIO?

  • S&A

    Votes: 39 54.9%
  • RIO

    Votes: 32 45.1%

  • Total voters
    71

hatidua

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It latter morphed into the XXS/Expert Distance Taper in SA's catalog under master line designer, Bruce Richards.
There's a name I haven't heard in a while! I used to discuss various lines with Bruce and he was always very approachable and helpful.
 

trev

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RIO, SA and modern Cortland are all making fine lines today. I select by taper design and presentation performance not brand and, in order of ones I fish the most, I have spooled RIO, Cortland and lastly SA.
How does line coating play into that equation? or does it not matter?
 

sweetandsalt

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Fly line technology, paralleling fly rod technology, consists firstly of taper design followed by core type and jacket chemistry. Taper and grain mass define how the rod is loaded at differing distances and how the line can be manipulated. Core type, braided mono or mono/Dacron hybrid, mono-core or non/low-stretch cores (Airflo and some RIO) determine the responsiveness and striking traits of a line and coating chemistry the slickness and potentially durability of the line. Then there are the basics of vinyl like RIO, SA many Cortland's and poly like some Cortland's, Airflo and Monic. Of course, texture embossment like Airflo Ridge and SA/Orvis (SA made) Textured offer additional variables. This diversity provides a level of specialization never before realized and a boon to us anglers who can select between generalized to highly specialized fly lines.
 

clsmith131

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I fish mostly RIO, but they are not without flaw, some of them have a lot of memory, and I have experienced some cracking and peeling, perhaps from neglect or improper care. I also have a few Airflo that I like a lot, and a couple SA that I do not like at all, mainly because of that god awful sound from the texture they use. Also, I much prefer RIO leader and tippet to SA, I find the SA fluoro to be very soft and stretchy and have had several failures that made me abandon it altogether.
 

sweetandsalt

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RIO produces the most divers and top quality tippet materials. I use their Flouro in the salt and Powerflex Plus (along with a few others) for trout.
 

Lamarsh

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I like them both fairly equally; however, my vote is for SA because I personally favor them being a Michigan company. There are some types of lines I prefer Rio over, and some I prefer SA over--but when it is a 50:50 split I gravitate towards SA to support a Michigan company. I'd say 80% of my lines are SA, 15% even split Rio and Airflo, and I have few Orvis lines, which are made by SA because Orvis now owns SA.
 

trev

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Straight forward choice here, only 2 to choose from.
I was a S&A guy for years, decided to try RIO and stuck with them for a while but I think I'm going to go back to S&A lines. Which one of these two do you prefer?

S&A or RIO?
So, since this is a nine year old poll, how many of you used the same lines in 2012 that you do now?
What has changed in that time that would make your answers different? (if they are)
For the guys that say XX% of SA and YY% of Rio and maybe Z% of another, how many lines are we talking about? two or fifty?
And when you buy a new line is it because the old one is worn out or just because they sell new lines?
 

sweetandsalt

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So, since this is a nine year old poll, how many of you used the same lines in 2012 that you do now?
What has changed in that time that would make your answers different? (if they are)
For the guys that say XX% of SA and YY% of Rio and maybe Z% of another, how many lines are we talking about? two or fifty?
And when you buy a new line is it because the old one is worn out or just because they sell new lines?
I have been using the same concept of fly line for trout since the early 1980's; An elongated head or long belly and for the same reason, in air stability and mending acumen. Lee Wulff developed this idea originally to incorporate the handling of DT with the shootability of WF...WFL. Orvis had their SSS (Salmon-Steelhead-Saltwater) in sky blue made by SA and Cortland had 444SL, not as good. Then came XXD/MEDT adding a long 25' rear taper, yay! EDT was my go to line for years, a great and seminal design. I don't recall what year RIO introduced Gold but J. Harder had sent me a prototype for opinion and I've been fishing it ever since and I still have a couple of EDT's in service too. I totally left Cortland lines in the later 80's but under new ownership and renewed design and technology advancements they are back and so am I. So along with Gold and now Tech Trout too, sometimes SA Trout but I feel Tech Trout is similar but better I am also fishing Cortland Long Belly Distance...all long head long rear taper lines. Even in the salt I like long rear tapers on virtually all my lines.

When I buy a new rod it then needs a balancing, matching reel dedicated to it which in turn needs a proper line. So I will lawn test it with these "regular" four lines I employ that meet my taper design prerequisites tath are already on other rods' reels. It then gets a new one and as is the case now, that will be one with the latest core and/or coating technology. On existing outfits, I do not wait for a line to get dull and cracked. If it begins to feel a tad sluggish to me, usually around 3 or 4 years of use, I replace it, happily. Plasticizers in the vinyl jacket are perpetually migrating to the surface keeping the line slick and pliable, they are not rejuvinatable and when they are mostly gone so is the line.
 

ghostrider408

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This poll really doesn't make any sense or solve anything. It has already been said in this thread, but Airflo should have been included and there should be a check box for all possible combinations. I fish for a lot of different species and use different techniques with both single handers and two handers. I have floaters, intermediates, sink tips, full sink, density compensated sink tips, Skagit heads, Scandi heads, etc. All three manufacturers have their merits for one reason or another, and I use all three brands confidently on my single handers and use two of the brands (Rio and Airlfo, plus not mentioned, but excellent OPST lines) on my two handers.
 

trev

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"Straight forward choice here, only 2 to choose from."
I'm thinking that "concept" of fly line choice, no matter how convoluted, was not part of the OP's question, and for my part the answer would be a) yes I still use XX, or b) no, I switched from the XX I used then to _______because _______

On existing outfits, I do not wait for a line to get dull and cracked. If it begins to feel a tad sluggish to me, usually around 3 or 4 years of use, I replace it, happily.
So, in my understanding, you are saying that wear is the key to replacing a given line? I agree that a line has lost it's life before it reaches that cracking stage, which incidentally is why I quit SA in the '90s; I was replacing the SA lines about annually. Their plasticizers migrated way too fast in this warm climate. I've had way better luck with Cortland, but Cortland isn't on the OP's menu.
Then once you have determined that a particular line suits your new rod, you don't go through that testing again after a year or three when "new" line tapers are made available? Or cores/coatings?
 

trev

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This poll really doesn't make any sense or solve anything.
I'll bite then, when and where did you (or anyone) see a poll that made any sense or one that solved anything?
At best a poll gathers information about other people's opinions, never has any poll solved any problem.
 

sweetandsalt

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trev, I was responding to your question above not the OP's. And yes, I will always retest when new lines are available. I fished Gold happily on my beloved 8 1/2'/#5 X but when Tech Trout was introduced I tried that on this rod and realized a distinct improvement in sensations and performance...so much so it surprised me.
 

ghostrider408

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I agree with you trev, most polls on here don't make any sense or solve anything. I stated my opinion like everyone else does on these threads with the intent that the choices were not relevant, as a lot of people, me included, utilize a lot of line brands for various reasons. Actually, I didn't realize til after the fact that this thread was started nine years ago, lol. Lines and coatings have changed since then. And, Cortland does make some nice lines, although I haven't used them in a long time.
 

trev

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If comparing the SA & Rio lines, only, how do the coatings stack up? (soft, slippery, slick, stiff, etc)
Is one brand more supple than the other?
Reaction to heat and cold?

ETA) I'd be looking only at DT_F lines so the exoticism of taper wouldn't count.
 
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ghostrider408

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You know, right now I am fishing mostly Rio lines on my single handers from full float to sink tips to a Rio Striper sink line that is configured with an intermediate running line into a full 30' sink (8-9 inches a second) head. I have a Scientific Anglers sink tip line that I use on an 8 wt. for warmwater species that is pretty good as well. I also have a couple of Airlfo lines that have a floating running line section into an intermediate sink head. They are good for warmwater fishing, tossing Clouser minnows and Lefty's Deceivers for bass, walleye, and wipers. I will also say that I shop around for deals on lines and that is why I am not brand specific. I first look at what the line is designed to do, then look at the taper and grain weight of the head and go from there. With today's technology, most lines are really pretty good.

The one thing I've noticed on an older Scientific Anglers sink tip was that the running line (floating portion) would get quite sticky in warm weather. I haven't had this problem with Rio lines. As far as my Rio lines go, I do think they require a little more TLC and maintenance than say the more modern SA lines and Airflo lines. The Rio lines I fish (Rio Gold and Rio General Purpose Coldwater Saltwater) tend to lose some slickness and require a good cleaning in the sink with warm water and dish soap and then a coating of Rio's Agent X to bring back the slickness. I usually clean and re-dress the Rio lines two times a season each. I haven't tried any of the new Rio lines with the Slickcast coating, but supposedly they are an improvement.

To address the question about suppleness vs. stiffness, I would say the Rio General Purpose Coldwater Saltwater lines are the stiffest compared to the Rio Gold. I use the Rio General Purpose lines for warmwater stuff when fishing either on the surface on in the film. They have a hard coating on them and are designed for water temps below 75-80 degrees I believe and work great in Colorado, unlike a tropical line with a mono core that would coil up in colder water. The Rio Gold is a good all around line for me for trout fishing because it seems its temperature tolerance is pretty wide. Good in the cold and doesn't get too limp in the heat. The Airlfo lines seem to fall in the middle for me and feel about the same in all temps.
 
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trev

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I said "greasy" rather than "sticky" (although sticky applies) about the last SA lines I had, it's really why I haven't bought any 406 lines, which I think are made by SA, fearing they too would bleed out on the 100F days. And recently SA seems to say their lines are even more prone to expel the plasticizers as in that they are designed that way.
I have skipped Rio lines all these years because the local dealer didn't carry them in a DT.
 

ghostrider408

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Yeah, I hear you on the lines being greasy (we're on the same page). The new SA lines are supposed to be self lubricating (expel the plasticizers), but I don't have much experience with them. I think you would like the Rio lines, as I have never felt their coatings to be greasy. I haven't fished a Cortland line in years, but I would not have any reservations fishing them, as they make good lines. Btw... what are the 406 lines?
 

trev

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406 lines are made thinner diameter per weight than most modern lines, developed especially for "vintage" rods that used smaller guides than most contemporary rods. Out of Livingston MT they have the lines built to their specs and tapers, in WF & DT only.
I see them mentioned on the forum from time to time with good reviews, and I like smaller diameter lines for a few reasons. But they say they are made with the leaky SA coating.
I think my next line might be an import.
 
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