Sink tips for Spey fishing Part 2: Review of Rio Products
Here’s a quick review of Rio’s sink tips that are especially useful to Spey and Switch anglers fishing salmon, steelhead, and lake or sea run trout.
Rio MOW Tips: These have become immensely popular since their introduction in late 2011. Offered principally in 10 ft lengths (12 ft full sinkers are available also) these come in light (T-8), medium (T-11), heavy (T-14), and extra heavy (T-17) wt classes to suit any Switch or Spey rod, fly, and river condition. The wt classes have different total weight at the 10 ft length and the higher numeric classification tips sink faster.
Unique MOW Features: These aren’t just simple sink tips; many of these tips are composed of both floating and sinking portions, making them an AMAZING tip to fine-tune a fly presentation in technical waters from evenly graveled tail-outs to boulder-gardens and narrow trenches. Looped on both ends and with as little as 2.5 ft to a full 12 ft of sinking material, MOW tips are very easy to use. Add tippet and fish: All you need to do is loop on a mono leader with (for example) a double surgeon’s loop, tie on a fly, and make your cast. Recommendation: use T-8 and T-11 MOW Tips with Switch rods and light Spey rods. Fish T-14 and T-17 MOWs on Spey rods of 7 wt or up.
Rio iMow Tips: These are new for 2013, and unlike the standard MOW tips (composed of integrated sections of floating and sinking material), the iMOW tips are composed of varying lengths of Intermediate sink and T-class sink rate material. The iMOWS will put your fly a little deeper than any corresponding traditional MOW, because the Intermediate butt section of the tip sinks instead of floats. Sorry. Obvious.
Mow Tips Kits: Yep. Choose the wt class of the MOW tips you want to fish, purchase a full selection in a Rio tip wallet, and save some cash you can spend on tippet material or flies.
Rio Level Tungsten Material: Rio packages coils of raw T (Tungsten impregnated) material in densities that include T-8, T-11, T-14, T-17, and by gosh T-20. Note that a 15 ft tip of T-20 will weigh in at about 300 gr, so be careful with this big boy. T-8 has about a 6 ips sink rate, and T-20 has a whopping 10 ips sink rate. Note that the T-20 comes as a 20 ft coil while all the others are 30 ft. Level T material is not looped at either end. To fish tips constructed with Level T material, we first cut the desired length of sink tip, create a loop on one or both ends, using braided butt loops, a nail knot loop, or use a loop at one end and an Albright knot on the terminal end to attach our tippet material. Rio Level T material is laid over a mono core and I do not recommend creating loops with heat-welding techniques. Recommendation: use T-8 and T-11 material with Switch rods and light Spey rods. Use T-14 to T-20 with Spey rods, and the T-20 should probably be reserved for Skagit Heads over 600 gr or so.
Rio Spey Versileaders: These are available in 6 ft, 10 ft, and 15 ft options, all with a 24 Lb maximum core strength. Rio Versileaders are offered in 5 sink rates from 1.5 ips to 7 ips. Versileaders have a welded loop on the butt end and a bare core monofilament at the other. We add tippet of #16 Lb or less by looping or blood knotting to the mono core tip. Versileaders are labeled as #24 Lb, meaning the strength at the tip of the mono core, and it is important to keep the tippets a fair amount under this strength class. Suggestion: use T-8 and T-11 material with Switch rods and light Spey rods. Use T-14 to T-20 with Spey rods, and the T-20 should probably be reserved for Skagit Heads over 600 gr or so.
Spey Versileader Kits are a money saving option and include all of the sink rate options of one length Versileader in a Rio Tip Wallet.
Rio Replacement 15 ft Tips: These are the same sink tips provided with Rio Multi-tip Spey fly lines. Looped at one end and labeled as to line class and sink rate, these tips are available in sink rates of Intermediate, Type 3 (3-4 ips), Type 6 (6-7 ips), and Type 8 (8-9 ips). Unlike Versileaders that are classified only by length and sink rate, this product is classified by line weight also, as in matched for a 7 wt, 9 wt 12 wt line. As such, the Type-3, 12 wt sink tip will be considerably heavier than an 8 wt tip that is also Type 3 sink rate. Suggestion: These Replacement sink tips allow the Switch and Spey anglers to fine-tune his or her tips to an individual rod and line. And we find that these tips are far better than Versileaders when fishing heavier Skagit Heads. These 15 ft tips may be cut down to 12 ft, 13 ft or 14 ft to meet the needs of individual anglers, rods, and water conditions.
Replacement 10’ Sink Tips: Same as the Rio 15 ft Replacement sink tips, just in a shorter version.
15 ft Replacement 15 ft Tips Kit & Tip wallet: This is a complete set of 15 ft Replacement tips packaged in a Rio Leader Wallet. Save some cash and make sure you have the full range of tips at hand next time you head out..
So ends part 2 of this Spey Sink Tip Review
Jay Nicholas, December 2012